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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a Atlas track kit that included 2 remote snap switches and buttons to control them but no wiring diagram. First off the buttons seem sort of well... cheap. What is a good replacement and then how are they wired to the switch? I will be changing to DCC in the near future so I need to allow for this also.
 

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Some of our more experienced people aren't really fond of atlas switches, but I'll let them tell you about that.

Regardless, here is a quick diagram for you.
Good luck and have fun.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I've seen the comments on the Atlas switches but they came with a set sooooooo.... Thanks for the diagram!
 

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well, just because the the switches came in with a set doesn't mean you have to use them. i guess in a pinch or as temporary solution those can be used, or if one doesn't care for good looking control panel. while i'm sure they do work, to me those "controllers" look to ugly.

and as far as turnouts themself, i don't like atlas either. they don't look good (unrealistic big blob of switch machine) and don't preform that well either. switchet to peco turnouts and while they are couple bucks more expensive i'm wondering why i ever bothered with atlas...

just my 0.02
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree they arent working so well but I did look at some of the PECO stuff today as suggested on here and now I have this question. Whats the differance in switches, wyes and turnouts, electro frog and insul frog?
 

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I have used Atlas snapswitches on my first test oval and the conclusion is...neither the controls or the turnouts are worthed installing specially if you want a long term service.However,I have to say that the turnouts do work acceptably (regardless of their terrible looks) and haven't failed me for the time I've used them...BUT...make sure you don't handle them more than necessary,those whisker size wires break very easily from the coil and good luck if you try to solder them back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Peco insul frog turnouts ordered today, should be here next week. Foam bought and cut today. Should pick up the Zephyr tomorrow. Maybe a new DCC Loco from the SAMRA show next weekend. Going on a train ride in the Texas Hill Country this Saturday for our 1st anniversary.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Picked up the DCC..They talked me into the Super Empire Builder instead of the Zephyr because of the Amperage. Not sure I'll ever need it but if I do it'll be there!
 

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Great!I'm not saying that the Zephyr is not a great system...IT IS.However,and that's my philosophy with cars for instance,when you buy bottom line you get bottom line.You stand the chance of being sorry you didn't buy "better" right from the start.
OK,you probably will never need the extra power unless you do run multiple trains but the Empire Builder has all the functionalities you may wish to use.On the long run I believe you'll be glad you did buy this system.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Money is an issue but like Brakeman said you get what you pay for and the guy told me that the Zephyr would always be under powered. Besides it was a trade! :D
 

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Money is an issue but like Brakeman said you get what you pay for and the guy told me that the Zephyr would always be under powered. Besides it was a trade! :D
i don't want to make you feel bad about the purchase, you sure got nice system, but to say zephyr is underpowered? it will run at least 4-5 locos, probably more. but i guess it will not be enough to run 20 of them and will always be 150$ underpowered, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The guy at the train shop must be on commissions then. He told me 3 trains with sound would be pushing it! Oh well I got an upgrade on my DCC rather than a few more rolling stock and accessories. Who knows.... maybe I'll win the lottery one day and invite all of you guys down for a work week on my new layout!!!
 

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if I am using Atlas code 83 track, are PECO turnouts compatible. If not, how would I make them compatible?
 

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Any thoughts regarding Shinohara turnouts? I just got back from a disappointing day at the train store (where my very first train set didn't come in today and it was supposed to) where the owner was telling me that he uses the PECO, but that is only because he owns a train store and can get them much cheaper. He pointed me towards the Shinohara turnouts ($10 cheaper) and told me that these are very similar and that I would be just as happy with them... any thoughts?
 

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we talking code100 right?
i have both. they are probably cheaper due to shinohara being used as i'm quite sure they no longer being made for years.. performance is superb but be prepared to put in work to modify the shinoharas if you plan on doing DCC. actually plan on modifying them in either case.
 
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