Controlpanel - point switches

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by dhutch, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. dhutch

    dhutch Member

    ok, im i the process of mechanising my points (with peco point sonoides)

    - but i was wondering where you guys get you switchs from

    i know you can get the (hugly expenceive) peco "passing contact" switches

    - but what are the toggle switches you use, are they passing conect?, or are they "center return SPDT" switchs or what

    - beacuse i try my local electrical store, and they didnt have any think approrate all?

  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Your normal hardware/electrical/electronic store will have nothing suitable.
    If you are using solenoid point motors, you need a momentary contact switch.
    Peco's are designed for this job, but I think they're expensive. They don't work with a capacitor discharge unit.
    I use Peco's probe and studs. PL17 and PL18. I've also used brass screws instead of the studs and a probe from the electronix shop (used for some meters). These get mounted in a track diagram, and the probe dangles. No chance of the electrics sticking and burning out the motor.
  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    Have you got yourself a CDU (Capacitor Discharge Unit) yet? I would advise on getting one before actually wiring up the turnout solenoids.

    I use "momentary on" buttons from the local electronics retailer. About 50c each. (two per turnout) on a layout diagram on a board. One switch for each track of the turnout, and placed on the appopriate lead track of each turnout.
  4. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Daniel, I also used a capacitor discharge unit (CDU), and here is how I did it:

    On the panel I mounted cheap single pole, double throw switches (SPDT) at the turnouts of the track diagram (orange arrows). I wired them so, that the toggle lever indicates the direction of the train will run through the turnout. This way I wired several turnouts together. The trick is that the power line from the CDU first goes to a momentary pushbutton contact on the panel (yellow arrows) and from there to the individual track switches on the panel. This way you can preselect a route and then, with one push on the button, a whole group of turnouts is thrown accordingly.
    A normal CDU will easily throw up to six PECO solenoid motors - if not, just add a bigger capacitor.


    Attached Files:

  5. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Two additions:

    The first pic shows the type of SPDT switch I used and how to wire it. These are cheap switches, rated for 230 Volt (household current here in Europa).

    And the second picture shows the wiring diagram of the whole setup.

    It is a cheap solution which has the advantage that you always see the selected route through a turnout ladder without additional feedback wiring from the turnouts.

    I hope this helps.


    Attached Files:

  6. dhutch

    dhutch Member

    Ok, thanks, so i can eather use a pair of push to make button swtiches, or a probe/stud system, or get a CDU and use toggles.

    - also railron, thanks for clearing up the toggle switch thing, i though maybe the toggled that people where using where Center return SPDT switches (ie, push one way for switching one way, then its spring loaded to return to a central off position, thus makeing it efectivly a two way push to make switch)

    - also, these "CDU" - how complicated are they, how much do they cost, or can i make some (any one got a schematic of one?)

    thanks, daniel
  7. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    CDUs are simple to make. The basic idea is this...

  8. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    My local electronics place doesn't have any SPDT switches suitable. They have them, but they're big honkers, I want smaller switches. I get 'em from Walthers myself, but your LHS may have them too (I find the LHS very expensive on this sort of thing. Walthers ain't cheap, but cheaper than LHS...)

    I don't use a CDU myself, but my layout is all DCC and mostly run off the computer, which has "routing" built in. I only have a panel for the yard, and that is just for times I want to stand there and flip the little buggers myself.
  9. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    I've used All Electronics and have been pleased with them. They have a wide selection of electronic components at very reasonable prices. They also have good service and fast delivery.
  10. dhutch

    dhutch Member

    Thanks, dash - i think i can make on of those

    - for electronics, ie caps/small switches/wire etc, i use Maplins (UK), there the UK's big electronics retaler, with high street shops and next day mail order [although the websites a bit naff!!]

    - also, it does say on that diagram
    (im not sure why there DPDT, not just SPDT)

    - But, it still proves that, at some point, someone, somewhere, made some "DPDT center return" switches, lol

    - so i might have another look for some, but if i can find any, i think i'll go with having a pair of SPST push to make switches, beacuse although Railrons way of having routeable toggles, linked to a CDU is an ingenous way of doing it, and i might rewired it like that later, its more work, and can be done bit-by-bit as well - and in a few years i might rewire it all though me DCC system, and route it all though one of my spare computers, after ZTC finally release there computer interface, and have had time to get some of the teathing problems sorted, and when i can afford it!!

  11. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    LOL, just a brain typo because I find DPDT center offs cost the same and give you a backup set of contacts, so that's all I buy. :) You can use spdt switches too. The place I posted it the first time had a note about it in the post. Yes, center sprung switches have been made and can be purchased, but their cost is most often rather steep. You can also use standard spst (or DPDT) and build a cdu for each turnout. A resistor is 5 cents and a cap is 35 cents. Then you can flip and forget and use the switch for a route reference. Then when you wish to reverse the points stop in center for 7 seconds to recharge the cap and then complete the change. The 1K resistor will keep your coils safe if you leave them on, and it takes 7 seconds to charge the cap back up.


    If that time is a factor you can use a DPDT and 2 cdus per point and use each pole for one direction so one cdu is always ready to juice. Fred
  12. dhutch

    dhutch Member

    Well, ive been looking around and i found a (UK) supplier of Center off, DPDT "mom-off-mom" switches, infact they have loads, one of which is this - they are £2.57 each, which is £64.25 for 25 - but thats still alot less than i'll be paying for the motors themselfes - and i like the center off toggle switch idea!

  13. dhutch

    dhutch Member

    and after spending ages looking for one of the web, i mentioned it to my dad and he got me a bag of 20 from the electronics shop near is work, for £0.50 each


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