Dispatcher Panel for "Concept" Layout

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August 13, 2013 5:40 PM

Dispatcher Panel for "Concept" Layout

 

I am building a "concept" layout to demonstrate some alternate techniques for wiring model railroad control systems. The main element is my" Dispatcher Panel" which provides status of turnouts and blocks using small LEDs.  The  overall control system uses the MTH DCS system components along with various custom designed power distribution, protection and relay networks.

 

The Dispatcher Panel is designed as a single module that interfaces with the overall system. Every component in the system is designed to be interconnected as modules that comprise a "plug and play" system. Custom cables are used to interconnect each piece.  The advantage of this system is that different components can be quickly connected or disconnected and/or rearranged as the layout is expanded. This also helps troubleshooting and making upgrades and changes.

 

All the modules are built using color coded wiring and are supported by comprehensive wiring diagrams.

 

For example I have created a diagram which documents the Dispatcher Panel wiring. This is a PDF attachment. Notice that all wiring is color coded and tagged.

 

 

000_0678

Dispatcher Panel - Bottom View 001

new AUGUST 13 001

 
Last edited by pro hobby August 15, 2013 8:14 AM
 
 
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Dispatcher Panel - Top View
 
 
 
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OGR Forum Member
 
August 13, 2013 9:41 PM

I'd like to suggest that, rather than run a common [ black ] to every LED as a pair, that you run only a single common to each "geographical grouping" and daisy chain the commons there.  For example, for 'Tower N' [ = 3 LED's ] you would have four wires instead of six:  two greens, a red, and one black.  This will result in less linear t/board requirements and, more importantly, will reduce the number of wires in the 'backplane' which will be of benefit in the more complex panels.

 

SZ

 

Edited to add:   I also would like to suggest you use additional wire colors;  for example, using the Tower N example, I wouldn't have two greens going to the same location.   And if you have different commons, which may not literally be the case here though you seemed to have arranged them as such, I'd use a different color for the 'block' vs 'turnout' commons -- white perhaps.  And how about a different color than green -- since you're using it for turnouts -- for the block +'s -- or better still, three [ at least ] colors.

 
 
 
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August 13, 2013 10:17 PM

Dispatcher Panel for "Concept" Layout

 

Not shown are the circuits which control all these LEDs.

 

I will have two separate modules that will interface with this panel.

 

Turnout Control Interface.

This interface provides signals from my MTH turnout solenoids. Each LED which shows turnout position is wired directly to each MTH solenoid (red position and green position). The interface module also includes a diode and series current limiting resistor for each LED.  The LEDs are designated as E, N, S or Y.

 

Block Control Interface.

This interface provides a 12vdc signal which is provided via my MTH "AIU". I use the "ACC" terminals to select a track "block". This determines whether the track is "powered" or "not-powered".  This same 12vdc signal is used to activate a "power" relay which connects the "TIU" output signal to the track.  The block control interface also provides a current limiting resistor for each of the LEDs. These LEDs are all designated as "B".

 

See the diagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Last edited by pro hobby August 16, 2013 2:53 PM
 
 
 
 
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August 13, 2013 10:26 PM

Dispatcher Panel for "Concept" Layout

 

Note: The connections to the "turnouts" and the "blocks" use separate terminal strips. Since all the LEDs which show block condition are yellow I could have used all yellow wire for these connections. 

 

See the attachment for terminal block wiring.

 

 
 
 
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August 13, 2013 10:54 PM

Originally Posted by pro hobby:

Dispatcher Panel for "Concept" Layout

 

Note: The connections to the "turnouts" and the "blocks" use separate terminal strips. Since all the LEDs which show block condition are yellow I could have used all yellow wire for these connections. 

 

See the attachment for terminal block wiring.

 

Yes, I understand the concept and the layout.  Replacing all of the 'block' greens with yellows would be an improvement, but -- in my opinion -- it would be even better to have, say, yellow, orange, pink, yellow, ...[ repeat ] rather than all yellows.  You are labeling your TB's nicely, but you're not, it would appear, using any wire labels, so you can't distinguish one green [ or yellow ] wire from another IF they are disconnected from the T/B [ other than tracing it physically ] -- not that that would ever happen, of course....

Don't forget to leave some spare terminals.  How would you add another crossover at Tower N, for example...

 

I realize this is 'proof of concept' -- but that's all the more reason to consider such things now, I think.

 

SZ

 

Also:  Since the LED's face 'outward' how do access this wiring on the 'reverse' side ?  If your t/strips were all on one side, you could, if there was enough slack in the field side wiring, "hinge" the panel on that side and fold it back.  Just a thought for the future, or an alternate method for when you get beyond the "proof of" stage.

 
 
 
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August 14, 2013 4:55 PM

Dispatcher Panel for "Concept" Layout

 

 

The following interface boards will directly interface (pin by pin) with the terminal strips on the Dispatcher Panel. A custom interconnecting cable will be used to mate with the Dispatcher Panel.

 

Turnout Control Interface.

This interface provides signals from my MTH turnout solenoids. Each LED which shows turnout position is wired directly to each MTH solenoid (red position and green position). The interface module also includes a diode and series current limiting resistor for each LED.  The LEDs are designated as E, N, S or Y.

 

Block Control Interface.

This interface provides a 12vdc signal which is provided via my MTH "AIU". I use the "ACC" terminals to select a track "block". This determines whether the track is "powered" or "not-powered".  This same 12vdc signal is used to activate a "power" relay which connects the "TIU" output signal to the track.  The block control interface also provides a current limiting resistor for each of the LEDs. These LEDs are all designated as "B".

 

 

 
Last edited by pro hobby August 16, 2013 3:00 PM
 
 
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