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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Only Trains / LGB Knowledge Database, your online source for answers to your questions about using LGB, LGB TOYTRAIN and Lehmann Toy products. There are two easy ways to find what you want. Search by category or term.

Search FAQs:

EPL Switches FAQs

Do LGB signals and switches run on AC or DC?
The EPL drives used to operate LGB switches and signals operate on half-rectified AC. This is similar to DC power, but different enough to cause problems if you try to use regular DC power.

To get that half-rectified AC, you need an appropriate AC transformer, like the LGB 51080/51081, plus one of these:
- a 51750 EPL Control Box
- a 17100 EPL Track Contact
- a 55025 MTS Switch Decoder (for Multi-Train System layouts only)

For more information, see Knowledge Database 1066. Also, instructions for the 51750 and 55025 are available in the "Products" section at

Faq No: 1186
How can I control two EPL drives using just one terminal pair on a 55025 MTS Switch Decoder?
To set two EPL drives simultaneously using one terminal pair on a 55025 Switch Decoder, increase the impulse time to 1 second. To do so, program the function value for the terminal (register 2-5, depending on whether you want to use terminal 1, 2, 3 or 4 in this manner) to 7.

Background: If one EPL drive moves a bit slower than the other, it can induce a Back-EMF, which resets the first drive to its initial position. By making the setting time longer, you make sure that both drives are held in the correct position until all movement of the drives has stopped.

Faq No: 1215
How do EPL drives work?
EPL drives, in both switches and signals, operate on AC power, and they take advantage of the fact that AC power is a wave, that is, it oscillates in both voltage and polarity.
That AC wave can be chopped in half using a diode. EPL drives are designed to use this "half-wave" power, moving in one direction if they receive the top half of the wave and moving in the other direction if they receive the bottom half of the wave.
These diodes are built into the 51750 Momentary Control Box and the 17100 Track Contact. When you push the button on the box or when a train passes over the contact, power passes through one of the diodes and sends a half-wave to the EPL drive.

Faq No: 1189
One of my EPL drives is balky. How can I make it work better?
First, make sure the drive is clean. Also, check the wiring. Inadequate gauge wiring and weak connections can aggravate drive problems.
Sometimes, EPL drives need a bit more power to overcome mechanical resistance in the switch (from dirt or from an attached supplementary switch) or to overcome electrical resistance (from long wire runs). The 52750 EPL Booster will provide additional power for multiple drives, and it is strongly recommended for reliable drive operation. A dedicated AC power source, like the 50110/50111 AC Transformer, is also helpful.
Do not try to control more than one EPL drive (switch or signal) with one 17100 Track Contact.

Faq No: 1071
What is the LGB "EPL" system?
The EPL system is group of electrical components, like switch drives, signals, supplemental switches, signals, track contacts and control boxes. They can be used separately to control simple functions, like switches and signals. Or they can be combined in hundreds of ways to automatically control complex layout functions. For more information, read the EPL Techniques Brochure (00724).

Faq No: 1065

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Buffalo, Minnesota 55313


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