Skip to main content

I know a couple of years ago there was a topic on this subject but I can't find my notes.  Can anyone tell me the best type of switch and amperage needed to replace the huge honking lionel switches supplied with the uncoupler and activator tracks. I know from experience (my grand kids) those switches can stick and burn out the electronics in the track.  If you could give the type of switch and amperage requirements for a replacement that I can pannel mount that wold be great.  Also if you can suggest a source and part numbers I would appreciate it.  When I get around to build my final control panel I will have a similar question about controlling the turnouts but that is a later project.

Orkybrown

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

The controller button box for the UCS track is the same one used for FasTrack Activator track. The buttons for the FasTrack version don't seem like they will stick. (690OUCS0040) or 6-12054

I believe that you would want a Momentary on toggle switch. The size of the toggle is your preference. You could also get a momentary button switch, again size would be your preference. (1/2" to 2")

Not much amperage is needed for the magnets or the cars that use the activation rails.

Search on DigiKey or eBay for Momentary On switches and see what you like. 1 or 2 amp should be enough.

Now for the control board and the future addition of turnout control. You could use 12v lighted switches and control whatever you wish with relay boards from an Asian supplier from eBay. The relay boards use 12vDC and the relays can handle quite a bit of AC or DC, more than you'll use for trains.

Perhaps now would be the time to do a comprehensive design for the control board.

Somewhere I have the wiring schematic that I use, which involves a SPDT push button or momentary toggle for the uncoupler and a DPDT momentary toggle for the unloader.  I'll try to remember to dig it out and post it.  The trick is you do not want the magnet to be energized when unloading, and it may overheat.  Thus, 2 simple buttons cannot be used.

EDIT:  Found it.  Copy attached.

Attachments

Last edited by RJR
RJR posted:

Somewhere I have the wiring schematic that I use, which involves a SPDT push button or momentary toggle for the uncoupler and a DPDT momentary toggle for the unloader.  I'll try to remember to dig it out and post it.  The trick is you do not want the magnet to be energized when unloading, and it may overheat.  Thus, 2 simple buttons cannot be used

Good point. But, you can use simple activation, just not simultaneously to avoid problems. I don't have any rail activated action cars. Only center magnet. Your method would child proof it, making it one or the other.

Now you make me want to test the Lionel button box to determine if there is protection internally.

RJR posted:

Moonman, the old Lionel controller from years ago would short if both buttons pressed simultaneously.

What you call simple activation isn't so simple. Try it. Unless, of course, you don't mind overheating a magnet or unloading when uncoupling.

It's not just child-proofing; it's me-proofing.

No, I have the FasTrack version. It looks the same on the outside. I only use it to uncouple and the center magnet for an MTH slow movement log dumper.

I'll check it out. It's all your fault.

Edit Part 2: I also only run command or LionChief and the FasTrack Operating track has all of the connections made for track power use. I have never used tubular track or any of that era stuff. Command operation makes things easy. The wiring under the track separates the buttons.

6-12054

Alas, I diverge from the topic. back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Attachments

Images (1)
  • 6-12054
Last edited by Moonman

The slow movement of the MTH units is precisely why I don't want the magnet activated.  As an aside, I have converted all my operating cars to operate by an IR detector rather than slide shoes.  The slide shoes would jam on some switches.  Very pleased with results.

All my track is Gargraves.  However, I have some UCS sections in it because I feel the magnets uncouple more reliably.

Last edited by RJR
RJR posted:

The slow movement of the MTH units is precisely why I don't want the magnet activated.  As an aside, I have converted all my operating cars to operate by an IR detector rather than slide shoes.  The slide shoes would jam on some switches.  Very pleased with results.

All my track is Gargraves.  However, I have some UCS sections in it because I feel the magnets uncouple more reliably.

LOL. I just looked on the bottom of the MTH log dumper and noticed it is slide activated. Nice flat contacts, no shoes. I want it manual for my 5 year old grandson to have something to do.

RJR posted:

The slow movement of the MTH units is precisely why I don't want the magnet activated.  As an aside, I have converted all my operating cars to operate by an IR detector rather than slide shoes.  The slide shoes would jam on some switches.  Very pleased with results.

 

IR detector instead of slide shoes? Cool!  could you elaborate a bit on how you did that, Or is that explained further in another thread? 

Last edited by Penn-Pacific

Sure.  Over in the electrical side of the forum, look for a thread I started, "

Removing slide shoes from operating cars (formerly: "Reed switch"

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/reed-switch

[did not mean to shout:  copy and paste brought it over that large]

It is a long thread, following the development and morphing of the concept of how to eliminate the shoes.  Original thought was to use reed switches over the track electromagnet, but that didn't work well.

Last edited by RJR

Carl, when I built my large layout, some 10 years before DCS, Is included a sub-control-panel for a small yard, fed from my main control panel.  I could leave it set for max voltage (from a ZW), but a Z500 controller on the sub-panel could control the loco, with me able to override it.  An old Lionel 2-track (#64?) log loader, a switch engine, and a couple of log cars, and grandchildren could spend many happy hours dumping logs, moving the cars to the other siding, reloading them, etc. 

Those flat contacts of which you speak give problems on some switches.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×