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Author Topic: Model Railway Control Panel  (Read 1456 times)

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Offline thephilnewman

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Model Railway Control Panel
« on: May 29, 2016, 11:42:50 pm »
Control Panel For West Section
Control Panel For West Section
Hello,

I wonder if there is anyone on here who is able to help me? I want to build a control panel for my N gauge layout. I have attached a drawing that i have done showing switches and leds, but when i had nearly finished it i realised there may be a problem, as when two sets of points are back to back they would share one of the red/green leds, I am unsure if this is possible or not to do?
The points that i have used are all Fleischmann Piccolo N Gauge and there are two double slips in this as well. Ideally what i would like is if someone could do me a wiring diagram for all this maybe? Still a bit unsure how to upload diagram i have done as well?

Best Regards

Phil

Control Panel For West Section
Control Panel For West Section


« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 10:10:46 am by thephilnewman »

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Re: Model Railway Control Panel
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2016, 09:03:11 am »
Hello,

I wonder if there is anyone on here who is able to help me? I want to build a control panel for my N gauge layout. I have attached a drawing that i have done showing switches and leds, but when i had nearly finished it i realised there may be a problem, as when two sets of points are back to back they would share one of the red/green leds, I am unsure if this is possible or not to do?
The points that i have used are all Fleischmann Piccolo N Gauge and there are two double slips in this as well. Ideally what i would like is if someone could do me a wiring diagram for all this maybe? Still a bit unsure how to upload diagram i have done as well?

Best Regards

Phil

Control Panel For West Section
Control Panel For West Section




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Offline Steve.T

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Re: Model Railway Control Panel
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2016, 10:21:08 am »
Hi,

I am no expert at all and I am on with my first panel as well.
I also had the same thoughts as you and when I thought about it with "back to back" points as below.

After much thought my conclusion was why use two switches?
If one point is switched to the spur then it is of no use until the other point is also switched to the spur, in fact it is in a situation that could cause derailment. So why not make the one switch operate both points so that both either switch to the spur (diverging rails)or both are set at straight on.
Thus you only need one LED.

I guess double slips can just be broken down to being a series of points as above.

I know this doesn't give you a wiring diagram but may be helpful.
It maybe somebody with more experience may give you a good reason to use two switches but that is what my thoughts are.

Steve
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 10:22:10 am by Steve.T »
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Offline thephilnewman

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Re: Model Railway Control Panel
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2016, 06:11:45 pm »
Hi Steve,
Thanks for your reply, your probably right in saying only use one switch, my reasoning for doing it this way was to have an led that changed from red to green when the path was either clear or blocked i have found a wiring diagram online which may help me wire this up, but i was really unsure what may happen with two points back to back. It took me a while to find your response as someone moved my original post from the DCC section to DC, I am actually running DCC which is why i posted it there, also because i have got Uhlenbrock point decoders that i can operate the points from through the controller, it was just that i wanted to have a physical control panel that the grandkids could also operate.
Cheers Phil

Offline Sprintex

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Re: Model Railway Control Panel
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2016, 08:58:47 pm »
Just to clarify if you were posting about your DCC system or the point decoders then the 'DCC' section would be the right place, but you're asking about wiring in switches and LEDs which is analogue (DC) rather than digital :thumbsup:


Paul

Offline Steve.T

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Re: Model Railway Control Panel
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 09:09:21 pm »
because i have got Uhlenbrock point decoders that i can operate the points from through the controller, it was just that i wanted to have a physical control panel that the grandkids could also operate.

I bet it's not JUST for the Grandkids  :no:

I think we all like control panels with lights and real switches - you can keep your controllers with addresses give me a switch any day.  ::)

Steve
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Offline Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Model Railway Control Panel
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2016, 08:02:56 pm »
Hi Steve,
Thanks for your reply, your probably right in saying only use one switch, my reasoning for doing it this way was to have an led that changed from red to green when the path was either clear or blocked i have found a wiring diagram online which may help me wire this up, but i was really unsure what may happen with two points back to back. It took me a while to find your response as someone moved my original post from the DCC section to DC, I am actually running DCC which is why i posted it there, also because i have got Uhlenbrock point decoders that i can operate the points from through the controller, it was just that i wanted to have a physical control panel that the grandkids could also operate.
Cheers Phil

Does this imply that you have an Uhlenbrock DCC system as well as Uhlenbrock point decoders ?   

Then, an option is to use a CML Electronics DTM30 board.   This a piece of electronics which talks to LocoNet (as used by Uhlenbrock and Digitrax).   The end-user can construct a push button control panel, with LED indicators of turnout position, movement, etc..    The DTM30 supports "30 cells", which in practise means around 30 turnouts with indicator of position, plus some spare buttons for other tasks.  Arranging a cross-over with one button, but three (or more) LEDs to show route is possible, I've done this.   


I've recently built a control panel for Coldfair Green (a Scalefour layout) using a DTM30, and we have an Uhlenbrock DCC system for the loco control.   With that panel, it is possible to operate the turnouts and signals from the physical panel, the DCC handsets, a computer with a track diagram, a smart-phone showing the track diagram, and all of them update correctly when something is changed on one of them. 



- Nigel

Offline thephilnewman

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Re: Model Railway Control Panel
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2016, 09:38:24 pm »
Hi Nigel,

This is almost a "eureka" moment for me when i read your post as you seem to understand what it is i want to do! My main controller is a RocoZ21 and i drive my trains via my iPad or my iPhone. I have a turntable which is controlled by a LDT DCC Turntable Decoder, then on the turntable deck i am using a Lenz LK200 reverse polarity unit. I have then got several Uhlenbrock 64300 accessory decoders to operate the points/turnouts. All this works very well, but i wanted a really "hands on" manual type control as well, which led to me thinking about building a control panel, not one panel for the whole layout but in about four or five sections (blocks of points) i wanted to have a double pole momentary switch on the control panel to operate the turnout/point and also have a red/green led on each part of the track on the panel, showing what route had been selected, so i did the above drawing and then realised i could not get the leds to operate how i wanted them to. All my track engines and rolling stock are Fleischmann Piccolo N Gauge, and after a while i found out the the Fleischmann point motors have a built in switch inside the unit. Hoping i have answered some of your questions here Nigel, would really appreciate some guidance in the way forward if you can spare me some more time?

Best Regards

Phil

Offline GeeBee

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Re: Model Railway Control Panel
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2016, 12:36:58 am »
I am in the middle of wiring and creating a mimic panel for Wotcanappen see my thread in layout construction
Graham

Offline Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Model Railway Control Panel
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2016, 09:55:33 am »
Hi Nigel,

This is almost a "eureka" moment for me when i read your post as you seem to understand what it is i want to do! My main controller is a RocoZ21 and i drive my trains via my iPad or my iPhone. I have a turntable which is controlled by a LDT DCC Turntable Decoder, ..........................

Phil,

I don't know how well the Z21 implements the various input ports on the rear.  It has a number of them, RS-Bus, LocoNet, Can, etc..    Back when the Z21 first appeared (I was involved in constructing a demonstration for the Warley show of a range of DCC systems), the LocoNet wasn't that good - couldn't get an Uhlenbrock LocoNet throttle to work with it for example.   But, that should just be a software issue, and there's been plenty of time for Roco/Z21 to have fixed it.

For any solution, toggle switches are a bad idea as the toggle switch can't be moved by the App on your Z21, or another panel.  So, push buttons with LED lights are the way to go if you want control from more than one location.


Your distributed sequence of panels is a little different to what I've built, and a number of CML boards might start to push the price up, with each board not doing very much considering its capabilities.  If your panels are not too far apart, then the ribbon cables from CML board to the switches might reach across two panels, but that's not a good way to construct things. 
Then again, CML boards are not that expensive compared to some other options, so maybe multiple boards is a way forward. 
This is assuming the Z21 talks good enough LocoNet to the boards (will need the LocoNet-B socket for this, as the CML board needs to see the RailSync signal), and that there is enough of a PC interface from the Z21 for the (Windows only) CML configuration tool to work.  Alternatively, for configuration, a 55 Digitrax PR3 "LocoNet to PC" adaptor will allow configuration of the CML boards.

Alternative methods:
Do you have a decent budget, in which case, stuff like the Uhlenbrock control panel hardware might do what you want.  Talk to A&H Models in Northants for supply and details of what you'd need to implement things.  They could probably test and confirm that the Uhlenbrock panel hardware works with a Z21.   If your panel needs are not too large, this might not be as expensive as it first appears, and should be very simple to construct.

Some sort of input hardware module which talks to one of the bus structures on the Z21.  Some of the Lenz bus providers, such as LDT offer might do what you need. 

At the DIY level, kits from Hans De Loof are cheap and talk LocoNet (same questions on LocoNet implementation on the Z21 as before), and provide very cost-effective switch input and LED output.   Should work on either LocoNet-T or LocoNet-B.   I've used a number of HDL boards on Coldfair Green, mostly for output to move turnouts and signals, but some are used for input from local switch buttons and also from detectors on the layout. 


- Nigel

Offline bgennette

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Re: Model Railway Control Panel
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2017, 08:02:38 am »
Nigel,

I'm just starting to build my mimic panel with cheap, simple dual colour LED indicators and small 'tack' switches for turnout requests.
* Layout finalised.  Merriwa Terminus, Hunter Valley NSW, Australia, circa 1960.

* Mimic design decided.  5mm wide horizontal lines with turnouts at 30, push-button switch (3.2mm diameter) embedded at turnout point, 3mm bi-colour LEDs 15mm to side of switch with diverting LED vertically in line with horizontal LED.  Yellow Block Occupied LEDs near middle of each block.

* Circuit designed and drawn in Eagle PCB.

* Software for circuit nearing testing stage.

Code in development .

All to be gnu copy left licensed.




 

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