A new vendor at York is Touchtoggle.com who were showing a new touch activated system for controlling switches and accessories.  They have devised a system that uses tiny illuminated buttons that respond to the touch of a finger.  You simply draw or print your track diagram on  a piece of paper and place these buttons underneath,  and mount under a cheap picture frame.  The wires from the buttons go to blocks of switch terminal connectors that connect to your switches and accessories.  Cost for the system is about $10 per switch and you end up with a cool looking state of the art control panel.  I purchased some of these to try and it is going well.  Is anyone  else out there familiar with this system?    It seems this item has been around for awhile and used in the smaller gauges.  The company representatives have been very helpful in helping me get started with  this system.  Phil

Philip Klopp

Original Post

Do they use an actual touch sensors, wafer buttons, or a light matrix? The latter are more reliable.

Not all skin reacts well with touch sensors. I had to take on an assistant just to press buttons as the tech changed on cash registers I used to repair.

Phones without buttons are just becoming tolerably usuable for me.

Neat, but nothing is as reliable as a mechanical switch. Touch sensors trigger on me from 4-5" away one day, and have me tapping like a woodpecker the next with little response. We called the phenomenon "Highlander finger" or "crap" among other things if it was on a Monday

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Check their website.  Touchtoggle.com and see what you think.  There is a lot  of information there the addresses your concerns but some of it is over my head.  I could use an expert opinion commenting on what they say on the webpage.   Phil

Philip Klopp

The 1989 mini push buttons and LED indicator lights still function perfectly thirty years later. Since the advent of TMCC/Legacy, my switches can be dual controlled by both the panel and the handheld as desired. Perhaps I too am “touch” challenged, as my very sophisticated  Heating/AC touch panel will attest.

One program guests enjoy watching on this layout with its single main line track plan involves the  running of two trains at the same time. A “loop” train runs continuously back and forth through the two reverse loops. Simultaneously, a “perimeter” train controlled by me has to make its way, stopping briefly at two stations to dodge the loop train. While I perform this program with the Legacy handheld, I’m glad I still have the panel as I like to visually monitor the switches’ indicator lights. In private running, I still use the panel buttons a lot.

BTW Philip, I still enjoy the memories of visiting your fabulous layout nearly twenty years ago.

Richard

They don't mention which method is used that I saw; but they seem thorough in listing the electronic parameters the system can work with. 

I think it will be an electrostatic sensor, similar to a touch screen though it's hard to tell for sure. The site could use more pictures, that's for sure.

  The hole in the switch could also house a infared emitter and reciever. Breaking or reflecting ir light for a trigger is still possible(light matrixes use many ir beams; block an intersection of beams and the locale is apparent as two receivers loose ir light. These usually have a raised frame around a panel/screen that hides the emitters (led) & recievers ("electric eye")

The switches case looked like a solid shell on top so I don't think it is layered wafer contact. 

  Ever try to use a phone with wet hands, etc?  For most people it isn't going to be an issue; but don't get mad at a guest that suddenly can't control things. 

Buttons being eliminated is two fold, #1. it's cheaper to mass produce. #2 it has a "Wow, neat" sales factor.

As for reliability, see reason #1 and #2 again and realize it explains the apathetic push for a tech that isn't quite ready for replacing ALL mechanical switches imo. (I don't like cars without a throttle cable or with electric steering either... I'll stay home.)

Last I was in a Mercedes I had to have someone operate the computer at a gas station to turn off the radio (it was not left at a respectable volume)

 Enough of this without improvement and I won't be able to drive at all soon.

I could usually fix it; but not use it.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Pretty sure they're capacitive touch sensors, I did go scope them out at York.  This statement suggests that's about the only technology that would work behind glass and opaque surfaces.

Touch Toggles sense your finger’s presence from behind glass, paper, or plastic.

Your right John, I should have caught that but I was in a low blood sugar fog last night (& still bouncing). Triggering THRU opaque overlay pretty much nails it down. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





We are using them to control about 25 Ross turnouts with Tortoise motors. Very easy to install and no problems. We have not put them into a control panel yet but have seen Joey Richard’s video where it was done. It appeared to be very easy to do.

Kevin has been very helpful in answering questions and responded in a timely manner. Where was he at York? We missed seeing him.

We are using DCS and eventually plan to control main line turnouts with the remote and use the touch toggles for the freight, passenger, and engine yards.

Bill Webb

 

Old Hokie 70

Bill Webb posted:

Kevin has been very helpful in answering questions and responded in a timely manner. Where was he at York? We missed seeing him.

He was on the left side if you walked in from the main lobby, I saw them at his booth.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Pretty sure they're capacitive touch sensors, I did go scope them out at York.  This statement suggests that's about the only technology that would work behind glass and opaque surfaces.

Touch Toggles sense your finger’s presence from behind glass, paper, or plastic.

John I think that you are correct. I remember Kevin mentioning it when we talked. It was over my head. 

Easy to install, work every time, and the grandkids learned how to use them in less than five minutes. Good by me.

Bill Webb

 

Old Hokie 70

Bill Webb posted:

We are using them to control about 25 Ross turnouts with Tortoise motors. Very easy to install and no problems. We have not put them into a control panel yet .......

When you power up the system for an operating session do the red / green lights indicate the actual position of the turnouts [ or at least the way they were when the system was powered down ] or is each one dark until a command is given from it ?  I couldn't find an answer to this or similar on their website [ other than a single reference to an add-on Red-on-power-up ( or something like that ) module ].

Do you have the indicator lights wired to show the commanded state [ default ] or the actual position -- and if the latter are you using the Tortoise contacts and run an additional pair of wires back to .....somewhere in the TToggle logic ?

Best rgds, SZ

So:  when you turn on the power, the indicator lights show each switches correct position.  Touching the lighted indicator throws the switch and illuminates the other light.  Each tortoise needs only two wires going to the touch toggle control box.  

Also, instead of two light red and green indicators, you can activate switches with a single button that switches from red to green and throws the switch each time it is touched.  

They also make yellow on/off toggles that are momentary to control accessories.  Phil

Philip Klopp

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