quick disconnect.

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Hey everyone Ok this isn't for a layout. But Model railroading is one of my hobbies. and When it comes to wires and modules I figured I would ask here for my project. so Please any help will be Deeply Appreciated.

OK so my Projest is I am redoing my 240g aquarium stand, (while the tank is up and running. Not easy mostly skinning it) but for my door panels I want to cut out some patterns. and shaddow box the door panels and have the panels light up with LED strip lights. the panels will not be mounted with hinges but will be completely removable. I am doing it this way because my recliner sits next to the tank so its hard to swing the big doors open. and I can't reaarange the room because of this large tank. So I need to come up with a way to do a Quick disconnect. something that I don't have to keep plugging & unplugging everytime I open and close the panels. Now wiring isn't my specialty. I remember as akid in a module club i was in they used bolts with washers that were fixed to the module and it had the wires soldered to it and the female in was a washerand the connection was made to carry the current. how well that worked i can't say I was a kid. and that was over 20 years ago. But if I could do something similar so that when I place the panels back in place there is something to make connection to start the current up again I would like to do that, because constantly plugging and unplugging by hand will get old fast. esp being I be doing this 2 to 8 times a week. so does Anyone have any Idea's.

Sorry this isn't Model railroad related, But you guys are the best when it comes to movable electric connections. and it's nice to merge 2 of my hobbies together. :D thanks again.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
You do realise that unless you can put a train in the tank with your fishies, protocol prevents us from complying with your request. If you can assure us of your intent to perform this small requirement, anything we may advise must be taken with a spoon (serving) full of fish food to at least salve our consciences.

Now, having established the rules of engagement, so to speak, I'm going to assume these LED strips are going to be powered by a 12V transformer in some way, so you are not using mains voltage to contacts that may be live especially when exposed.

To assess a method of doing this, we need to know how these removable panels are secured in place when installed, presumably they sit in a groove and lift up to clear that bottom groove, then out?


Well-Known Member
Staff member
P.S. if you can post some pics of your doors/door frames it would be helpful in determining some system that could work. (above disclaimers still apply)


Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
Would like to ask how thick are the "removable" doors and as Toot asked "do they sit in a track?

My idea would be to use electrical tape wire such as doll houses use for lighting with one tape on the bottom of the door and one tape in the groove. When the doors are placed into the groove - they make contact with the wire in the track.

Hope this helps?
Last edited by a moderator:
Hey guys, If I could I would put a layout in the tank lol. it certianly is big enough. 8'x2' tank. but as far as my door panels I haven't built them yet, I am actually going to do that in a few minutes. basically its going to be a picture frame with a shadow box just deep enough to house the lights, a 1x4 and 1x2 in an T girder designed but boxed, over all it be i guess 3" total.How they will sit I haven't figured, I was planning on doing either, just sliding them in to a box frame and have them stay that way or having to bolts or pegs, at the top of the panels that would go into two holes in the tank frame that would hold them in place. But I am going to go build the frames now. and I will take some pictures and try to put them up.

Toot: Maybe I'll build a HO scale diorama and place it on top of the tank will that Count? lol


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Toot: Maybe I'll build a HO scale diorama and place it on top of the tank will that Count? lol
2 spoonfulls of fish food should gain compliance (other effects are at your own risk)
lol yeah if only that was possible to have a layout up top. it wouldn't get seen. but I like O scale 2 rail. Maybe I could do something for my next layout lol :confused:
Toot; I have a lot of tanks so that is a lot of fish food, ( and waste lol) but I do understand what your saying.
but I was thinking of something like a lift bridge we use for layouts. basically the principle is the same. but I just kind of need something that will create a current when they come into contact with out manually having to plug it in each time. So that is why I came here because model railroading is like the pioneer of this kind of thing. lol. well at least it used more.
I didn't get to the doors. ended up raining and I think i am going to change my door design up a little.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
If these doors are just going to be lift out panels, where they sit in a groove at the bottom and are located by a deeper channel at the top, then a simple leaf spring metal contact system in the bottom channel would work.
Examples of spring contacts
Thanks Toot. they very well might. what are they called? Although after working on my doors a little bit, I may not need them, It still be good incase i go that route. I may mount the lights to the stand. and have them shine down into the shadow box. to create the glow. if that doesn't work then I will go with this. thank you everyone for the help. sorry for it not being forum related.

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