I have several Lionel 153 semaphores connected to 022 switches and red/green lights on both units synch just fine.  I attempted to do the same with a semaphore and an OLR switch (basically a K Line switch), but problems occurred. I first connected the middle of the 3 terminals on each unit together, but when I connect either of the outer terminals on the semaphore with either of the outer terminals on the switch, either I get no light at all or the switch hums, almost like there is a short.  The semaphore works just fine when tested directly to a power source.  All switches run on dedicated power circuit, not track power, and this switch works fine.  I know the controllers on the OLR switches are not as simple as those for 022 switches - they have a small circuit board, but I did not think connecting the switch to a semaphore would create problems.  Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Michael

Original Post

I seem to recall that some editions of the K-Line, ORL, RMT switches had a different controller setup and used DC polarity on the control lines vs the mechanical switching of routing the AC thought the O22 and O22C. These K-Line style controllers were even explicitly marked for RH or LH switches and not interchangeable. Because of these differences, you shouldn't get to expect to benefit (such as the ability to directly ink up a 153) from the quite ingenious O22 design Lionel utilized.

Yes, as I noted, the controllers are different, including the specificity of LH and RH units.  I was not aware of the polarity issue, but it makes sense given the circuit board arrangement inside.  That's one reason why I did not want to fiddle much with the connections after I heard the hum within the switch motor for fear of blowing the circuit board.  I have plenty of spare 022's, but this particular switch has limited space around it so there is insufficient room for the motor mechanism of the 022.   

Based upon the polarity issue, I did some more testing.  Took out a spare OLR switch, powered it using track voltage, and decided to try the 153 without the switch controller attached.  Same problems.   I also noted a small circuit board within the switch motor housing. 

Not an essential arrangement, but looks like connecting a 153 to an OLR switch is a no-go - at least not like the connecting it to an 022. Just glad I did not blow one of the circuit boards.

Thanks,

Michael

I tried the same thing with my OLR switches, but with a 153 block signal, and got the same results. I was hoping to use the block signals as switch direction indicators, but get the same humming sound. With all the electronics out there, there must be a work-around for this. It never occurred to me until just now, but I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the indicators on the OLR switch and controller are LEDs, not incandescent bulbs like on the old signals; would mixing LEDs and incandescent bulbs on the same circuit cause an issue like this?

John

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Some polarity sensitive Optocouplers/Optoisolator and relays can build the bridge between the switch and a 153 or similar accessories.

BlueComet400 posted:

I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the indicators on the OLR switch and controller are LEDs, not incandescent bulbs like on the old signals; would mixing LEDs and incandescent bulbs on the same circuit cause an issue like this?

It is the design on the control channel that is different - not related to the lamp types. As stated above, circuity can be constructed to "convert" the signal for use with accessories.

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