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DT
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What is a good way to indicate the status of points on a control panel using LEDs?

I am planning on having a few small panels around my layout with switches to throw the points. I may add DCC control to some of the points, but I think that it's not required for all points on the layout I have. I'd like to clearly see which direction the points are set - red / green / yellow - what is best?
 

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QUOTE Green for straight;red for curved sounds OK.
Normally and on prototype UK panels Red & Green are used for signal indications.
Routes are shown by yellow LEDs. Which often turn red to show each track circuit becoming occupied. However track circuiting is another topic on its own!


On my panel I have used 3mm Yellow LEDs for point positions - both positions. On crossovers three LEDs light to show the crossover path. While two or three light in each straight direction when the points are set Normal (Or straight running).

The final choice is yours but the main thing is to use one style throughout.


I have used the cheap plastic panel mounts for LEDs as these tend to make the finished look more professional, but there's no reason why LEDs can't be mounted directly into a correctly drilled hole with a little glue holding them in place once tested (I like drop of Superglue applied to the rear of the panel/LED join). As they very rarely fail once installed and correctly resisted.
 

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I have quite successfully used the PIB boards from All Components, changing the normal LEDs for bi-colour ones. On my control board, each arm of the point now has a LED that shows red or green according to which way the points are set.

(I found that I had to drop the output resistor array to cope with the extra output, but this was quite straightforward.)
 

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Doug,

How do you intend to power the diodes?

Here are a few suggestions;

1. A feed back from the spare relay on the point motor or a separate microswitch. This has the disadvantage of extra wiring but the advantage of proof that the point motor has actuated the point.

2. A feed off the second set of contacts on the switch that operates the point motor. This does not prove that the point has changed but needs less wiring than 1.

3. Using a Fulgurex, Lemaco or Tortoise point motor, which require you to reverse the polarity of the power to the point motor, take an extra lead from the point motor supply and wire up all the diodes together via suitable series resistances connecting them up so that so that as the point motor switch is changed over and the polarity of the supply reverses one lot of diodes on one route are extinguished and the other lights up.

Colombo
 

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Doug,
You may be interested in the latest addition to my blog, where I have described my method of switching/indication.

Regards
Frank
 

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Hi
I used bi-colour LEDs. They have 3 legs and I soldered a 1k resistor to the centre leg to control the current.
The other 2 are for red and green and are fed through a peco PL-13 switch attached to the point-motor or if you are using the new surface point motors they can be attached under the point using a track pin as the joiner to the operating link.
One LED sits on the straight track and the other on the turnout track.
When the point is set to straight I get a green on the straight and a red on the curve and vice versa when its switched the other way.
Paired points can be linked or individually indicated.
The system works for DC and DCC as the LEDs are fed from the aux output of the controller not the track.
Regards,
 

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QUOTE I used bi-colour LEDs. They have 3 legs and I soldered a 1k resistor to the centre leg to control the current.
The other 2 are for red and green

Can you run them both at the same time and get a yellow output?

David
 

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Yes - the LEDs I used were Maplin CJ53H (5mm) and they support colour ranging by varying the voltage across the outer legs.
I have mine set on paired motors such that if one does not fire I get amber across all junction LEDs as a warning.
Rob
 

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Hi Doug,

Looking at the date of your original post I would guess you have probably resolved the problem by now. However, in case you haven't, here's the solution I have devised using DCC Concepts MasterSwitches, Bi-colour LEDs and Seep point motors.

This is the wiring diagram



When the route is 'OPEN' the LED shows Green and when 'CLOSED' it shows Red.

Here's a pic of the partly operational Control Panel.

 

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Can anyone help me? I want to set up a control panel just like in this thread, with alternating LED colours depending on which way the point is thrown. I have copied the wiring diagram provided by Expat, and I am using a masterswitch V2. The problem is that I get 1 LED showing red and the other off, and when i throw the switch the other led lights up red and first extinguishes. Do you think it might be the LED's I am using? They are the ones that come with the mastrerswitch, and they work perfectly fine, alternating between red and green if I only connect one of them. Am most perplexed........
 

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Hi Jonathan,

I doubt very much if it's the LED from DCC Concepts.

It's more likely to be either a short somewhere or you have not wired the switch corretly.

Having said that are you absolutely sure the green element of the LED is not lighting ? I found that it was very dull so made a small mod to the Masterswitch. It is not something that is generally recommended by Richard but if you PM me I will tell you how to get the green brighter.

First though, I think you need to track down that short/wiring problem.
 
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