Remote Turnout Control Product Recommendation Questions

Discussion in 'Layout Electronics' started by TenWheeler, Dec 22, 2023.

  1. TenWheeler

    TenWheeler Member

    I am trying to decided a which way to go on replacing my Atlas turnout control boxes.

    I am wondering if anyone has input and or experiences with these products?

    Option 1. Barrett Hill Shop, Touch Triggers, with the LED drivers for signals. Simple but no DCC control with this setup.

    Option 2. Digitrax SD74, quad switch stationary decoder, with Digitrax DSXC4, input interconnect board, and Digitrax DSXCP1, facia mount switch control device, or Berrett Hill Shop, Touch Triggers, for push button control and snap relays for signal lights. DCC control and more complicated setup.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2023
    Sirfoldalot likes this.
  2. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    The use of decoders using DCC to control switches present problems.

    One has to use the throttle to access the switch decoder while at the same time trying to control the motion of a locomotive.

    In my opinion, the simpler the switch position control, the better.

    Based on your mention of Atlas turnout control boxes, is one to assume you have the snap action switch motors connected to your switches?

    If so, the snap action motors limit your ability to use other control devices other than momentary contact electrical switches.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2024
    Sirfoldalot likes this.
  3. TenWheeler

    TenWheeler Member

    Yes, I am using Atlas solenoid switch machines mainly because I have them on had and there under table switch machines fit where as the tortoise switch machines are to bulky. But there are some good options out there for controlling solenoid switch machines that replace the Atlas switch controllers and to help prevent switch burn out.

    I think I am leaning more to the simpler setup which would be the Barrett Hill Shop's Snap Action Base with Touch Toggles They have a variety of Touch Toggles. I am looking at the 2 light toggles green/red. This is also a good solution for layouts with a mix of switch machines types. They also have LED light drivers which plugs in between the Touch Toggle and Switch Machine Base. These can drive LED dwarf signals, etc. using the bases power supply. This look like a very good system and they have a lot of products. Touch Toggles can be triggered though glass so they suggested attaching them to the inside of a picture frame.

    The other option I was looking at is Digtirax SD74 quad switch decoder. It can control 4 Solenoid or 4 Stall switch machines and it has pins for pull button control. To make connecting the pull buttons easier you can plug a DSXC4 into the 10 pin header and then plug 4 DSXCP1s into the DSXC4. The DSXCP1 is fascia mount push button with 2 LED lights. Now instead of using DSXCP1 Barret Hill has Touch Triggers that are Touch Toggles which are compatible with the DSXC4 and other DCC push button products. So if I use the Touch Triggers I can go with the picture frame control panels to trow switches or DCC throttle or a tablet via JMRI web interface. But this option brings up some concerns and questions. It's more complex, For JMRI control the PC will have to be running, How stable is this setup? Will I be constantly tinkering with it? And cost. Now one of the advantages of the DCC setup is that it does make the using Model Train Technology Fiber Optic dwarf signals simpler to use.

    This is one of those. Hmm which way do I go. Or do I use one for main and the other for the branch line. And after a using them for a bit see which one I prefer.
    Sirfoldalot likes this.
  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Of the two basic options you are considering, I would prefer the Barrett Hill solution.

    Much simpler and not reliant on computer or throttles.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2024
  5. TenWheeler

    TenWheeler Member

    Thanks for the replay. I think I am leaning simple also.

    With Barrett Hill no software configuring, just plug in and attach wires. I think they said you can run up 8 switch machines and 8 LED drives from one power supply. Very easy and simple way to control switches and signals and you get control panel with lights. And they are a few more tricks you can do like using the splitters so one Touch Toggle can control two things. They also have multiple toggles to one turnout with status staying consistent. I was also look at using there relay base to control power to my round house stalls. I would use the single light Touch Toggle for this.

    The other thing about the Barrett Hill solution is that it works will with the Azatrax D2T Automatic Turnout Control. You can have the D2T send it Switch machine pulse to a Pulse Follower Adapter plugged into a switch control base. This way you turnout status in consistent.

    There is some pretty cool stuff out there.

    Now the reason for getting away from the Atlas controls. I have notice a lack of reliable turnout status. Going to a light based status with track diagram and dwarf signals should help prevent unwanted derails at turnouts. (we will see)

    Maybe I need to start documenting my solutions with installations?

    After I get my turnouts under control semaphore are next.

Share This Page