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Atlas switching machines

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  • Member since
    November, 2017
  • 3 posts
Atlas switching machines
Posted by Former BN guy on Thursday, November 02, 2017 2:14 PM

I am brand new into this as I periodically help my elderly next door neighbor with his huge "N" scale railway setup that's set up on a 4' X 8' sheet of plywood in his launi. Yesterday he asked for my help with Atlsa switches. He's burning them up @ $20 a switch. I didn't know what kind of power source they needed, AC or DC and at how many amp or milli amps. He's got a power supply that has 2 DC outputs of 14.5 VDC @ 10A and 1 AC output @ 10 amps. I believe the AC voltage was somewhere between 14 - 16VAC. He wants to use this power supply. I think I understand that the switches use 3 -16 VAC @ about 3 amps to move the switch using a momentary switch for a control device. He's got about 24 switches to hook up. Do I need to put resistors in-line with the switch power to limit the current to the switch? I don't know the name of the power supply right now. I'll get it later when my neighbor gets back home. I really can't find the actual specs for these switches. Thanks for any help!

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, November 02, 2017 3:24 PM

While a power supply is capable of putting out 10 amps, it doesn't force 10 amps down your throat if you only need 3 amps.  The powered device takes the amps it needs.

Is he really using a momentary switch?

Ok I never used Atlas switch machines.  I see you can buy undertable switch machine from Modeltrainstuff for a lot less than $20.  Maybe this diagram will help

 
 
 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, November 02, 2017 3:46 PM

Welcome

Henry’s comments would be my suggestion too.  If the switches aren’t momentary they will cook the switch machines in a couple of minutes.  I use 16 volts AC on my Atlas switch machines, they work great if you just press the switch or button for less than a second (MOMENTARY!).  He could also use a CD power supply (Capacity Discharge supply).
 
 
The Snapper Power Supply operates the switch machine with one quick momentary surge.
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by zstripe on Thursday, November 02, 2017 7:37 PM

Atlas recommends 16-18 VAC @2AMP for their switch machines/snap relay.

I have 45 Atlas under table machines with relays for frog power, panel lights, signals. With a dedicated power supply 36 vac center tap @6amp.....center tap is 18vac 6amp.....never found a need for a capacitive discharge unit....been up and running since 1980..not one problem in all those yrs. I use normally open push buttons for control on control panel. 20 switches are manually thrown with caboose industry ground throws.....but N-scale instead of monster HO- scale ground throws......works fine for Me.....

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

Read Power requirements:

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Posted by richg1998 on Thursday, November 02, 2017 7:51 PM

The Circuitron Snapper will prevent this. It operates of off, AC or DC. Look it up.

I made my own many years ago with a 10,000 ufd cap and a couple resistors. Mine operates off of about 16 vdc. It can fire a yard ladder, no problem.

To my knowledge, even if a switch does not release, the coil should not burn out. The capacitor will just not charge up but I have never had that happen.

Rich

N

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, November 02, 2017 7:53 PM

zstripe
I use normally open push buttons for control on control panel.

Good point,

Push button switches come Normally Open or Normally Closed.  Externally they look the same.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Friday, November 03, 2017 9:45 AM

He has a faulty push-button somewhere, perhaps more than one.

 

The problem is at that end of the wire.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by Former BN guy on Friday, November 03, 2017 4:56 PM

Thanks for the reply BigDaddy. I haven't seen these under the table switches. I'll do some checking.

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Posted by Former BN guy on Friday, November 03, 2017 5:01 PM

Thanks for the reply Broadway Lion. My neighbor is a little lax when it comes to being careful with exposed wires and all. 

  • Member since
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  • From: North Dakota
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Posted by BroadwayLion on Saturday, November 11, 2017 2:25 PM

Former BN guy

Thanks for the reply Broadway Lion. My neighbor is a little lax when it comes to being careful with exposed wires and all. 

 

 

And if you are using that ATLAS 200 Snap relay, you need to know that it is a Make-Before-Break arrangement. That can be problematic for some designers.

Most switches and relays are Break-before-Make.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by wobblinwheel on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 1:28 AM

I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but I recently "discovered" the Peco "sliding contact" turnout switches. I wish I had known about these when I first built my layout 20 years ago. These are lever-type switches that only produce a "momentary" contact with each full throw, up or down. The (only) two I have work perfectly!

Mike C.

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Staten Island NY
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Posted by joe323 on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 6:51 AM

I have a CDU made by minatronics Not only does it protect the coils from burn out it makes them snap with authority. Most layouts need only one CDU.

Joe Staten Island West 

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