Atlas code 83 switch : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

I was given a very nice looking code 83 switch that appears to be an Atlas. It has an insulated frog. Do these have the same DCC problems as the code 100 switches. It looks so good, I hate to fool with it if I don't have to to. I use All rail switches by choice.

Bill Rooke

-- Bill Rooke (, April 06, 2003


To make a long story short...Yes. All track switches made by basically any manufacturer can be improved.

The weakest link in the Atlas switches is the electrical connections to the point rails. 2nd weakest link is getting power to the closure rails themselves (between point rail hinge and frog). The connections through the rail points, or the lose hinge pivot or the factory bond connections embedded within the plastic tie frame are all problematic. Simply adding soldered on jumpers from the outside rails to closure rails and then soldering a flexible bond wire across the hinge area to wing rails will solve those problems. You can do this before you lay track. I do it by dropping down 22ga feeder wires from each rail piece to below the layout where they can be easily bonded to each other and/or connected to the track bus to ensure good electrical connections without having to solder the rail joiners.

There is little need to power the frog if you are using locos with multi-truck pick-up and the remaining rails are powered. DonV

-- Don Vollrath (, April 07, 2003.

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