Control panels

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by CAS, May 7, 2005.

  1. CAS

    CAS Member

    I'm still in my design stage for my n scale layout[​IMG] . I will be using the twin-coil switch machines mounted under the track bed, for the mainline and sidings. And manual hand thrown switches for the yard.
    My question is on my control panel . What should or can i use? Should i use push buttons or SPTD switches to operate my switches from my control panel? Or is that a personel preference also.
    Thank you all for your help again[​IMG] ,
  2. Connor

    Connor Member

    If you using twin-coil switch machines, you'll need to use push buttons because you can't give continual power to a coil or it will burn out. You can use 2 push buttons per coil, or DPDT and Push button. (DBDT to change polarity, Push button to energize). If you were to use tortise switch machines, then you could use a normal toggle switch only.
  3. inkaneer

    inkaneer Member

    Most powered turnouts sold today use the twin coil machine to move the points. However, the twin coil switch machines are notorious for burning out. Momentary push buttons such as those sold by Atlas are the only way to energize them. Even then you cannot hold the button in too long or they will burn out. They will not take current for more than a fraction of time. Holding down the button will result in burning up the coils. Most modelers with sizeable layouts as well as clubs will opt for different methods. The pneumatic air motors are an alternative as well as slow motion switch motors such as Tortoise. These may cost more initially but after you burn up some twin coil machines [and you will] they are cheaper in the long run. The pneumatic air motors in particular are practically indestructible. They do require an air source, however.
  4. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    Another vote here for Tortoises, and you can get good deals by buying them in 12's...
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    CAS: I use the "probe and stud" method. I have a board with a track diagram and at each turnout there are two, well, nail or screw heads. There is a long wire dangling in front of the panel with a straight pointed plug on it (like some multimeters). Just touch a std with the probe and the switch pops over. No pushbuttons to stick.
    Mine are Peco, but I used to get by with brass screws and something from Radio Shack.
  6. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Just as David said, one of the big features of stud & probe is
    no buttons to stick! Which they are prone to do because of the arcing.

    Also this method costs MUCH less than buttons or switches and is much
    simpler to wire, requiring only one conductor to each stud, since the
    probe supplies the hot wire.

    I'm going to try using a Tortoise machine on this and see how it works.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Cid: I hope you dropped a smilie off your last line!
    Unless you have some fancy wiring -- a transformer with + and - 5 volts and a wierd bunch of diodes -- might be possible, but don't mix it with the CDU.
  8. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    I haven't figured out the circuit for this but if it's possible I would like to see
    how long it takes the points to throw and how firmly they hold with no
    power applied.

    Don't this work?

    Attached Files:

  9. Zman

    Zman Member

    I use Peco motors (PL 10). The switches Peco makes for these are "passing contact" switches. They look exactly like standard two-position single-pole-double-throw switches, except for the fact that they have a built-in mechanism that only allows a momentary contact. The Peco catalog number on these is PL 26. They also look much nicer than the ordinary switches that you get at Radio Shack.

    I experimented with a CDU, but found that it was unnecessary on my layout, which contains a mere six turnouts. Evidently the CDU's are really only necessary if you plan to run several motors at the same time.

    I mounted the six switches into a PVC conduit, using a piece of leftover electical perfboard to make a faceplate. I then carved out a space in the foam board for the conduit. It looks great. I'll post some pictures of the whole thing later on this month.

Share This Page