How to make a Control Panel?

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wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#41
One thing I want to emphasis, it is ONLY the LED's that I am having a hard time with. I know and understand how to wire the Motors, I just don't understand (now) how to wire the LED's to correspond with the direction of the points.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#42
GOOD News ...

Have just finished wiring up "one" of the Cobalt Motors and it works flawlessly through the DPDT Switch. Now the problem child - adding the LED's :(

Additional GOOD news for me - I have one of the bi colored LED's wired in and it works as well, including changing color when the points are thrown!

https://vimeo.com/237168657

Look closely and you will see the armature on the Cobalt move as well :) I'm starting to enjoy this side of things!

Now to figure out how to put the others in so the colors change correctly?
 
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wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#43
Just added a 2nd LED and it also works: however, BOTH LED's are the same color either both Red or both Green. I am now thinking that when I add the 2nd Cobalt Machine, I need to wire the 3rd (and 4th if used) LED into the wiring for it for that LED to be a different color so when 2 of them are Green, the other is Red?
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#44
Well, have put in the 3rd LED and everything works as it should - yep, it's true, it all works!





All I have to do now is figure out how to "clean up" the wiring mess. Luckily this is just a "test attempt" to make sure I could do it all.



Thanks everyone for the help, advice and suggestions. Without that, I doubt this would have gotten off the ground.

Kevin,

Have ordered those 3mm Bevels.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#46
You can now apply to join the "A Team". You'll have to straighten up those wriggly wires first though.:p
Hmm maybe the c- Team if one exists. If not - then I'll form my OWN Team :) All I will say is that I wasn't concerned about how "pretty" it looked, so long as it worked, and this is only the "bench test" so I really don't care :p

With that being said, when I do the actual panel I am going to have find away of keeping everything organised and tidy. One thing this taught me was I need to use longer lengths of wire in some places so it isn't as "cramped". A guy on another forum suggested I use these things:



Not sure what they are or what they do, other than being another connector. Whether they will help tidy things or not I don't know.

I also don't know when I will be able to make the Panel itself. I ordered the styrene from Klein's last Monday and am still waiting for it to be shipped so I don't expect that much before Wednesday. So if I do use those green things and ordered them tonight, I'd have them by Wednesday as well, if not Tuesday.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#47
One other thing, I bit the bullet this afternoon and ordered one these things:



I am hoping (seriously hoping) that this will let me solder the wires to the Switch, which would make me happier than having them (sort of) twisted around the terminal posts as they are in the test panel.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#48
That looks like a Temperature Controlled soldering station, which has a thermostat affect on the iron, keeping the temp constant to what the dial is set to. The usual non controlled irons do tend to overheat their stated wattage if left sitting out of use.

I have one , not quite so swoopy looking and the tip on mine rides on a ceramic rod. Worked fine till I bought some new solder which refused to flow nicely and would bead up on it. It was flux cored and as I always use a spot of Rosin flux on terminals etc., with a very thin pretinning of the surfaces of all bits being joined, I figured I must have picked up some lead free solder. Bought some 60-40 lead/silver, but haven't retried yet to see if it fixes the problem. Pretinning can be ignored if surfaces are new and bright, but a dot of flux definitely helps, even with the rosin being in the solder.

Get yourself some tip tinning compound, comes in a small press lid tin, about 1-1/2" in diameter, 3/4" deep. It has a solder bearing paste, semi abrasive, that you push the tip into. Cleans and tins in one action. Wipe off the excess. Use the pad on the base. Use it as needed.

I set mine to 35-40deg and got into the habit of turning it back to about 25deg when out of use. Quickly comes back up to hot when needed. What you will find as you become more proficient with soldering that the higher temps are better for a quick in and out method. Parts heat up quickly and the solder also flows into the joint easier and you pull the iron away sooner, resulting in a stronger, cleaner joint, that also cools faster.

Also get some heat shrink tubing, small diameter, to cover and insulate bare wires that may touch. Don't forget to slide it over one side before joining things up. The heat from the side of the soldering iron shrinks that effectively.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#49
Something else. If the contacts you are soldering the wires to have small holes, bend the ends of wires into a partial hook, hook them into the contact and squash flat with small pliers. Much easier than having to hold a wire and solder too.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#50
Toot'n,

It is exactly as you assumed. The temp can be set anywhere from 200 degree F to 899 degrees F. Can't tell you the wattage as I have no idea. I will get some of that tip tinning compound to, that sounds great.

Most people I asked about a good soldering iron/system have said this one. While not what you would call cheap compared to others, it also wasn't in the resistance system price range either. The little Weller I am using at the moment is good for "larger jobs" but am a little leary of it when it comes to soldering Cat 5 wires onto Mini DPDT Toggle Switch terminals.

Anyway, once I get it and try it, I'll let you know what I think and how well it works.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#51
I forgot about being Celsius here, and I booboo'd, the dial on mine say's x10, so 350C and topping out at 450c, so 350C=662F. 400C=752F and 450C=842F. near enough the same range then. For a minute I thought it was some sort of laser you had there. Maybe could be installed in satellites to deal with NK.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#52
Toot'n,

My fault I guess, normally I convert Fahrenheit to Celsius for people or visa versa. Whether it be F or C ... it's hot Damned HOT!
 
#53
All I have to do now is figure out how to "clean up" the wiring mess.
Order a batch of 'heat shrink'. It comes in a variety of sizes. Its standard feature is that it shrinks 50%around the diameter and almost nothing along the length, so 1/8" diameter heat shrink will reduce to 1/16". Buy the sizes that will just slip over the parts you want to protect - resistors, switch terminals, etc. Cut a piece 1/2" to 3/4" long and slip it over the resistor before you solder the resistor to the LED lead. After the components are soldered together, slide the heat shrink over the joint and apply heat (heat gun, hair dryer, lighter, etc.).

A guy on another forum suggested I use these things:

https://i.imgur.com/0stlsZr.jpg
Not what you want to use. The photo is only one half of the terminal strip. The other half is mounted to a PC (printed circuit) board. You want these:


One other thing, I bit the bullet this afternoon and ordered one these things:

https://i.imgur.com/T1zwlrx.jpg
Excellent choice.

PS1: If you didn't catch it, the quote in my previous post was Swahili ;)

PS2: Don't buy the terminal strips. PM me your address and I'll send you a bunch.

Edit: Well, that didn't work the way I expected it to!
 

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wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#54
Kevin,

I like the idea of using heat shrink and after that, the tubing that has a slit along it's length that can be wrapped around wiring to form a single "loom". I'll certainly look into it.

Before I forget, I didn't realise that company you suggested for the 3mm bevels was in Thailand until I got the order confirmation email. My immediate thought was geez it'll take weeks for them to arrive. All I can say is this mob is brilliant and "on the ball". Ordered the parts, an hour later got another email telling me they're going to be shipped and another yesterday telling me they will arrive this Tuesday! There are some companies here, that are only a 5 hour drive away, that can't even process an order in that time let alone ship it and have it delivered. Very impressed and thanks for the link to them.

Thanks for the heads up on those green connectors too. Last thing I need is to add more stuff that I have no idea about - I have enough grey hairs as it is.

As for the Hakko, everyone I asked (including here) pointed me in the direction of Hakko and particularly this system. I don't think I have read a bad review about them either so hopefully it will live up to it's reputation. Either way, it will be better than my little Weller that does, as Toot'n said, get very very hot if left unused for a few minutes.

I am a huge supporter of using terminal boards, of any type. I have a 10 Post board and a 24 Post bard (which I will use for the turnouts/control panel) but will need more for other things such as structure lighting down the track. As such, I just might take you up on your very generous offer.

PS: I think I am slowly (very slowly) learning Swahili :)
 



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