switches

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by yellowlynn, May 15, 2005.

  1. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

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    I have run into a problem I have never before encountered. I have 2 switches on the mainline. These in turn branch into 3lines in a yard and then return to the 2nd mainline switch, a thru yard. The 3 lines are "dead" on one side with leaders to on/off switches. When my mainline switch is straight, all runs fine. When I switch to go to the yard------dead short. That one mainline switch knocks out everything. If you can't figure out what I mean, I can scan a diagram, tho my artwork leaves much to be desired. Do I have a faulty switch?

    Lynn :confused: :confused: :curse: :curse:
  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    What brand turnouts Lynn?

    Gary
  3. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

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    Sounds like you have power routing switches, did you insulate both rails to the frog. When you throw the switch the frog is now opposite the rail coming from the main that is connected to it.

    Or you have the leads to the yard tracks opposite the main.
  4. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

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    frog

    I have Atlas #6 turnouts. I'm not completely clear about frogs. Is that the point where tracks cross, or diverge, but not connected to the switching mechanism in any way? It is metal, but most others are plastic. Does that have anything to do with it?

    Lynn
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Lynn: that sounds like it. What happens is that both points are connected to the frog and when the switch is set for the siding, the rails make a dead short across the mainline. If you throw both mainline switches it probably won't happen. You need a insulated gap, probably a plastic rail joiner, between the 2 frogs, in all rails that are connected. You can either use one gap, in the middle, or a gap just beyond each switch frog, and an extra wire to the now dead rail in the middle.
    I'm not sure how the sidings need to be gapped, but the double gap and a jumper should work, depending on what you want to do.
  6. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

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    This is what I've got. These 2 switches have metal frogs, all the rest are plastic. I have plastic joiners at C and E. Do I need to insulate ALL joints and run seperate leads to everything? It really loses me. I think it will be easier (spell thet simpler) to just use switches with plastic frogs.

    Lynn

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  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Are those tracks stub end or do they go to other switches on the other end and back too the layout? You might have inadvertantly put in a reverse loop. Even with the metal frogs in the Atlas Custom line turnout, you won't get a short unless you wire the frogs for power. As they come from Atlas, the frogs are dead on Custom Line switches.
  8. hminky

    hminky Member

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  9. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

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    short

    I haven't done any ballasting as yet. I have insulated joiners at C and E, and at J and L at the other end. If I insulate G and H also, it runs OK as far as I can tell so far. I guess that is it, but I don't understand why that would be necessary because it looks like the south side is completely isolated from the north side.

    Lynn

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  10. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Yellowlynn, do you have gaps on the mainline tracks which you did not draw? Directly beneath B and H? I can't speak with absolute certainty about Atlas turnouts, I always thought they all had unpowered frogs (some with the ability to easily power the frog) and the rails beyond the frog were not switched in polarity when the turnout was thrown. Having said that, when using turnouts which throw the polarity of rails from the frog, you need to insulate both of the rails leading from the frog. The outside (stock) rails don't need to be gapped. In your drawing, A and G, C and J, F and M don't need gaps. Just below B and H do. If "power routing" turnouts are the cause of your problem, that is the solution.

    Gary
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Lynn:
    for a test, just take out the rail joiners at B and on the rail just below it. If the systems now works, you have an answer.
    Are you running one train or several? That may make a difference in how you wire it all.
  12. phoneguy

    phoneguy member

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    Lynn:
    If you are trying to wire these sections as blocks you have one section reversed. Looks like you are using common rail and maybe Atlas selectors to control these sections. The way it's drawn the hot wires would all be on the same side.

    Wayne








    l
  13. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

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    polarity

    I have hit a complete and absolute block. I am trying to run a block system to set trains on sidings. I used insulated joiners ALWAYS on the same side of the track. If switches reverse polarity when thrown, why? With a simple oval, and 2 switches for an inside siding, no problem. I'm trying to do virtually the same thing but I end up with a dead short. I still can't draw but here's a different one. I double lined all joints, but I have insulated jouners at A-A, B-B, and C-C, plus D. A power lead goes to those 4 tracks. The switches on the left stay dead, or I get a short. I'm ready to give up and just have stub sidings.

    Lynn

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  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Lynn...

    I know it may be a bit redundant, but have you tried drawing the track plan with two colours - one for each rail? That might help you identify where you are introducing a short??

    Just a thought...

    Andrew
  15. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

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    shorts

    Everybody has good ideas and I keep trying each one. The 2 colors never conflict, UNLESS one of the switches has a short. No matter what position each switch is in, it is always the same. All switches on the right side work beautifully. When I get past the block on the left, to the switch, it goes dead.Any attempt to make the line live makes it a short. I have never ran into this before and had the same setup. This is the first time using #6 turnouts, so evidently they have got to be the problem.

    I thank you all for your help.
    Lynn
  16. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    I think you may have a clue there. If your scheme works on paper, but it doesn't in reality, then you could have a switch that has a mechanical problem and is shorting out. You should be able to find that by the process of elimination.
  17. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    Hi,
    From looking at your drawing, you have exceeded yourself in the gaps you've placed. You don't need gaps anywhere on the outside rail of your loop. You also don't need them at the points' end of your mainline turnouts. You don't need them on the "outside" rail of your track ladder going to your "dead end" siding and the ones beyond the frog rail coming off the mainline switches on either side of the loop. You have correctly isolated your sidings going across to the other side of the loop. I understand you have these tracks controlled with an on-off switch to be able to "park" trains there. All this leads me to believe that you have done a lot of "jumping" to power all those isolated switches and sections, and you probably have incorrectly "jumped" one or several of these sections. I use two different colors for wiring my track: one color for the "outside" rail, and another for the "inside". This way I can see if I've jumped the track sections correctly (outside to outside; inside to inside). If need be, I follow a rail all the way around with my finger to determine if it's outside or inside.
    I doubt that yor problem is with the switches. I've used Atlas switches in the past and never had any trouble if I had my wiring done correctly.
    Hope this helps.
    Gus.
  18. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

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    Gus, you are right in all you say, but I didn't make myself clear. All those crosslines are ONLY where switches are joins to other track. Insulated joiners are at A-A B-B C-C and D, to isolate blocks. I've been running a test loco from right to left. Everything is perfect until it gets to the switches on the left side. they are dead, no matter which direction they are thown. Jumping past the blocked joint is a short. All the problems are on the left, so I'll replace those switches one by one.

    Lynn
  19. shortliner

    shortliner Member

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    Lynn - battery, bulb some wire and a couple of croc-clips. Make a tester and work your way along one rail until you find the bit where it doesn't light up any more - that's where your problem lies.If that rail is okay do the other one. It could be something as simple as a poor blade contact Another way is an 18" wire with 2 croc-clips, fix it across the rail from the toe of the switch to the matching rail on thesiding and see if the loco runs now
    HIH
    Shortliner(Jack) away up here in the Highlands
  20. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    Hi,
    I have taken the liberty to modify your drawing to better attempt to show you the way this set-up should be wired.
    The small red marks are where you need plastic rail joiners to isolate the sections. The purple "wires" are jumpers from the outside rail to the rails in the yards; the blue "wires" are jumpers from the inside rail to the corresponding yard rails. To turn on & off the yard tracks place an ON-OFF switch between the purple jumper and the yard rail.
    Hope this helps.
    Gus.
    (By the way, this wiring set up works with whatever type of switches you have. Also, bridge any other isolated gaps you may have that are not shown here.
    My wrist & mouse did not help much in the drawing of the lines...):)