How To Change Addresses on the retired Switch-It

How To Change Addresses on Switch-It by Bob Proctor

The instructions for setting accessory addresses in the Switch-It manual are correct but incomplete. For example, they make no mention of when power should be turned on or off. If you’re cautious and always turn power off to make wiring changes, you’ll lose the programming changes and get frustrated. So here is a much more explicit set of instructions. 


  1. With power off, connect the power (TRK) terminals on the Switch-it directly to a power source such as the track power leads on the Power Cab Panel.
  2. Prepare a short jumper wire, about 1” to 2” long, bent into a “U” shape, with ends stripped for insertion into the terminals on the Switch-it.
  3. Attach wires to terminals 1 and 8 on a Tortoise (or to the power leads on the turnout motor of your choice). This will be used to test the response of the Switch-it. Strip insulation from the ends of the two wires for insertion into the SWA or SWB terminal on the Switch-it.

 Programming SWA:

  1. Connect the Power Cab and turn the power on. Let the Power Cab boot up. Any locomotive address will do since there is no track connected.
  2. Connect the two Tortoise leads in any order to the two SWA terminals on the Switch-it.
  3. Using the Power Cab, press the SELECT ACCY button, press “1”, and press ENTER. (“0001” is the default address for SWA; we are testing to make sure all components are working before attempting to change the address)
  4. Press the “1” again and watch for the Tortoise to respond. If it does not, repeat step 3 and then press “2”. Once you are satisfied that you can control the Tortoise using address 1, proceed.
  5. Insert the jumper wire connecting terminal PA and Common as shown in the Switch-it manual and tighten the terminal screws. (Note: the power remains on and the Power Cab is connected for this entire process.)
  6. Using the Power Cab, press the SELECT ACCY button, enter the address you would like SWA to respond to, and press ENTER.
  7. Press the “1”.       Nothing will happen because the Tortoise does not respond in programming mode. To make sure we have sent a command forcing the Switch-it to cycle, press the SELECT ACCY button again and then ENTER (the address should still be the value you just entered) and then press “2”.
  8. Remove the jumper wire.
  9. Now test the Switch-it as you did in steps 3 and 4 using the new address instead of “1”.       The Tortoise should respond.       If it does not, try again using address “1” to verify that no connections have come loose.
  10. If your Switch-it responded successfully to the new address, you may now turn the power off or proceed to programming SWB.

 Programming SWB:

This process is identical to SWA except that:

  1. You can skip step 1 if power is already on.
  2. In step 2, the Tortoise should be connected to SWB instead of SWA.
  3. In step 3, the default address is “2” instead of “1”.
  4. In step 5, the jumper connects the PB terminal to common instead of PA. Refer to the diagram in the Switch-It manual.
  5. In step 6, you give SWB an address different from SWA (obviously).


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