Exhibition standard models for the connoisseur
Over the years we have manufactured a vast range of control panels, the illustration above shows our 'house style' which was designed for our Calstock (Cotehele) layout.
Whether your layout is analogue or digital, your control panel is the heart of your model railway, and needs to reflect your style. This means that we must build the panel to your specifications because the control panel is usually the most used feature of a model railway. Its design, construction and operation must therefore be given careful consideration to ensure the finished product will operate the layout in the required manner. The normal requirement of panel is to control some, or all of the three primary control features on a layout - track power, turnout motors and signals. It may also be convenient to have other operating features controlled from the panel, for example turntables, sound effects, and lighting.
Section of the above panel showing track switches (Red), end of track switch (White), and point switches (Black), along with 'Out of Correspondence' LEDs (Yellow).
We can also design bespoke electronic controls for your layout, see our electronics pages
Standard features: -
Power Supply. We simply keep the High Voltage Mains away from the panel, preferring to put it in a sealed metal box, where there is no chance of any danger.
Controllers. These can be panel mounted or arranged on a wander lead for walk around control. Furthermore we can supply any of the commercial controllers, or provide our own design, which offers more flexibility.
Track Section Switches. As shown above, these are arranged on a schematic drawing of your layout so that every switch can be instantly identified with which area it controls.
Point Switches. Whether passing or permanent contact types, there are placed on our schematic plan and show immediately which point/s are operated by it. A CDU (capacitor discharge unit) may also be fitted as standard.
End of Track Switches: These may be either momentary, latching, or electronic types, which not only will to prevent accidental collisions with the buffers, but allows the train engine to be released in a realistic manner.
Electronic track cleaners. A desirable feature for large layouts, these provide an electronic signal in order to clean the track.
Turnout status indicators. If not used with our latching switches, these are a popular addition to the control panel, instantly showing you the position of the associated turnout.
Diode matrix. Similar as used in concept to real railways, this allows for one switch to instantly operate a number of turnouts to set a route for the train.
Track detection. These are used to detect the presence of a train. Use of these circuits will prevent a train entering a section already occupied by another and so prevent a collision. Almost essential on large layouts with hidden sidings
Station stops, and Shuttles. Allows a circulating train to automatically stop a station (and start again a while later). This feature is useful on remote automatic parts of a layout.
Sound generators. Not usually a feature of mine, but these can add realism to non DCC controlled layouts. We can supply sounds that appear to follow the train via multiple speakers and hidden magnetic switches in the track.
Accessory control. This includes adding switches on the panel to control level crossings, turntables, lights etc.