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I am working on my new layout and i have 24 switches - how do you number the switches?  are there little sign posts that you can put by the switch on the layout so you know which switch is which?  Also, i am going to bring all the switch controls back to a panel near the transformer -- i dont have a lot of space there, is there an optimal way to arrange the switch controls?

thanks a ton!

 

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I have been thinking about the same kind of thing, I won't have as many switches on the layout I am working on, but there are multiple ways to approach this:

1)Have the switches on a control panel that has a trace of the track plan on it, where the switches are located along the trace, so if you are moving a train towards a turnout, you know which button to hit

2)As you mention, have some sort of way of identifying the switches. Friend of mine did it by color coding, he had a colored dot on each controller (he was using Atlas Switches/controllers) and next to each switch he had something with that color on it he could see from where he was controlling it, he usually had some kind of small structure, like a storage bin or the like, with that color on it,you could also have a dummy switch stand with the color on it. You could also use numbers as you mentioned, and maybe hide the number in something that looks official,like some sort of sign, and use the last two digits to indicate the switch number in your case (so there may be an id sign board on the switch with a number like "90304220-01", which would be switch 1, switch 24 might be "43345333-24" to make it look 'official'). 

 

 

Thanks a ton for the quick response, and i like the like dot idea - after i made the post i found these - which will work albeit a bit expensive

https://www.ebay.com/itm/O-SCA...5738.m4383.l4275.c10

Unfortunately i dont think that i have enough room for a board with a trace of the track, although i would love it.  i guess i could put it on the side of transformer down low.

thanks for your help

 

If you have a central control panel, then I like bigkid's approach.  You could make a diagram and hang it below the panel.

I don't have a central panel (I use TMCC).  All my switches are numbered (I have 42 at this point). 

I'm still working out the details, but I plan to have a mini-track plan sign on the fascia at each switching location.  Alongside it will be the numbered DZ-2502 pushbuttons.  That way someone walking around with a CAB-1 in their hand (following a train) can either use it or the pushbuttons to throw a switch as needed.

George

Memory and a track diagram that shows the switch locations and switch numbers which, for some reason, I can't find a pic of.

Also, although the Lionel switch numbers for the controllers only go to #7, someone on the Forum, maybe John or George, made a number sheet you can print out that goes much higher and you can then cut the numbers out into the same size circles and insert them into the Lionel controller.

Found it.

 

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Last edited by Richie C.

A large layout with MANY switches would be a challenge to one's memory for remembering which controller to throw to change the route of a switch.  My L-shaped layout has only 11 switches; but at age 81, my memory for switches and numbers has limits!

I considered installing Lionel SC-2 units for switch control with a CAB-1, but I like the vintage look and feel of switch controllers. Here's my method for ID numbers and switch control:

1) I placed an ID number at each switch using ID tags from the local Tractor Supply Store. The original purpose of those yellow tags was for use as ear tags for livestock; I apologize to the bovines. I wanted a tag big enough to show the stick-on number from across the train room.  I realize that other hobbyists may want to blend the switch ID number into the layout somehow, but I wanted/needed  a 1/2-inch number for clear reading.

2) I mounted each ID tag on a small L-bracket painted it black and installed it at the appropriate switch - near the diverging route.

3) I installed the vintage-style track controllers on a pull-out drawer at the control center located at the angle of the "L" of the layout.  I attached an ID number on each controller for reference.  The pull-out drawer slides back under the layout platform when not needed for switch control and some other features. I use Lionel TMCC with a CAB-1 for control of the trains and sound effects. There's a line of sight view from the control center to all switches. One switch (to a storage siding) is manual; no RC controller needed for it.

4) All my switches are K-Line O42; most of them of the low-profile style with anti-derail built-in.  Bullet-proof!

5) Some pix attached for reference.

6) THE LION ROARS magazine of the LCCA published an article about my method. A link to that article is attached for reference.

Mike Mottler  LCCA 12394
mottlermike10@gmail.com

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Last edited by Mike H Mottler

A large layout with MANY switches would be a challenge to one's memory for remembering which controller to throw to change the route of a switch.  My L-shaped layout has only 11 switches; but at age 81, my memory for switches and numbers has limits!

I considered installing Lionel SC-2 units for switch control with a CAB-1, but I like the vintage look and feel of switch controllers. Here's my method for ID numbers and switch control:

1) I placed an ID number at each switch using ID tags from the local Tractor Supply Store. The original purpose of those yellow tags was for use as ear tags for livestock; I apologize to the bovines. I wanted a tag big enough to show the stick-on number from across the train room.  I realize that other hobbyists may want to blend the switch ID number into the layout somehow, but I wanted/needed  a 1/2-inch number for clear reading.

2) I mounted each ID tag on a small L-bracket painted it black and installed it at the appropriate switch - near the diverging route.

3) I installed the vintage-style track controllers on a pull-out drawer at the control center located at the angle of the "L" of the layout.  I attached an ID number on each controller for reference.  The pull-out drawer slides back under the layout platform when not needed for switch control and some other features. I use Lionel TMCC with a CAB-1 for control of the trains and sound effects. There's a line of sight view from the control center to all switches. One switch (to a storage siding) is manual; no RC controller needed for it.

4) All my switches are K-Line O42; most of them of the low-profile style with anti-derail built-in.  Bullet-proof!

5) Some pix attached for reference.

6) THE LION ROARS magazine of the LCCA published an article about my method. A link to that article is attached for reference.

Mike Mottler  LCCA 12394
mottlermike10@gmail.com

thanks a ton, great stuff!

IMG_20200926_122255IMG_20200926_122316I have a walk around portion of my layout where I hand through my turnouts (Atlas). For the town area where I have numbered remote operating turnouts, I made a diagram and the control panel has descriptions naming the spurs and team tracks. To confirm that hard to see switch machines have deployed, I made red/white flags that flip so I can see when I activate those switches. I posted a thread of how my flag works for an Atlas switch machine. I'll edit when I find it. 

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Last edited by pennsynut

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