Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!

Make Your Own Spectacular Background Scenes

Wiring on a Reversing Switch

Franklin needs help and asks:

“I want to wire a reverse switch on my turntable (Atlas), and I wanting to know if there’s any problems I could encounter/avoid.”

Send in your question by clicking on the link below.

6 Responses to Wiring on a Reversing Switch

  • Constantin MGGL De Bocksays:

    Take a DPDT switch(Double pole Double throw switch), use the the two common connector(middle poles) wired towards the motor. Than solder two power wires to the remaining connectors and run two jumper wires across the switch connecting crosswise the opposite poles.Now when you switch your switch the plus and min pole will switch positions due to the crossed jumper wires.It sounds more comlicated than it looks.

    • Terrysays:

      Very well explained.

  • Ken Lambornsays:

    Get atlas #220 switch

  • Jim Jansensays:

    I assume you are talking about wiring
    to the track on the turntable bridge.
    Wire the switch crossing as described above.
    Wire the two wires from system track to the switch and the wires from the switch to the bridge.

  • Henry W. Robbinssays:

    Digitrax sells a auto reversing switch. When the train wheels touch the reverse polarity track the switch changes the polarity instantly. I use one on my Atlas turntable. Works great.

  • Sheldon Clarksays:

    It is possible to obtain the same effect automatically by taking the bridge track pickup from metal tags, one at opposite ends of the opposing rails – if the bridge is transverse (cross-wise) to the position from which you look at it, one contact is at the right-hand end (say) of the nearer rail and the other is at the left-hand end of the far rail. They each should be made to brush against a rail bent into very nearly a semi-circle that fits into the turntable (T/T) well – just like the real thing, in many cases. In other cases, the weight of the bridge is taken by the central bearing, but it is immaterial whether this is the case with the kind of real T/T yours is modelled on – you can still rig up this kind of collection system. If you feel that rails would be unprototypical, because of the original design of your T/T, you can gain the same effect by attaching two pieces of copper, each again bent into (almost) a semi-circle, to the inside of the rim of the T/T. Whether you use rails or strips, there must be a gap between them at each end, to avoid shorts this gap must be less than the distance between where the moving contacts touch the supply rail/strip, so that you can be assured of proper contact at all positions of the T/T. There will be an interruption of current supply to your loco as the moving contacts pass over the gaps. This will be unimportant unless you have digital sound, in which case, the smaller the gap, the shorter the interruption. (Maybe on-board capacitors will cover this). In either case, it will probably be necessary to fill the gap with some insulating material, such as styrene strip, curved to the same radius as the supply rail/strip. On balance, though, a switch would be easier – but you have to remember to use it, whereas the system I have described is automatic. It goes without saying (at least, it very nearly did) that each of the contact strips/rails must be supplied with power at opposite polarities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add a photo or image related to your comment (JPEG only)

Model Train DCC HELP


Submit Your Model Railroading Questions!

Before you submit your model railroading question please add some feedback, answers or comments to other postings on this model train blog. What goes around comes around... so if you can help others in the hobby, someone else may help you.

Important - Please add plenty of supporting details to any question you submit (eg. scale, solutions you have already tried etc.) , as the clearest and best questions usually get the best answers. Also, please check your spelling and punctuation as all questions need to be approved by the blog moderator prior to publication. Approved questions are normally published within a week (if not sooner).

Submit your model train questions here.

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

Download Your Free Catalog

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

Model Train Help Ebook


FREE Tour Inside Club

Take a FREE tour inside the club.

Scenery Techniques Explained

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.