As I continue to work toward a fully functioning new track arrangement at East Eugene, I am glad I scheduled this long-planned effort as a "Covid-19 Project." This critical part of my railroad has been out of service since I began this effort in October. The track removal and re-laying went fairly swiftly
but the wiring proved challenging
(https://espeecascades.blogspot.com/2021/03/east-eugene-track-wiring-electrical-war.html). As previously reported, I finally did sort through my track wiring such that I can run trains through this section. My attention then turned to control of the nine switch machines and eventual route indication.
I fabricated a physical control panel with the same dimensions and construction as the two other panels which control track routing in this overall area. The panel face is 10 x 18 inches and is mounted on a frame built from 1x3 poplar. The control panel frame is mounted with bottom hinges to the layout fascia and opens for electrical work on the back side of the panel.
Control panel frame fabricated and ready to be mounted with hinges to the lower fascia extension.
A coat of white paint on the hardboard panel face led to marker pen track lines and then toggle switch mounting.
A middle of the night inspiration brought into my semi-consciousness the reason for my slow progress on the control panel. I needed to resolve spacing issues for the toggle switches and route indicator LEDs. My overnight insight led to my recognizing that three of the routes represented cross-overs that could be route-controlled by single toggle switches. Those are the toggle switches mounted directly in the track lines. The left-most toggle actually controls access to an industrial siding. The turnout for that siding has not been built and installed yet, but the toggle switch is located for that function.
The nine switch machines needed multi-strand control wires run for them. Ugh! Cable Pulling. I am glad most of the cable pulling on this railroad is beyond me, but just this bit of it for this reconstruction project reminds me just how tiring and nasty that job is underneath a layout. I finally routed the control wires and terminated them at the switch machine block on one end and control panel blocks at the other end. Observing how I wired the LEDs for my first double slip switch last summer, I added wires for the switching pole of the indictor circuits.
Control panel interior. The switch panel is flopped open below and the fixed layout connections are above on the fascia hidden by the panel.
I am now ready to begin connecting the toggle switches to the wiring blocks for the fixed layout connections out to the switch machines. I will then tackle the LED route indicators. Step by step, I am approaching a point where this project can become a contributor to operations on my railroad.
The control panel for the revised track at East Eugene is coming together.