fiber optics for control panel

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by DixonRobertson, May 29, 2007.

  1. DixonRobertson

    DixonRobertson New Member

    Has anyone used fiber optics or cold cathode tubes on control panels? E.g., to show routes instead of just led's for turnout position? On my very small "strip" layout, I only control "routes," vice individual turnouts. It works well for me, but the only way to see which route is selected is to look at the turnouts. If somehow I could light the clear routes with green and the closed routes with red, I wouldn't have to squint so hard at the ends of the layout. Thanks,
  2. DixonRobertson

    DixonRobertson New Member

    Oops, wrong forum

    Sorry--will repost at tech Q&A.
  3. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Wouldn't seem like a hard thing to do.

    One way I see doing it is to wire up the control as normal, but place your LEDs behind the control panel. (one red/green for each route). Then run several strands of Fiber Optic along the route drilling a tiny hole and feeding the strand through. Bundle up the optics, and attach to the corresponding LED.

    Voila, Flip a turnout switch and each route will light up red or green according.

    Of course that's only if an LED as enough output to light the other end of the strand. Jacketed fiber might give a better result perhaps.

    Another idea would possible be the use of a light pipe. I know usually it's only the ends that light up (ie: locomotive headlight light pipe), but perhaps they have ones where the sides could defuse the light off too, giving a whole lighted channel displaying route selection.
  4. nolatron

    nolatron Member

  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Since this had some responses, I took the liberty of moving this thread from "operations" to here and deleting your other thread.:thumb:
  6. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    what about those striplights you can buy at home depot for outdoor not sure on the power rating but you dont need a source light to make'em glow--josh

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