Operating LGB electric switches without official switch boxes? (answered)

-bbbb

-bbbb

Registered
21 Dec 2017
277
66
Idaho
I picked up a couple of second hand LGB electric switches and have questions:
my_photo-312.jpg

I think these are 1205 and 1215(not totally certain). I don't have the official switch box or converters typically used with these and am wondering what it would take to operate them by rigging something myself. I'm not using a multi train system. I read the manual and couldn't find any information about what kind of voltage or current these switches need to operate. I don't think I'll be getting official switch boxes or converters. Has anyone set up their own control system for these? What voltages/currents can I use for these without damaging them? Do they take a pulse signal (how long of a pulse)? Any other insight anyone can offer on these would be helpful as this is my first pair.

thanks
 
Last edited:
Gizzy

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
32,844
528
Cambridgeshire
www.gscalecentral.net
You need around 18V Ac, and a momentary on-off-on double switch, and a pair of diodes to half wave rectify the AC and drive the motors which are DC.

I have used the Gaugemaster GM511 available here in the UK, but this might not help you in Idaho....

 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
24,890
1,050
Tamworth, Staffs.
As Gizzy say's..

But i would start by asking what power do you have available? - You need around 18V and it can be AC or DC. From there, it is just a bit of wiring and a switch (add two diodes, if you are using an AC supply.

Tell us what you have got, and we will supply a diagram.. :)
 
-bbbb

-bbbb

Registered
21 Dec 2017
277
66
Idaho
Thanks guys.

I'm using a playmobil transformer which has a 16 volt DC output and I believe an 18 volt AC output labelled "AC accessories" on the side as well.
s-l1600.jpg


I think I may have some of those toggle switches in my garage. More specifics on what kind of diodes I need would also help.
 
korm kormsen

korm kormsen

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,505
60
you need a 16 volt AC or stronger transformer 2 pushbuttons, two diodes per turnout.

look:
 
-bbbb

-bbbb

Registered
21 Dec 2017
277
66
Idaho
I take it that I need 'momentary' push buttons. The question then is, how long of a moment is too long? For example, if someone holds the button down, how long would it take to damage the switch? Also still wondering about diode specifics.
 
P

playmofire

Registered
23 Oct 2010
6,812
185
North Yorks
I take it that I need 'momentary' push buttons. The question then is, how long of a moment is too long? For example, if someone holds the button down, how long would it take to damage the switch? Also still wondering about diode specifics.
The outlets on the Playmobil controller if connected to the LGB switch box will work fine. I have used a switch box connected to two MN1604 batteries wired in series to give 18v - actually less than this as they had been used before for other things - and it worked fine.

How long is too long? "Momentary" mean just that - press and let go (the button/switch is sprung to spring back automatically. Hold it too long, and you can hear the point motor clicking away.
 
Bill Barnwell

Bill Barnwell

Registered
30 Sep 2017
686
176
75
Ormond Beach, Fl
I use laptop power packs that put out 18VDC and a double pole center off momentary switch, and it works wekk
 

Attachments

korm kormsen

korm kormsen

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,505
60
being "halved" AC, and not DC, one can keep the finger on the button for quite a long time. makes some noise in the switchmotor, but doesn't burn it. (at least not in the time, you need to get tired of the noise.)
i used simple doorbell buttons.
i use various diodes. (what i could get locally) the smallest read: RL207 KI the biggest: IN5408 KD (and other numbers between these extremes)
they all seem to work. i dont remember to have had to replace a diode since when i started in 1970...
 
FatherMcD

FatherMcD

Registered
13 Mar 2014
53
16
Idaho
I like Bill's idea. At last a practical use for those old laptop power supplies I seem to accumulate! I actually built a external diode matrix to attach to an old LGB control box so it would operate some new EPL switch machines. I bought the LGB control not realizing it was an older version that would not operate my EPL switch machines. The diode matrix was my attempt to salvage a bad buying decision. While the matrix worked, I should have just put the control box back up on evilbay.
 
korm kormsen

korm kormsen

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,505
60
... I actually built a external diode matrix to attach to an old LGB control box so it would operate some new EPL switch machines. ...
in the LGB manual is a description, how to adapt old (DC) switchmotors to the (AC) epl system.
Edit: WRONG! it is only about connecting old motors to new controlboxes. i must have read about the adaption somewhere else.



the old power supplies i use for lighting of buildings.
 
Last edited:
AppleYankee

AppleYankee

Registered
25 Nov 2016
22
3
Maine, USA
D62B6672-5E84-45CB-A91D-1D99EC29EB5B.gif
Ive used this method for years. There are over twenty LGB switch motors on my layout and I’ve not had any trouble with them. I use IN4001 switching diodes.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
24,890
1,050
Tamworth, Staffs.
If you have two push-buttons (one for each direction) they can be easier to source (as they are just single-pole, like the button for a door-bell) and you can arrange for them to be in the correct position on a diagram of your track. - So you push the button for the route (direction) you wish your loco to go.

Yes, they are capacitors, on the improved version. - Note they are a little like diodes, in that they are polarity sensitive!
 
korm kormsen

korm kormsen

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,505
60
Why do you have two push buttons for one switch motor?
as Phil explained, it is foolsafe. i painted/colourcoded the buttons.
and... when i implemented that, the next shop for electronic components was in another country. bellbuttons already existed locally (meaning only 300 miles away)
 
AppleYankee

AppleYankee

Registered
25 Nov 2016
22
3
Maine, USA
C4B55F5E-871C-4AA9-A813-9EE062105098.jpeg

I use toggle switches, momentary ON - OFF - ON. They are mounted in the track diagram.

The wiring is pretty simple. The wires on the left go to the momentary switches, the diodes are in the middle and the wire on the right goes to the LGB switch motor.

55107BED-551A-4EA1-9A45-3A4B703845EE.jpeg

My wiring is all color coded (I use the standard resistor color code, ie. switch 1’s wire is brown, switch 2’s is red) to help in troubleshooting.

E9858B90-AD09-4841-8E6C-8091F72C6ECE.jpeg
You can see the various colors. To get higher than the colors for 0 - 9, I change the color of the spade connector and start the sequence again.
 
Last edited: