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Adding Push Button Control to the PSX-AR

by Don Fiehmann


The PSX-AR automatic reverser is a very reliable and simple way to control polarity in a loop or wye. On my layout I have two of them, one at each end of the layout. On the east end the direction through the loop is set by a spring switch. On the west end the direction is set with a switch using a Tortoise and controlled by the PSX-AR.

The normal setting puts you into the loop in a clockwise direction. The clockwise direction is needed due to the way the three storage tracks are setup in the loop When a train exits the loop the turnout is set to the reverse position by the PSX-AR. For the next train to enter the loop correctly the turnout needs to be set back to normal. The turnout can be controlled with an accessory command via the PSX-AR and set to normal with a cab (throttle).

A red/green LED near the switch in series with the Tortoise does a good job of indicating the switch position. One of the problems is the small “operator” type cabs and throttles do not have control of accessory commands. Even with the larger cabs, it would be quicker to have a simple push-button near the switch to return it to normal. Looking over the PSX-AR instruction I did not find any options for adding push-button control.


My first solution was to have a push-button switch that removed the power from the PSX-AR and when power returned the switch would come up in the normal position. But I also wanted to be able to have control of the reverse position.

Then came my second solution that gave control of both positions. I like simple solutions and this one qualifies for that category. Three pieces of wire and two push-button switches is all that is required. The way this works is the push-button switch put a short between either of the rails of the loop and one of the rails feeding the loop. This causes the PXS-AR to instantly reverse the rail polarity and also throw the switch. If the normal and reverse is backwards when you connect the wires, simply reverse the wires to the PSX-AR.

Use good quality push-button switches as they will momentarily carry the short circuit current.

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