Please advise on the best way to wire in a direction change switch
What's the best way to wire in a track direction switch when I start to wire my track? I found a switch at Home Depot that has on-off-on functions, however I cannot wrap my brain around how to make this work with my rudimentary knowledge of electronics.
There are only 3 places on this switch to attach wires, however it seems to me that there are two wires from every power supply? Do I need a different switch? I like the idea of being able to turn the power off with the same switch so I don't have to unplug the laptop power supply I'm using.
you need a 6 pin switch on/on. check out radio shack.
use the center 2 pins as plus and minus input.
wire the right side the same as the center.
so lets say you have
in the center
then the right side is
for the right 2 pins.
for the left side. you flip it
so the 6 pins from left to right look like
if you use red and black wires then when you make the connection at the swap point you wire the top left and right - and + together
and the bottom left and right + and - together.
because the switch is on/on but the left contacts are separate from the right contacts the power will only flow from the center 2 pins to either the left or the right and not short so when you have the switch in the left position power will flow normally. when in the right position power will be reversed.
in reality all you have done is have the power come in normally through the center 2 pins, go out the same way from the right side. but on the left side you reversed the wire connections to the track thus you have a direction change switch.
Here is a schematic for one lane. There should be a separate double pole double throw (DPDT) switch for each lane. If you to use just one switch located before the driver's stations you could reverse all of the lanes at once, but most electronic controllers would only work in one direction.
Thanks for all the quick replies everyone. So as I understand it, if I only want to have one switch to control both lanes direction at once, and if I only use standard Tomy and Parma Turbo controllers, I should place the switch between my power source and the controllers?
I can't see myself ever needing an electronic controller, as I've never used one and don't really know what they're for anyways!
Wait a minute... What happens with electronic controllers with standard tomy track when the power supply direction is reversed? Do the controller leads have to be swapped? Why cant you just put the power direction switch upstream of ALL controller wiring? If it is the brakes thing, couldnt it be done by using a TPDT switch, or for 2 lanes being switched, a 4PDT switch?
In your case you can put a single DPDT switch just after the power supply. When you flip the switch power will go the other way through the controllers. With most electronic controllers power can only go in one direction, having switches after the controllers beats this problem. If you only run one type of car resistor controllers work well. If you run a variety of cars from boxstock Thunderjets to high performance inline magnet cars a single controller will not be ideal, you might need as many as four controllers with ohm values from 15 to 120 ohms. A single electronic controller can work well with any sort of car and can be fine tuned with brake, sensitivity and sometimes even coast controls.