control panel help

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by belg, Dec 24, 2003.

  1. belg

    belg Member

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    How does one go about designing a panel with two traditional throttle like Tech 2 and 3. My track is Kato snap track so I have those blue control levers for the turnouts,could they be replaced with traditional micro switches?There are going to be approximately ten micro switches to control lighting scenes. I would love to see some photos of the wiring side as well as the show side of these all important areas. I'm a neat freak when it comes to wiring so any help would be appreciated. Wood working is not a problem so fire any ideas even if you did not use them,thanks Pat.
  2. HuskerN

    HuskerN New Member

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    here is picture of my layout where you can see my control panel. I simply used a piece of 1/8" masonite to mount my tech2 and the toggle switches used to control my blocks. The panel is mounted at a slight angle so it is easily viewed by the operator.

    HuskerN

    [​IMG]
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Pat:
    Don't use microswitches to control turnouts. Unless you have put in Tortoise type switch machines, your turnouts need a very short zap of current -- just long enough to move them. unless you have unusual microswitches, they have two "on" positions and you can cook your switch machines in "short order". (groan) Most of the switch machine controls you can buy have a way to make the contact brief -- levers make a passing contact and go off again or a push button.
    Sorry, I don't have photos of my control panels. Would probably horrify you.
  4. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

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  5. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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    Right timing

    Here are pics of my panel that is being wired right now.
    I use 1/4 Plexiglass . I make a full size plan drawing and tape to the back .
    I then drill the holes in the proper places, and with the paper still in place , I take it inside and lay the plan down on the top using 1/16 X 1/16 evergreen styrene and ambroid (or the like) liquid glue.
    Once done the top is painted and the track plan is highlited with testors paint pens.
    Mike

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  6. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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    pic2

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  7. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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    pic3

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  8. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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    pic4

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  9. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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    pic5

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  10. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

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    Fifer,

    That switch panel is the coolest thing I've seen! (Electronically speaking :) )

    Question: I can see the silver switches are for controlling the turnouts, but what are the red switches for?
  11. jsolie

    jsolie Member

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    Fifer,

    Thanks for posting those pics! They're very inspiring. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Is it just me, or are those wires taken from sections of CAT-5 network cabling?

    -- John
  12. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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    Thanks Guys

    Arlaghan , The red handled are for block control and swing left #1, center off , and right #2 . The silver are indeed the turnout controls and swing in the thrown direction.
    Then in answer to Johns question , The cabling is Cat3 25 pair amp connectored cable stub cut in half and the block control has male connector side and switches will have female connector side .
    Then another cable will give its life in the opposite direction to a 66M150 punchdown block , then all the wire from there is 22 awg to the blocks and 24 awg to the tortoise machines and is all color coded by standard telecomunications color code.
    The panel just plugs in and out with Amphinals.
    Thanks , Mike
    :rolleyes:
  13. SmolderZ

    SmolderZ Member

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    WOW fifer!, I wish I was a electronic wizzard like you! :eek:

    So you got block control?, meaning your not running DCC?
  14. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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    Smolderz

    That is correct, the DCC offers alot of controlability but (to me ) it also posed many frustrations such as the learning curve and the installation of decoders ( and mind you I have a milling machine) and the availability of decoders at times. Then there was the modern technology syndrome , just when you got everything updated they came out with transponding , then when you caught up with that they came up with Back EMF , well you get the picture !
    I got to thinking , I am in the train room to run trains and the real railroads do have blocks, so I bought 3 MRC control masters and dumped the DCC.
    I will say that LENZ has been under rated by Digitrax.
    I owned both and Lenz is a way better system and GREAT SERVICE on defective items.
    Mike
  15. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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    Finished pictures

    Here are the finished pictures.
    Mike

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  16. fifer

    fifer Active Member

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    pic7

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