What's your control panel look like?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by TrainNut, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. railohio

    railohio Active Member

  2. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    "Check water in fountain???????" Have you got water hydraulics powering that layout? J/K Looks like a constant honey do reminder.

    This is actually the way I was thinking of going since I already have the RF handheld unit I use at the club. I'm just not totally sure for a (future) layout of my size that I want to go with DCC. I could go both ways I guess and wire it accordingly. It will be an L shape 9'x7' with the capability of running two trains independently via DC. I only have two engines that are DCC and I'm not real happy with the way the DC engines sing on a DCC layout when not in use. As well, there seems to be a power drop when going with DCC and I'm concerned about performance. Still, I will need to decide soon as I almost have the benchwork complete!
  3. jasbourre

    jasbourre Member

    Thanks for the imput this is the stage that I'm up to now, pictures to follow, (If I can get the camera out of my daughters hands)
  4. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    Wow, Ejen....

    My layout's been called a lot of things... but never a dream setup!

    Thanks!! :oops:
  5. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    No - it's an "Altzheimer's reminder" - I have a water fountain as part of the scenery - it can't be run dry...

    so of course, the water evaporates... the cats all drink it.. and when "I" want to run trains or just turn on the power.. I have to make sure that there's water in the fountain sign1 sign1 sign1
    There's pics of it somewhere on this board - just can't find it right now :(
  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    [FONT=Arial, Arial, Helvetica] Making the control panel it 'self, I use two pieces of Perspex the right size for my panel. Next thing to do is draw out the plan on a computer programme to A4 size. When finished I print one copy on plain paper and another on Photo paper at top quality to use as the finished product.
    The first piece of plain paper is used only to provide the places to drill the holes through for the D.P.D.T switches. Mine are 1/4" holes for my switches. (Micro switches) and also where to drill the holes for point control.
    When all drilling is completed, I remove the plain paper and clean up the two pieces of Perspex. Now I insert the new Photo Paper printout and I have a professional looking control panel just waiting to be wired up.
    For my point control I use the stud and contact method utilizing a capacitor discharge unit, which has a 16/24 volt output for my PL10 point motors which I use to throw the points. The reason I prefer stud and contact over momentary or passing contact switches (To throw the points) is I only need two tiny nuts and bolts (Brass) fitted to each point on the control panel.


    [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Arial, Helvetica] Here is what my control panel looks like, notice the nuts and bolts, these are my stud and probe contact for changing point direction. You will also notice that I have two switches per block, the reason, I could only buy D.P.D.T without centre off, so I had to put in beside the D.P.D.T.'s a separate on/off switch.



  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Here's mine. I use DCC so don't need any controls for block power. This panel is for my yard, I use toggles in the fascia for turnout control on the rest of the layout. There were so many turnouts close together that that would have been confusing here, and I'm not a fan of using the throttle to throw turnouts. I also needed a place to put the rotary switches which select an electromagnetic uncoupling device, used on several tracks. And finally, on the bottom, controls for two turnouts on the hidden east end staging loop.

    Not quite visable in the photo are red dry transfer letters at each turnout. They relate to the letters under the row of toggle switches. I would have liked to use the interlocking type levers I believe offered by Rix, but they weren't out then, and would have been costly besides. The turnouts use Tortoises, or Swich Master motors. So the electric power is constant. I use inexpensive toggles, and the position of the handle indicates how the turnout is thrown, up being staight, and down diverging.

    The rotary switche selects uncoupling magnets I made from 1" pipe nipples cut in half and wrapped with magnet wire. The push button next to them provides the momentary power needed to turn the magnet on.

    What looks like a passing siding on the bottom is the two staging tracks hidden between levels of the layout. The turnouts at each end use twin solenoid type machines, by NJ International. I use a temporary type control which is made by a company I can not recall, maybe Acme? They consist of a red and green button which pushes down on a bronze contact, with a good amount of spring tension to return to the off position, as the NJ machines have a fair amount of "kickback" current when turned off and I have had other types weld themselves closed. Then of course it is a matter of seconds before that switch machine is toast. The row of led's along each track are connected to photo cells placed between the rails at intervals, when a train covers a photocell it blocks the light, turning the led on. I can store 3 12 car trains on each track, and have the flexibility to store two longer tains instead.

    Attached Files:

  8. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Wow, that's a wide range of solutions. All of them neat and some pretty crafty ideas as well. I really liked the photo cells idea placed between the tracks that light up LED's. Neat stuff. Anybody else?
  9. toolman

    toolman Member

    I use for my control panel light switches, the ones that are used in turning room lights on/off.
    Each light switch is labeled with a number and a map of were the blocks are.
    The switches are not expensive and will last very long time.
    I have another bank of block switches that are toggle that were used on my last layout.

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