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OK, this is followup to lionel operating car issues.

I was able to test all operating cars by bypassing the Uncouple/Unload Buttons.

14v applied, all cars operating very well. So i believe I isolated my problem to the Uncouple/Unload buttons.

I could build my own more reliable buttons, bypassing the lionel push buttons.

Any ideas on maintaining these push buttons?

Thank you


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There have been several OGR threads on replacing (vs. maintaining) the controller using sealed switches.  Most popular approach seems to be a center-off DPDT momentary toggle switch as illustrated in this OGR thread.  Or the DPDT functionality can be "separated" into two independent momentary pushbuttons like the original controller.  I don't recall if anyone has found/identified a modern sealed momentary red pushbutton that drops into the original controller housing if it's important to maintain the original look-and-feel.

As an aside, I recall opening up the lever controller for the MTH UCS fully expecting to find a similar "stacked-leaf" contraption.  After all, the controller has that last-century "bakelite" appearance!  Imagine my surprise in discovering a modern sealed DPDT momentary switch.

mth 40-1008 wiring


Images (1)
  • mth 40-1008 wiring
Last edited by stan2004

The Lionel 90C controller is a 2-terminal momentary push-button single-pole switch that closes a single circuit.

lionel 90

Each button in the UCS controller closes two circuits - as can be decoded by studying what I call the "stacked-leaf" design in this widely available diagram:

figure 6

Hence the previous link to a dual-pole switch to exactly emulate the connections made by the original 2-button controller.

But all is not lost.  Take a look at this OGR thread.  You have to slog thru the fine-print but for the vast majority of applications you should be able to perform the uncoupling function with a single-pole switch and, separately, perform the unloading function with a single-pole switch.


Images (2)
  • lionel 90
  • figure 6

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