Skip to main content

Reply to "Lighted toggle switches for power districts in conventional"


Above photo hijacked from this OGR thread may shed some light on the method Leo suggests.

All the control-panel wiring would be 12V DC which could come from a wall-wart AC-to-DC adapter.  These adapters are less than $5 shipped.  Another photo from linked thread:


LED-illuminated automotive toggle/rocker switches are widely available but are meant to switch 12V DC.  Should be able to get them for about $1 each shipped.   Note that while you can solder wires to the terminals, you might want to get a bag of crimped spade press-on connectors.  Also, the hole size for these is something like 1/2" (or more) so measure-twice, drill-once (!).  That is, if cutting an acrylic panel you might need a special drill bit.


Then you use 12V relays to switch the actual train track AC.  As Leo says 10A relays are readily available in 1,2,4,8 and even 16 channel modules... maybe $2-3 per relay.  Following photo hijacked from this OGR thread showing relative size of automotive switch, 1 and 4 channel relay module, and O-gauge track.


As discussed here and there, one benefit of using 12V lighted switches and 12V relays is you can typically reduce the amount of heavy-duty, thick wiring.  By this I mean all the control panel wiring and the wiring from the panel to the relays carry relatively low-currents so you can use thinner wires which are easier to work with behind a crowded control panel and to construct wiring bundles or harnesses.  If you sketch out a "to-scale" drawing of your layout showing the required wiring runs or 12V control signals and AC track voltage you might see using, say, two 2-channel relay modules and one 4-channel relay module can make for "neater" wiring than a single 8-channel module.

If this approach is something you'd like to pursue, we can identify specific Amazon listings if that is your preferred supplier.




Images (4)
  • 4%20switches%204%20relays%20hookup
  • 12v%202a%20dc%20with%20screw-terminal%20adapter
  • 12v%20automotive%20illuminated%20switch
  • IMG_4670
Last edited by stan2004
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653