DC Operation and Block Control

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Section Hand
My current layout is the second DCC, maybe third DCC layout that I've worked on and the layouts that were built prior were DC and used block control.

I have an interest in model railroading electronics and I am wondering if the modelers who use block control could share photographs of their control panels and how they operate their railroads.

I'm sure there a great interest by others to see your work.




Whiskey Merchant
Here's one of my DC panels. I have two walk around throttles that I use and all of the switches on the control board are DPDT. All of the switch machines are the old twin coil machines. I use a hot probe to activate the switch machines. You can see the brass screws on the diagram that control the switch machines. I also keep a volt and amp meter in line with the throttles. The panel is over 30 years old but it still works. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.



To the left of the meters is the panel for the GML walk around throttle, which is hanging up the the left of it. The other walk around throttle is a mystery. It was given to me by the late Pete Ellis around 25 years ago. I have no idea who made it, but it is an excellent controller. The switch above the GML panel is the master power switch for the throttles.

max diyer

Active Member
I've been a long time member, but never posted. This will be my first.
I never got into DCC, so when I saw this post, I had to reply.
My layout is a HO 4x8 and has 2 cab throttles. There's 2 track loops, the outside being the mainline.
The inside being a local road with 2 branches.
Most of the time I run both cabs, running the main continuosly and switching cars on the local.
There's 10 blocks with DPDT's to change cabs.
There are 4 uncouplers. I still have to get 2 panel meters for Cab B.
There are no switch machines. The turnouts controls on this side are Caboose N-scale ground
throws. The 2 turnouts on the far side are manual remote-controlled. These are the 2 knobs above
Cab B throttle.
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max diyer

Active Member
Montanan - Nice old school set-up. I like the old industrial-style meters, the 2 walk around throttles and the large heavy-duty switches. The hot probe turnout activation is really neat. A long time ago, I had a neighbor that used that method and it's the first time since then that I've heard anyone using it.


Whiskey Merchant
Thanks for the comment Max. It is old school. This was the first town I built on the layout over 30 years ago. Built it on the cheap. I had a whole raft of DPDT switches I picked up at a clearance sale of an electronics store going out of business. The hot probe was the most simple way to activate the twin coil switch machines. After over 30 years it is still working without any problems. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

A lot of the things that we take for granted now were not available years ago so you worked with what was available.

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