Thinking Ahead

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Play-Doh, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Looking at my trackplan today, I realize that my final vision of my 16X16 layout will have around twenty different remote switches. It got me am I gonna keep all of these straight and know what switch to throw when the train approaches? I guess my question to you fine folks would be, how do you categorize or label your switches so you can tell them apart and know what switch to throw? Do you label them by number? By location? By landmarks on the layout?

    SOrry if this question makes no sense.

    Oh, and if it matters, its all DC.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks as alays folks

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you are operating your layout from a single control center as opposed to walk around control, do a layout map on a large piece of luan doorskin that is say 2' x 2' square. You can use charting tape for the layout, or paint the board a light or darik color as you wish, put down charting tape to mark your route and paint with a contrasting color to get your map. Once you have a map, drill holes and mount your switch controls on the map where your switches are located. If you are doing walk around controls for the layout, make mini control panels located around the layout with maps of that specific part of the layout, and then mount the switches to control the turnouts accordingly. Essentially that is how the prototype does it with all switches controlled by CTC.
  3. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    There's a way you can hook up LED's, usually a red and green, mounted on your control panel, to tell open(red) and closed(green) turnouts. Being "electronically challenged", I can't help with the wiring. I know some one here can help both you and ME with this.
  4. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    I plan on staying in one spot.....This is what I had in mind

    Oooooo....this intrigues me...if you find out how...let me know!
  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    The most common method of wiring lamps or leds for turnout indication is the use of a microswitch which throws along with the turnout. Power is input to the microswitch and one of the two outputs is energized, the led is conected to the approprriate output. Someone here can either post a drawing or a link to a drawing, there have been several posted over the years. The led can be on a panel or on a signal on the layout, or both.

    When I built my yard the idea of running all that wire didn't appeal to me and since I was using Tortoise switch machines I simply use the position of the toggle handle to indicate which way the turnout is thrown, I use up or left for straight, down or right for diverging route. I do this for both the yard trackage, where the toggles are mounted on a control panel, and for mainline turnouts, where the toggle gets mounted in front of the turnout it controls, in the fascia.
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Well the few times I have used powered switches I had a system..Switch #1 would be CP1,switch #2 would be CP2 switch 3 would be CP3 and so on.After all our switches are either on the main line or off a main line switch and usually in a line.CP1 is always the FIRST switch..I simply mark each switch above its control box.Simple yes and easy.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The prototype method used to be to have a track diagram with all the turnouts and signals numbered and all the levers were below the diagram and in order. Since noone had a circular track plan (There were exceptions) these tended to be lomg narrow diagrams. You soon get used to the position of the levers.
    More modern applications went with small electrical switches mounted in the diagrams. This accompanied centralization so that one room controlled hundreds of miles of track.
    Most of the better switch machines have contacts that can control lights and other electrical functions. Tortoise machines can have LEDs wired into the control wires -- one each way to give red or green.

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