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I'm attempting to help a friend with his layout and with a problem he is having with DZ1000 switch machines. The switch points do not consistently throw every time he activates it.

Nothing appears to be binding the switch points themselves. He opened the switch motor and watched the switch motor operate as he energized it. The problem appears to be with the tiny micro switch inside the switch motor; it appears to inhibit the switch motor from completing the throw of the switch points.

Have any of you encountered this problem and are able to shed some light on a fix?

I'm also working on getting a copy of a video he showed that clearly shows the binding inside the switch motor. I will post a response as soon as I get it.

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I have a few that don't fire all the time or don't always throw all the way.  I usually just up the voltage a bit.  That usually but not always does the trick.  But you have to be careful with the voltage.  I had to fix a few when had the handle at 20 volts.  I think 14 volts is the rating.

And I agree that Dennis is very helpful.

Is voltage the key issue with these? I have been moving around some 2500 switch machines from switches I am not using to other switches on the layout. I am finding the physical linkage at the spring to be touchy to set up. Also, the throw required by special purpose switches (I have Ross double-slip, double-crossover and 4-way switches) seems oddly to be different from plain rights and lefts--it has to do with the tie positions for mounting the switch machines I think...

I ordered all the different springs that DZ offers for these machines thinking maybe a magic bullet was available. But the ones that came in the mail are the same as what I have.

I have the instruction sheets for the turnouts and the switch machines. Maybe I'm missing something...

Don Merz

The DZ-2500 has a regulator, but that's a double-edge sword.  Dennis suggests no more than about 14 volts or the regulator can overheat as it's a linear regulator and dissipates everything over the voltage it needs as heat.

Don, I am smiling at the comment about the physical spring and linkage.  I've experienced the same thing, and even just taking a working DZ-2500 and swapping it for another will frequently change the dynamic, what's up with that?

I'd like to find a DZ-2500 spring for the Ross switches that had more "give" to it.  The Ross switches don't take much effort to move the points, so the springs are too stiff, at least IMO.  I'd like one with more flexibility, and perhaps another wiggle or two in them.  Many times the switch has bottomed out and is pushing and compressing the spring.  Sometimes it can't get it done and then you get the red and green light and the switch machine is stalled.   I have one switch machine that stalls on both ends of the travel!  You'd think that wouldn't be possible, but it happens.

John, Dennis has special "weak" springs that may help with the problem of stalling at both ends of the travel. Write him and he can send them to you.

However, sometimes it seems that the machine is at fault; I have had machines that stall at both ends regardless of spring.  I don't know if that represents a fault with the machine that Dennis can repair or not.

Last edited by Professor Chaos

The small green limit switch needs a complete throw, either left or right.  Sometimes oil helps.  Remove debris, can be a miserable experience.  I believe Denis Zander is good at replacing switch motors, that don't work, properly.   Other problem, the three small leads, Green, Red and Yellow, break/become disconnected from the top of picture PC board.  The board, in most cases, has to be removed, to solder the wires, in place.

Last edited by Mike CT

I never thought to lubricate, but I looked at a new DZ1000 and I see some lube on the flat surface that the throw lever rides against.  What oil do you use MikeCT?  Excelle/Labelle?  And what do you lubricate?  You would need to remove the machine to lube that flat surface.  Or do you just put a few drops in the semi-circle opening where the operating pin lives?

I like the idea of graphite Hokie71.  It was the unfair advantage that won quite a few pinewood derby races. Not sure if I like the idea of adding it to the existing lube though.  Do you just add it or do you wipe of the existing lube first?

It has been several years since I fooled with this situation but I don't remember noticing the lube you are seeing.  I remember gently placing the graphite with a small flat head screwdriver on the friction points. Not being a lubrication guru (but I know one....), my scientific wild *** guess (SWAG), would  be to remove the excess lube so the graphite can get to where it needs to go.  Does not seem that graphite in a thin layer of lube would hurt anything?  It will be interesting to hear other opinions.

Hi All....

Thanks for all the GREAT suggestions.

MikeCT.....your pictures are very helpful. For lack of a better term, it is that "swing arm" that rises up against and triggers the micro switch that appeared to be the source of contention.

I think introducing some graphite will do the trick.

Thanks again to everyone for your help.

Did someone mention that Dennis Zander has great customer support?

I sent him an email about this thread.  I asked about voltage and lubrication.  Five minutes later, I got this response.

Although 14VAC is recommended, you can use 16VAC on switches that need a little extra.

Graphite is very bad since it is conductive. A drop of light oil like used to lube engines placed

in the slot on top and manually worked back a forth a few times really helps.

Please feel free to post.

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