RailPro User Group

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Alan on May 25, 2017, 06:15:27 PM

Title: Layout control panels
Post by: Alan on May 25, 2017, 06:15:27 PM
Things have been awfully quiet on the RP forum lately. If it is okay with Bill, I would like to present some model railroad eye candy I have been working on.

I'm not one that cares to control anything more than trains with my HC. For layout accessories I prefer conventional fascia control panels. Here are 15 of my 16 panels ready for installation. I am building panel 16 at the moment.

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Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: G8B4Life on May 25, 2017, 10:24:30 PM
It's been awful quite on your blog as well Alan ;) I was starting to suspect that there was more "spring cleaning" going on up north than I thought.

The control panels look good and should complement the railroad quite nicely.

- Tim
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: darryl.trains on May 25, 2017, 11:46:40 PM
Some people just have all the talent for sure. Very nice work to say the least. Cheers, the old fardt in Arid-zona
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: Antoine L. on May 26, 2017, 08:44:15 AM
The LK&O is really a source of inspiration for me Alan.
Keep up the great work. I'm currently building my layout and finished my first module using almost all your techniques. Instead of Tortoises I use Bill's switch machines from PDC.ca. I am using all your techniques, including the small dowels to hold the wires, haha.
I won't have an accessory bus because it gets expensive and all, but at some point I could add one.

Thansk for sharing your knowledge to everyone.

Antoine
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: Alan on May 26, 2017, 01:33:47 PM
It's been awful quite on your blog as well Alan ;) I was starting to suspect that there was more "spring cleaning" going on up north than I thought.

The control panels look good and should complement the railroad quite nicely.

- Tim

Tim, I post to the blog when I reach a significant progress point or when the subject matter changes. I have been constructing control panels for a long time but am still not finished. A post will be forthcoming when I complete the last one as that will be a significant progress point. And yes, with the arrival of spring, all of the usual fair weather duties and recreational activities are in full swing. Really cuts into railroad fun time but not in a bad way.

Thanks for the compliment. What do you think of their look on a dusty chalkboard dark gray (near black) colored fascia?

Some people just have all the talent for sure. Very nice work to say the least. Cheers, the old fardt in Arid-zona

No talent required. It's all about persistence. I just keep at it until the picture in my head becomes a tangible object that I am not embarrassed of. Means I toss aside a lot of tried and failed attempts along the way but eventually come up with something that works and is repeatable. Then it becomes simply lather-rinse-repeat.

The LK&O is really a source of inspiration for me Alan.
Keep up the great work. I'm currently building my layout and finished my first module using almost all your techniques. Instead of Tortoises I use Bill's switch machines from PDC.ca. I am using all your techniques, including the small dowels to hold the wires, haha.
I won't have an accessory bus because it gets expensive and all, but at some point I could add one.

Thansk for sharing your knowledge to everyone.

Antoine

Makes me feel good you are able to use some of my ideas. The dowel bus holders have worked out swell for me. Bulletproof connections, infinitely expandable, virtually no voltage drop, and constructed for just pennies. How can you beat that! 
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: William Brillinger on May 26, 2017, 04:09:48 PM
Your panels are truly beautiful Alan!
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: nodcc4me on May 26, 2017, 06:03:33 PM
Alan, your control boards are among the nicest I've seen. Your work is always impressive.  ;)
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: KPack on May 26, 2017, 07:12:47 PM
You know, I had a guy on one of the popular model railroad forums attack Railpro (and myself because I used it) over and over again.  He said something along the lines of 'Railpro is just a toy, you're not a serious model railroader' blah, blah, blah.

Everything I've seen on this forum from Railpro users is in direct contrast to his criticism.  How many model railroads do you see with the kind of attention to detail that you espouse Alan?  The work you do Alan is some really nice stuff.  Excellent thought, planning, and workmanship.  Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

-Kevin

Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: G8B4Life on May 26, 2017, 10:48:07 PM
Thanks for the compliment. What do you think of their look on a dusty chalkboard dark gray (near black) colored fascia?

Alan, I think the panels will probably look good on any colour fascia simply because the panels, to my eye at least will keep your attention away from the fascia. It's the use of colours (blue, white, purple, orange etc) contained within that stained wood on the panels that does this.

As to fascia colour itself, I'll send a PM; I don't plan on opening any can's of worms here.

You know, I had a guy on one of the popular model railroad forums attack Railpro (and myself because I used it) over and over again.  He said something along the lines of 'Railpro is just a toy, you're not a serious model railroader' blah, blah, blah.

This person is probably just jealous, or too stupid to see the forest for the trees. I won't say any more; I think we all here know what happens on forums as soon as a person mentions or asks about RailPro; 3 good answers and 50 useless answers not answering anything more than the writers own excuses for not using it.

- Tim
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: Alan on May 28, 2017, 08:39:01 AM
Wow. Thanks guys.

You know, I had a guy on one of the popular model railroad forums attack Railpro (and myself because I used it) over and over again.  He said something along the lines of 'Railpro is just a toy, you're not a serious model railroader' blah, blah, blah.

Everything I've seen on this forum from Railpro users is in direct contrast to his criticism.  How many model railroads do you see with the kind of attention to detail that you espouse Alan?  The work you do Alan is some really nice stuff.  Excellent thought, planning, and workmanship.  Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

-Kevin

That is the very reason I, for the most part, quit participating in model railroad forums except this one and occasionally MRR (seems most hobby newcomers are appreciative of assistance). Sadly, this hobby deserves much of the public reputation it has. The percentage of outspoken gruff old men is high. While they may be knowledgeable, skilled, and/or experienced, their crude delivery and rigid close-mindedness really sours, for me anyway, what otherwise would be interesting and thought provoking dialog.
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: William Brillinger on May 28, 2017, 08:56:40 AM
Quote
That is the very reason I, for the most part, quit participating in model railroad forums except this one and occasionally MRR (seems most hobby newcomers are appreciative of assistance). Sadly, this hobby deserves much of the public reputation it has. The percentage of outspoken gruff old men is high. While they may be knowledgeable, skilled, and/or experienced, their crude delivery and rigid close-mindedness really sours, for me anyway, what otherwise would be interesting and thought provoking dialog.

Sadly true. Let's not become those gruff old men!
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: TwinStar on May 28, 2017, 09:20:13 AM
Alan,

That is very, very nice work. I need to keep up with your blog more.

Jacob
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: G8B4Life on May 28, 2017, 09:45:33 AM
Sadly true. Let's not become those gruff old men!

Hear Hear!

As this is the only forum I'm on (which sadly, accounts for 99% of my model rail "human contact"), besides a couple of Yahoo groups that have all but died I certainly don't want to loose RPUG to the same fate as a person nearly anywhere else who bucks the norm would. Sheesh, just because I use RailPro and Sergent couplers you'd think I was some outcast that's looked upon as someone who might try to unravel society.

- Tim
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: TwinStar on May 28, 2017, 09:57:30 AM
I've had a lot of success in converting Kadee guys to Sergent but the DCC to RailPro conversion has been about as successful as converting guys to Islam at Notre Dame.

That said, we have a small group in Ft Worth that is going to modify the Free-mo standard to a more RailPro friendly format while still retaining Free-mo compatibility. There isn't a lot of interest in buying thousands of dollars of DCC hardware just to put power on the rails.

Jacob
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: Alan on June 15, 2017, 09:46:58 PM
Finally finished all 16 panels. Check out how ugly it got on the backside of this one.

http://www.lkorailroad.com/control-panels-part-xi/ (http://www.lkorailroad.com/control-panels-part-xi/)

(http://www.lkorailroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DSC_1502.jpg)
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: G8B4Life on June 16, 2017, 08:43:53 PM
Has it really been 7 months? wow. I guess it's a good thing you enjoy the electronics side on par with the rest of hobby. So many people would be close to madness if it took them that long to build their control panels. Mind you, you did virtually 2 per month which is not bad going.

What comes after control panels, besides installing them?

- Tim
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: Alan on June 16, 2017, 08:51:22 PM
Quote
What comes after control panels, besides installing them?

Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: Alan on February 22, 2020, 01:30:51 PM
What comes after control panels, besides installing them?
- Tim

Since you asked 2-1/2 years ago ;D, this is what comes next. Lots more pics on the LK&O site: http://www.lkorailroad.com/fascia-finished/ (http://www.lkorailroad.com/fascia-finished/)

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Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: G8B4Life on February 22, 2020, 07:57:56 PM
Looking good Alan,

Congratulations on the upcoming retirement. More LK&O time! Looking forward it.

- Tim

Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: Alan on July 26, 2020, 09:33:37 AM
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It's alive! It's alive!

First two control panels are wired and working.

(http://www.lkorailroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/DSC_2953.jpg)

(http://www.lkorailroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/DSC_2981.jpg)

Gory details: http://www.lkorailroad.com/panel-wiring-part-i/ (http://www.lkorailroad.com/panel-wiring-part-i/)
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: nodcc4me on July 26, 2020, 09:40:18 AM
Nicely done, Alan. I won’t ask how you were able to type the wire info on all those tags.  :o
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: ON28 on July 26, 2020, 10:40:19 AM
Worth the wait!
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: G8B4Life on July 26, 2020, 11:20:10 AM
Nope, I don't believe it, your having us on! I suspect what really happened is that in the intervening years since you started the control panels the railroad got tired of waiting for it's interlocking supplier and went somewhere else. You photoshopped that LED glow in didn't you? ;D

I must say I'm surprised you don't like crimping Alan, I'd use it everywhere I could just to get away from soldering wires. It must be a case of the proper tool for the job, and in the case of the JST series connectors that proper tool looks like it's an automatic strip-feed-crimp-cut to length machine I saw in action (online) once when I briefly considered whether making motherboards like what TCS and the Decoder Buddy guy did but for RP's 9 pin setup was something viable. BTW, the JST headers are available in way cooler colours than white too but you'd probably have a hard time finding them outside of the JST online shop.

Actually there is another type of JST crimping tool out there. Not sure if it does the XH size or not but it looks like a set of long nose pliers; much smaller than the ratcheting set.

- Tim
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: Alan on July 26, 2020, 01:03:17 PM
I must say I'm surprised you don't like crimping Alan, I'd use it everywhere I could just to get away from soldering wires.

- Tim

Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I learned to solder before I was 10 years old. 50+ years on it is second nature. Everything else on the layout is soldered, why not the panel connectors too!
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: emd_16645 on July 29, 2020, 08:15:56 AM
Alan, I think you need to brush up on your Red Green episodes.  Your mobile work station didn't have a scrap of duct tape on it.   ;D
Title: Re: Layout control panels
Post by: Alan on July 29, 2020, 06:46:58 PM
BTW, the JST headers are available in way cooler colours than white too but you'd probably have a hard time finding them outside of the JST online shop.
- Tim

Darn you Tim. Couldn't stop thinking about your comment on connector colors. Sure enough, JST offers 9 colors. Would have been perfect to color code the panel connectors as I would have needed 8 colors at most. I guess it falls into the "if I had it to do over" category.

Alan, I think you need to brush up on your Red Green episodes.  Your mobile work station didn't have a scrap of duct tape on it.   ;D

Oops. No Possum Lodge invitation for me.  :-[