remote switch power issue

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by entity789, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. entity789

    entity789 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I'm pretty new (2 weeks) and already having power issues. I have a simple oval track that came with my new set to which I added more track to create something besides an oval. The problem is that when I have one or both Atlas remote switches hooked up (connected to the track, but no power going into the wires attached to the switch), my engine recieves next to zero power. When the switches are removed from the track, the engine functions fine. Do the remote switches need to be independently powered to not disrupt track function? I saw no instrucions in the box, if they do need to be wired, there are three wires (red, black, and green), are these for AC or DC? I assume the green is for grounding?


  2. engineshop

    engineshop Member

    Use the AC from the power pack to power switch motors, signals, scenery light, etc. If your layout grows, you will find out that you have to add some cheap AC power packs just for the switches and lights. If you don't have an AC hookup on your power pack, get something cheap that matches the recommended output of your appliances you want to power with.
  3. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Jonathan, :wave:

    I'm unclear what you mean by "connected to the track."

    The switch coils should be connected to pushbuttons or
    other type of electrical switch, not to the track. The power
    source for the switch coils (switch motor) can be taken from
    the accessory terminals (AC) on your power pack. :thumb:

    The three wires are for
    1. Switch to divert
    2. Switch to straight
    3. AC common return (Back to power pack)
    (maybe this is what you meant by "ground")

    Are you using Atlas turnouts (track switches) ???
    We're gonna get you going, don't worry :) :)
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Atlas makes special controllers for the switches. The connections are one wire from the accessory terminals to the common on the turnout. one wire from the other accessory terminal to the controllers. two wires from the controllers to the turnout. I think the controller works by sliding the switch part and pressing down for a tick.
    I hope you haven't damaged the switch machines by hooking them to the track.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    How are the switches installed into the layout? If they go accross the oval so that the train following the switch route would change directions, you have created a reversing loop. Without properly located insulators, you will have a direct short whenever the switches are thrown to traverse the center.
  6. entity789

    entity789 New Member

    Hi Russ,

    Yeah, I think that's what happened. The track has a "tear drop" shape to allow the engine to change heading on the mainline. I realized last night that this would create a short (regardless of the position of the switch). You mentioned insulating the track to prevent the short, is there a way I could keep the train moving forward past the insulation without switching the direction on my throttle? I don't think it would be safe for the engine to all of a sudden have the polarity switch on the track (as it would if it crossed over the insulated point) and I don't think just switching the direction control would actually work.

    Thanks again,

  7. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

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