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I plan to build a DCC-powered hi-rail layout using Lionel AF FasTrack components. Before purchasing the large number of expensive FasTrack remote control turnouts that will be needed, I bought just one 20-inch radius unit to confirm that they could indeed be actuated using a separate AC transformer [Chuck K outlined how to do this in his Feb.17, 2022 response to my Feb. 14 post- -see Using American Models powered turnouts with a DCC layout | O Gauge Railroading On Line Forum (ogaugerr.com)]. Accordingly, I followed the instructions provided in the Lionel owner’s manual [see Figs. 1 and 2] and used a Lionel #1033 90-watt transformer as my power source. The switch lantern and turnout controller lights go on, but the swivel rails remain stationary when the controller lever is moved back and forth. Note: Per the manual, the turnout is connected to the transformer’s common/ground binding post U and a variable-voltage post; I used post B and set the voltage at its 16-volt maximum [see Fig. 3]. Please advise me how to get the turnout to function properly.

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Images (3)
  • Turnout wiring instructions: Fig. 1
  • Turnout wiring illustration: Fig. 2
  • Transformer: Fig. 3
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Notice, and fair enough it's hard to see in the picture, the black wire going to the switch controller.

Fastrack switches change direction when the Thru or Out  are shorted to Common.

Per the diagram, when connecting  Aux power into the switch, they inadvertently appear to have not shown the all important black common wire of the switch controller connected. If that was the case (common was open circuit) then yes, the switch controller would not work. That black wire of of the switch controller needs connected to Common (Power COM).

The fact you have the lantern lit indicates the switch logic is powered.

Again, you should be able to test by taking a short wire while the switch is powered and touching the Thru or Out terminal to the Common (Power COM) terminal.

Last edited by Vernon Barry

I am a bit puzzled here. Why don't you just run the turnouts off of the DCC track power? It is a constant 15V so the voltage is adequate. Unless the manual that came with the turnout specifically says not to power them with DCC I would just try it. As I recall from all the communications with Chuck K about his layout, the only reason he did not use the DCC track power for his turnouts was he wanted to be able to run conventional engines on his layout and still be able to operate the turnouts with the track voltage at zero.

Yes, you would have 2 wires under the common terminal- -one to the switch controller, one to your aux power transformer source.

You are right, Vernon. The turnout worked just fine when I reconnected its thin, black wire to the Power COM terminal [the illustration in Lionel owner's manual, which as you noted, shows that wire disconnected, is incorrect]. Thank you very much! 

Bob

I am a bit puzzled here. Why don't you just run the turnouts off of the DCC track power? It is a constant 15V so the voltage is adequate. Unless the manual that came with the turnout specifically says not to power them with DCC I would just try it.

Vernon Barry's suggestion [see above] solved the problem. But I will try running the turnout off DCC track power alone and let you know if that works too. Thanks, Tom!

@AmFlyer posted:

I am a bit puzzled here. Why don't you just run the turnouts off of the DCC track power? It is a constant 15V so the voltage is adequate. Unless the manual that came with the turnout specifically says not to power them with DCC I would just try it. As I recall from all the communications with Chuck K about his layout, the only reason he did not use the DCC track power for his turnouts was he wanted to be able to run conventional engines on his layout and still be able to operate the turnouts with the track voltage at zero.

Tom, you are exactly right and you have a heckuva memory.  I have toggle switches that allow me to choose conventional, Legacy or DCC.  I also agree that if you are going to run nothing but DCC and will never use variable voltage, then there is no need to go through the hassle of setting up separate power for the turnouts. I would test it though. While the power into the DCC command station is regular ole AC, the sine wave coming out of the command station is modified. So I'd certainly try connecting up a few of the turnouts and some straights and seeing how they do with a train running.

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