Sunday, 1 April 2012

Control Panel Progress

Hi All,

I promised an update on control panel progress & after much time has passed, here it is.

Well the Fish River Up Box is now finished & installed.  I elected to mount the Cobalt point motor A4 decoders in the panel rather than at the point motor for a number of reasons...including but not limited to...less wiring between the panel & the point, the ability to have the bulk of the equipment at the panel for easy locating & identification of any problems that might occur & the fact that the less time crawling around under the layout...the better.  This activity is no fun whether you are 8 or 80 years old.

From the panel there are only 2 wires required to run to each point....the "motor control wires"....even so i decided to run a 7 core sheathed alarm type cable to each point which should future proof the wiring if any other trackside items were installed at a later date that required cabling....Signalling???.   It is also a lot neater from my viewpoint.

While talking about the future it is also worth stating that i have installed 3 banks of AD4 decoders in the panel which obviously equates to 12 decoders....Fish River Up Box only controls 10 sets of i have two spares which will take care of any mods or decoder failures.

There are terminal strips attached to the underside of the panel enclosure which handle all in & out cable connections.

During the planning phase, and after reading the myriad of on-line & written articles on DCC wiring it became apparent to me that dividing the layout into power districts was sage advice & i decided to utilise an NCE EB3 type of circuit breaker / distribution device.  A device with 3 outputs would satisfy my here & now requirements & more could be installed as the future dictates.   When i made the decision to purchase i was steered toward the DCC Specialties PSX-3 as it "had more bells & whistles" than the hindsight it may well have been an availabilty issue on the part of the vendor that governed the advice.  I will post separately on the DCC Circuit Breaker issue in the future as it deserves to be addressed in detail....but my findings thus far while clouded in "high tech confusion" is that the PSX is great for power district supply to the track BUS....but useless for supply to the AD4 decoders because the small wiring from the PSX to the input of the AD4s may be resulting in faulty short sensing due to resistance???... Mind you i need to spend more time researching & reading on this issue & MAY STAND CORRECTED.

Apart from the above issue, the panel works as designed & i am happy with the result.

The PSX-3 & AD4s are installed

Panel switches & LEDs installed & being populated

Panel installed & Ready To Go.

Regards Rod.

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