I've searched and found similar questions, but mostly geared toward Digital control where systems will send constant power to the track.
I'm putting together a layout that will have a half dozen or so power districts running off of each side of a KW transformer. I'm using all conventional operation, nothing digital at all.
I intend to toggle power to each district via a board (about 12 x 24 inches) that has a map of the layout and one switch for each zone. I'll send a bus to the base of the board and all switches will be wired to the bus and then send a 20 or 18 ga wire out to the center rail on the layout.
I'm trying to concoct a way for dad to easily see which zones are active at a glance (he's getting older and I'm trying to make it as clear as possible). I know I can use some basic 6A/125VAC rated toggles that are pretty cheap, but they're not lighted to indicate which toggles are on. It's easy for met to tell by looking at their physical position, but not so much for dad.
I figured I could build in an AC 14 or 18V bulb in line with each switch, but then I'm using another quarter or half amp for each bulb stealing some wattage from my transformer. With 6 or 8 zones, plus the lights in the cars (many are LED now but still have lots of PW cars with incandescent lamps) I'd like to leave as much of the KW output as possible going to the track. We already max out the KW running some of our PW stuff, so trying to keep away.
I figured I could use LED's as separate indicator lamps, but I have no idea how to wire them in series without killing half of my power (don't they basically act as half-wave bridges if they're in series?) Or could I put an LED in parallel with the switch output? Would that even work? Also seems like lots of extra work drilling holes at the panel and wiring stuff. OR use a DPST switch and have the leds all on a separately-powered circuit from a wall wart or something? Then I ened to screw with resistors, etc...
I've seen illuminated switches that I Can install in a round hole (trying to avoid rectangular holes since I want to build this panel myself with a simple drill) but from what I gather the LED versions all have leds in series with the switch (bad for me) and the incandescent ones are all rated for 125VAC and I'm guessing that my paltry 16VAC won't light them, making the lighted feature useless.
Any suggestions for the easiest way to install a lighted toggle that can handle the KW output?