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I would like to know if there is a way to make a button that just activated the accessory such as a milk car.  I got a bunch of MTH Realtrax track sections with no switches.  Is there a simple method to make a button or switch? I went to my local train shops  all two of them but they had nothing and knew nothing.

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Also if its a milk car, that is a car activation per my comment above.  if you want to make your own control for an accessory mimicking say a 364C switch for the 397 coal loader, or the 97C control with an on/off and an "spst mom" switch you can do that too.  I suggest learning about switches through some books like CTT - Kalmbach's  Wiring Handbook for Toy Trains by Ray L. Plummer or from the same  "Wiring Your Toy train Layout 2nd Edition by Peter H. Riddle.

@RRAddict posted:

I have plenty of Lionel buttons made to activate regular accessories so those will do.  My question now is which 2 terminals on the Realtrax operating track do I connect them to?

Because some operating cars work with the uncouple button(using car chassis for ground/common) and some with the unload button(isolated from the car chassis), a DPDT (on)-off-(on) switch can be used to replace the bulky controllers. 6019 illustrated, RCS/UCS, GarGraves/Ross, RealTrax, FasTrack similar. If you really don't want the magnet energizing, just don't connect it or cut the connection. To use aux power, take the "power" wire off the center rail connection and connect it to your accessory voltage tap.

RCS UCS 6019

A DPST button type switch of your choosing can be used to energize either uncouple or unload by just using either the bottom, or top, respectively, of the DPDT in the illustration.

On the RealTrax piece, #1 terminal is the outside rails / ground connection, #2 is the left control rails and coil, #3 is the center rail power, #4 is the right control rails.

Realtrax unc


Images (1)
  • Realtrax unc


If you operate MTH DCS or Lionel TMCC/Legacy, you really don't need a special track. I converted my Lionel milk car with the ERR ACC Mini Commander several years ago. So now I can activate it anywhere on my layout with the MTH or Lionel remotes.

What is great about that, I can have several platforms located at different spots on my layout and don't have to be concerned about buying a special track to activate the car. I can release milk cans anywhere I want with either remotes.

You should check it out. It's simple to install and works great. Go the Sunset 3rd Rail and look under ERR.


If the requirement is to activate anywhere on the layout - rather than just at special activation track sections - then I suppose a button on a command-control remote indeed qualifies as a track accessory activation button per topic title! 

Though $109 seems steep IMO especially if you have a consist of coal cars which would each presumably need its own $109 ERR add-on.

If willing/able to work at the component/module level and modify the operating car itself to accept a different type of activation command, there are alternatives for less than $100 per car.  Here's an operating box car that I modified for wireless operation for about $10 using low-cost wireless remote components/modules.

The build notes are on the O gauge archive site.  And in this OGR post, GRJ discusses a wireless remote operating car widget he designed though I don't know its status.

These latter methods don't depend on TMCC or DCS for conventional operators or those that don't use those particular command control systems.

@stan2004 posted:
And in this OGR post, GRJ discusses a wireless remote operating car widget he designed though I don't know its status.

The status was lack of interest.  I posted these to gauge interest, but got virtually none.  So, I'm using some I've hand built in projects, but it seemed clear that spending the money to get a batch built would probably be a loser due to the response I got.

The Universal Wireless Remote Control Topic

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