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Discussion Starter #1
I just purchased two of these switch machines and a couple of Peco #6 turnouts to add a passing siding in a platform area on the second tier of my layout.

Has anyone used these Walthers machines on their layout, and how do you like them?

 

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I have 7 of them in the HO and N line(I think the controller, from the last time I looked, has one more connection, and then, I'll need another card, which isn't a big deal honestly). I like them very, very much,with the exception of having to work "under" the layout to install and adjust them(rotozip with router bits to the rescue).

They are nice because they have additional outputs on them(the actual machine) for active signaling and the like(there's more, but I had to contact walthers, to even wrap my head around the signaling, and it's ease of install and use)... You can also power other things from the actual machine also.

Each of mine, are it's own address, and controlled/powered with the cab. If you have any detailed questions, just pm me, as I haven't seen anyone else using them (at least no one ever commented as far as I know, it when I asked), but who knows... But they actually lend themselves to some pretty interesting ideas and uses.

But I can install and get them going in my sleep now... I didn't install them in my yard (not yet at least), as I wanted to try ground throws, and, the yard is directly in front of me, so easy to reach.. Not too mention, my local store, for some reason are being goofballs and haven't ordered any more...

*** I also have the original vertical version ***

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

The control of entry and exit signals and having an on-board decoder is what caught my eye.

I'll be using Viessmann Deutsche-Bahn entry and exit signals with this passing siding, so that capability is really going to work out well for me.

 

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Yes, that decoder is what originally captured me(the ability to just call it up by number in the control, not having to move an inch, is very appealing to me). That and it being servo operated.


The signaling is "sweet", and for now, I only have a couple ground signals on the main, but ultimately, I want to bring into the layout a cantilever signal bridge, and some yard signaling. That's where I think it will be most useful. But I want to buy the booster first before expanding into heavy signaling(and a little block detection)..

For both your needs, I am sure you will find them capable and up to task...

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I haven't used those, but conceptually they are very similar to the mini servo system sold by Tam Valley Depot, which I really like.

As with anything, there is a bit of a learning curve, but you should have good luck with those.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
They use a lever action snap switch with a common, NO, and NC terminal. Hook up the red aspect and the green aspect to whichever terminals you need the indicators for and route them to a voltage source and that's it. The servo arm actuates the lever on the snap switch as the servo rotates.

Couldn't be more simple. So easy a caveman could do it.

I use the signals not just for the realism, but they tell me which position the points are in for my own benefit so I don't route a train into a closed turnout or allow a train into a full siding.

 

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They use a lever action snap switch with a common, NO, and NC terminal. Hook up the red aspect and the green aspect to whichever terminals you need the indicators for and route them to a voltage source and that's it. The servo arm actuates the lever on the snap switch as the servo rotates.

Couldn't be more simple. So easy a caveman could do it.

I use the signals not just for the realism, but they tell me which position the points are in for my own benefit so I don't route a train into a closed turnout or allow a train into a full siding.

Very cool.. And the servo connections I was thinking would make it easier. I just am/ was a little nervous about doing it. I guess I just need to buy a couple signals and try to connect them. And that was my purpose also(to have a visual indicator which one was open and which was closed). I am thinking I will do the two main switches that connect to the main. The others aren't that important, especially just to start.

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Discussion Starter #10
I really needed them because I can't see these two turnouts the signals are indicating.

Think of this as two separate circuits. The snap switches are mechanically controlled by the servos (servo arms) that throw the points. They are not electrically linked. Only mechanically.

Sort of like a mechanical relay instead of an electrical one. Turn one circuit on and another actuates too.

I hate trying to post videos on this forum.

 

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Hmmmnnn.. That makes sense, stated that way. Basically you're saying that one actuates the other(mechanically and not electrically) . It was basically the hook up to the actual light/ signal that concerned me, as the servo connectors, to the switch machine, those are easy. But the connection to the signals with its wiring is/ was what made me shy away(the myriad of wires that I dealt with on programming my crossing signal to the decoder was fun.. SIKE....). But after seeing yours, I'm going to try(yours looks awesome!)!!!


And actually, I am in the same situation for my far point(across the table) that I cannot see (I tend to stand up and strain my eyes to see which direction it is moving when I throw it).


I just have to decide now if I want to do the regular signals or the ground signals. But it makes more sense, just for their "need" to buy the signals on a stand.....

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They use a lever action snap switch with a common, NO, and NC terminal. Hook up the red aspect and the green aspect to whichever terminals you need the indicators for and route them to a voltage source and that's it. The servo arm actuates the lever on the snap switch as the servo rotates.

Couldn't be more simple. So easy a caveman could do it.

I use the signals not just for the realism, but they tell me which position the points are in for my own benefit so I don't route a train into a closed turnout or allow a train into a full siding.

Hi Michael,

I finally got around to buying the extension cables, and am going to try and do a "test" led on the ground(I think that should be the common) and one of three other two colors. I honestly have put this off out of fear, as crazy as that sounds.

I have, in the last couple days watched tons of videos in the BD20, Aiu,jmri block detection method, and I think that is what has all along scared me to death. But.. If I don't try it, I will not progress.

What are your thoughts as I could use any tips you could give. Do you think that is a good way to try it out?

Thanks,
D



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Discussion Starter #13
I can't elaborate on the block detection methods as I haven't gotten into that yet. My signals are just for the station siding controlled by the rotation of the cam mounted to the servo on the turnout machine.

The one block semaphore I have is actuated magnetically by reed switches between the rails and a small powerful Earth magnet on the bottom of the locomotives. Those lamps are constantly on though and the color is controlled by the position of the semaphore arm using a filter and a shield.

Please let me know how this works out.
 

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I can't elaborate on the block detection methods as I haven't gotten into that yet. My signals are just for the station siding controlled by the rotation of the cam mounted to the servo on the turnout machine.

The one block semaphore I have is actuated magnetically by reed switches between the rails and a small powerful Earth magnet on the bottom of the locomotives. Those lamps are constantly on though and the color is controlled by the position of the semaphore arm using a filter and a shield.

Please let me know how this works out.
Ok, this is a tentative feedback.. I connected the LED to the output of the connection cable(I only connected one, as I was in the middle of soldering something), and it lit. My goal today is to either connect two led to the output, or pick up a signal and just connect it tentatively. I really didn't want to do the latter, as of course it's much more expensive if something goes wrong and is burned out.

So the initial fear is pretty much gone, and now I am in the curiosity stage. I'll let you know how it turns out later.

D



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Well, got them installed. But its weird. They are lighting in reverse(when the switch is in the position, that the main is open for traffic, the signal is showing red, but when it's closed and traffic can come off the main from one of the spurs, iit is showing green), and I cannot right them with the machine. Im kind of just talking it add I can at the moment, because it's been a long time that I have wanted signals. St least they are installed. I know it will bug me to death and sooner or later, I will have to figure out how to get it working correctly.


I tried reversing the power wires on the switch and the power wires coming into the machine. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to reverse the servo movement. That would solve it..

Anyhow, here are the pics in the interim.


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Discussion Starter #16
You know there are two switches on the switch machine, right?

Switch the wires from one switch to the other. That should solve the problem.

Are you trying to wire both lamps to the same snap switch?
 

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Mnnnn. I wired them differently. I connected it to the plug output of the machine. I actually ended up simply turning the machine around, which solved it. The switch control is the connector on the right in the picture(labeled red, org,brwn).

And actually, yes I did notice the two switches on the sides of the machine. Is that what you wired yours to?


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Yes. One indicator to each switch.
You have to take a picture for me of your setup. I think I have a good idea of what your saying, but a picture is worth a thousand words.

I still have 3 other switch machines, and the mechanical switch going into the yard, that would be nice to have a signal on.

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I have 5 of these machines. I too would like to install a signal light (two light, red-green) on the layout at each turnout. Could maybe someone make a quick sketch of the switch machine and indicate which pins are to be used to control the signal lights? Thanks in advance.... JOHN
 
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