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atlas switch wiring

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
atlas switch wiring
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 8, 2008 7:51 PM

Good evening gents! I am having some good progress on my wiring this evening. I have been wiring up my switches, got two trains running at once(no big deal for many of you but for this beginner it was pretty exciting), and so forth.

I ran into a problem when the layout plans called for the connection of two switches to one switch controller. For those of you who want to see exactly what I am talking about you can refer to the atlas up and over dogbone layout and see switches #3. In this case I ran both the 3N's together and then into the switch control, same for the r's and the common. You get the point. When I test the switch controller, both switches respond slightly but don't actually throw the bar(it is not getting hung up on cork or anything). BTW, I am using a separate power source for switches so I am guessing it is a pretty isolated problem probably relating to the reverse loop issue where these switches are located.

 Can anyone help in very simple terms? Am I on the right track - no pun intended?


  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Christiana, TN
  • 1,652 posts
Posted by CSX Robert on Saturday, March 8, 2008 9:09 PM
It just sounds like your power supply does not have enough current to throw two switches at once.
  • Member since
    October 2005
  • From: Ulster Co. NY
  • 1,464 posts
Posted by larak on Saturday, March 8, 2008 10:31 PM

It could be a wiring error, but you can make a quick test of the supply.

Disconnect the wires at one of the two switch machines. Puch the controller button. If the remaining switch throws normally, disconnect it and reconnect the other. Repeat test.

If each throws independently then it is likely that the power supply cannot supply sufficient current for the two at once. Don't despair!  Search for posts on capacitor discharge or capacitive discharge supplies.

If neither switch throws independently then perhaps you can post a wiring diagram here.

Two trains at once is a milestone. Enjoy it! I am up to four (on DC) but if I look away for a milli-second, one will crash - often into the rear of another. 

Good luck. 


The mind is like a parachute. It works better when it's open.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: High Desert of Southern Calif.
  • 637 posts
Posted by SleeperN06 on Sunday, March 9, 2008 10:49 AM
I had this problem with my Atlas switches and found that some glue was sticking to the slide on one and the slide came unattached on the other switch. Try to move the switch manually and it sticks then its not the wiring.
Thanks, JohnnyB
  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Westchester NY
  • 1,745 posts
Posted by retsignalmtr on Monday, March 10, 2008 8:21 AM
my club had the same problem throwing double ended switches. not enough power from the mrc power packs to throw two peco switch machines together. we installed a snapper from circuitron which is a capacitor discharge unit and now all the machines move together with the added advantage of not being able to burn out switch coils should the control buttons stick. it's easy to install. two wires to the power pack and two to the switch buss.

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