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Planning and building Camdales main control panel

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Layout is getting closer and closer, time to make a start on planning the main control panel using rotary switches to switch 3 to 4 throttles, I may start off with 3 leaving a spare. The rotary switch is a 3 pole 4 position  switch, 4 of the  pins be uses for LED's to light up each position different coloured LED's, going to take some time to,  do all the soldering today I will be test drilling the holes for the rotary switch into  a spare piece of ply to  see if I have the right size drill bit, as it is I bought the wrong spade drill bit to find out I have a bit at home that could do the job.

The first three pics is of the panel plan, first pic showing the block strips be underneath the panel, using them to save putting too much heat on the pins when linking each rotary switch together , next two pics the panel face with the knobs and where the LED indicator lights be going, will have LED inserts for the LED's to fit into making it nice and neat. Have thought of styrene panel face, worried of the styrene cracking when drilling.

The last two pics of the rotary switch  pins and top side where I have to drill the bigger hole to recess the top end so I can tighten the nut and washer, a heap of soldering ahead, once the drilling and frame work of the panel is done be easier to solder the LED's and 4 other wires  , good news is I can do the soldering at night leaving the layout construction during the day.

This isn't the only panel be a second anel for the DPDT swirches to switch the points and signals if I have the signal on the panel, won't have to start work on that panel for a while .

Tony from sunny down under keeping on moving ahead.






Edited by aussietmrail

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Afternoon Deano, thanks today I set up my electric  drill in the drill press, then set it up on the portable workbench, so hopefully be able to drill all the holes  on the underneath of the panel fase, I have set the dill height so it will only drill in a couple of mm's, that wont happen for a couple of days till I mark the holes where to drill takes time.Have to get stuck into the control panel will need it pretty soon, while I wait for some more ply off cuts to start work on the last  corner module.

I be using mainly Peco point motors, as I have a stack of them and figuring out what to use to switch the signals as the Peco are pretty dear to buy and lots of trouble setting up, I will find some pics to put on the next post, also trying out Atlas point motors and may look into the  long point motors that clip onto the points, they are double the price as well.

I have being drawing plans of the bulkheads for the bow of the ship tonight, so I can start cutting out the cardboard tomorrow night, if I get time after watching the last Batman mover, in a set of three Blue Rays.

Pics to follow tomorrow morning my time of today's event, how is the weather now in England, going to be all good for the Royal weeding coming up, won't be staying up to watch the wedding,, time zone.

tony from down under keeping on moving ahead. 






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Yesterday I practiced drilling the hole to fit the rotary switch in flush, getting the height right, then setting up my drill press ready to go after marking out the holes on the back of the panel face there is three holes needed to fit the rotary switch in place, will set up my three drills to speed up the process, 20 holes to drill.

The 9mm centre  hole has to be perfectly in the centre of the recessed hole for the the the switch to fit well and the fun of lining up the small locking hole for the switch knob to line up with the the LED's.

Fingers crossed I can reach all the holes on the back of the panel face, it will take all day to mark and draw the  recess holes and the panel face as well, getting the old panel out from the last layout to pull it apart, finger crossed can use the bottom of the old panel  for the new panel .

Tony from sunny down under keeping on moving ahead.



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The control panel is coming along nicely, today I sprayed the second last white paint on the panel fascia, it started raining very heavy this afternoon and could't spray the last coat  of paint, tomorrow now and will spray a couple of coats of clear to protect the white finish.


Fist pic of lining up the drill bit to drill the last hole, next pic all finished drilling the recess holes, next third pic of the panel fascia with the LED holders in , fourth pic a closer pic and lucky last close pic the holders with one LED in number one position all different colours, I didn't have enough holders will have to buy some more this week, real happy so far, fascail not finished yet.

The I will turn my attention to underneath the panel, I need to cut 4 pieces of 50 x 12 mm strips of ply to be glued  and drilled going between the rotary switched to hold the block strips, then I will begin the soldering, will have to head over to a friends house to show me how to wire up the first rotary switch.

Tony from down under






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Looks like the cat has been dancing over wet cement!  

That is going to be some control panel!


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The control panel is ready to begin soldering the resistors to the long bar on the LED's join them p to power and the fun begins in soldering the wires to the other 8 pins on the rotary switch, heading over to a friends house so he can show my how to on the first switch.

It be  a few days more before all the hard work pays off when powering up the the throttles,will use test lights first and the LED's light up as well to the different positions, all that big effort to run more than one loco on DC, I guess it be worth the effort, very happy with the outcome of the panel fascia too.

Also need to the cut the rotary switches back to fit the knobs flush with the fascia, good time to do soldering during the day when that cold wind is blowing away, doesn't do the asthma any good.

I have four spare holes to make room for more blocks when needed, the second panel will have room as well for service facilities down the track, should take long once I get going on the soldering,do the LED's first.

Tony from cold down under.


Control panel inside.jpg

Control panel.jpg

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