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Discussion Starter #1
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Hey everybody! Back story: I tore down a large HO layout years ago owned by a deceased gentleman and did not have a lot of time to trace everything as the house was being sold so I just cut wires everywhere to get it all out of there. I am now in the process of reassembly. The picture I attached shows the parts that he used to control the snap switches via a Snap relay with the buttons on a control panel. Can someone give me a clue how exactly this all gets attached together to work and how to I get power to it. This was all connected at one point and worked together. Sorry for all of the questions!

Thanks!
John
 

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You have the turnout motor connected to the switch input!
Atlas website has instructions.
 

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FIRST thing is to get or build a CDU so u don't burn up those solenoids. You may already have one with your system.
 

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John

Usually, the Red and Green buttons are connected to the Red and Green wires
on the snap switch solenoid. The black on the solenoid is common and connects
to one your power pack accessories terminals. A wire from the other accessories
terminal connects to either of the posts that are connected
together on the buttons. The relay is not needed unless you are using it
to power signals or frogs.

And I do agree, you should get or build a Capacitor Discharge Unit that
provides only a short burst of power when a turnout button is pushed.
It protects the very sensitive turnout solenoid coils from burnout.

Don
 

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You probably can't really rely on the Atlas website for info, other than to take their advice (I agree) to get The Complete Atlas Wiring Book! But there are several on-line places where you can find schematics for the hookup. Check your box of miscellaneous control parts for something resembling the CDU...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You probably can't really rely on the Atlas website for info, other than to take their advice (I agree) to get The Complete Atlas Wiring Book! But there are several on-line places where you can find schematics for the hookup. Check your box of miscellaneous control parts for something resembling the CDU...
I actually have the Atlas Complete Wiring Book but after looking at it, I still cannot figure out how to wire it all up!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
John

Usually, the Red and Green buttons are connected to the Red and Green wires
on the snap switch solenoid. The black on the solenoid is common and connects
to one your power pack accessories terminals. A wire from the other accessories
terminal connects to either of the posts that are connected
together on the buttons. The relay is not needed unless you are using it
to power signals or frogs.

And I do agree, you should get or build a Capacitor Discharge Unit that
provides only a short burst of power when a turnout button is pushed.
It protects the very sensitive turnout solenoid coils from burnout.

Don
DonR.: Ok, I think I understand part of what you are advising. The green button connects to the green side of the snap switch and the red button connects to the red side of the snap switch. Also the black (common) coming off of the snap switch connects to the power pack accessory terminals. Just to be clear, the second wire coming off of the power pack remaining accessory can be connected to the post on either of the red or green posts. Is this correct?
 

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If I want to replace the some of the push button switches, can I use something rated at either 0.5 amp or 1 amp, 125v? The 1 amp ones are much easier to find online as Radio Shack is no longer around.
 

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John

In your photo, a red wire connects BOTH push buttons.
This is known as a 'common'.
The second wire from the accessories terminal connects
to this 'common' on either end of the red wire. Leave the
red wire connected to the two push buttons. This then
provides the power that the either button when pushed will send to
the snap switch solenoids.

Note: For clarity and to follow wiring 'customs', the red wire
connecting the two buttons should have been WHITE.
Then a White wire from the 2nd accessories terminal would
connect to the white 'common' wire. That may have
made it easier for you to understand the circuit.
However, there is no reason to make that change now.

Don
 

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If I want to replace the some of the push button switches, can I use something rated at either 0.5 amp or 1 amp, 125v? The 1 amp ones are much easier to find online as Radio Shack is no longer around.
cubalz;

If you buy push buttons, go for the higher current rated ones. (doorbell buttons are good.) Those 1 amp and 0.5 amp AC ratings should be taken with a grain of salt. They are not always accurate. I have had a lot of those little Radio Shack buttons fail, I would avoid them.
There is a much better alternative available. It's the Stapleton 751D turnout controller. It is very high quality, and has a built-in CDU, that several guys recommended to protect your Snap Switch twin-coil solenoid. I recommend using Stapleton controllers instead of those cheap push buttons.
The files attached below have more information about "turnouts" (track switches) , switch machines , and how they work. They also point out some of the problems that often come up with those Atlas Snap Switches that you're using, and how to correct them if, at some future point, you have derailments on them.
A final point. I'm not trying to nitpick you but this has come up at least once, and resulted in burned out coils on some Atlas snap switches. Your question asks about wiring "toggle buttons." As you may know, there is another type of electrical switch called a "toggle switch." Most toggle switches, and slide switches, and rotary switches, connect power more or less permanently when they are set to the "on" position. Using toggle switches (with the exception of the spring-loaded, center off type) to control a twin-coil switch machine like the Atlas ones you have, would quickly melt, and destroy the switch machine's coils.
One "Newbie", a while back, asked for help because his Atlas turnouts were melting their coils. The guy had tried to use an Atlas "Selector" control to operate his Atlas turnouts. The Atlas selector contains slide switches, which stayed on when he moved them, & burnt out the coils.
Push buttons (most anyway) are momentary. The power only goes through them when you push the button down, and cuts off when you let go, like the doorbell button at your house. Toggle switches are more like the light switches in your home. When turned on, they stay on.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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