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Hi,

This vintage double pole double throw "contact" switch was in a box of vintage train gear. Personally, I've never seen one before. I'm hoping someone here might recognize it and know what it originally went to.

I'm not sure if it went to something actually used in the model train industry at the time or maybe it's just a switch sold back in the day or if it came from a tool of the era given it's paint color.

I don't know why but I think it's a pretty cool for a vintage switch given it actually uses contacts or points like they had in cars at one time. And it's completely and easily servicable.. I've taken it apart and polished up all the metal and am about to paint it black.

I haven't hooked it up yet but I suspect it'll spark when contact is made. At least a little one. It would be cool for some sort of steam punk type thing.

Nor do I know the rating for such a switch.

And note, it's resting on a grey square washer. That's not part of it. It was just to hold it up for the pics.

At any rate, as stated, I'm hoping one of you here is familiar with it and can educate me on it a bit.

Cheers...
 

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My guess would be just a switch sold BITD. But way cool. It's probably rated fairly high, and of course, the higher the current run through it increases the arcing that may occur. If it were me, I'd mount it in such a way as to see it, like behind clear plexiglass.
 

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That's what I called these switches way back when, GRJ! They were used a lot on Model RR's, I think to operate dual cab DC, or stall motors on turnouts. That particular one is only SPDT.
 

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I doubt it would be American telephone switch. Almost ALL telephone switch & parts would have “Western Electric” markings, from the days of A.T.T. & Ma Bell. Retired in 2010 after 41 years from Ma Bell-Verizon.
 

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I doubt it would be American telephone switch. Almost ALL telephone switch & parts would have “Western Electric” markings, from the days of A.T.T. & Ma Bell. Retired in 2010 after 41 years from Ma Bell-Verizon.
I too am a retired telephone man. Started with Ma Bell at Pacific T&T in 1964 and then went into the rural independent telcos. It wasn't just Western Electric that manufactured telephone equipment. Many companies used Stromberg Carlson from Rochester NY.. Others used Northern Tel (Canada) also.
 

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I'm sorry I don't remember the name, but there is a "thing" ham radio operators use that pushing the knob one way sends a "dot" and pushing the other way sends a "dash". Maybe Western Union had something similar :)

Update: What I was thinking of is called a "single paddle keyer".
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If it were me, I'd mount it in such a way as to see it, like behind clear plexiglass.
My thoughts exactly! Lol.
Over the past couple days I've been looking to see if I had a clear box to use.

Curious, it looks like there are two mounting holes in the side.

As well as the two screws in the top. Which I take it, the top plate was as thick as the rest of it. Those two screws are bottomed out as you see it.

Anyways thanks for the responses all
Cheers...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You mean "selenium". <img src="http://www.modeltrainforum.com/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" />

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selenium_rectifier
Yup! Thanks for the correction!

Interesting to see some this stuff. The modeler did a nice job soldering and wiring that much I can tell. He had it all drawn up.. like a graphic engineer would.

Most of the electronics are new to me. Stuff I've never seen the likes of before. No chips.. ! Lol
 

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Those were very common in telephone panels when I was a kid.
Telephone Exchange Leaf Switchs



Those switches were used in panels like this in the first half of the 1900's. Note the rows of switches in front of the plugs.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks GunrunnerJohn,

When you look at it from the perspective of a 1900's telephone leaf switch I thought it was really cool.

Then I looked up leaf switches an saw since the early 1900's they've been used in a gazillion other things too. Including arcade games. The "Pro" grade joy sticks of even today use them as well as micro switches because they're able to be tweaked.

Which learning that let the air out of the balloon I had around this switch. It's still cool but not as cool as when I thought it was "unique" to the era.

Given the color it's probably off some tool from the 60's. Still old but.. not as unique and different than I thought.

I'm more curious now given his wiring diagram how this modeler was using it in his layout. Along with some other stuff in the box.

I can kinda figure out some of it.. I think. But I'm lost on the rest. Or how it is laid out.

So many transformers.. or I think they're transformers. It's confusing since I'm unfamiliar with how it all worked together in his layout.

I'm learning new stuff though. Which has a cool factor of it's own. So I appreciate it guys.

Thanks!
 

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I'm more curious now given his wiring diagram how this modeler was using it in his layout.
the switch in the diagram seems to be a DPDT switch wired as a reversing switch which makes sense since its wired to the reverse tracks.

i don't think the photo shows a DPDT swtich
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm more curious now given his wiring diagram how this modeler was using it in his layout.
the switch in the diagram seems to be a DPDT switch wired as a reversing switch which makes sense since its wired to the reverse tracks.

i don't think the photo shows a DPDT swtich
I don't know for sure if it is or isn't a DPDT looking around at other leaf switches.

There were other toggle switches some SPST others DPDT.

I thought (what I now know is a the leaf switch), that two poles on opposite sides. And a throw of On-Off-On made it a DPDT momentary switch.

Maybe it's considered a SPDT..? I don't know I'm kinda confused on the labeling of some of these leaf switches I'm seeing on the net.

Included with in the box that I'm keeping for myself were some 50's/60's era 12v 30amp pull switches. 6 or 7 in total.

They use them in Rat Rod's for light switches I'm told. Bunch of the guys here are into cars so I'm sure they'll want those.

Various other toggles. And 3 what I'm taking it are variable rheostats with voltage regulators wired into boxes. 4 lead wire going in.

Then these other things which I'm not sure of... See pic. I think they're transformers of some sort. There's 7 of them in front of the Lionel Transformer.

The long screw on top has a wire soldered to it... Odd looking things for transformers. Lol
 

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"Then these other things which I'm not sure of... See pic. I think they're transformers of some sort. There's 7 of them in front of the Lionel Transformer."
Stepper motors for turnout control?
 
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