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Passed Driver
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Hi All.   I have been faffing about with two planks for so long, and now all the points work, by wire in tube. But I keep forgetting to change the points, real signalmen/ women have a big panel in front of them above the frame.And my WIT control doesn'tt allow for that (obviously) now that is a PITA and gives me a problem, derailments and crashes. Whereas if I had interlocking I wouldn't have that problem. if I had chosen another system? I don't even know if there is one for Model Railways. Or at least if I have a Panel with LED's that would let me know which way the points are facing, then perhaps that may work?   All the best. Kevin

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I have a mimic panel which does exactly that for some of my points Kevin - the points I'm operating with servos via the Megapoints system. 

It works very well but there's quite a lot of wiring involved.  I'll take some photos of it later tonight if I get a chance.

Couldn't you just have a "check list" to work your way through ? 

e.g. Loco "A" from Siding B to Shed ..................

1.  Set point No 1 "on"
2.  Set point No 2 "off"
3. Set point  No 3 "on"
4. Set loco to run forward
5. Move loco .......................................

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Hi Kevin,

It should be easy enough to incorporate a SPDT slide switch with 2 LEDs (red/green) that is activated by the movement of the wire.

Nigel

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Hi Petermac. Thank you for your reply . The fact is that it should be simple, afterall I arranged the controls. So I should be able to work it out  but I am forgetful . Then again it is a "Puzzle Plank", and it certainly has me puzzled.All the best. Kevin 

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Hi Nigel.  Thank you for your reply. I would agree with that idea , if I was using " Bicycle spokes" or a similar solid wire like the coat hangers from the Dry Cleaners. But the wire that I am using is like Music Wire.Being that I am using DPDT slide switches , I have been trying to figure out how I could utilise the three spare pins on each switch. It would probably require a separate supply, a common return and , that's the part I'm not sure of.
All the best. Kevin

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Hi Nigel.   I have been thinking about a mimic panel, and roughly it is like this (ish). Off the top of my Bonce.Beginning with the power source, the positive goes to the middle contact of the three spare contacts, (no idea about resistors or diodes etc.). Leaving the outside contacts to feed the LED's. Now depending which way the points are set
Determines which LED glows, of course the negative goes back to source . But it is the rest of the parts I dont know about.. All the best. Kevin

Last edited on Thu May 18th, 2017 10:39 am by Passed Driver

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Kevin, how to connect LEDS
http://brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical%20page%202.html#LEDs

quite a bit of reading

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Hi Ron Thank you very much. I have now got that on file. I don’t like Brian Lambert diagrams, too many lines, which is double Dutch to me. All the best. Kevin

Last edited on Tue Jun 19th, 2018 10:44 am by Passed Driver

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Hi Ron.  Another reply/question. When using the LED's that Modellers use are they a standard size? and if they are is it worth using LED holders when constructing a "Mimic Board"? Or does one just "bung them in" a drilled hole?All the best. Kevin

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Passed Driver wrote: Hi Ron.  Another reply/question. When using the LED's that Modellers use are they a standard size? and if they are is it worth using LED holders when constructing a "Mimic Board"? Or does one just "bung them in" a drilled hole?All the best. Kevin


I used these for my mimic panel Kevin.

Maybe not the cheapest but robust.  Can't remember what resitance I used - I'll check when I have a moment and let you know.  Just drill a hole and push them in.

http://uk.farnell.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=15001&langId=44&urlRequestType=Base&partNumber=2062404&storeId=10151

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Hi Petermac.   Thank you too. My mimic panel will only be a simple one, at the moment, unplugable? for transport?if I ever go anywhere with it?   All the best. Kevin

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Passed Driver wrote: Hi Ron.  Another reply/question. When using the LED's that Modellers use are they a standard size? and if they are is it worth using LED holders when constructing a "Mimic Board"? Or does one just "bung them in" a drilled hole?All the best. Kevin

Kevin, for panels, I guess modelers use whatever they want - I use 3mm & 5mm LEDs - with just a hole to fit them in & apply some PVA on the back to make sure they stay in position - easy to get out if needed.

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Hi Ron.   Thank you. Why do I always want to complicate things?  All the best. Kevin

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Here's a copuple of shots of my small mimic panel Kevin.



It controls 10 servo motors - enough, as you can see, for 4 route changing points (Nos 1; 2; 5 & 7) and 6 others (Nos 3; 4 & 6 each controlling 2 points) associated with the 3 crossovers - via a "Megapoints" controller (http://megapointscontrollers.com/megapoints).

The green LEDs show which route is set.  When I press the red button, the 2 LEDs flash alternately then, once the point position has changed, only the corresponding LED is alight.


This is what's inside - not a pretty sight but it works well. :thumbs



If I knew how to upload videos, I could show you what happens when I press the buttons ..................... :oops:

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Hi Petermac.  Thank you for the photos. As you know, I decided to go for manual point control. And that is the difference. If Ihad gone for route control I wouldn't be having derailments and crashes. My mimic panel is just to remind me where the wagons are going, and keeping them on track. When a "DCC Non Believer" saw the mess that my plank wiring had got into, when I went searching for a possible short circuit, i.e. Blue to Brown, he quipped about only needing Two Wires, poor fool.   All the best. Kevin

Last edited on Mon Apr 24th, 2017 12:17 am by Passed Driver

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A stunning epic production of my mimic panel with the LEDs showing which route is set - all powered by a MegaPoints controller -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC9AaQMe7KA&feature=youtu.be

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Not much wrong with that, Peter.  :thumbs

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You're too kind Max. ;-)

Not very professional looking but I'm happy with it - and, more importantly, it works.   :thumbs

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OK, Petermac, what is with the flashing LEDs then ? Can't the system makes its mind up?

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It flashes while the throw bar moves across, Sol.

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Sol wrote: OK, Petermac, what is with the flashing LEDs then ? Can't the system makes its mind up?
I've always been a bit of a ditherer Sol .................... ;-)

Max is right - once the point has changed, the new route LED is steady.  At first, I thought it was a sort of copy of the crossing barriers which flash alternately whilst they close but I really don't know why they flash.  Maybe just to tell me it's moving something, or, just that it looks good .................. :cheers

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Hi Petermac.  Bravo, Bravo it looks fine to me, Alas I cannot follow your fine example with my manual points, and I was never one for modernisation , a bit of a Luddite ? But I do admire your system. And safety must come first.would you please tell me about the power consumption of the LED's and would I be able to " do my own thing"? By making aPluggable Mimic board? Connected to the DPDT slide switches that are doing the job of point Motors .
My rough plan is using the spare terminals on the switches with a power supply, resistors, and suitable LED's, with either built in sockets on or under the baseboard ( of course they would have to be hidden,from view) but which connectors are best ? I have a plan for the panel , it looks just like your one, only compact .
Please advise. Kevin

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LEDs consume almost no power Kevin - mine are 12 volts but only use milliamps of power.  My panel has a dedicated 12v regulated supply but that's because the Mega Points controller requires a steady supply. For LEDs, any old supply will do but the resistor is critical otherwise they'll blow instantly. 

I see no reason why you can't use your DPDT switches with an LED wired to them via the resistor.  My panel mounted LEDs came with a "normal" wire attached (plain LEDs usually have 2 plain wire "legs" for connections).

Having wires already attached, they could be connected to the "circuit" either by soldering, choc blocks or in fact, any kind of connector you care to use.  It's just like connecting any wire to another - do it how you choose to.

Naturally the panel mounted LEDs are more expensive that the plain ones but they are very robust.  I'll post a photo of one later so you can see what you're paying for.

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Hi Petermac.  Thank you, but I will have to get some advice on the socket connection , between the baseboard and the panel.  All the best. Kevin

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Hi Max   I have hit a snag ( not a sausage ) with my mimic panel, "interconnectivity?" I have cobbled together my panel, purchased the LED's,  15 pin plug and socket (but I am only using nine pins) all ready and waiting, but,:hmm I cannot find a suitable "9 Core cable" for a tidy connection between the baseboard and panel, I have looked on eBay without any luck, I know there are many experts on YMRC, but I remember your thread on baseboard wiring.
I thought of nine different coloured wires and binding them with cable ties, or heat shrink tubing but that may not be satisfactory ? Have you got any good ideas or know where I am able to make such a purchase , as I only require about a yard (or a metre), all the adverts that I have seen quote one hundred metres or more.
   All the best. Kevin

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Kevin, most electronic shops sell it by the yard/metre but you have to go there.

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Hi Kevin

For applications like this, I use rainbow cable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribbon_cable

Available at your local electronics store.

Cheers

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Hi Ron.  Thank you for your reply. My local electronics shop "Maplin" is a suitable candidate, but, the staff are a bit vague? Unless one knows the exact product? They seem useless, and cannot give advice. If I find what I'm looking for and I am likely to need another one, then I keep the packet and take it with me the next time.  All the best. Kevin

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Hi Max.  Thank you for your reply. I have never heard of ribbon cable. Does that carry 12volts for model railways without any problem? and can I separate the ends to wire it to a "Terminal Strip"? I will have to google that and I will let you know how I get on.  All the best. Kevin

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Yes.  It's easily separated as described on Google.

It solders well and will easily carry LED current.

I've even used it for CDU's.

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Hi Max.    Thank you again. But, it has occured to me that flexibility may pose a problem, where the cable connects to the plug, by design the cable is " a loose wire", flying about, whereas if it was fixed in position the wire are less likely to pull out or fracture, could you comment on this?  All the best. Kevin

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If you're soldering a gang of nine wires to the device, each will support the others.

If I've stripped them apart, I will usually put a cable tie around them for support.

That's usually enough.

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Hi Max.  Thank you again.  Kevin

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Hi Petermac.   My  very basic manual mimic panel has been a long time coming? Now that is just about ready.But to improve it? I went to my local Maplin branch and purchased a VGA 1.5 Extension Cable, Male to Female       (as opposed to my original idea of one end being wired to the panel and the other end flying loose with a plug on it).       But it didn't work, Why?
I ask myself. Then I decided it couldn't be my wiring? it must be the extension? Then I inspected the Extension and Lo and Behold it only has 14 pins. I didn't need 15 pins, but wouldn't you know it, one of the pins I chose was the absent one, number 9 as it is present with the original "Male Plug". Maybe I should have stuck with my 5-5-5 plug and socket
Has anyone come across this before??    All the best. Kevin

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Hi Petermac , Max ,  Ron , and interested parties. Back to my “Mimic Panel “ manually operated of course , as soon as I it to work , I am now going to change it. Instead of a wooden box, with LED’s , I intend to fit a plastic panel and a paper diagram. With holes for the LED’s. But I have read about a “Superior alternative to Perspex” would any of you fine Modellers please advise me on this screen.   Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Petermac     Over the weekend? and a bit more? I have purchased a piece of clear plastic, drilled the holes for the LED’s, put masking tape.  for my track plan, and sprayed with a rattle can a grey primer ( Halfords ) meant for plastic . Now I have removed the tape it looks too clear? And I intend painting over the grey primer with a translucent orange colour? ( do you think that this is a good choice of paint ?) to represent the Panel used in a signal cabin with one difference, it will not show train passage.The old Mimic Panel worked ( manual ) no flashing lights) but I wanted to update the “ plain wooden box” .
Best wishes. Kevin

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Kevin, this is the photo you sent me assuming it is your plank...


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Hi Ron.    Thank you . Your assumption is correct , that is the four foot by fourteen inch plank, the other one is nine inches wide. The view is of the rear view of the “ Scenery Break “ , and the WIT DPDT Slide switches can clearly be seen alongside the programme track isolating switch . But there is lots to do with the scenery, but the trains run well, when I can keep awake?  Best wishes.  Kevin

Last edited on Sun Jul 8th, 2018 07:52 am by Passed Driver

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Hi Ron , Max , Petermac , and interested parties?Thank s to Ron , I have discovered that taking photos of a Model Railway with an iPad , in natural light is pushing ones luck? And got me to thinking , rather than having the lights on, what about illuminating the layout with low voltage / wattage lighting, similar to LED coach lighting? Then I googled my idea. And I found that a lot of Modellers over think things. Is there a simple way.? To light up the baseboard ?  Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Kevin

I just went to IKEA and bought a couple of standard lamps and mounted both booms on the one mast.

Cheers

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Hi Max. Thank you.  My favourite uplighter , will light up a room without shadows, but, the sliding dimmer switch needs replacing . This idea requires backboard lighting to bring it to life.  Best wishes.  Kevin


                 

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