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Switch Wiring Question

Ren T models in N scale and asks:

“Can I wire a red & green LED signal status light to DC Bachmann turnout control switch? I want a green light for mainline direction and and a red light when the switch is not in position to direct trains off the mainline?”

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6 Responses to Switch Wiring Question

  • phil johnsonsays:

    some switch machines have extra contacts for signals and to polarize the frog. If your Bachmann has these you are in luck. Although I can’t recall ever seeing them. You might consider dropping Bachmann a email.

  • Jeff Cohensays:

    If you want to go old school, check out the Atlas Snap Relay. The Bachmann switch controller is momentary so as not to burn out the coils in the turnout. If you connect the three wires from the control to the Snap Relay as well as the turnout, the switch control will actuate both at the same time. The Snap relay has additional screw terminals that you can connect to your status light as long as you make sure there’s a resistor in the connection so you don’t burn out the LEDs. Note, Bachmann uses proprietary cable connectors, so you’ll need to be doing some cutting and soldering (or using terminal blocks with a screwdriver).

  • Giosays:

    The relay coil uses 12V to activate, but when the momentary voltage cuts out, the reverse voltage spike could be in the thousands. So be very careful if there is no reverse voltage protection diode installed.

  • Adam Youngsays:

    I used LED lights with a latching relay to make one that works off the momentary switch.

  • Wallysays:

    Use a ‘ Snap Relay” in parallel with the switch relay. I use this these snap relays in my layout.

  • W Rusty Lanesays:

    I also use Atlas snap relays but I don’t use them with lights or LED’s. I guess I could use lights or LED’s but I use the snap relays to change the voltage on the frogs on the diversionary route. I have these wired to two sets of switches or turnouts. Works well after you figure out how to wire them.

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