I've been playing around with the idea of putting together a control panel for our conventional layout. The above design is roughly 14 inches tall by 24 inches wide. I realize I have a bit of dead space where the American flag and Lionel logo are, but wanted to keep some space for expansion. I envision this being one of those slightly slanted panels that is attached to the side of the table. Most of the accessories will be activated via buttons on the front side of the table.
The top row of 022c controllers are for the upper level switches and the lower row of 022c controllers are for the lower level switches. The yellow striping is the upper level track plan and blue is the lower level. The gray circles in the track are on/off toggle switches The two black 5132 switch controllers (w/o lights) will be used to control a lionel 497 coaling station. The red button is for a whistle station. The black circles below the voltmeters are in-line magnetic circuit breakers.
1. What are your thoughts on the overall layout of controls? Is 14x24 too big/awkward to use? Should the voltmeters and ammeters be flipped?
2. How do people label the turnout locations so that you can easily tell which switch to throw? Do you add little numbered flags near the actual switch? Add numbers to the track diagram?
3. In terms of wiring the circuit breaker, voltmeter, and ammeters, should the breakers be closest in series to the transformer or the track?
4. The 12 switches with incandescent bulbs are starting to really eat up some wattage. What is the best source for drop-in red and green led bulbs that have the same size bulb and coloring as the incandescents?
5. I was thinking about using 1x4" pine as the frame and 1/8 inch plywood for the surface. Would this strong enough after I cut the holes in the surface for the meters?
6. Any tips on the material, construction, design, and/or process would be appreciated!
Thanks! Here are a couple old pics of the layout before I added some sidings seen in the control panel track diagram.