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Reply to "Switches & Layout Reliability"

Your observation about the most troublesome switch being the one hardest to reach is so true!   And so annoying.  I use DZ-2500s wired for TMCC CAB-1 control (DZ-2001 Data Wire Driver) and push-button operation on the fascia (where applicable).  Some advice that might be generalized to other brands:

  1. Test the switch on the bench BEFORE installing on the layout.
  2. Program the switch (if it requires that) on the bench BEFORE installing on the layout.
  3. Plan for access to the switch - a pop-up hole or hatch.  "Stuff" is going to happen.  It's not a matter of "if". 
  4. Consider a physical or manual way to throw the switch.  I think there's a company called Bluepoint that makes a flexible mechanism for mechanically activating switches.  They are part of my Plan B.

I have 42 switches on Panhandle 2 and all but one are powered.  The other is a dummy that will be fixed in place.  Reliability is extremely important to me, so this is a topic I have given much thought to.  I'm only beginning to install switches and track, so I'm keeping notes on what happens.

Best of luck,


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