Please explain Atlas Snap vs Custom line switches

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Boris

Beach Bum
Keep in mind, that a snap switch has a purpose, and that Atlas now makes a 22" radius snap switch in addition to the 18" radius snap switch. They are much improved over what they used to be. I haven't used any since I built a Christmas garden layout for the kids in the mid 1980s. Back then they were junk.

If you are limited to a 4x8, you are pretty much limited to 22" radius as your widest curve, but you can still use Atlas #4 and #6 custom line switches, or PECO #5 and #6 switches, as an alternative to snap switches. But if you need to use a snap switch, it will work for you. The trick with sectional track is in the way you lay the track and fasten it. it's much too easy to misalign the track and create derailment opportunities.

Boris
 

dmirguy

Member
Be careful of Atlas remote snap switches. Exhibit A:

View attachment 35279
YUP, great photo, I have 3 that have failed exactly like this over the past several years. Atlas has perfected some micro AI for these switches - the ones in hard to reach areas on your layout are sure to fail, the ones up close and easy to repair are good as gold. Thanks Murphy.
 

Boris

Beach Bum
the ones in hard to reach areas on your layout are sure to fail, the ones up close and easy to repair are good as gold.
Ain't that the truth. I don't like Atlas switch motors at all. I generally use ground throws for that reason.

Boris
 

MHinLA

Well-Known Member
What causes the melt down ? Is it from holding the remote button down too long ? I'm in between layouts a long time due to having to rent out a room. (though I am pondering a 'shelfie')..
Small change of subject: Altas HO sectional track has more realistic spike heads than their flex does..Reason must be the flex needs bigger/stronger spikes to tolerate and hold the curved rail's pressure against them..
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
What causes the melt down ? Is it from holding the remote button down too long ?
Short answer is YES. As to what causes it, I know why, but I am not able to explain it...has something to do with oscillating current that creates heat.
 

dmirguy

Member
What causes the melt down ? Is it from holding the remote button down too long ?
Anything that causes a connection between either of the powered contacts and the return contact. It can be operator error - holding the switch down too long. In my case one failure was from a wire shorting across the mini dpdt mini switch I had, another failure was the actual mini dpdt mini switch failed internally (I have never seen/heard of that before or since), and one failed because I held the darn thing down too long. There are other reasons for causing the electrical connection to be on for too long I'm sure.

Like Boris, I've converted to manual throws where reasonable, turtles in most other where needed and still have a few of these Atlas machines scattered across the layout. C'est La Vie.
 




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