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  • Controls for staging yard tracks?

    Another "how do you do it?" question. I have a 4 track staging yard, and would like each track to have a switch/control to turn power on or off (i.e. so I can have trains sitting on a staging track, but not powered up until I want it to run.) I'd like feedback on the control panel (e.g. a light) to indicate when a track has power.

    Thanks in advance for the ideas!

    dave
    Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

  • #2
    Double-pole, single throw toggle: one side interrupts one power lead, the other interrupts power to the LED. Or for DCC-only, use SPST and connect the LED in parallel with the track. But you'll need a resistor to limit current and a diode in series to keep the reverse voltage in the AC from frying the LED - most are limited to 5V reverse.

    [edit] Or you could just use SPST with big, shiny plated handles and rely on the visible handle position. I can see them from 6-8 feet away, which is enough for my staging yard.
    James

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    • #3
      Most simple way is like this:

      Isolating sections on the railway track that can be separately isolated to allow the storage (stabling) of locos while the rest of the railway can be operated normally. This is can be done by inserting an insulated rail joint in one rail. Then the track beyond the insulated rail joint is fed via a simple SPST On/Off switch. By turning the switch off the section beyond the insulated rail joint is isolated or cut off from the track power, when the switch is on (Switch contact closed) then that track section is powered as normal. You would do this for each staging track that you want to turn on and off.








      Louis L&R Western Railroad
      Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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      • #4
        Dave the above suggestion is better suited for DC use. However, it will work.

        This drawing below is better suited for DCC operation, using a double gap in each rail, and using a DPDT switch. LED lights ON when power is thrown to the staging track, OFF when power is disconnected.




        Louis L&R Western Railroad
        Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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        • #5
          I'm thinking about the Berrett Hill toggles and relay board. That solves several problems, including the LED polarity and minimum voltage issues.

          The toggles are either flush mounted or you can get their slightly recessed cup mounts (which would be similar to my Tam Valley SwitchWright controls.) The wiring is of course a bit more complex than simple toggle switches. I really haven't given much thought to fascia or control panels.

          dave
          Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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          • #6
            I too am probably going to use the Berret Hills turnout controls, primarily because it makes a very clean installation with nothing to catch your clothes on. And as you noted, you can either mount them in the fascia or make a control panel. The variety of option they have for how they operate drew me in and as I plan more, the more I like them. I think the wiring wouldn't be much more complex than switches primarily because they make everything for you so it becomes pretty much plug-and-play.
            Norton



            The V & T lives in my garage (soon)

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            • #7
              It looks like Touch Toggles will control the 4 tracks for under $100. The simplest user interface I can think of would be a SPDT toggle to feed the entrance track, then use the frog-powering contacts on the switch mechanisms (manual or power) to power only the track which has a route in/out.
              James

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              • #8
                Well, I've always been a build it myself type of person, but Berrett Hill toggles are a great way to go, and like Norton said everything is plug-and-play these days so it would be an easy way to follow.

                As far as the recessed cup mounts go for fascia use, I've seen people that made their own putting the switch inside a camera film container mounted behind the fascia, with a hole from the front to reach inside and push a switch.


                Louis L&R Western Railroad
                Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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