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How can I control several Atlas turnouts with one momentary push button switch?

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How can I control several Atlas turnouts with one momentary push button switch?
Posted by Mark Walther on Sunday, January 17, 2021 11:52 PM

Can you point me to a resource or tell me how to go about wiring a momentary push button switch on a control panel that when pushed would align the several Atlas snap machine turnouts along the entry/exit route for a staging yard to allow for the orderly routing of a given train?  I picture several of these switches on a control panel, each in the middle of a double ended yard track schematic on the panel. I want to select route for a given yard track by pushing one button For the yard track selected.  Or do I need another kind of switch?  Thank you in advance.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, January 18, 2021 2:10 PM

Hello All,

Mark Walther
...when pushed would align the several Atlas snap machine turnouts along the entry/exit route for a staging yard to allow for the orderly routing of a given train?

It sounds like you are attempting to create a "route" through your yard.

How many turnouts are you talking about "throwing" simultaneously?

Do you want all the turnouts to move the same way all the time or do you want/need different switching "scenarios" for a given situation?

Are you running DC or DCC?

As always, a track diagram, if possible, is always helpful.

On my pike I have several turnouts "paired" together. If I throw one switch two turnouts move simultaneously.

In the same yard I have turnouts with a single control.

When I need to create a particular route through the yard I activate the paired turnouts along with the singularly controlled turnout(s) to create the required movements.

What type of switches are you contemplating? Atlas #56, pushbutton momentary?

Are you using a Capacitive Discharge Unit (CDU)?

The more information you can give to the great folks on these forums the better they can assist.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Monday, January 18, 2021 2:29 PM

 For just two, like a crossover, you just hook two switch machines to the same control box. Though it is always recommended to use a capcitor discharge power supply so there is enough power to operate two at a time, and also keep from burning them out when the Atlas control box button eventually sticks (and they will).

 For what it sounds liek you want to do - press a buttong for say track 5 and every turnout needed link track 5 to the main gets set properly, or press button 3 and it lines everything needed for track 3, then you are looking for a diode matrix control. Googling that should show many examples and wiring. 

                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
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  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, January 18, 2021 2:55 PM

Hello All,

rrinker
For just two, like a crossover, you just hook two switch machines to the same control box.

For switch machines in a "cross over" arrangement, you will need to reverse the polarity of one so the turnout movement is simultaneous in opposite directions.

For turnouts thrown in pairs, i.e. a siding, then the polarity will be the same for both.

In either case, you will need a jumper from one turnout motor to the paired unit.

With a CDU you can throw more than two turnouts but you cannot deviate from the set pattern established by the wiring of the route.

For ultimate flexibility with DC-driven turnouts, individual control is best.

With DCC controlled turnouts a "route" can be programmed. But this requires converting all turnout motors to DCC.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, January 18, 2021 3:13 PM

jjdamnit

With DCC controlled turnouts a "route" can be programmed. But this requires converting all turnout motors to DCC.

It doesn't have to be one or the other.  To convert to DCC control, you will need a stationary decoder for each turnout you convert.  Make sure you get the right model, and you'll also be able to use pushbuttons like DC to control the turnouts.  You can also selectively convert just some turnouts to DCC while leaving the others how you have them.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Monday, January 18, 2021 4:00 PM

 For a yard type situation, it is pretty easy to set up the equivalent of a route control without using DCC. It's been done for ages, long before DCC. Pick the track you want, push that button, and the correct ladder tracks are all aligned. You just need diodes in cases where there are conflicting route. You can find articles in MR all the way back to at least the 60's on how dto do this, it's voered in Peter Throne's Electronic Projects for Model Railroaders, and in many other articles since. There's even a somewhat more recent article that shows how to make it work with Tortoise motors, as well.

 It's not complicated. Yoiu just need to make a chart of all possible selections. FOr a basic stub yard, you have things like:

Mainline - TO1 Normal

Track 1 - TO1 Reverse, TO2 Reverse

Track 2 - TO1 Reverse, TO2 Normal, TO3 reverse

 The various articles show ing how to do it show you how to chart it out and then figure out where the diodes are needed. 

 This one seems pretty comprehensive: Steve's Page on Diode Matrix Turnout Control (felgall.com)

                                                --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    February 2016
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Posted by ClydeSDale on Saturday, January 23, 2021 11:34 AM

Randy's recommendation is a good one.  When I built my switching layout the last thing in the world I wanted was a long string of switches to deal with and know that to get to from A to B I had to push six different switches in a unique combination.  Pass.

I've been using single push buttons for routing, diodes as required and a large CD unit for years and I wouldn't want to do it any other way.  The push buttons are placed in the track plan and it's intuitive.  Most buttons control a single switch position but some control as many as four machines.

I expanded to add a loop around the back of the original layout and added a yard which I will also control the same way.  This got a bit more complex.  Twelve turnouts, one a Roco three-way for the engine service building, with one route requiring the alignment of seven machines. 

After a lot of head scratching and searching I found the answer at Brimal Components Ltd.:  https://www.bclstore.co.uk/product-page/diode-matrix-for-up-to-11-points-sets  and that led me to this information  https://drive.google.com/file/d/15PZJcePhScqHNKNPSBAOqP2kWyVWSv1P/view  which helped a lot.  Haven't wired the yard yet but the head work is all done and on paper.

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