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Atlas Turnout Wiring

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  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: MA
  • 52 posts
Atlas Turnout Wiring
Posted by sully57 on Friday, November 28, 2003 2:25 PM
I am sure this is easy, once you've done it once, but I haven't, and need some assistance please.

I have 4 standard Atlas Turnouts, that I need to wire. Just finished doing the actual track wiring (DCsetup), and things seem to work just fine. Now it's time for wiring the turnouts. The back of the pkg for these shows how to wire, assuming you are using those Atlas Twin-type switch control boxes. And it looks fairly simple. However, my hobby shop guy sold me 4 spring-loaded toggle switches to control the turnouts instead. There are 3 wires coming from each turnout - Green, Black and Red. And, I have three little points on the underside of each toggle switch, where I would connect 3 wires (solder perhaps) to. Assuming that the Green, Black and Red wires from each turnout go to these three solder points on the toggle switches, then how does power get to those same toggle switches? Obviously, the turnouts are already under variable DC power from the track feeds. But I do need some kind of AC power to the feed the toggle switches. Right?

The Atlas Twin types of (slide) switches have 3 screws where you connect the 3 wires from turnout. However, the Twin also has 2 screws on the side where you connect power from the AC terminals on the powerpack.

Can someone please set me straight on this please? Thank you very much!
  • Member since
    October 2002
  • From: City of Québec,Canada
  • 1,258 posts
Posted by Jacktal on Friday, November 28, 2003 5:03 PM
Your Atlas turnout has three wires,red and green for both directions and black is common(we'd say "ground" if it were DC).Your toggle switch also has three terminals,the outer ones being your two outlets that you link to your red and green wires.The center terminal is the "common" path to wich you will connect one of your AC syupply wires,then the other AC supply will be connected to your black wire from the turnout.This way the loop will be completed.

The Atlas turnout switch is wired internally to do just that with more simplicity so to speak.It is designed to eliminate faulty wiring and is also designed for multiple installation with minimal wiring.It will also avoid the risk of leaving power to the turnout coils after actuation,which would ruin them.This is why your hobby man supplied you with spring loaded switches that automatically return to "off".
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: MA
  • 52 posts
Posted by sully57 on Friday, November 28, 2003 7:42 PM
thanks Jacktal. So, after wiring the first one this way, is there a recommended way to do the rest? Meaning, can they be daisy-chained together somehow? Obviously there is limited room on the transformer screw to attach multiple AC wires to. As I am typing, I'm thinking about the electrical block I purchased. I guess wiring this block to the AC, and tapping into the multiple terminals on it for subsequent turnouts is the thing to do. Is that correct?
  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • 1,317 posts
Posted by Seamonster on Thursday, December 4, 2003 10:18 PM
I don't mean to horn in on Jacktal's responses to your query, but either method would work. You can daisy chain all the turnout black wires together and also daisy chain all the centre terminals of the switches together. I'm not sure what you mean by a power block, but if it's a series of terminals all connected together, you can use one for all the black wires and another for all the switch centre terminals. In your original post you said "solder perhaps." Solder, yes! You can't just twist a couple of wires together or wrap wires around switch terminals and expect a reliable connection. They need to be soldered. That's why all the Atlas switch products use screws--screws don't require soldering. Hope this helps, and good luck.
...Bob

..... Bob

Beam me up, Scotty, there's no intelligent life down here. (Captain Kirk)

I reject your reality and substitute my own. (Adam Savage)

Resistance is not futile--it is voltage divided by current.

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Michigan
  • 227 posts
Posted by SteelMonsters on Friday, December 5, 2003 10:24 PM
The atlas turnout switch is a soleniod. The common (black wire) is the middle connector for both. The other two (green and red) can be interchanged to switch in the oppisite direction.

It will take AC or DC. If your just going to use the 18VAC (depends on model) connect on your power pack, thats fine. I recommend using 10-20 volt AC or DC. Any more and you might let the smoke out of the turnout. Any less and it might not snap very well. I got it to work with a 9 volt battery but a quick hit of the button won't snap the switch completely, however if you hold it down for a second, it worked fine.

Just be carefull where you put the switch. Don't put is somewhere where it's likely that someone could put something on top of it. With 18 VAC it will only takes seconds for the unit to overheat to the point of smoking possibly starting a fire. I personly have a 12 VDC accessories line that I use on my atlas switches. It works great and doesn't heat up as much as with 18VAC.

-Marc
-Marc
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Guelph, Ont.
  • 1,476 posts
Posted by BR60103 on Saturday, December 6, 2003 10:39 PM
I use a large return wire on my layout which runs around the walls of a 16' square room. The wire was the ground from the house wiring stuff and is probably far too large. The black wire from the switch machines were all taken to this and soldered. (I think they were all soldered...) The other wires were taken to my track diagram and soldered to studs (could be screws or brass rivets). I have a probe connected to the other side of the power and I touch the studs to throw the switch.
With the SPDT switches, I think you should solder 2 wires to each center terminal -- one goes to the previous switch and one to the next switch, with special consideration at the first and last.

--David

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: MA
  • 52 posts
Posted by sully57 on Monday, December 8, 2003 9:08 PM
thanks all, once again.

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