You have just discovered something that many others before you have discovered too. Twin-coil switch machines, like those used by Atlas, Bachmann, Kato, and Peco, can burn out easily.
There is a device that can protect your Atlas turnouts from burning out if you should accidentally hold the button down too long, or if the button itself shorts out it's internal contacts, which those cheap, Atlas, blue button, controls have been known to do.
The protective device is called a "Capacitive Discharge Unit" (CDU) It will make it impossible for either a lingering finger, or a shorted blue button, to ever burn out a coil in one of your Atlas remote switches.
There are several ways of getting a CDU. The cheapest way is to build your own. One of our members, DonR, has done this, and he may give you the diagram. It's a simple circuit with only a few parts. You can also buy a built-up CDU from Walthers www.walthers.com
or possibly from www.modeltrainstuff.com
Buying one is much more expensive that making one though.
The third, and perhaps the best, way is to replace those Atlas blue button controllers with Stapleton 751D controls. These controls include a built-in CDU, and are high quality controls, far better than the blue button ones.
Where can I "take a look at your thread?" I'd like to see what you did to your Atlas turnouts to make them more reliable.
The file "Improving Atlas turnouts" (attached below) shows some things that can be done to make them more reliable. The second file, "All about turnouts", has a lot of information about turnouts in general. The third file "How I scratchbuild turnouts" shows how to make your own turnouts much more cheaply than you can buy them.
If you would rather buy turnouts than make them, as most people do, then Peco and Micro Engineering, are both excellent choices. The "All about turnouts" file explains more about these two, and five more, brands of commercial turnouts.
You can also make your own "Tortoises" (
sort of! ) The two last files cover my "Five dollar switch machine." They show you how to build your own remote, but manually operated, switch machines that mount directly below, and throw the points of, turnouts very much like a Tortoise does, but without the electric motor, or the approx.$30 ea. price tag! :rippedhand:
Good luck, & Have fun!
Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
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