Tortoise Switch Machine Panel

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NWCanuck

Tip&Ring
I am looking for some input on wiring an LED indicator to this 4 switch control panel for a section of my layout that I made. I have wired 4 DPDT micro switches together on one panel. The 5th switch is just an ON/OFF for the whole panel, I would like to be able to turn the power off to this panel. The blue lead is the positive side and the yellow is the negative side.

My question is, that I want to wire in a green LED to show me when the power to the panel in ON. The current configuration or wiring that I have will do this, but my problem is that I have the LED inline with the current flow to switches. The LED is protected with a 470 Ohm resistor (under the black heat shrink), but I worry that this will take away from the overall voltage to the switches. And can the LED handle the current flow to 4 switches? (Note the excessive length on the black and red wires are only temporary)

Is there another way to put the LED on this circuit to indicate power ON, without taking away from the overall power to the switch motors?

View attachment 16730

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RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Brad: Connect your LED and resistor parallel with the output of the on/off switch. Then only the current it needs will go through that leg. It looks like you are only switching one side of the power supply, so connect one led/resistor lead to the switch output and the other to the return leg (power supply common).


EDIT: I looked at it a bit more carefully. Run a new wire from the on/off switch to where the black wire connects (leave the red connected). Disconnect black wire and relocate to where the yellow with stripe (main power) is on same t/o switch. That should put the LED in parallel with the switch and power common. The new wire from the on/off switch will feed the other switches. Note: this is if I am seeing your wiring correctly. Of course, observe proper polarity of LED ;)
 
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NWCanuck

Tip&Ring
Thanks Rex, that made sense as soon as I read it. I am glad you were able to figure that out from the photo I posted. The black lead was connected to the blue wire only but the photo makes it look like it was also on the the switch.

Works great now, thanks again for the quik reply!

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NWCanuck

Tip&Ring
Well I decided to revamp the panel I made for my Tortoise Switches and I thought I would post it as a learning experience for me and maybe a heads up for anyone else thinking about making something like this. After giving it some thought I decided to redo the panel and instead of using Plexi-Glass I went with 1/8" Masonite. It is easier to work with and more forgiving then Plexi-Glass which can be brittle if you are not careful. You are also able to paint the Masonite to match your fascia. It is also considerably cheaper then Plexi-Glass. Here is the final panel with room to spare on the left for additional lighting switches to be added at a later date.

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CIOR

Central Indiana & Ohio RR
Brad,
My only other suggestion to you is that you might not want to "gang" your toggle power all together. Why? Well, toggles DO fail, trust me when I say they do this at the WRONG time. You don't want to be in there with a soldering iron fixing 1 toggle.
My suggestion would be run to radio shack, buy a small terminal strip, and run your power out to the terminal strip, then each toggle power to the strip.

You can glue the strip on the back of the panel and not worry about it.

It saved my bacon a couple of times between quick term op sessions! When it happened I just grabbed another prewired toggle and unscrewed the broken toggle, wired in the new one and in 5 minutes had the panel back up and working!

Oh and I agree about Plexi. I have a buddy that can work with that stuff, no issues...every time I touch the stuff it just BUSTS all over the place. I stick with hardboard.
 




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