Using Dcc, How Can I Hook Up Lights To My Turnouts To Signal Which Direction.

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by planeshavings42, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. Hello, i've recently switched to dcc, and would like to be able to hook up lights to let me know which track i'm going to be on, like mabey green for straight and red for left, anyone have the technical knowhow to explain how to go about this endaver?:rolleyes:
  2. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    what??????????????? are you trying to do lol
  3. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    are you talking about on a computer screan?
  4. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    No...he's talking about a control panel...I think...

    If so, your switch machines should have relays that power a circuit depending on the turnout position. Wire up your lights to these relays and you're set to go...
  5. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    oh ok. how about using a tortise . dont the have extra contacts to hook to lights built in?
  6. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I'm not familiar with the Tortoise, so I can't answer that...
  7. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

  8. Yes, I'm talking about a control panel

    Yep, sorry, it is a control panel I'm trying to build, and I have all Atlas snap switchs. Thank's
  9. Thank's Gus

  10. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    I dont think snap switches have extra contacts on them but someone correct me if Im wrong. So if you want to get the extra contacts you wil have to up grade
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I think we have another thread on this topic. The snap switches don't have the contacts for extra lighting and the rails are all powered all the time so you can't wire lights to them.
    The one solution was a "snap-relay", which is a snap-switch switch machine that operates a DPDT switch instead. It gets wired in parallel to the snap switch and throws at the same time (same control buttons). This can be wired up to lights or signals.
  12. That's It

    Perfect Journeyman Pooh Bah, that sounds like it is just what I was hoping for so the momentary power that power's the turnout will also power the DPDT relay switch and I connect that to the light with external power. I can take it from there, Thank You so Much for your very helpful input. :wave:
  13. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Why would you need a DPDT switch..?? Just common wire all the lights and have the power routed by the switch only to the "open" side of the lights..?? Eliminates a lot of wiring...
  14. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Here is one of them:

    I've asked this quesiton too, and in that thread above it was suggested that snap relay's are what i need. So now i have a couple on my kid's 4x8, i've also scanned the instructions and linked it here:

    So after actually putting them on my layout i've run into a couple of logistical issues.
    1) It's easier to wire 2 separate single color led's than 1 multi-color led (at least in my mind)
    2) think carefully about what you want to accomplish :) i went overboard on my signaling hahaha ended up w/ led's everywhere had to scale it back a bit.
    3) the resitors, i've read and read, printed diagram after diagram, an expert now at ohms law .. still nervouse about popping my leds from over voltage hehehe.

    I've been posting photo's of my progress here:

    and you can view full sized images here in case you want to see how it's all wired up:

    I'll be posting some more pictures tonight after i wiretie all the loose wiring.

  15. Thank's for the heads up YmeBP

    Thank You YmeBP, it's always helpful to see someone Elses view, and thank you for the E-Mail, it will help when I get mine. announce1 :)

  16. DWeiler

    DWeiler New Member


    I am using exactly what you are trying to do on my layout and it works great.

  17. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    That's quite cool what one can do with a tortoise switch machine.
  18. Thank's Dennis

    Thank's Dennis, I appreciate the confidence builder, any chance you could take a picture of your control panel, and post it, or E-Mail it to me at: Thank's, Duane :thumb:

  19. Enamored With Your Layout

    Hello Marlon, and thank's again for your super input on the snap relay information, I have 12 on order I was able to find on eBay. I have to ask where you got your plan for your 4 X 8 Layout, it appears to be a super slick layout, and I am planning another 4 X 8 expansion to my layout soon, could you let me know where you found it, and what plan you are following. Thank's again for your very informative input to my thread on the turnout light wireing help for Atlas Snap Switch's. Duane Hampton "Keep On Tootin" AT&SF Duey E-Mail:

    :wave: :wave:

  20. DWeiler

    DWeiler New Member


    As soon as I can figure out how to downsize the photo I will post. Hopefully today.


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