Wednesday, December 7, 2011


As part of my continuing wiring program I'm installing control panels throughout the layout.  I had built the boxes for a few panels and even partially finished the front of one when I change my mind about the size of the panels.  Originally they were roughly 11x17, with the main panel being even larger.  After seeing much smaller local control panels on Rick Bickmore's fine layout I realized that I could do things much smaller and seeing how I have limited space anyway, smaller would be better.  Not wanting to waste my existing panel work I actually threw the old panel boxes on the miter saw and chopped them up into two small pieces, only having to add on new side.  The resulting panels are roughly 7x10 inches.   For the faces I have been drawing the panel layout using a bare-bones Apple paint/draw utility program and then printing it out onto photo paper.  I then laminate the photo paper and then glue the laminated drawing to my backer panel - 1/8" masonite or plastic and then just drill the holes for LEDs and switches on the drill press and assemble.   The main panel will still be large and I am going to probably use a steel plate for the backer so the dispatcher can use magnets to represent trains.  The main panel will control all turnouts on the main, while the local panels will control any local switches using electric machines as well as provide local operators with a track schematic.  Some locals and or the main panel will have overlap with dual controls for some turnouts - more on that wiring later.   For now - a copy of the Lower Works Branch - West panel.

Typical Panel 

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