Lionel Gateman Wiring

Have a Lionel Gateman accessory which is working of a pressure switch.  Seems I am always adjusting it, sometimes is works and sometimes it does not.  Granddaughter is not happy when the man does not appear.  Thinking of connecting it to a section or sections of insulated track.   Have searched forums and read much but need help on two questions. 

1) Is it best to use two sections of insulated track vs one?  Three?

2) Would you run it off track power (Lionel KW) or direct voltage?  

Thanks in appreciate it .... this place is golden....

Original Post

I just connected it to track power and a momentary on push button. I've done that with crossing gates and banjo signals too.  The grandkids like pushing buttons rather than waiting for a train to get there

In no particular order; Aviation (Pilot), Golf, Amateur Astronomy & Cycling (when it's nice out) and Trains (when it's not).

Thanks to all.  Somewhere in my reading I think someone opined that it was Variable Voltage from Accessory Transformer was not as good as it kept the solenoid 'hot' and thereforel limited it's life.  Do you think there is anyting to that 

Again ....thanks so much

"Variable voltage" has nothing to do with whether the solenoid gets hot; constant voltage is what gets it hot. The coil needs to have some "off' time as well to prevent overheating. All variable voltage does is fine-tune the operation of the accessory.

To make mine "grandchild safe" I wired it on accessory voltage through a timer board which times out if the button is held. The kids have to press and let go before pressing again to make it work and prevent it from being on too long. Don't remember the board number but its one of those EBay Chinese ones.

Rivesm posted:

Got it ..... sorry .... did not think it through 

Just to make sure as constant voltage could refer to a voltage that does not vary or an "always on" condition.

When there is no completed circuit (off) there is no power flow in the coil so it will cool.

I use a dedicated constant voltage power suppy (doorbell transformer).

  With it,  I use the Lionel under track pressure contactor (forget the #) AND a button to occupy any small fingers in need of entertainment. (could be phased (transf.) and used with isolated rail. I arrived at my combo by chance of convenience.).

  The news stand with spot circling the fire hydrant is choice #1 for most kids. If you want the gateman to get less attention, consider that one too.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


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