1. Matthew Hunt

    Matthew Hunt New Member

    Hi All,

    I have just joined your group and thought I should say hello, I am at the design stage of an N Gauge layout, never built one before but have always wanted to.

    I am based in the UK and have intensions of using the Kato unitrack along with UK trains (1950's era).

    I am in danger of biting off more than i can manange but it's just my way!.

    I am currently researching the Kato turnouts with the idea of building my own control board, I am at the stage of wanting to have LED's on my board showing the turnout direction and have realised this is not as simple as I expected. I am a not frightened of electronics but realise this will be a labour of love, Momentary DPDT switch seems to be the solution and I presume I am going to have to attempt a latching circuit for the LED's as they could get out of synch :(

    If anyone has any ideas I would welcome any advice, I am off to trawl through your threads for any info.


    Hardcoaler likes this.
  2. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    Hi Matt, welcome. Happy to have on board. I have Cicuitron Tortoise switch machines. I wired a bi-polar (green/red) LED across the power pair of each machine. This gives me a green/red indication for the machine's position, green for straight, red for divergent. Tortoise machines need a constant current to hold position. You need hard contact DPDT switches, not momentary. This also will give you a constant light indication of state. Enjoy.
    Matthew Hunt likes this.

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome to TrainBoard Matt! There is a great N scale community here. At least one (his username is Hardcoaler) is working on a control panel similar to what you describe so may be some good idea there for you. Enjoy!
    Matthew Hunt likes this.
  4. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

    Welcome aboard, Matt. I like your attitude. Go ahead and bite off more than you can chew. I'm sure there are many other of us who have done that.
    Matthew Hunt likes this.
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Welcome to TrainBoard!
    Matthew Hunt likes this.
  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Hi Matt and welcome to TrainBoard. I'm building a new N Scale railroad to replace my 30+ year old one. I too am new to Kato Unitrack and want a control panel with LEDs, so built one using DPDT toggles with a capacitive discharge circuit. Look here on TrainBoard for George Stillwell's circuit and on the Internet for Rob Paisley's circuit. Both will offer what you need and are fairly easy to build.

    Here's my panel. I'm mounting the capacitors adjacent to the turnouts because I don't have the room for them within my panel. I've successfully tested the panel with turnouts, but don't have a railroad yet. Hopefully it'll withstand long term use. I chose red and black wires to as to use Kato's colors and avoid wiring confusion. Green LED is for normal position (straight) and Yellow for reverse (diverging).

    2019-02-11 002 DS&N Turnout Control Panel - for upload.jpg
    2019-02-11 001 DS&N Turnout Control Panel - for upload.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
    BNSF FAN, Matthew Hunt and gjslsffan like this.
  7. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

    Matthew Hunt likes this.
  8. Matthew Hunt

    Matthew Hunt New Member

    Hey Hardcoaler,

    Great build, nice and neat - I look forward to seeing your complete set up :)

    Thank you for your reply and great info, just what I am looking for. I have ordered today one Kato turnout allowing me the chance to test the circuit and control panel set up. I have found a circuit online that uses a SPDT toggle and I will also look at the suggestions you supplied - I will let you know which circuit I decide on and why......maybe members here can advise on my thinking!!

    I intend to go the route of DCC and want to keep the turnouts separate from the controller.

    I am impressed so far with this group, thank you for the welcome and I look forward to contributing in the future. I think my motto here is......"standing on the shoulders of giants" as this seems to be my way!

    Kind regards,

    Hardcoaler likes this.
  9. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

    Welcome to Trainboard
    Matthew Hunt likes this.

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