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Thread: How to build a control Panel

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    Video How to build a control Panel

    Here is a video I did some time ago and just released it to YouTube.
    I hope you all can use this information.



    Thanks , Mike
    “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
    I wrote ‘happy’.
    They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
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    Great tutorial, Mike! Thanks for taking the time to film it and explain the process.

    Just a few suggestions/questions:

    - if you went with slightly shorter strips of masking tape you probably could avoid the issue on the corners of too much tape
    - maybe just an artifact of the video but it looked like you were drilling the holes at a slight angle - it didn't look though like it caused any issues
    - rather than sanding and painting the front of the panel have you tried painting the back? It would mean though that the strip styrene would be white on the sides.
    - or could you use thinner strips of styrene (perhaps HO 1x6 or 2x6)?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ngaugingnut View Post
    Great tutorial, Mike! Thanks for taking the time to film it and explain the process.

    Just a few suggestions/questions:

    - if you went with slightly shorter strips of masking tape you probably could avoid the issue on the corners of too much tape
    - maybe just an artifact of the video but it looked like you were drilling the holes at a slight angle - it didn't look though like it caused any issues
    - rather than sanding and painting the front of the panel have you tried painting the back? It would mean though that the strip styrene would be white on the sides.
    - or could you use thinner strips of styrene (perhaps HO 1x6 or 2x6)?
    I agree with some of what you suggest but I have found painting the top a much better way in the long run.
    Thanks , Mike
    “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
    I wrote ‘happy’.
    They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
    -- John Lennon


    Mike & Robin at Fifer Hobby

    Southern New Mexico N Scalers

    Fifer Hobby Supply


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    I was just thinking that a similar approach could use basswood strips glued to a hardboard backing, but the problem with that is that you can't tape the pattern to the back side. Rather, you'd need to draw out your diagram on the front.

    For my own control panels, I have just been using graphics software to design them, then print out with a color printer and finally adhere the print to a hardboard panel. I found that the spray glue I use tends to let the dark color of the hardboard show through, so I'm painting this board white first. I design the face of the panel to have an extra black margin around it, so that when I adhere the hardboard I can wrap the edges of the print around, much like how you wrapped the tape edges around. This way, once the panel is affixed to the fascia, the edge of the paper is sandwiched between fascia and panel, so that it won't peel off later on. Also, I use a clear spray to protect the printed surface, once it is adhered.

    Just like on your graph paper diagram, I have to locate all my toggle holes on the print out, so I have to be thinking about those clearances when I am laying it out on the computer. In my case I am using rotary switches for my analog control, which means I have to reserve a lot of space for each! And I use ground throws on my turnouts so I'm not providing for those on the panel.

    Here is one of the panel faces I have designed, you can see that I use color coding as well, I like a colorful panel.

    WinchesterPanel1.jpg

    EDIT: I should mention that the knobs I use for the rotary switches are getting painted to match the color of the section they control, so that there isn't any confusion. Otherwise, the big knobs that overlap multiple sections might be problematic.

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    So all of your switches are four ways?

    Matthew

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthewd5 View Post
    So all of your switches are four ways?
    Actually they are all 6-ways. There are 4 cabs, then two "off" positions. One of those off positions is sort of reserved for future DCC integration, should I ever cross that bridge; in essence the DCC system would be like a fifth cab.

    I know, I should just go DCC now and not bother with all the blocks... but I kinda like the challenge!

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    nice vid... well done

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    Very nicely done.
    Hold my beer and watch this.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by redmaxx View Post
    Very nicely done.
    Thanks so much Maxx. I love making them.
    Mike
    “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
    I wrote ‘happy’.
    They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
    -- John Lennon


    Mike & Robin at Fifer Hobby

    Southern New Mexico N Scalers

    Fifer Hobby Supply


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