Wiring Switch Machines questions

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by dturnerfish, May 8, 2005.

  1. dturnerfish

    dturnerfish New Member

    I am using Atlas N scale (Atlas code 80) switch machines (undertable, 3 wire) I have three lines going into a coal mine. I would prefer not to have to hit multiple switch controller to open up the track for each line. Is there issues with me wiring it a way so that one push will control multiple machines. Can all the grounds be tied together and going to a single switch controler, leaving the other controler with out a ground.

    I see how I can do it, just wondering if there are any issues.

    What if you had 4 or 5 lines?

    Am I going to shorten the life of my switch machines?
  2. CBCNSfan

    CBCNSfan Member

    Hi dturnerfish, well it all depends on exactly what you want to do.
    On my layout I use power routing. I press one button and all switches and track power are set to the route I want the train to go.
    power supply for the switches must be capable of throwing the maximum number of switches to be thrown at any one time

    Wiring If any switch is thrown by more than one button, you must use a diode matrix ( Steering Diodes). The lead from the power supply to the center terminal of the switch may be a common connection.

    I don't see any problem of shortened life (burnout) of twin coil switch motors if you use a capacitive discharge power source for your switch machines.
    That's all I can think of off the top for now.
    Cheers Willis
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    2 considerations:
    you need a diode matrix to determine which switch machines throw and to prevent feedback.
    Your supply to the switch machines needs to have a diode in it. A cdu may be the best way.
    Look up "diode matrix" in our search engine.
  4. GRSJr

    GRSJr Member

    "power supply for the switches must be capable of throwing the maximum number of switches to be thrown at any one time"

    This can lead to a very big capacitor in the usual capacitor-discharge scheme.

    Look at the June issue of Mainline Modeler to see a new and modern capacitor-discharge circuit with ZERO delay between turnout operations.
    It requires no complicated electronics, just a SPDT toggle, and a small capacitor to operate UniTrack turnouts. A DPDT toggle is used for twin-coil machines like Atlas.

    The article shows how to wire the ladder in a yard and a passing siding so one toggle operates all the turnouts needed for a route.

    Diode matrixes don't work with this circuit because it is BiPolar, operating the machine with both the charge and the discahrge of the capacitor - thus ZERO timedelay.

    If you have questions, please E-mail me.
  5. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    i did what your thinking on doing on one of my old layouts. what i did was ground out all the switches in that area to the same ground and i ran no more than 3 switches to the same box took all grounds and wired then together and ran one wire to the box did the same to the other two wires it can be done under a fixed income on a layout i had mine that way for 2 years and never burned a motor i also had my yards the same way but i did 2 one on each end and i also put a toggle swith in front of to rerout power if i only wanted to throw onethe toggel was wired on one wire to shut the curcit the switch is wire like a curcit the three wire complet it when wired in any way. most pepole say you need this and that to do it .but i know in my own working it can be done

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