Since my last update, I have been working almost daily on my control panel (almost completed below). I have also finished the complete wiring plan for my control box (also seen below). The wiring plan includes the planned wiring for the control box, all lighting (including trackside signals), switch machines, power blocks, and under-table wiring. I have been working and modifying this electrical plan for quite some time now and even though it looks quite large, it’s actually quite simple, as it’s just a combination of several circuits. Some of this is already wired, such as the under-table switches, but it’s still nice to see how it will all work together.
The next item for construction was the display for the turnout positions as well as the 13 power blocks. I had originally planned to show all of these on one diagram, but because I had the room and didn’t want everything looking cluttered, I separated the 2 diagrams. I cut frames for each diagram out of 1/16” craft wood board and stained it dark ebony. For the diagrams, I decided to use digital vector images I created in Photoshop instead of using the traditional tape-method. I then printed these high resolution images on photo paper at Wal-Mart. Once glued to the frames, I glued the entire units directly onto the control board. The numbers on the diagrams correspond to the switch numbers and the power blocks.
Next I drilled holes through the switch position diagram and installed my LEDs which will indicate the switch’s position; red for the turnout and green for the main line. Switches 1-3 are all for the main front line and switch 4 is for the turnout to the turntable.
The LEDs at the top of each switch control are for stick-protection. I’ve heard that Atlas switch controls sometimes stick and will burn out switch machines, so I added this little feature that will indicate a stuck switch. The LED will light only for the moment that the switch is pressed. If the switch sticks, the LED will stay on, indicating power overload (see wiring diagram above). I then drilled more holes for the switches and indicators for the accessories, such as layout and power LEDs.