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I'm having a difficult time locating 10amp/125volt miniature SPST toggle switches for the Block Power Control on my control panel. I have several of them kicking around from years ago so I know they make them or at least they did back then. Does anyone know a supplier that would have these switches? Thanks, Bob

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@Tom Tee posted:

Get some spares, IME some of them just up  and die.  I picked up some from local supply houses for several dollars each then ordered two batches of 50 each from Amazon for less than half price of local supply.  No difference in the failure rate.

You can get the same mini toggles from guitar shops for a whole lot more.   Hardware stores also have strong pricing.  Performance seems to be a toss of the dice.

Be careful not to get the micro toggles unless that is what you want.  They are the super small toggles occasionally used for mounting electronic feature controls in place of a slide switch under a chassis.

IMG_8852Mini toggles

Hi Tom, Thanks for the reply! Are those mini switches with 1/4" mounting lugs? If so and they are rated at 10 amps/125 volts could you send me a link to where you found them on Amazon?

If the supply-chain fails you and you simply can't find a 10A 1/4" mount toggle, you could use essentially any toggle and pair it with a 10A relay.  So each toggle switch would only carry about 0.01 Amps (1000 times less current).  You would need a source of 12V DC which could be from a wall-wart you may already have.  The relays come in multi-channel (1, 2, 4, 8, etc.) modules and are readily available for $1-2 per channel.

10a relay module

Yes, some extra wiring and such. However, note that the wiring to/from the control panel switches carries only negligible currents so you don't have to run thick  "10-Amp wires" to the control panel.

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Last edited by stan2004

I gave up finding reasonably priced toggles to directly toggle my block zone power on and off.  Instead, I ended up using them to flip relays to each power zone.  A single transformer feed can power a whole mess of relays all mounted together (several of them come mounted tightly together in groups of 4). Then the toggles just switch a 12V power supply (Dc, I run them off a tiny HO DC transformer I had sitting around) and they flip the 12V DC relay input with tiny currents.

This allows you to use just about any rated toggle switch since you're not switching large currents anymore. You can buy packs of 10 or 100 on Amazon or Ebay, and relay modules are a couple bucks each.  I'd guess you could do the relay setup for cheaper than a whole bunch of 10 amp toggles alone.  It's bit more wires, but the wires can be much smaller and cheaper, run all the way to a relay mounted near your power zone, and have a much shorter 18ga power feed to the track from the relay.

Just a thought.

You probably can use a lower amp rated switch for block control.  The amp rating is for making a contact and not just holding.  I use 3 amp rated mini push button switches for over 44 years and they hold about 6 amps when running just fine.  I normally do not work a block switch with the fully loaded loco running on the block.

Ebay is good source for small electronic items and most come from that power house country, China.

Charlie

@stan2004 posted:

If the supply-chain fails you and you simply can't find a 10A 1/4" mount toggle, you could use essentially any toggle and pair it with a 10A relay.  So each toggle switch would only carry about 0.01 Amps (1000 times less current).  You would need a source of 12V DC which could be from a wall-wart you may already have.  The relays come in multi-channel (1, 2, 4, 8, etc.) modules and are readily available for $1-2 per channel.

10a relay module

Yes, some extra wiring and such. However, note that the wiring to/from the control panel switches carries only negligible currents so you don't have to run thick  "10-Amp wires" to the control panel.

Thanks Stan, your reply was very helpful and I may end up using the relays.

I gave up finding reasonably priced toggles to directly toggle my block zone power on and off.  Instead, I ended up using them to flip relays to each power zone.  A single transformer feed can power a whole mess of relays all mounted together (several of them come mounted tightly together in groups of 4). Then the toggles just switch a 12V power supply (Dc, I run them off a tiny HO DC transformer I had sitting around) and they flip the 12V DC relay input with tiny currents.

This allows you to use just about any rated toggle switch since you're not switching large currents anymore. You can buy packs of 10 or 100 on Amazon or Ebay, and relay modules are a couple bucks each.  I'd guess you could do the relay setup for cheaper than a whole bunch of 10 amp toggles alone.  It's bit more wires, but the wires can be much smaller and cheaper, run all the way to a relay mounted near your power zone, and have a much shorter 18ga power feed to the track from the relay.

Just a thought.

Thanks for the reply Jeff! I think you and Stan are on to something here and the use of relays sounds like the best approach.

Bob......

If you do go the relay route, there have been many OGR threads on how to do this.  For example, I copied this picture from this OGR thread.

4%20switches%204%20relays%20hookup

These show automotive (illuminated LED) switches which I realize is not what you're asking about.  So you would just have an inexpensive toggle switch with "any" current-capability rating.  It's the ability to used thin/manageable wiring in the control panel rather than having to deal with 14/16 gauge wiring possibly over long distances.  Also, in my experience, it can be a hassle trying to fasten/solder heavy gauge wiring to the "eyelets" or whatever your call the terminals of mini-toggle switches.

If you need help choosing/interpreting the specs or whatever of the relay modules, just ask.  Many guys have gone this route and we're here to help!

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