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ART-5475 Tips

Aristo ART-5475 Tips

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photo of 5475Aristo has finally released the ART-5475 Turnout Control Receiver. I've been waiting for this puppy for over 2 years. It didn't come out quite the way that I expected it, but it is still a useful accessory. The photo is of a pre-production unit, the production version comes in a black case.

The ART-5475 is designed to operate five turnouts, one on each output. The earlier ART-5474 receiver would operate two turnouts among other accessories. Several users have tried to run more than one motor from an output of the 5474, usually with poor results. The 5474 just didn't have the power to drive more than one motor at a time and it either wouldn't work or it would fail.

Since running two motors together is a common desire (like at both ends of a passing siding), the 5475 has been designed to accommodate some forms of multiple motor control. It can still drive only one motor per output, but it can operate multiple outputs in sequence in a limited fashion. The A and B outputs can be operated together. The D and E outputs can be operated together. Or, all 5 outputs can be run in sequence. The 5475 handles the load of multiple motors by driving them sequentially instead of simultaneously. It is also possible to operate all five outputs independently.

I tested the 5475 with five test motors, three LGB motors, one with a 1203 accessory contact installed, and two Aristo motors. The 5475 is capable of driving all of them.

In independent mode, the 5475 flips one of five turnouts with each press of the A through E buttons. Press the button and a turnout flips, press it again, and the turnout flips back.

In the sequential mode, the A button flips the A and B motors. The B button also flips the A and B motors, but the B motor flips first. The C button flips all five motors. The D button flips the D, then the E motor. The E button flips the E and then the D motor.

Note that the current (through 1999) version of the ART-5475 DOES NOT have a scanning receiver so that it will work with the 10 channel Train Engineer ONLY on frequency #1.

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The 5475 has only two programming modes, independent and sequential. Programming is similar to other TE receivers. Press the A button on a transmitter and the Code Set button on the 5475 and the independent mode is selected. Press the C button on the transmitter and the Code Set button on the 5475 and the sequential mode is selected.

There is no "double touch" mode like the 5474 so that only one 5475 can be handled by each TE transmitter channel. The older familiar TE transmitter can generate 20 different codes, so it can drive up to 20 different 5475's. The new transmitter generates only 10 codes on each of 10 different RF frequency so that multiple transmitters on different frequencies do not jam each other like the older one frequency transmitters do. However, since the 5475 does not have scanning capability, it can hear the new transmitter only on frequency #1. Therefore, the new transmitter can only drive 10 of the present production 5475's for a total of 50 turnouts. Assuming that a newer version of the 5475 with a scanning receiver is released sometime in the future, then the system could handle 500 turnouts.

Personally, I use the double touch control available on the 5474 with very good effect. I control 23 different routes of an interlocked route control system on one transmitter code. I'll miss that capability on the 5475.

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Power Sources

The instructions indicate that the 5475 can run from 5 to 18 volts DC. The unit itself indicates that it can run from 5 to 16 VDC or VAC. I tested it only with DC.

I found that the unit worked from 4 to 18 volts in the independent mode with no apparent loss of motor power even at the very low input voltages. One of the Aristo motors was typically balky and I found that if I held the control button down, it would kick over in pulses a little at a time until the motor finally made it all the way.

In sequential mode, the story is a little different. At voltage above 12 or 13 volts, the unit became unreliable, see the comments on unusual behavior below. Sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn't. Between 4 and 12 volts it seemed to work fine.

I did test a production 5475 on DCC track power (at 22 volts) and it ran fine in independent mode even though this is above its rated operating voltage. The sequential mode didn't work well at the high input voltage.

The unit draws between 10 and 15 mA while idling, but it draws about an amp for half a second or so while the internal storage capacitors recharge.

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Unusual Behavior

I did notice one odd characteristic with the 5475 when running in sequential mode. When the one balky Aristo motor was misbehaving, one of the LGB motors would flip in its turn, but flip back during the Aristo's motor's turn. I tried moving the motors between the outputs, but the characteristic remained. When the Aristo motor was operating properly, the LGB motor operated properly. There is something a little odd going on during the sequenced operation. This effect was most pronounced at the higher input voltages, at less than 12 volts, the problem didn't occur.

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Output Converter Circuits

The ART-5475 can be used to trigger sound systems but it requires some adaptive circuitry to make it work. The D and E outputs of the ART-5474 is designed for this, however, if you have handy is a 5475 then you can make it work.

relay converterThis is the low tech solution that used a small relay. Any kind will work, a reed relay is preferred due to the low coil current draw. The resistor is there to make up the difference between the relay's coil voltage and the output pulse (usually about 20 volts) but most relays with a coil voltage of 12 volts or greater will work well enough without it. Each pulse of the ART-5475 will close the relay and trigger the sound system. You can't "play" the sound like you can with the ART-5474, but you can trigger a pre-programmed sound.

opto converterThis is a slightly different version of the same circuit. It uses a 4N33 (or equivalent) optoisolator and suffers from the same operational limitations as the relay version.

schematic diagram of twin coil switch machineThe outputs of the 5475 can be used to drive twin coil switch machines such as Atlas or the non-EPL LGB motors with the addition of just two diodes. Each diode shorts out one coil for each polarity of the output of the 5475 so that only the other coil gets energized. Also, you only need to route two wires to the motor instead of the more traditional three wires.

If you use slow motion stall type machines, you will need to use separate relays with their coils wired like the switch machine coils in the figure to activate the machine. You also need to wire the machine to complete its own cycle. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for information on how to wire the machine to work with a momentary contact. You can also use an Atlas Snap Relay to drive a stall motor.

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© 1999-2002 George Schreyer
Created June 2, 1999
Last Updated March 5, 2002