Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
January 20, 2020, 02:18:47 AM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Check out the photo gallery link above or >click here< to see photos of recently announced products!
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  General Discussion
| | |-+  Remote snap-switch electrical hook-up
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Remote snap-switch electrical hook-up  (Read 5189 times)

View Profile
« on: May 20, 2009, 05:07:08 PM »

Hello all,
I am new to the world of model trains.  I have the Bachman EZ digital command system (Product code 44902) hooked up to Atlas track (code 83).  The track is laid, nailed on the board and the train runs.  I have 7 snap switches that i need to hook up.  To where do I plug them in?  There does not appear to be a plug in the command module.  I have read you do not hook something that takes AC to a DC power station.  As far as I know, the snap switches take AC, but the command system is DC, with the 1 amp thingy that plugs into the wall.  Please help or direct me to where I can find answers.

Spencer Rowley

View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2009, 06:11:09 PM »

you are correct that turnouts are connected to AC power . Atlas turnouts are sold without the electrical solenoids to throw the points and also the controllers to activate them. They are sold seperately.   Most of us have our original powerpacks that have AC terminals , these are used to power the turnouts. the AC is wired to the controllers (two wires) ; each controller has three wires coming out of the top ( right , common , left ) that connects to three positions on the solenoid motors. Test the operation of the turnout to determine if the correct wires are connected to the correct screws . If the direction is wrong ,switch the right & left wires .  Please note the button on the controller should only be pressed momentarily or you will burnout the switch motor.  Also the controllers can be ganged together  to power multiple turnouts.  Both  Atlas  and Kalmbach books publish books  on wiring  model railroads these will show you  exactly how to wire whatever you need ,  this is also a good time to get an inexpensive multi-meter and learn to use it.       
Good Luck   John  II

View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2009, 08:39:39 PM »

it is a common misconception that solenoid type switch motors are ac only. they can be powered from dc as well. as proof of this we have the capacitor discharge unit often used to prevent burnout of the coils of the switch motor. ac sees a capacitor as a dead short, but with dc you can store up your electricity, and release it all in one big, instantaneous shot that is guaranteed to throw the motor without burning out the coil.

even without a capacitor discharge unit, you can safely operate your switch motors on dc using the same wiring circuit as you would for ac......
do not, however, hook them up to the same dc you are using for track power. if your power pack has a 12 volt constant dc terminal, that is what you'd use. if not, a 12 volt dc power supply should work, provided it has sufficient current output to move the solenoid.

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.

View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2009, 01:11:44 AM »

As jward has already said, solenoids as found in Snap Switches work equally well running off dc or ac.  But your E-Z Command has no dc output and I would not reccommend running switches off the ac that DCC puts on the tracks.  A model railroad power pack  is the best choice for running solenoid type switch motors as all the outputs are protected by a circuit breaker.  But there are lots of "wall wart"** power packs in the 12 to 16 volt range, either ac or dc, that will do the job.  I like the ones that can put out 1 amp or more.

**That "thingy" that plugs into the wall to power up your E-Z Command is an example of what is often called a "wall wart," I suppose because when it is plugged in, the bump it make on the flat wall is reminiscent of a wart.


Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.

Trackside in Rural OK

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2009, 03:19:10 AM »


Are you wanting to use your E-Z Command controller to operate your snap switches?  If you are I don't believe it will.

I *think* you need a DCC decoder attached to each switch.  Someone here will be on me ike a duck on a June bug if I'm wrong and giving you wrong information.  I have the E-Z Command and the Dynamis Wireless controller (not together on one track) for my DCC control.  I'm sure the Dynamis is capable of operating your switches but I don't know if the E-Z Command is.

If you are going to wire your switch machines and mount the SPST switches in a bank or control panel and operate them by hand you'll be ok.

I'm going through the same thing with the layout I've been working on for a long time now.  I'm using Atlas code 83 track but am going to use my Dynamis to control both my trains and switches on the turnouts.  With the advice of some people here I chose to use Digitrax DS64 4-switch decoders ( ), Atlas Custom-Line turnouts and Atlas Remote Switch machines. ( )

Happy Rails

Invacare 2-2-2 TDX5 Tilt Recline & Elevate - 24v - ALS Head Control
God Bless Jimmie Rogers the Singing Brakeman
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2009, 07:34:43 AM »

I'm pretty sure that the solenoids used for both are the same.

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2009, 07:58:43 AM »

The  two Books I would recomend for wiring are : The Complete Atlas Wiring Book #12 printed by Atlas Model Railroad Co. , Inc. , and Model Railroader Books  "Easy Model Railroad Wiring "  second Edition  by Andy Sperandeo  printed by Kalmbach  Books . There may be later editions now available.  Good Luck  John II
Joe Satnik

View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2009, 08:03:07 AM »

Dear Spence,

This DC power pack with AC accessories outputs (to drive your snap switches) is designed to plug in to and enhance your EZ-Command system. 

If I recall correctly, it takes over the DC "stretched zero" operation of the EZ-Command module, freeing up address 10 for DCC operation.

Scroll down to page 6.

By the way, I sell the 44212 power packs new (set break up).  Contact me off board for more info and references. 



Joe Satnik


If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.

View Profile
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2009, 09:43:59 AM »

I just posted a new thread about Capacitive Discharge Units when using Atlas slide switch's or even the spring toggle switch that have a tendency to stick and burn out the twin solenoid switch motors, Atlas and Peco come to mind. Even good insurance for when the grandchildren run trains and have a tendency to push the button too long and fries your switch motor's. I cooked 4 plus a relay in the last 4 years. I have replaced a dozen with Tortoise in the last year.

No doubt the stand alone DCC decoders is the way to go if you have enough resources on your DCC hand controller to program the amount of switch's you plan to operate that way. I have 48 and my Bachmann EZ Command won't hold that many under the F function.
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!