Control Panels

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
Guys, I'm just getting started building my switcher junkyard, can you show pictures of your control panels? I'd like to pick the collective brains of everyone that has build different layouts over the years. Do you use the older tried and true Atlas selectors/connectors etc? Or are you using toggle switches and double throw switches? Thank you all in advance.
 

santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
I use the tried and true Atlas Selectors and Connectors. I have posted pictures before, but I cannot locate them right now. I will look. I simply mount them on the fascia mostly at the power source, although I have two sets at remote staging yards. I also use Caboose Industries ground throws, with only a handful of remote switches that are controlled from the point of use. I use a walk-around memory throttle for train control. As a lone operator who only operates a single train at a time, I use DC only.
 

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
I use the tried and true Atlas Selectors and Connectors. I have posted pictures before, but I cannot locate them right now. I will look. I simply mount them on the fascia mostly at the power source, although I have two sets at remote staging yards. I also use Caboose Industries ground throws, with only a handful of remote switches that are controlled from the point of use. I use a walk-around memory throttle for train control. As a lone operator who only operates a single train at a time, I use DC only.
Willie, i look forward to seeing it.
 

Patrick

GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
I'm using the tried and true Atlas (for the most part) on mine and several turnout switches I got from Willie.
All 13 of the turnout switches are wired and working at this time.

Mine was made of 1/2 leftover plywood from the grandson's train layout and about 1 full can of green paint (because I needed to get rid of the paint anyway). It is attached like a shelf to the train table.


And no I haven't connected the 2nd controller yet! :rolleyes:

20200503_193704.jpg


20200407_194147.jpg
 

ianacole

Well-Known Member
Ian, i like how you worked the LED's into it, very nice!!
Thank you. My initial work included both red and green LEDs, but in building determined that I only needed to highlight the active route. Here's an example of testing alternate indicators for routes. I was not happy with the results, so I took another route, eventually landing on just the green LEDs:


And another example of a smaller control panel. I think this one was 4x4", and I only had the one Tortoise machine hooked up for this video so only the bottom switch set LEDs:

 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Here's photos of two of my layout's control panels....

IMG_0235.JPG

This panel controls both some special effects by using the three mini toggle SP switches on the lower left hand side and the other switches for the Tortoise switch machines. The other DTDP toggles operate the Tortoise switch machines in the Saxeville Interchange. Each toggle controls two Tortoise machines. Yellow Graphics tape was used to indicate the parrall trackage. Since this photo was taken, each toggle switch was numbered and the turnouts will have small, numbered sign posts to help operate the Interchange. Each turnout in the Interchange has Tomar dwarf or taller two aspect lights to aid operators.

IMG_0240 (1).JPG

This panel controls the power busses for the signals, incandescent lighting, LED lighting, special effects and switch machines which allows individual features to be powered of when not needed or for maintenance. The panel on the lower right is a Ramp Meter that indicates track voltage and amperage while the meter above on the right is for the incandescent lighting that operates at 10 volts to prolong life.

The panels were made from 1x2 frames and a custom picture frames were mounted to the 1x2 frame with a piano hinges to allow access to the inside of the finished panels. The 1x2 frames were recessed into the layout. The faces are 3/16" Lexan painted on the interior with a spray Primer color. Lexan is much stronger than Plexiglass which has a tendency to break when drilling. Mini-toggle switches were used on the panels.

Good luck on your panels.

Greg
 
Last edited:

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
I'm using the tried and true Atlas (for the most part) on mine and several turnout switches I got from Willie.
All 13 of the turnout switches are wired and working at this time.

Mine was made of 1/2 leftover plywood from the grandson's train layout and about 1 full can of green paint (because I needed to get rid of the paint anyway). It is attached like a shelf to the train table.


And no I haven't connected the 2nd controller yet! :rolleyes:

View attachment 114023

View attachment 114025
Thank you Patrick, just what I was looking for, nice set up.
 

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
Thank you. My initial work included both red and green LEDs, but in building determined that I only needed to highlight the active route. Here's an example of testing alternate indicators for routes. I was not happy with the results, so I took another route, eventually landing on just the green LEDs:


And another example of a smaller control panel. I think this one was 4x4", and I only had the one Tortoise machine hooked up for this video so only the bottom switch set LEDs:

Ian, so when the LED is lit, that track is open?
 

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
Here's photos of two of my layout's control panels....

View attachment 114026

This panel controls both some special effects by using the three mini toggle SP switches on the lower left hand side and the other switches for the Tortoise switch machines. The other DTDP toggles operate the Tortoise switch machines in the Saxeville Interchange. Each toggle controls two Tortoise machines. Yellow Graphic tape was used to indicate the parrall trackage. Since this photo was taken, each toggle switch was numbered and the turnouts will have small, numbered sign posts to help operate the Interchange. Each turnout in the Interchange has Tomar dwarf or taller two aspect lights to aid operators.

View attachment 114027

This panel controls the power busses for the signals, incandescent lighting, LED lighting, special effects and switch machines which allows individual features to be powered of when not needed or for maintenance. The panel on the lower right is a Ramp Meter that indicates track voltage and amperage while the meter above on the right is for the incandescent lighting that operates at 10 volts to prolong life.

The panels were made from 1x2 frames and a custom picture frames were mounted to the 1x2 frame with a piano hinges to allow access to the inside of the finished panels. The face is 3/8" Lexan painted on the interior with a Primer color. Lexan is much stronger than Plexiglass which has a tendency to break when drilling. Mini-toggle switches were used on the panels.

Good luck on your panels.

Greg
WOW Greg, that is quite the elaborate set up!!!
 

ianacole

Well-Known Member
Ian, where did you find black plexi glass?
I found it locally, a plexiglass company, or polycarbonate, not sure which I searched on. I laid out all my control panels on cardboard first to know what sizes I needed, then had them cut to appropriate sizes by the company. I can't remember if I went with 1/4" or 3/16ths thick.
 

wheeler1963

Aurora & Portland Owner
I found it locally, a plexiglass company, or polycarbonate, not sure which I searched on. I laid out all my control panels on cardboard first to know what sizes I needed, then had them cut to appropriate sizes by the company. I can't remember if I went with 1/4" or 3/16ths thick.
Ian, so you have multiple control panels for different section of your layout, correct?
 

ianacole

Well-Known Member
Ian, so you have multiple control panels for different section of your layout, correct?
Correct. This was on the old layout where I had 3 primary switching areas. The mine (which was the second, smaller panel I shared), a double crossover with a spur (the first panel I shared), then the yard area that 10 switches and a double crossover, and a turntable (the panel had an area that I could mount the turntable (Walthers) controller on).
 

ianacole

Well-Known Member
No, it was an "around the room" layout, square, 10'x12', with a duck-under(it was really a lift out, but I was too lazy and just went under). When standing in the middle the cord on the controller was long enough (with a strategically placed control box) to allow me to get everywhere while still plugged in. I use NCE DCC. The new layout is a little larger, so going to have to come up with something different. Have been looking at NCE's wireless controller.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top