Passing contact switch.

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by screech, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. screech

    screech New Member

    Hello people. :wave:
    Can someone explain how a passing contact switch works please. :confused:
    Many thanks. :thumb:
  2. screech

    screech New Member

    21 views and nothing, please people i'm desperate to know if i can use these for something. :confused:
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    To start with, welcome to the Gauge. Someone here probably has your answer, but it could be that the first 21 to view your post may not be among them or they could be "guests" who cannot post unless they register. I'm not sure what you are calling a "passing contact switch", but I have a feeling it's a switch that will allow you to throw more than one turnout at a time. On the other hand, if you had posted a picture or a description of what you have there, I, or someone else might have known better if that's what you're talking about.

    In any event, there's nothing in modeling that is so "desparate" that you can't wait more than two hours for a good answer, so hang tight, help will show up.:wave::wave:

    In the meantime, I did a search here on, 'passing contact switch' and got a couple of threads that might have information you can use.:)
  4. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hi Mark,

    I wasn't familiar with the expression either but I Googled up and found this reference to Hornby's passing contact switches. The following link doesn't explain how to wire them up to your turnout (which I assume is the to wire a switch to operate a powered turnout) but it does provide a picture and description of what it does. Scroll down a bit to "Switches" . Maybe this will prompt some one esle to provide the technical assistance needed.

    Good luck! :wave:
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    A passing contact switch is one where the electrical connection is made as the switch is moved and then broken again before the movement stops.
    Picture a switch with a big lever coming outof the top, pivoted at the bottom (like a signal cabin). Wire connects to the lever. If the lever is moved, partway along the path it touches a contact and completes the circuit. (Throws the switch or whatever.) It keeps moving and eventually settles at the other end of its path.
    Usually, the model version has 2 contacts -- one for each position of the switch or signal. So the first contact just keeps the switch as it was, while the second changes it. The big lever is a visual indication of the switch position.
  6. Zman

    Zman Member

    What 60103 said. Passing contact switches are generally used for turnout motors of a solenoid variety to minimize the amount of time current passes through one of the coils. If current is allowed to pass through the coils for too long a time, they can burn out. I use Peco turnout motors and passing contact switches on my layout. The switches are SPST (single pole single throw).

    I've never seen SPDT (single pole double throw) switches that have a passing contact mechanism, but I have seen ones that have a spring-loaded lever that returns the switch to its center position.
  7. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    The passing switch as so well described by Zman and 600??? is usually called a momentary contact switch.


  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The passing contact switch is fairly standard in Britain. Peco make them. Hornby make them. Hornby-Dublo also had them. They are special units designed to join together and look like the levers in a signal cabin.

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