Fist of all, the good news: the control panel came out beautifully . . .
Here it is just-about-completed, with holes drilled for all the toggles and LED indicator lights (and even some of the LED bulbs installed). It's a masonite board attached with a piano hinge to a 1x3 frame and plywood base. It even has cabinet magnets! Pretty jazzy, if I don't say so myself.
Here's the problem: I figured the 1x8" masonite I had on-hand would be too flimsy & flexy for the 12.25" x 30.5" size panel I needed. So I got "clever" and got myself a 2' x 4' piece of 1/4" masonite.
MUCH more sturdy.
Veterans may see where this is going . . .
I got my first inkling something was wrong when the LEDs wouldn't quite snap into the cool LED bulb clips I'd bought. "No problem" I thought, stuipidly. "They'll just be a nice press fit."
But then, I had an awful thought - maybe the masonite was actually too thick(!) I quickly grabbed a spare toggle switch and test fit it into one of the 38 holes I'd drilled . . .
You can just barely see the threads poking through. And, no, that isn't enough for the locknut to even get a bite. Thanks for asking.
Here's what it's SUPPOSED to look like . . .
You guessed it - that's a piece of 1/8" masonite, just as the Control Panel Gods (must have) intended.
So, my question (though I'm afraid I might know the answer already): Do I really just have to suck it up and redo the panel using 1/8" masonite or is there some way I can salvage what I have? Please - if you've ever put off leaving a comment or contacting me and you have some helpful advice to share, please get in touch!
Next, I figured it best to step away from the
Yeah, I'm stupid that way.
You may recall that I'm using the MicroMark Switch Tender motors and really like them. But I think I may have uncovered a critical shortcoming.
I decided to use this video as a guide . . .
to wire these LEDs . ..
to the toggles and MicroMark machines. My plan was to have the LEDs indicate on the control panel which way the turnout is thrown. The video makes it look pretty easy and straightforward, but he seems to be using different LEDs and - perhaps most critically - he's using a Tortoise switch machine rather than the MicroMark.
So, I wired up a spare toggle and LEDs per the video's instruction, and - sure enough - the two LEDs would light alternately depending one which way the toggle was thrown.
But when I connected everything to the MicroMark machine, the machine would work (yay!), but the LEDs would no longer work (booo!). And I'm at a total loss as to why(?!)
And if all this wasn't enough, when I went downstairs to test all this, I noticed a strong mildew-y smell. I looked all over the floor - no water - and there's been none down there for years now (thankfully) and I didn't notice the smell before. Then I heard a buzzing . . . Flying overhead was a wasp. And I'm highly allergic to wasps.
So I hightailed it back upstairs and called it quits, figuring this was the 3rd of three strikes against model railroading for the
year month week day at least.
ANY help/tips/suggestions/guidance you can offer about the control panel or the LED/switch motor wiring would be MUCHMUCHMUCH appreciated.
As for the wasp, I'll call my exterminator. Heh - maybe he's actually a mud dauber. That might explain the mildew smell. Otherwise, like the rest of the evening's work, I'm at a loss.