Atlas code 100 track switch voltage

The local shops have given me some possibly conflicting answers to the question about the voltage and type needed for the electrically actuated
switches. One says to only use the AC accessory connection on the power pack I have and the other says it doesn't matter whether or not it is AC or DC. What is the correct voltage and type for the code 100 track switches? I really don't want to burn them out since it would be a pain to replace them. Thanks, Mike
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Mike, The Atlas switches come equipped with twin-coil solenoid type switch machines. These will operate of either AC or DC current. However, the nature of these machines is to draw rather large current (perhaps as high as 5 to 10 amperes) while they are actuated. Because this large current draw is of short duration, it does not over heat the transformer in the power pack nor the plastic housing of the switch machine (but could if the control button is kept depressed). The diodes in the power pack that convert the AC from the internal transformer to the DC for train propulsion are sensitive to high current, so there is the risk that they could be damaged if you run your switch machines on DC from the power pack. Many people like to add on a simple device called a capacitor discharge power supply to operate twin coil switch machines. It uses a small DC current (usually they are supplied with AC and have a diode in their circuitry to make DC) to slowly charge up an electrolytic capacitor. The capacitor can then deliver the large current needed really snap over the twin coil switch machines. Geezer
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