Using a generic toggle switch with a Lionel Fastrack remote switch

Hi all the Fastrack turnouts (remote) come with a cheesy feeling controller. Can a generic toggle switch be substituted? Would a simple SPDT switchwork with just the two leads that control the turnout direction? What about the switch illumination which I believe the other two wire leads are for?

 

thanks

 

Frank Ventura

choochoo@technologynation.us

 

 

... Another dedicated member of the model railroad quality control department. whenever I see quality, I try to control it...

 

Original Post
ChooChoo1972 posted:

Can a generic toggle switch be substituted? Would a simple SPDT switchwork with just the two leads that control the turnout direction?

 SPDT center off momentary...  (on)-off-(on).

2 wires if you use common ground, 3 wires(including the black) for simple straight home-run connection.

ChooChoo1972 posted:

What about the switch illumination which I believe the other two wire leads are for?

The black is common, so again if you use common ground you can build indicator lights with LEDs using just the one RSC wire. It does take the "simple" out of your initial question, though.

Rob

The black wire is common for the switch pole and the red and green are the throws. The yellow wire is +5 vdc for green and -5 vdc for red. The black is again common for the yellow wire. You will need resistors and diodes as shown below on the Lionel controller for the LEDs, red and green.

FastrackSwitchController

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

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Pine Creek Railroad posted:

CJack is correct do not try to use the SPDT without re-engineering, you will burn up your low voltage FT switch.  

No engineering necessary if you use  SPDT center off momentary...  (on)-off-(on) and ignore the yellow wire.

Rob

There are three connection terminals on a SPDT center off momentary  (on)-off-(on) switch - here are the connections on the bottom of a FasTrack Remote switch:

"GND" connects to the center common terminal
"THRU" & "OUT" connect to the other two respectively.

FasTrack Bottom

The "RSC LIGHTS" connection on the bottom of the switch is left unconnected.

For direction indication, the RSC line can be used in connection with the controller circuit diagram posted earlier if you want to make your own, but then you are back up to the bulk(and then some) of the original cheesy controller.

 

Rob

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Honestly, I don’t see anything cheesy about the original controller. It’s retro model train and a really nice lighted display of the status of the switch. But, the diagram says all of you want to replace it.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

  You could also use two momentary buttons instead of a 2 pos. momentary toggle. 

I haven't used a FT controller, but I do like how they look; it's the trademark L. 

 Is your comment a comparison to the old ones or based on FT experience alone? I find the old brown ones have a cheaper look and feel too. But over time, I'll admit, they do seem just as reliable as the older black ones despite my original perception being they wouldn't be.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I like the idea of a small SPDT center off toggle and a 2-pin bi-color LED. That will substitute for the control and give you the switch position indication.  Just add a resistor around 220 ohms in series with the LED.  The LED connects to the RSC Lights on the switch to ground.

Rob and all, OK I am going to ignore the yellow wire, since I can't see the indicator, and just use the grn blk rd to move the turnout. I think I can use these switches:

 

http://www.wiringproducts.com/...pdt-mom-off-mom.html

 

Frank

 

Frank Ventura

choochoo@technologynation.us

 

 

... Another dedicated member of the model railroad quality control department. whenever I see quality, I try to control it...

 

Jack both the wife and myself are blind (wife legally and me total) so the LED is really just unneeded fluff.

Rob, thanks those look good and cheaper too.

Frank Ventura

choochoo@technologynation.us

 

 

... Another dedicated member of the model railroad quality control department. whenever I see quality, I try to control it...

 

Chuck and all, if you can think of another means of determining the state of the turnout I'm all ears and it would be muc appreciative. Right now I am drawing a blank.

 

thanks

Frank Ventura

choochoo@technologynation.us

 

 

... Another dedicated member of the model railroad quality control department. whenever I see quality, I try to control it...

 

Well that would be tactile, or sound...probably. And it would have to be there whenever you wanted it. So if sound, then some way to poll it like pushing a button to cause one of two tones to sound. Tactile could be position or heat. Position seems more immediate to recent change, but heat is easier...two bulbs, dimly lit, enough heat to feel. Something like that. Just throwing out some maybe not great ideas but enough to get the thinking going.

There is another simple one, a toggle that’s not momentary. The switching of the toggle would just put out a momentary pulse instead of a constant connection to black wire. But wait, doesn’t the Fastrack circuit ignore the remote toggle once the switch is thrown? As long as the limit switches are doing their job? Then why does the toggle have to be momentary? The obvious fault with this is that there is no feedback from the Fastrack switch...ie, if the switch doesn’t throw, one would not know.

Anyway some ideas...

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

cjack posted:

...Then why does the toggle have to be momentary? The obvious fault with this is that there is no feedback from the Fastrack switch...ie, if the switch doesn’t throw, one would not know.

Well, that, and the non-derailing would no longer work.

Rob

I have worked with these switches for a PLC project and yes you do only want to use a momentary toggle switch. Under normal conditions, once the switch is thrown and reaches the limit switch, the motor shuts off. If something jams the switch, then the motor will be on and probably will burn out.

Holding either Through or Turnout on would also prevent the non-derail feature from working. There are plenty of momentary toggle switches out there to use which would work without having and issues.

In my case, I used SPDT relays to control the switch positions. Since relays are a constant on condition, I used one relay to connect the others to the track common. I set my three relays to what I want as far as the switches, and the fourth relay closes for 1 second to enable the switch throw.

Attached also is the wires that control the anti-derail feature. If you pull the blue and green wire as indicated, it will disable this feature.

Mike

 

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I think the feedback would not work well as audio, and it would probably be annoying as well.  I'd be looking at some type of tactile feedback.  Maybe something as simple as a small solenoid that pushes up a little pin next to the switch when it's in the "out" position and pulls it back when it's in the "thru" position.   Since you have the LED lead from the Fastrack switch that indicates the switch true position, that would let you know the position change from any source, non-derailing, manual change, or the toggle switch change.

You could, but do you really want a buzzer running constantly when the switch is in one of the positions?  How about five or six buzzers all running?

FWIW, that article was showing a microprocessor generating a PWM audio signal to the speaker, for a simpler circuit, you'd need an actual sounder that generates sound just from a DC voltage.  Of course, you still need the DC power as well.

Gents, I have access to small piezo electrical buzzers that are quite lod at 3v to 6v. I assume (egads...) that I could hook one lead of the buzzer to the yellow wire, the other lead of the buzzer to a momentary SPST switch and the other side of that switch to the black (grnd) wire. I think the buzzer would sound when the momentary SPST button is pressed to "poll" the turnout. However I would only want it to sound when the voltage is pulled in one direction (really matters not which way as long as they all worked the same). How can I accomplish this? Would a diode between the yellow wire and the buzzer work?

I also have a few more questions about hooking up the turnouts. One is about connecting the wires from the turnout (grn, rd, and blk) to the mon-off-mon switch. Can I use solid core 4 conductor (only 3 wires used) phone cable for this? I know it is only 24 aug but is that enough? If so it would make wiring pretty easy.

thanks guys

Frank Ventura

choochoo@technologynation.us

 

 

... Another dedicated member of the model railroad quality control department. whenever I see quality, I try to control it...

 

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I like the idea of a small SPDT center off toggle and a 2-pin bi-color LED. That will substitute for the control and give you the switch position indication.  Just add a resistor around 220 ohms in series with the LED.  The LED connects to the RSC Lights on the switch to ground.

I'm late to the party on this thread but it's in line with what I'm working on now. I want to make an "old fashioned" control panel for my layout & use bi-color LED's as switch indicators along with mini-switches to operate the turnouts. If I wire the switch as Rob suggests, do I connect the led feed to the RSC connection on the bottom of the turnout to put an indicator light at the turnout, and run another wire back to the control panel for a second indicator? Can I accomplish the same thing using a DPDT switch & a 3-pin LED at the control panel?

Just jumping into this thread for the first time...

Regarding alternative toggle switch for F/T turnouts that would permit toggle position as an indicator of routing (for our friends who are sight-challenged, et al)...   The other day I was going through a box of old (we're talking 60+ years ago) stuff and came upon some Walthers E201 toggle switches.  How many of you remember those???   Well, they had multiple uses for turnout control, panel indicator lights, track signals, etc., etc..

E201 toggle  

But, pertinent to this discussion, they had a set of momentary contacts that could be used for a twin coil switch machine but were open circuit at the extremes of the toggle throw.  Therefore, you could simply glance (or touch)  the toggle position and know the routing of your turnout/track switch.

They're no longer made....VERY complicated assembly, and certainly old tech in comparison to today's more sophisticated electronics.  Nonetheless, they hearken back to a day when they were innovative and rather fancy for the model railroader.

Now they show up from time-to-time on the internet auctions.....like d'Bay.   Reasonably priced, too, since they're, as I said, 'old tech'........for us old pharts!

Seriously, though.....others remember the E201's????

KD

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With non-derailing switches, you need to take feedback from the switch to actually know what position it's in.  That being the case, for Fastrack switches, the correct way to do this is with a spring loaded SPDT/center-off switch and a bi-color 2-pin LED.  That and a resistor are all you need to use the Fastrack switch position feedback for position indication and to control it remotely from your control panel.

In a word Dave, size!  The original controller is pretty large if you have a lot of switches.  When you're doing a control panel with the track layout depicted on it and the toggles at each switch location, it's not really possible to use those big and clunky controls.

cjack posted:

I like the idea of the bipolar led. That’s great with the +\- 5 vdc RSC yellow wire.

 

That's what I did for my control panel, and I really like it. The mini-toggle switches for the turnouts are mounted on the bottom left of the panel, and numbered to correspond to the turnouts. The bipolar LED's are mounted at the turnout panel locations. I mounted the track-block ON/OFF toggle switches at the tracks, and was afraid that mounting the turnout toggle switches at that location would clutter the panel. And yes, the toggle switches for the turnouts are Momentary-ON - OFF  Momentary ON. Note that I have seven LED's left to install, and six are installed on the layout and readily visible from the control station. Depending on the turnout location, some have LED's both at the turnout on the layout, and on the control panel.

Control Panel Lit up med IMG_2778

Alex

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  Alexander Müller

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Guns,

  Ok I get you, because I use my lighted/numbered Lionel Controllers by each Switch on the layout, and control my FTCC Switches with my Legacy Cab2, I no longer have a control panel of any kind.  I see the use for them if you use a control panel.

Thank God for low voltage FTCC Switches that are completely remote controlled, they eliminate a lot of older technology, like Control Panels and Switch Wiring.

PCRR/Dave

 

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

 The other day I was going through a box of old (we're talking 60+ years ago) stuff and came upon some Walthers E201 toggle switches.  How many of you remember those??? 

I have (or had) a few of those Walthers switches, NOS in their boxes. I cleaned them out of a parts drawer into a train show "treasure box". I am not certain whether somebody purchased them.

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