switches and such

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by wireyanker, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. wireyanker

    wireyanker New Member

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    hi all. hey i am getting into this hobby again after being out for last twenty years. is there any special considerations i should know about in regards to ordering switches etc. with the new dcc stuff? i understand the concept with engine control but is there anything to do with the switches involved with dcc? i see some people referring to dcc friendly switches. And ( I haven't ordered anything yet) are the new #4 switches and stuff a bad idea to use with undertable remotes when the primary table is on foam backing? as far as keeping them in tune to work i mean. are the regular electrical part of the switches any smaller than a snap switch? I mean the actual electrical switch part. do most of you guys have the snap relays set up along with the remotes switches for signal lights etc. or is there a better more common way to do it? Thanks for the help.:) i see a switch machine cost about 5.50 and a snap relay about the same is a tortoise switch the way to go?

    Please don't be shy i'm looking for some help here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hehe
  2. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

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    >>i understand the concept with engine control but is there anything to do with the switches involved with dcc?

    There can't be any shorts with the turnouts as they change from normal to thrown. Other than that, I don't know. (Don't use DCC myself.)

    >>And ( I haven't ordered anything yet) are the new #4 switches and stuff a bad idea to use with undertable remotes when the primary table is on foam backing?

    I don't know that the foam should have any effect on what turnouts you use. More below.

    >>are the regular swithes any smaller than a snap switch?

    You are referring to the Atlas 'Snap Switch'? The 'Snap Switch' is a sharper turn than the regular number 4 turnout. It is designed to be used with an 18inch radius sectional track. The regular number 4 is not. They are not interchangeable.

    >>do most of you guys have the snap relays set up along with the remortes switches for signal lights etc. or is there a better more common way to do it? Thanks for the help.

    I used to use the Atlas switch motor mounted on the turnout and a 'Snap Relay' to control lights and to power the frog of my number 6s (highly recommend number 6s if you have room), but now I use tortoise under table switch motors. They have built in relay contacts so I don't need another relay and they are slow motion which looks more realistic. However, you feed power to them all of the time rather than just a momentary kick. One big advantage is that you can use an LED right with the power to indicate which way the switch is thrown without needing to use the contacts leaving them free for other things.

    As far as mounting the tortoise in foam, I understand that people are gluing them in place with something like 'Liquid Nails for Projects'.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    The main problem with switches and DCC is shorts when a wheel makes contact with the stock rail and the point rail when it runs between them. This doesn't happen with platic frog switches. The other problem is with switches where the point rails are electricly joined and have extra little contact tabs on them and the one tab makes contact before the other breaks it.
    When you get a short on DCC the whole layout shuts down and everybody yells "Who did that?"
    Switch machines: When you get past snap switches, you end up buying switch machines as extras. Most of them come with extra relay blades that can be used for signals. They are trickier to install.