View Full Version : Twin Coil switch machine capacitor discharge circuit

November 20th, 2000, 11:01 PM
Hello everyone,

My name is Clifton and I'm a first time reader of trainboard.com.

I'm looking for help in building a capacitor discharge unit for use with twin-coil switch machines.

My circumstance is this. I'm building an N-Scale layout in a coffee table. Because access for maintenance will be somewhat limited, I thought a capacitor discharge unit could help reduce twin-coil maintenance.

Can anyone help with my search?

I'm looking for circuit diagrams and parts lists.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Regards, http://www.trainboard.com/smile.gif

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer of the LaZ & E RR, (known locally as the Lazee Boy Lines)

November 20th, 2000, 11:17 PM
Hello Clifton, a warm welcome to Trainboard http://www.trainboard.com/smile.gif

Here in England, capacitor discharge units are readily available, and cheap enough to not consider building one.

Some of the stateside guys should be able to help with local suppliers, or a source of information.

Have fun with your coffee table layout http://www.trainboard.com/smile.gif


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November 21st, 2000, 02:17 PM
Circuitron makes the "Snapper" for about $25 (or whoever owns Circuitron now - I'm looking at a very old Walthers catalog), parts and time certainly add up to that...
I used a Peter Thorne circuit from an older Kalmbach RR electronics book -- If you can't find information anywhere else - let me know and I'll try to make a copy somehow (now that I have found my copy of the book, lost for some years...)

November 21st, 2000, 04:28 PM
I have a capacitor discharge unit that I would be willing to sell you for $10 plus $3.00 shipping ($13 total). I converted over to tortoise switch machines and no longer need it. It is made by RK Industries. When charged it is capable of throwing about 3 Kemtron/PFM/NJ type twin-coil switch machines at once.

Contact me offline if you are interested:

November 21st, 2000, 05:13 PM
Thanks everyone for your help.

ncng, I may send you a check. For now, I want the challenge of building my own.

Hence, Synchrochuff, if it's not too much of a problem, could I get a copy of the recipie in the Thorne book.

I'm suffering from the similar problem of a lost electronics book.

You can reach me off line at clifton.linton@mpower.com

Again, thanks everyone for your help. I think if I can get the Thorne recipie I'm on the right track (as it were).

Regards and Happy Thanksgiving
Clifton Linton

Robin Matthysen
November 21st, 2000, 06:30 PM
Hi Clifton, The book in question is "Practical Electronic Projects for Model Railroaders" by Peter J. Thorne. It came out in 1974. What I suggest is that you try your local library as most libraries keep a section on model railroading. This book may well be there or the librerian could tell you which other branch may have it. Good luck in your quest eh!

Maberly and Tayside (http://members.nbci.com/Matthyro/index.html)

November 21st, 2000, 08:00 PM
I have an article on building discharge units would you like me to scan it and email it too you? I have built this unit myself and have never had a problem


Paul Cassar-Moderator & Member number 50
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November 21st, 2000, 09:27 PM
Dear Colonel,

Yes. That would be nice. Please email me the article.

You can reach me at clifton.linton@mpower.com.

Again, thanks to everyone who has been so helpful with my search.

Happy holidays to all of you.


Chief Cook and Bottle Washer of the LaZ & E RR, (known locally as the Lazee Boy Lines)

November 21st, 2000, 11:40 PM

I have made several CD units for my layout. Some of them are for use with DCC (with the DS54), as shown in the DCC section of the traiN'ternet web site.
By using the bottom part of the schematic, you'll have a perfect CD unit for use with any switch motor and with a very fast recovery time. Please let me know if you need more info.

Hope that helps.

Jean-Louis Simonet (simonet@club-internet.fr)
traiN'ternet : http://www.trainternet.org/

November 22nd, 2000, 03:28 AM
Clifton, I would recomend going to JLS's site you will find all you need there, also I have been to France and seen how they work, if I didn't use Tortoise machines I would build his. This guy know from whence he speaks!

http://www.trainboard.com/smiles/047.gif When in doubt, empty your magazine.
Member #33

November 27th, 2000, 09:40 PM
Dear everyone,

Thanks very much for helping me with my quest for a capacitor-discharge circuit.

Earlier today, I recieved a circuit diagram via fax. I also checked out the trainternet.org site.

I have three circuits which I expect to provide the solution I need.

This is my first time participating in a bulletin board/chat environment.

I really appreciate the helpful, friendly atmosphere here. http://www.trainboard.com/smile.gif

I hope that in the future, I can repay the kindness.


Chief Cook and Bottle Washer of the LaZ & E RR, (known locally as the Lazee Boy Lines)