Mini Toggle Switches...and Unitrack?

mtntrainman Jan 28, 2012

  1. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ok....

    I have 15 on/off and 15 on/off/on. None of witch do me a danged bit of good to threw turnout switches..grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    I went to our local battery/cell phone outlet (Radio Shack) and asked for some momentary/off/momentary mini toggle switches. They gave me the 'deer in the headlight' look and asked if I wasnt sure I needed some batteries...grrrrrr.

    Soooooooooooooo...what online electronics place do you guys use to get your momentary/off/momentary mini toggle switches to operate your turnout switch machines with ???

    Also...I am used to Atlas switch machine...3 wire. Unitrack only has 2 wires...red and black. If one of you guys with some electronics aptitude can explain how to wire a momentary/off/momentary mini toggle switch to work both ways with 2 wire Unitrack...can ya let me know. My electronics skills SUX !! TIA

    :tb-confused::tb-err::tb-nerd::tb-wacky:
     
  2. Delamaize

    Delamaize TrainBoard Member

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    Basicly, Unitrack switches run on DC instead of AC, so what you have to do is wire them so one way sends out red + Black -. then when you flip the switch oppisite, it does red - black +. Basicly, IIRC what I did was got some DPDT (Double Pole, Double throw) momentary/off/momentary toggles, wired the power power coming into the center 2 poles, then the wires going out to one of the other sets, then made jumpers that crossed the 2 poles from left to right and right to left from the remaining terminals, to the ones that go out to the tracks. attacked is a sketch....


    [​IMG]
     
  3. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well...that part looks easy...thnxs :tb-cool::thumbs_up:
     
  4. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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    I think Mintronics has the mini DPDTCO momentary switches....Mike
     
  5. Tudor

    Tudor TrainBoard Member

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    I get them all the time in bulk packages on ebay from China. They all come from there anyway. I get them for a buck a piece typically. There are several china sellers that sell bulk packages of those mini toggles.

    Here in the states in electronic stores you pay $3 up to $6 each for them, and they are the very same china made switches.
     
  6. ChicagoNW

    ChicagoNW E-Mail Bounces

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    No electronics needed. The wiring is a simple mechanical connections.
    The Kato switches use 12 volts DC or less to operate.
    [​IMG]

    The designs using the momentary switches can be ganged up so that a single push button will apply power to several toggles at once. This would simulate a CTC panel. Do not use Capacitance Discharge units. The Kato and Tomix switch motors work on magnets attracting magnets not magnets pulling an iron slug to move the points.
     
  7. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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    What is the advantage of using the diode circut ?? Seems the first one is the eaisest to make/ use....Mike
     
  8. ChicagoNW

    ChicagoNW E-Mail Bounces

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    You are correct the designs get more complex from top to bottom.

    The first is the simplest but offers no indication of switch throw after it is used. The toggle will self center.

    In the middle design the toggle handle will indicate the switch throw after the power is applied with the press of the button. Much like the Atlas controllers you are familiar with.

    The bottom design is exactly the same in function as the second one, but with added indicators. The Red and Green components are Light Emmiting Diodes (LEDs) that can either be a local signal or indicator on a control board.

    In each of the designs the change is the switch.
    • In the first it is a momentary switch.
    • The second is a standard on-off-on switch.
    • The third actually has three sets of connections. The first two sets are used to control the polarity of the electricity going to the switch motor. The third set selects which LED lights up.

    I hope this helps. Mike Fifer also has suggested the first design. Atlas is releasing a new controller similar to the third design.
     
  9. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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    AHH LED's not diodes :lightning: Guess the red/ green colors should have been a clue :D ! Now I can see how that might be useful LOL....Mike

    OK LED's are diodes....I might get the hang of this e-lec-tricity thing some day!!
     
  10. ChicagoNW

    ChicagoNW E-Mail Bounces

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    The little arrows pointing away from the diode symbol means it is a LED. It's a subtle thing, so it is easy to miss and I did not put notes on the drawing.

    A 1K resistor is a safe selection for use with any LED circuit. You may want to use a smaller one or different ones to adjust the brightness of the different colors.

    The different versions were designed to answer objections to the original simple design.
     
  11. Tudor

    Tudor TrainBoard Member

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    On my panel of micro toggles, I simply took apart the Kato DC converter that snaps to the side of Kato switches to convert AC from the acessory connections to DC. Took out the little diode bridge inside of it, and mounted it on the back side of my toggle panel to power the toggles that send the voltage to the switch machines. Somewhere in my albums is pictures of my toggle panel and how I made mine..
     
  12. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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  13. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    Why do you say not to use a capacitor discharge circuit? I've used them with KAto turnouts with no problems. In fact, anyone who is using a Digitrax DS64 to control Kato turnouts is using a capacitor discharge circuit(the DS64 has it built in) and I have not heard of anyone having issues with that setup.
     
  14. ChicagoNW

    ChicagoNW E-Mail Bounces

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    The two wire switch motors in Tomix and Kato do not need the power that a Twincoil machine does. All you need to to is change the polarity of the field, the single coil generates. To test my switches, I have used a single AA battery. The magnets that move the points are already attracted to the steel in the core of the coil. So it does not take much power to move the magnet. Operationally the Kato and Tomix switches are identical. Internally Kato uses two moving magnets outside a single coil. Tomix uses a split coil around a single moving magnet. You do not need all the power of a CD unit. It's wasted energy. It's kinda like putting a 454 in a Vega, you can do it, but does it carry the groceries any better?
     
  15. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    I agree that a capacitor discharge circuit is not needed, but to type in bold red letters "Do not..." looks like a warning against using it, like there is something wrong with using one when there is not. In fact, sometimes there are good reasons for using one. If you power your turnouts with the same power pack that is running your train, you may see a momentary slow down of your train when you throw a turnout. A capacitor discharge circuit would prevent that(though a better solution would be to use a separate power supply). Also, with a capacitor discharge circuit, you do not have to worry about burning out a solenoid because of a stuck button or holding it down too long.

    Here is a circuit that I like for throwing Kato turnouts. It uses a SPDT non-momentary toggle switch, so the switch can show turnout direction. You can optionally add the LED's shown in the circuit to show direction, though they are not required for operation of the circuit. With this circuit, you can have one ground wire running to all the turnouts and one wire from each turnout back to the control panel. (Click on the circuit for a larger image.)

    KTC.jpg
     

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  16. ChicagoNW

    ChicagoNW E-Mail Bounces

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    The current draw thing is a red herring. The logic is left over from using twincoil machines. The factory Tomix controller throws two at once and no effect at low speeds. My ProHobby Carmel Locomotive goes full speed at 3v and does not see any effect. Kato and Tomix factory controllers pulse for a tiny fraction of a second, so, do not affect the train running.

    The TC switch motors need to drag an iron slug from one position to another and need power through the entire time of the movement. On a Kato the magnets are attracted to the steel core of the coil without power and once the power is cut the magnet will continue to move until it connects with it. To get it to switch the direction the coil, the pulse reverses the polarity of the electromagnet and the magnets swap attraction. It only takes milliseconds for Kato versus two or three seconds for a twincoil.

    As to your circuit, I understand how the switch controls the direction of current flow . But does the capacitor cut the current flow through the electromagnet?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2012
  17. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    Yes it does. When you switch the toggle to 12 volts, current flows through the coil as the capacitor charges. Once charged, the capacitor blocks any further flow of current through the coil. When switched to ground, the capacitor discharges through the coil.
     

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