Wire a Sakai O gauge switch

Sakai made a switch in the postwar era that looks a lot like a Lionel 1121 but acts like a Marx 1590. But if you use a Sakai control panel, it wires up differently from both of them. Here’s how to wire a Sakai O gauge switch.

The wiring diagram was on the back of the box, which you may not have anymore. I have a copy, as well as an explanation of how it works.

Make sure the lugs are in order

Wire a Sakai O gauge switch
This Sakai wiring diagram was on the back of the box. The key is to connect the blue wire in the center to only one of the two switches. It doesn’t matter which one, but pick only one.

The control panel has five lugs, in order: yellow, red, blue, red, and yellow. If yours aren’t in that order, change them. It will make life much easier for you.

The lugs correspond to the same colors on the switch. On the switch, the blue lug is closest to the track, red is in the center, and yellow is furthest from the track.

Wiring the Sakai O gauge switch

Wiring is easy if you have the diagram. If you don’t, the switches probably won’t work. The problem is that blue lug. There’s one on the control panel, and one on each switch. I thought I had to run a wire from that lug to both switches. And I was wrong.

You run the yellow and red wires to the corresponding switch. But you run the blue lug to only one switch. If you do that, the switches will work, assuming there’s no shorts in either of them and the solenoids aren’t burned out. You’ll be able to switch the switches to the straight position with the green button and to the curved position with the red one.

I have also been successful wiring them up like a Marx non-derailing switch. But I find the Marx 1590 more dependable, so that’s what I use on my layout now.

Sakai made some nice but misunderstood trains too. Here’s some information on Sakai trains.

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