Does anyone have recommendations for toggle switches for Lionel Dwarf signals and best practices or suggestions for their use?
Replies sorted oldest to newest
Hmm... how would you do that using Fastrack?
I'm not a Fastrack user but Lionel does have insulated rail Fastrack sections. I would imagine you could also fabricate insulated rails from a standard piece of Fastrack. You would have to solder wires to the rails. The isolated rails would attached to the latching relay triggers. This eliminates dwarf signal flickering. I use the Azatrax LARY-AC: https://www.azatrax.com/latching-relay.html
Imagine 2 engines, one on the diverging route and one on the through route, both facing the frog of a switch. When looking at a switch from the direction that 2 lines merge into one, dwarf signals facing each line tell an engineer if the switch is set for safe passage for that train. Only one should be green and the other should be red.
Conversely, for any train entering a switch from the points side, the dwarf signal basically tells the engineer if he is passing straight through or following the diverting track. (In my personal opinion, the dwarf on this side should show green (for the through) or yellow (for the diversion), not red (which should only be for a true required stop).) Anyway, the signal should always match up for the position of the switch to be useful, and that's why most people prefer automation.
You haven't said why you prefer a separate switch to operate the dwarfs, but I'm guessing you will be using command control FasTrack switches. Then you will need a common wire for each signal (probably can all be combined) and a separate power wire for each color on each dwarf. The "power" switch should have one line in and two lines out (one for each color) so that flipping the switch changes the power feed to the color as you desire.
Yes! That's right. All my track switches are manual. I do have some dwarf signals activated by the 153IR contactor. However, I wanted to hook up two extra dwarf signals so they can be toggled independently of the track. If nothing but to have something for visiting kids to play with when they come by the layout for a visit.