Manual is unclear

Hi - good thing I bought the K-line reference book for $100 so I can go to this forum and ask something that should be indicated or explained.  Okay, so where is this connection I'm showing supposed to go?  "Pinched" in the track?  Really?  Hopefully someone can help -  thanks

PS I'm using this for throwing switches but this pic shows the same ambiguity and this picture is larger   



Photos (1)
Original Post

First off, throwing Gilbert switches with Gilbert track trips is NOT recommended. The switches require only momentary contact to throw and the trips will provide far more than that with a train traveling over them. The solenoid in the the switch will soon overheat and be toast.

Only the number 697 track trip should be used to throw Gilbert track switches. Instructions for use are on p25 of the Gilbert instruction book available online at If you have the same K Line book I do the 697 instructions are included in it  as well.

These trips are carefully adjusted using the knurled knob so only the engine will actuate them. The engine can never be parked on the sections of track that have the 697 attached. 


Hi - yah, I must have the reprint.  So these 670 trips are supposed to only fire once when the engine goes over the insulated pin and draws current and pulls in the isolated (from track power) solenoid on the 670, firing the switch with a momentary high-side signal from the fixed 18v, right?  Do lighted cars trip it?  I figured that it would fire twice for two powered engines, I guess I'll see.  Only 1 of 4 I found have the adjustment knob on it ... anyway, what's the connection they are showing in the diagram??

I'm trying to do this for both my wye and loop -



Okay, the issue was I have 4 of these 670's and the first one I tried doesn't work.  Others do.  So while experimenting on loop and wye and passing track setup etc I use 3 old lamps from a defunct transformer with wire clips and attach them to the rails when I want to see if there's power, etc - this was perfect for this. So when the engine comes by there is one 2 second burst when the light goes on, the lighted passenger cars don't trip it, for multiple powered engines like ABBBA I guess I'll have to live with it firing twice, but I sometimes throw the switch lever twice anyway, so this should work - I still haven't figured out what that diagram is trying to tell me ... I guess I'll solder a wire to the track for the jumper, not sure exactly what's going on but I know for sure I have a reliable switch-throw at any rate -                    


The 670 trip electrically senses a locomotive or other load on the track. The diagram you show is for the crossing gate with bell. That accessory requires two "sensing" units, one to lower the gate (so it needs to sense a train while it's going by the gate) and one to ring the bell, hence the use of the 696, which sends an impulse with each wheel passing over it. The pinched wire is actually a wire that is soldered to the 670 track sensor. To throw switches, you need the 697, a completely different sensor that senses weight on the track, usually set so a locomotive trips it, but it can be set so just train cars also throw it. The problems with the 697 are: 1)track must be free to move up and down for about 30" (three track lengths) 2) the spring that the thumb-wheel pushes on to vary the amount of weight is needed to throw it is ofttimes bent out of shape by rough handling (Kids, remember??) or even broken. 3) contact points maladjusted or arced and not making good contact. IF the 697 fails in the "ON" or sensing mode, it can fry your switch coils--or it you leave a locomotive on it accidentally. There are modern ways to do the sensing, and some of them are pretty reliable--but they all rely on a good switch motor, and a switch in good working condition (i.e.: it throws easily and quickly); this is not something that is true of all ACG switches--hey, the youngest one is at least 60 years old now!!! Heck, most of us don't move quickly anymore, unless really motivated (Homemade PIE--Ice Cream?? Where???). BTW, the 697 can also be used to operate the semaphore & Sam, but again, misadjusted & it can fry the coils in either. Also, most semaphores don't operate quickly either!


David "two rails" Dewey

Add Reply

Likes (0)

OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020