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I haven't touched my HO Railroad since 2016 but being 75 years old now I've got time to start playing with it again ! I have 15 or more Atlas turnouts & Atlas #63 machines mounted under the layout. I control the turnouts with mini DPDT momentary switches on my control panel. That works just fine for me ! My problem is I really don't know which way the turn outs are unless I actually go and look at them. I want to add red & green LEDs on my control panel to indicate which position they are in. I'm hoping someone can tell me a way to do this (maybe relays, latching relays ?) Or better yet, a wiring diagram !!!! I'm hoping if I survive this COVID crap to go DCC this winter for my locos & turntable but leave my turnouts the way they work now with the momentary toggles. I'm building a new control panel with my track layout on it right so come winter I will be ready to rewire the layout !
 

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I use dpdt and a pushbutton. one side of the dpdt goes to turnout and push button. other side of dpdt goes to red,-,green led
 

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the easiest would be to replace the switch machines with the ones that also have an external micro switch that changes output depending on the direction selected ...
you would then use this micro switch to drive the leds [trough a dropping resistor on each led]
 

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the easiest would be to replace the switch machines with the ones that also have an external micro switch that changes output depending on the direction selected ...
you would then use this micro switch to drive the leds [trough a dropping resistor on each led]
Or change the controls out to do the same. Stapleton 751D is what I'm ordering for this

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Here is the only panel I have finished, yet.
006.JPG


I am using DPDT switches to power Tortoise switch machines. I use (or did rather, on this panel) 2 5mm LED's mounted in plastic bushings, which can be found all over eBay. The LED's are wired in-line with one of the wires going from the center terminals to the Tortoise. It doesn't matter which wire. I'm not using the built-in switches of the Tortoise for the LED's. The LED's are soldered so that the cathode from one LED is connected to the anode of the other, and vice-versa. This way no matter which way current is flowing through the wire one of the LED's will be lit. Here is link to how it is done. It's on page 2, diagram 4. http://www.circuitron.com/index_files/ins/800-6000ins.pdf
This works for stall type switch machines, such as the Tortoise, but since you are using Atlas under the table machines, I'm guessing those are twin coil solenoid machines. I must confess I'm not sure how you would do those.
 

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I'm using an option (servos and Octo III controllers from Tam Valley Depot) that already has the LEDs incorporated into the fascia switches (which can also be mounted in a control panel). While it might be possible to adapt the controller cards to run your Atlas switch machines, I'm afraid my solution would involve too much ripout and replacement to be of use, and because it was plug and play, I'm really not well versed on the electronics behind it. If you're interested in changing out your switch machines, let me know and I can provide more details.
 

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The Stapleton 751 turnout panel 'switches' will control your
twin coil turnouts AND light RED/GREEN panel and track side
LED lights. In addition, their built in Capacitor Discharge Unit
will protect your turnout motors from burnouts due to accidental
push button problems.


I used the DPDT switch with the additional push button on
my layout. It was awkward and resulted in many derails when
I forgot to push the button. I would have used the Stapleton
instead had I known about it back then.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I haven't touched my HO Railroad since 2016 but being 75 years old now I've got time to start playing with it again ! I have 15 or more Atlas turnouts & Atlas #63 machines mounted under the layout. I control the turnouts with mini DPDT momentary switches on my control panel. That works just fine for me ! My problem is I really don't know which way the turn outs are unless I actually go and look at them. I want to add red & green LEDs on my control panel to indicate which position they are in. I'm hoping someone can tell me a way to do this (maybe relays, latching relays ?) Or better yet, a wiring diagram !!!! I'm hoping if I survive this COVID crap to go DCC this winter for my locos & turntable but leave my turnouts the way they work now with the momentary toggles. I'm building a new control panel with my track layout on it right so come winter I will be ready to rewire the layout !
I think I've found a solution to what I want to do that is affordable without changing all my switch machines by adding Atlas ATL 200 snap relays next to each switch machine. Another question.....why do i need a resistor on each LED and how do I determine the value of such resistors ?
 

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LEDs cannot handle higher voltage. Most are designed to only run on somewhere around 2-4 volts, so if you power them with 12-15 you will fry them. The resistor brings it down to you don't fry the LED. The required resistance depends on the size and color of LED and on the power being supplied. A single 5mm red LED supplied 15v power would need around 650ohm resistor for max brightness, more to do it or reduce risk of burnout. green LED, however could get away with around 550ohm.

You can do an internet search and find online calculators that will tell you what you need. I use an app on my phone.

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Discussion Starter #11
LEDs cannot handle higher voltage. Most are designed to only run on somewhere around 2-4 volts, so if you power them with 12-15 you will fry them. The resistor brings it down to you don't fry the LED. The required resistance depends on the size and color of LED and on the power being supplied. A single 5mm red LED supplied 15v power would need around 650ohm resistor for max brightness, more to do it or reduce risk of burnout. green LED, however could get away with around 550ohm.

You can do an internet search and find online calculators that will tell you what you need. I use an app on my phone.

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Thanks vette-kid.....Interesting, I'm a Vette guy too !
 

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I used a 12v wall wart (tested it to make sure its a somewhat regulated 12 volts) and used 1k resistors ( plenty bright). I also used tri color LEDS so I could select the color displayed, but typically its red or green (4 lead LED"S) on the block control and bi color 2 lead LED's on the turnouts, with the LED typically wired in series with the switchmaster stall motor turnout machines.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I used a 12v wall wart (tested it to make sure its a somewhat regulated 12 volts) and used 1k resistors ( plenty bright). I also used tri color LEDS so I could select the color displayed, but typically its red or green (4 lead LED"S) on the block control and bi color 2 lead LED's on the turnouts, with the LED typically wired in series with the switchmaster stall motor turnout machines.
I looked at the LEDs I bought. They are 9 to 12 volt so i'm assuming I won't need resistors ? I bought a 12 volt wall wort for the LEDs on my control panel. I'm thinking about mounting the Atlas snap relays somewhere near the panel so I won't have to run wiring very far. ( the snap relays are only to light the LEDS) I'm planing on a separate power supply & a CDU for the 15 turn outs. Now I need to figure out what size wire I need for the LEDS & from the momentary toggles to the Atlas #63 switch machines !!!
 

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I don't know of any LED that will run off that voltage. At least in the sizes we are talking about. Unless they have resistors already wired to them (I've seen that). Post a picture, I'm sure we can help you out. It you can always try it, worst case you burn out an LED

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My guess is they will be too bright with whatever resistor is already connected to them. So you will probably need another resistor. Does it tell you what size resistor the LED's already have attached to them?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't know of any LED that will run off that voltage. At least in the sizes we are talking about. Unless they have resistors already wired to them (I've seen that). Post a picture, I'm sure we can help you out. It you can always try it, worst case you burn out an LED

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I don't know of any LED that will run off that voltage. At least in the sizes we are talking about. Unless they have resistors already wired to them (I've seen that). Post a picture, I'm sure we can help you out. It you can always try it, worst case you burn out an LED

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After looking at them closely, I can see that they have resistors already attached to them. By my meter, they appear to be 505 ohm ! They are so tiny it's hard to tell the color code !
I don't know of any LED that will run off that voltage. At least in the sizes we are talking about. Unless they have resistors already wired to them (I've seen that). Post a picture, I'm sure we can help you out. It you can always try it, worst case you burn out an LED

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Check how bright they are with the power supply you want to use, you may find another 500 ohms makes for a more pleasing result.
 

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Here's a turnout position indicator I tinkered together. I glued a small magnet on the actuator and a magnetic reed swtich positioned so that it's open or closed depending position of actuator. When the reed switch is open the green (through) arrow is on. When the magnet activates the reed switch, switch closed, the yellow (bypass) arrow is on. I really like being able to look at the layout and see the position of the turnouts at a glance. I tried to model it after actual indicators used on railroads. I'd be happy to share the circuit schematic if anyone is interested.

545579


545580


545581
 

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