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Here I go starting a control panel for my layout. I don’t even have all the track down and decided to do a control panel and some blocks. I’ll post updates as I get more done, but it isn’t going very fast with life in the way. Comments welcome if I’m going down the wrong track (punny, I know).

 

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I’m going to use relays for the blocks to shutoff the track behind it. I’ll have to dig up the links for what I found on the blocks using relays.  I’ll have some switches on the panel to turn off some blocks too and to operate couplers in the small yard. The turn outs I’ll keep the Lionel fastrack switches they come with. 

interesting, I was researching relays but couldn't quite figure out how to use them on single track with reverse loops at each end as the trains would be going in both directions on the same track. do you have a diagram on how it would work on your track plan? how far apart would the blocks be? and do the relays activate a switch for your green siding or just turn on/off power?

How big is the reverse loop?  Could it hold two trains?  If so, you could have the relay shutdown one section in the reverse loop.

I don't have a full diagram yet, it is a work in progress.  I am thinking of using 3 or 4 block sections on the red line.  The green would be manually shut off via a switch.  I was thinking of using automatic switching when a train is occupied in the green line, but that starts getting more complicated than I wanted for now.  I want to start with a basic automatic block configuration so I can have two trains running on the red line and two on the blue line, and they won't crash into each other.  Once I get farther along, I'll provide more updates on what I did.

I think my blocks will be 5 to 6 feet long each.

Okay, so I've been away from my control panel project for a long time.  I now have a new panel I'm working on for my yard.  I'm going to restart my main panel later, and focus on this one.  I got my first draft in wood back tonight.  It is going to be all laser cut and then I'll fill in the lettering with paint.  Check out the photo.  Once I get all the sizes for the leds, switches, and buttons correct, I'll get it cut in plexi.  

 

Laser cut test #1

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  • Laser cut test #1

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