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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I'm brand new here and just getting back into G scale model railroading after having our trains in storage for roughly 20 years. I'm running my trains outdoors through the month of December and I let them run pretty much all day and a little into the night (so a decent amount of run time despite only operating for 30 days). They are in our front yard so it's part of our holiday decorations (that's how I justify it to my wife at least). This is our second year doing this and to make things more interesting I decided to do a dog bone with reverse loops. We are running everything on regular old DC and our reverse loop worked great......until it didn't. After doing some research on this site it sounds like one of my reed switches welded shut. I was running two switch drives off of the 17100 which sounds like the main problem, and one of the switch motors was also powering the 12070 supplementary switch which also sounds like that may decrease the life of my switch motor. I've been working on next year's lay out and was wondering if running only one switch motor off of each 17100 would solve my problem or if there's anything more reliable than the current 17100 switches? Most of the posts that I'm digging through are well over 10 years old and I was hoping that something more reliable had come along. I was getting the impression from past posts that the 17100 switches weren't that great over all.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Two options come to mind if you want to buy something ready-made:
1. A direct replacement for the LGB 17100, hopefully more robust, like this:
or
2. Spend a bit more money and get rid of the reeds completely and use an analog reverse loop module, something like this:
 

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You can also let the reed switch trigger a much more robust relay and use that instead. That's what I do, but also use 555 timing chips to pulse the turnout motor for a couple seconds rather than just that fraction of a second when the reed is closed.

 

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I've used these without issue .
They can be hot glued into place inside of a truck or belly of a tank. just be careful not to break the glass if bending the wire.
If you're willing to wait you can pick them up for 30 cent each from china.
 

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What Todd said, reed switches are fragile beasts, best suited to switching logic levels, not inductive loads. You might get away with it for a while, but why not build bulletproof the first time?

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the wealth of knowledge. Sounds like I have some options. I was preferring to buy something pre-made, but seeing as how I may need several more of these in the future and with the components being relatively cheap, I may just take a day and build 10 of them or so. Plus I could add the relay to them to increase their durability.

The DIMax reverse loop looks interesting. I blew it off earlier because I thought it was just for DCC but after looking at it more closely it seems like it may be a good solution.
 

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If you ever use DC power to the track, the reverse loop must have DC capability, not all of them have this.
 
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