Lionel’s Operating Track Controller (OTC)

Operating Track

The OTC can replace the pushbutton controllers for uncoupling and operating tracks in both the traditional and FasTrack lines.

With the Operating Track Controller (OTC), you’ll be able to control your uncoupling and operating uncoupling tracks from your TMCC or LEGACY cab. The OTC can handle either four uncoupling tracks, or two of the operating and uncoupling tracks used with animated rail cars like the horse car, milk car, etc.

Wiring the OTC

Like many of the other command control add-ons in this line, the OTC features two halves. One side connects to your operating and uncoupling tracks, the other to the power supply and command station. Let’s start with the power / command side. This wiring plan is the same as the ASC, AMC and BPC and any of these devices can be wired together in the daisy chain in any order. The OTC is designed to take 14V of constant AC voltage, like the rest of your accessories. The Amperage draw of the OTC and similar controllers is minimal.

OTC wiring

Connect the back end of the OTC to your command system, power supply and other controllers using the DAT/COM and A/U terminals as shown.

First, let’s connect our OTC to the command station. This is how your OTC will communicate with the TMCC or LEGACY base to relay signals from your cab to the tracks. The Command inputs require the use of a Command Base Cable (6-14191) which plugs into the computer terminal on your command base. Attach the Red wire to the “DAT” connection and the Green wire to the “COM” connection. This cable is only needed for the first controller in the chain. To connect additional controllers, use a Controller-to-Controller Cable (6-14193 or 6-14196). Attach those wires to the same terminals (the data connections do not have duplicate connectors due to the small diameter of wire required.)

Next lets install the power input. Note that this is different from your track power source! The power connections are very simple. These are the four terminals found in the lower right corner. Because you will be using a heavier gauge wire than with the data connections, we’ve provided a pair of “Hot” and “Ground” terminals connected internally. Connect the first “A” terminal to your 14V AC Hot and the first “U” to the AC Ground feed from your accessory power supply. Use the second “A” and “U” to connect to the next controller in the chain and so on.

For a review of these connections, just watch this brief video:

Wiring the Track Side

Each of your uncoupling tracks or operating tracks will be tied into the track side of the OTC. Before we can connect the OTC however, first we must make sure the operating and uncoupling tracks themselves are ready for the conversion. We’ve prepared separate videos and pages for you to help with this process.

Programming the OTC

To program the OTC, like other devices in the line, you must first remove the programming jumper plug on the side of the unit. Once that has been pulled, you can complete the process with your TMCC or LEGACY cab.

First we need to tell the OTC whether it is operating two operating uncoupling tracks or four simple uncoupling tracks.

  1. Press Accessory
  2. Press 98 for operating tracks or Press 99 for uncoupling tracks
  3. Press Set
  4. The green LED on the OTC will illuminate for one second to confirm the command.

Next we need to assign the OTC an address.

  1. Press Accessory
  2. Press 1 (or higher numbers for subsequent OTCs)
  3. Press Set
  4. The green LED on the OTC will illuminate for one second to confirm the command.

The OTC is wired, programmed and operated much like other controllers in the family.

If you have set the OTC for a pair of operating tracks, then the “1” address will assign accessory addresses 1 and 2 to the outputs. For the next OTC controller in the chain, you would enter a value of “3” for the address.

If you have the OTC set for four uncoupling tracks, then the “1” address will assign accessory addresses 1,2,3 and 4 to the outputs. For the next OTC controller in the chain, you would enter “5” for the address. And so on up the line.

When you have finished programming, replace the programming jumper plug. Your programming is saved and you’ll be back in run mode.

Operating the OTC

To work the operating tracks with your command control system, simply press the following:

  1. Accessory
  2. Address (1, 2, 3, etc.)
  3. Aux 1 (for uncoupling) or Aux 2 (for accessories) The magnet and rails will stay active for as long as you hold the button.

That’s it! If you have a railroad platform that is lined with accessory activation pushbuttons, you can probably already see the advantages of simplification possible with these OTC’s and your command control system.

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