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Kato Unitrack Turnout Control Switch

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by WesternMaryland, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. WesternMaryland

    WesternMaryland E-Mail Bounces

    I'm presently installing Kato unitrack turnouts on the layout. Wondering if the big blue turnout controls can be substitued with a smaller switch. I like the ease of setting up the switch, but it simply is too big to have on the facia board...and mounting seems to be a bear. Any tips and instructions on using other switches is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    A small DPDT toggle switch with center "off" can be used. It has to be sprung so it returns to the center "off" possition when released. Connect a red wire and a black wire from your power source to the separate center poles. Connect the black wire from the switch motor to one of the outside poles next to the black power wire and also to the outside pole on the opposite side of the switch next to the red power wire. Run your red switch wire to the other poles still open. What you will then see looking at the back of the switch is two jumpers from the switch wires looping over the poles connected to the power source that kind of make an "X" . I believe the toggle switches can be purchased from Mouser.com
     
  3. Charlie Vlk

    Charlie Vlk TrainBoard Member

    There is no direct replacement for the Kato turnout control switch.
    Even before I worked at Kato I went to a design convention where all the major switch manufacturers were present and asked them if they had a dpdt center off momentary contact switch where the rest position was not in the center (the Kato switch indicates the last side thrown by staying on its side of center). None of them had one nor did they have the foggiest idea of how design such a switch within their existing tooling....
    There have been circuits presented in MR that use diodes to indicate the turnout position with either a dtdt switch or pushbuttons... a search of trains.com would probably yield the article.
    Charlie Vlk
     
  4. Brett C. Cammack

    Brett C. Cammack TrainBoard Member

    Use a DPDT toggle switch to set the turnout direction and then wire in a N.O. pushbutton switch on the supply leg of the DPDT switch. That way the toggle indicates the direction the turnout is thrown and the pushbutton throws it. Sorta like a CTC panel works.
     
  5. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    The solution I showed is simple but does not indicate which position the turnout is thrown. However I guess you could get by looking at the layout to see. Here is a circuit diagram that I cobbled up to show how to wire it.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Gee, now why didn't I think of that? :rolleyes:
     
  7. WesternMaryland

    WesternMaryland E-Mail Bounces

    Russel,

    I think I follow.....I found some switches on ebay...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5903649775

    are these the right switches? According to your description....after I solder the wires to the center poles coming from my power supply...here is what I think you are saying...

    Back of DPDT switch

    x (jp red) x (blk from PS) x (blk Kato)

    x (jp blk) x (red from PS) x (red Kato)

    ...so the black wire from the Kato loops over the center poles to position jp blk. The red Kato wire loops over the center to position jp red. This creates the "X" you described. Is this correct? I assume you have tried this....does it work well? I like the operation and simplicity of the stock switch....and the performance of the switch is very good...hoipefully I can recreate that performance using this method. Thanks for the help on this....I'm not a good electrician....you made this very easy to understand.
     
  8. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I am not sure if those are sprung to the center off possition. I think I like Brett's solution better. Go with a standard DPDT toggle with no center off, wire it as I show in the diagram above and add an N.O. (normally off) push button in one leg of the circuit. That way you will have an indication of the possition of the turnout.
     
  9. WesternMaryland

    WesternMaryland E-Mail Bounces

    I am not sure if those are sprung to the center off possition. I think I like Brett's solution better. Go with a standard DPDT toggle with no center off, wire it as I show in the diagram above and add an N.O. (normally off) push button in one leg of the circuit. That way you will have an indication of the possition of the turnout. </font>[/QUOTE]Sounds great! Thanks for the diagram! Also what is the best way to mount these little guys into the facia board? From what I have seen looks like there is no way to fasten these things to anything.... :eek: Anyway, thanks to all for the info on this subject...all have been a big help.
     
  10. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    These are pannel mount so they mount through a hole in some thin material. If your facia board is something like 1/4 inch massonite you may have to counter sink the holes slightly to get the nut on the switch coller. If it is thicker I would cut a large hole in the facia to clear the switches and mount them to a small aluminum plate and then fasten it to the facia board.
     
  11. Brett C. Cammack

    Brett C. Cammack TrainBoard Member

    There are miniature toggles that have no threaded mounting ferrule. These are called "PCB mount" and should be avoided.

    Most do have the threaded ferrule and a mounting nut.

    Note that the keyed washer that comes with the toggle switch has a tang on the outer edge of it's circumference. This is so you can drill a small hole in the mounting panel for that tang and eliminate the possibility of the switch turning in it's mounting hole after installation.
     
  12. WesternMaryland

    WesternMaryland E-Mail Bounces

    Brett,

    Thanks for the info...I take it those with the mounting ferrule can be found at places like Radio Shack....? Have you done this switch replacement with Kato turnouts...if so would love to see pics of the final product. Thanks again!
     
  13. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    Western Maryland:

    I use Kato turnouts on my layout. I went through the same questioning as you did. In my case I wanted to wire dwarf signals to the Kato turnout which would show switch position. There is no way to do this to my knowledge. I use DCC and throw turnouts with the handheld.

    NCE makes decoders to throw the Kato turnouts. You can hook up a dwarf signal to the decoder and it will show switch position that way. This is the way I show the show the turnout position. ;) ;)
     
  14. steamghost

    steamghost TrainBoard Member

    To chime in with expanded possibilities or just add confusion:

    With the regular toggles you now have the option of setting up your switches in proper position on a track diagram painted on or attached to the fascia.

    With some more wiring, you can also set a route by throwing several switches at once. That's probably a limit of 4 switches thrown at once without having to use a capacitator discharge machine.

    If you have tight aisle clearances or a lot of people traffic you should recess or guard the toggles on the fascia. I've seen short "collars" of PVC pipe used for this -- makes it look neat and clean.
     

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