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Most of the double solenoid switch machines can be pressed into service as latching relays. As you say, though, the contact durability is the weak link.
On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 8:53 AM, George Galyon via groups.io <redvdub1@...> wrote:
I tried using Atlas snap relays to route power back in my DC days some 40 years ago. They are essentially double pole-double throw latching relays but the electrical contacts In those days were unplated phos-bronze strips which tended to go open after 100+ operations. In those days they were around $1.50 each. I don't recommend them for high usage operations. I looked into getting higher quality dpdt latching relays and even "back then" the next quality level up were around $45 per with silver plated contacts. I couldn't see then (and can't justify it today) $45 per. Especially as the silver plating was around 50 microns and would probably wear off in << 1000 cycles. Too bad...latching relays that can carry some power made for some interesting power control circuitry back in the day. Today, DCC eliminates the need for such power circuits. Lighting...maybe..but the Atlas relays may not stand up to the usage.