1. Function of switch decoders If locomotives are operated on PIKO model rail layouts under a digital system, the next step is obviously to operate switches (points or turnouts), signals, lamps and other electric units digitally as well. For this purpose the products in question must be connected to a switch decoder which converts the digital control data to analogue current impulses (electromagnetic accessories) or to a constant current (electric units).
2. Electromagnetic accessories Switches (points or turnouts), signals and other products whose function is controlled by a magnet are known as electromagnetic accessories. The analogue control voltage is switched to and fro between two connections. Power is used only very briefly until the electromagnetic accessory has carried out its switching function.
3. Electric units Lamps, motors or other products which require power permanently once they are switched on are known as electric units. The switch decoder operates via a switching contact to supply constant power to output 1 or 2. This means that two lamps can be operated simultaneously: when one of them is on the other is switched off and vice versa. Or a single lamp can be switched on and off.
4. Technical description The switch decoders can be used in DCC digital systems made by PIKO and Uhlenbrock (or other manufacturers) as well as in Motorola digital systems. The switch decoders can be controlled through all the addresses issued by the various control units. The PIKO Digi Power Box supports the addresses 1 - 2040 in DCC format. Control units made by other manufacturers use an address area in Motorola format between 1 and 256 and in DCC format again between 1 and 2040. Switch decoder for: • Electromagnetic accessories # 55030 • Electric units # 55031 For DCC and Motorola Digital systems
5. Decoder for electromagnetic accessories # 55030 This decoder switches two independent double coil drives on impulse. Double coil drives are two electromagnetic accessories with one drive each (points, signals) or one electromagnetic accessory with two drives (3 way switch, double slip switch, signal with warning signal or similar). An address can be allocated to each of the two electromagnetic accessories. The two electromagnetic accessory addresses can be chosen freely. They must however be different from each other. The connection of the digital power supply and the electromagnetic accessory is shown in figure 1. Technical data: 2 exits each for one double coil drive with two allocatable addresses, maximum current drawn 2 A short circuit protected). 6. Switch decoder for electric units # 55031 This switch decoder has two potential-free switch contacts, which can switch two electric units independently of each other such as e.g. lamps or a light signal. Each of the electric units can be allocated a freely chosen address. The addresses must have different values. The connection of the digital power and the electric units to be operated is shown in figure 2.