Turnout position indication

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I want to add turnout position indication using leds to my layout. I'm using Atlas turnouts with switch machines attached. My thought is to add a green led for thru position and red for divert. When I throw the momentary toggle switch for the turnout to THRU, the green led will light. When I throw the toggle switch to DIVERT, the red led will light. Because the switch machines cannot be energized continously, the led will not stay lit.

Could someone provide me with an electronic circuit to accomplish this. I could use an Atlas 200 snap relay, but being retired on a fixed income, I'm trying to limit my expenses. I have 14 turnouts on my layout.

I already have adequate leds, resistors of various values, capacitors of various values and bc547 npn transistors to build the circuits.

Thank you for any help you can provide.
 

ShermanHill

Well-Known Member
Could someone provide me with an electronic circuit to accomplish this.
I don't know about any 'circuits' to accomplish this using existing rail voltage (I'm kinda dumb in that dept), but I could envision using the physical position of the switch points (or throwbar) to operate a SPDT micro-switch to accomplish this action.
 
I don't know about any 'circuits' to accomplish this using existing rail voltage (I'm kinda dumb in that dept), but I could envision using the physical position of the switch points (or throwbar) to operate a SPDT micro-switch to accomplish this action.
I'm planning to use an auxiliary power supply to power the circuit. Thanks for your quick reply.
 

ShermanHill

Well-Known Member
I'm planning to use an auxiliary power supply to power the circuit. Thanks for your quick reply.
I think the hardest part would be to design some kinda 'break-over' that won't allow the tension of the switch in the thrown position to back tension the throwbar and mis-align the points.
 

Red Oak & Western

Active Member
How good are your circuit wiring / soldering skills? The circuit you are looking for is called a "flip-flop" and can be built with a minimum of components, but, I don't know of any already designed PCBs that you just add components to. You could also accomplish the same task using relays, but again, the circuit is something ypou would need to build. I can easily design the circuits, and give you how to instructions.
 

dennis461

Active Member
In my mind, the low cost simple method would be to make an electrical switch and connect it to the throw bar of the turnout.
Bare copper wire and some springy steel or bronze wire.

Maybe a mini micro limit switch.

As for the snap relay, you can find less expensive devices e.g.
Mouser #: 80-EC2-12TNU
 
How good are your circuit wiring / soldering skills? The circuit you are looking for is called a "flip-flop" and can be built with a minimum of components, but, I don't know of any already designed PCBs that you just add components to. You could also accomplish the same task using relays, but again, the circuit is something ypou would need to build. I can easily design the circuits, and give you how to instructions.
I don't need a pcb. I can build without and solder as needed. Please provide schematic and instructions. Thanks.
 

MHinLA

Well-Known Member
ShermanHill in post #2 is the best. Why ? I, and many others have done this but just to power the frogs of Atlas CustomLine switches, which are metal but have a coat of black on them which can be rubbed off.
Purchase a Caboose Industries powered ground throw for each switch...They both throw the points and can turn on position lights at the same time with the right wiring... The G throws have 3 metal rods which reach to the bottom of the ply via a pre-drilled small hole..2 tiny holes are drilled to have wires go from under up to the 2 rails at the throw rod end ot the switch. The center rod gets a 3rd (common) wire up to the frog..(On Atlas CustomLine switches the frog has a tiny ring at the bottom as part of the frog. Regular Atlas switches have plastic frogs. So no can do this job). All these wires must be soldered in place.. The Caboose throw rod is a bit tricky to snap together. But after a while you get it and the rest of the switches you do the same thing..
Now, position lights: You can solder one wire of each bulb onto the same 2 wires up to the 2 rails. Their remaining wires get twisted into one wire and soldered to the center common wire, or rod, to the frog...In other words it's essentially follows the same wiring as the G throw wiring alone.
For sure there are other gadgets that can do this...But this is probably the least expensive.... 🛤☀🛤 🏘
 




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