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September 23, 2020, 10:40:42 PM
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Author Topic: Add LED to Bachmann turnout  (Read 882 times)
jimdavis88

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« on: May 14, 2020, 08:14:56 AM »

I just installeld 20 Bachmann turnouts and realized I really need green & red lights to give me the position of the turnout. Can you tell me how to install green & red LED's at each turnout? When I operate the switch I noticed there is a small lever on the side of the turnout that moves (the manual switch). Can I somehow use that to operate a snap switch of some kind. I really need help here.
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jonathan


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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2020, 08:40:33 AM »

JD,

There is such-a-thing as a bicolor LED (3-prong) which lights red when current flows in one direction, then lights green when current flows in the other direction.  They're around 25 cents a piece.

Instead of relying on a mechanical operation, I would tap into whatever current is flowing to your turnout machine; Bachmann turnout or otherwise.  You would need 1 LED and 1 resistor for each turnout.  The LED could be displayed near the turnout or at your command station, if you have a designated spot for running trains. Nowadays, folks can wander with DCC, and command stations are becoming less prevalent.  That's a guess.

Just one idea for you.  Lots of ways to accomplish this task.

Regards,

Jonathan
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2020, 09:41:42 AM »

Any suggestions for DCC turnouts since there are no wires?
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prr22


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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2020, 11:12:25 AM »

On my layout I use DPDT throw switches to control a circuit of two bipolar r/g LEDs on the control panel, two bipolar r/g LEDs on the signals, and a tortoise switch machine.  But for DCC switches, I believe this is going into Digitrax block sensor computer system territory...  We have all this set up at my club, with computer activated DPDT that can be triggered through a pushbutton or computer, to a tortoise and pair of LEDs.

It might be worth it to simply have a separate system for flicking a throw switch to handle the LEDs whenever you change the position of a switch.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 11:14:15 AM by prr22 » Logged

Modeling the rolling hills from Baltimore to Pittsburg
Ton N


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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2020, 05:43:00 PM »

There are also red and green leds with two connections.
One way in is red and when you switch polarity it is green.

Ton
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jimdavis88

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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2020, 07:59:24 PM »

Thanks for your suggestion but I want the signal lights to stay on permanently and my Bachmann turnouts only receive a short burst of current when operating them. So I need to add another permanent power source to the LED, no problem, but I need some kind of switch to attach to the Bachmann turonout.
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prr22


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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2020, 10:10:26 PM »

Yes Ton N! I use only 2 wire bipolar r/g LEDs they are just so much easier for these purposes.  Jim, the cheapest, simplest way to do this is to use DPDT switches.  I wonder if it is possible to rig a small very easily manipulated (flimsy?) DPDT switch that can be turned by the movement of the switch?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 10:12:50 PM by prr22 » Logged

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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2020, 10:56:28 PM »

I've wondered about rigging some kind of mechanical thing I could attach to the little piece sticking up on the turnout. Something that maybe would rotate to show red or green but there is so little movement in that black piece. Adding some kind of gear mechanism might require too much pressure on the black piece. It's one of those things that I have pondered for a while and haven't come up with a good idea. Flipping a separate light switch when I do the turnout is an idea prr22. I really don't want to do sensors.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2020, 10:59:19 PM by Terry Toenges » Logged

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jward


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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2020, 11:27:07 AM »

The obvious solution to the problem is a device called the Atlas Snap Relay, which looks just like an Atlas switch motor, except instead of the solenoid operating a mechanical throwbar, it operates a pair of contacts. You wire it to your switch control boxes just as if it were another switch, and you use the contacts along the solenoid barrel to operate your signals. The contacts are marked A B & C with c being the common you hook up to your power supply. A & B go to the lights on your signal, or panel if you choose. Which one goes to red and which one goes to green is up to you.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
prr22


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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2020, 12:17:10 PM »

If these turnouts are DCC, then snap relays will just be another power source that needs to be used to do the same job of switching everything.  But if they are standard, then that would be worth trying, to hook up the Atlas snap switches to the ez track.  You need the motor part and the relay part, I think it would turn out well.  If your layout is on foam or plywood, maybe it would be worth using tortoise switch machines with ez track (I guess you'd have to remove the spring mechanism)?
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markosjal

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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2020, 08:37:03 AM »

What you need is a simple circuit like the first one on the page below. This would sense when a turnout button is activated and keep an LED lit till the turnout is swiched. It will NOT show the initial state of the tuen out if just powered on.

This will work but important that as on my DC system the turnouts are controlled by AC Accessory power so this would need a Bridge rectifier on its input (between trunout contacts and Latching switch circuit)

https://www.electronics-lab.com/project/simple-soft-latch-switch-using-push-button/

The component values are not there but much of that depends on how you hook it up. I think all turnouts probably connect to AC  (17V?) connecting Latching Switch through bridge rectibier you probably want to get the voltage down lower especially if only using for LEDS, get the voltage to 3.5v . That helps make it all more efficcient
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jward


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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2020, 01:19:24 PM »

That is a far more complicated solution than using a snap relay.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
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