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Product Spotlight - Gaugemaster Universal Relay Switch

Image of CRAIG WEATHERLEY.CRAIG WEATHERLEY looks at the uses for the new Universal Relay Switch in the Gaugemaster Electrics range.

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The big release at our 2014 Open Weekend was the GM500 Universal Relay Switch.

GM500.

Put simply it is a relay on a printed circuit board. The Relay switch is rated at 30v DC and is quite happy to take up to 2 amp worth of power.

These units are simple and cheap at around a fiver, but the stuff it can do is out of this world. Below are a couple of ways this unit can be used, and we may explore further uses in future articles.

  • SIGNALS – The Universal Relay Switch can be used for signal control and can control all makes of signals – Train Tech, Eckon and Berko etc. It is not powered from a transformer - all that is powering it is the pulse from a point motor when the point is thrown. The unit can be powered with a GMC-CDU in the circuit or without depending on your preferences. it has has been designed for use with any solonoid point motor.
  • POLARITY CHANGE – With a lot of point motors you will find that you need the desired accessory switch to go with the motor to change the polarity of the point. You don't with the Universal Relay Switch, all you need to do is connect into the same circuit as the point motor - whether its Hornby, Peco, Fleishmann or Roco - it doesn’t really matter, it will change polarity on any point motor out there. Those modellers who take electrics further the universal relay switch could even be used for a auto reverse module using reed switches.

Overall I personally think this product is a brilliant idea, it is simple and easy to wire up. In the pictures below you can see the relay in a simple circuit to show how to run signals from the unit.

URS 04.
The power of the Universal Relay Switch for signal control can be shown by using this simple demo layout.

URS 02.
Currently the point is set straight (as shown by the glowing buffer light) and the signal is set to green.

URS 03.
The switch is then toggled which throws the point (the other buffer light is now on) and also changes the signal to red, this is achieved with one switch and one relay.

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This Universal Relay Switch is available as GM500, a single item, or as BPGM500 a Value Bulk Pack of three.

I will be demonstrating this unit on the Gaugemaster stand at RMwebLive on 13th - 14th September 2014 as well as at the Warley show on 22nd - 23rd November 2014, see our Events Page for more details, and we hope to see you there.

Craig works in our sales office so you may have spoken to him on the phone. He has a vast depth of knowledge of model railway electrics!

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