Model Railroad Control Panel, Wiring a KATO Switch, and Train Layout Room Ideas

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Halloween 2012 video tackles lighting the underside of your layout, wiring a Kato switch with toggle switches, and make a small control panel for my Alleghany Industrial District.

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Jesus manuel salinas says:

Hi dj this might be be a stupid question what do you mean by one strand connected to th push button? I'm going to try and build a switch board .

Captivated Gaming says:

I got pretty sp00ked by that intro :O

NXCALE says:

nice video! it encourages me to do one by myself. Cheers.

ham radio jim says:

It's called a double POLE double throw switch, or DPDT switch.
You can eliminate the push-button by specifying a "monentary on" feature.
See stock number B01C2XFNJA.
It's a DPDT 3 Position ON/OFF/ON Momentary Toggle Switch.

3:413:52 although it doesn't matter which poles the yellow and brown wires from the power pack go to, you should be consistent among all your toggle switches, to make sure your turnouts go the way you expected.

thanks and have fun!

Thomas O says:

Hi DJ. Created a video regarding using your idea on my layout with the addition of light indicators. Thanks for inspiring videos.

Thomas O says:

What was the output voltage and amps you were using with all 5 switches connected together?

Matthew Jurczykowski says:

Its, (Kaa-to) not (Kay-to), whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?! All these years i've been saying it wrong!!! :O

Neil Dronet says:

I say Kay-toe as well.

Thomas O says:

An advantage to your way DJ, is I could add lights off the toggle to put on control panel. They would stay lit if I reversed the order of your set up, and have the power from the DC to the toggle first and then add the momentary push button after the toggle, to the switches. That way the power is constant to the toggle, but still momentary to the switch.

An advantage over Mikes way, that has no lights.

I like the 751K mentioned, but I would be in for $375 just for my small layout.

James Brock says:

Great vid! Like your instructions on painting the control panel as well, which I will imitate.
Re: your clever use of the toggles and momentary push button, I have to think, since you are using the push button to allow power to the switch machines on a momentary basis, you don't need a toggle that is on/off/on and would think you could get by with a toggle that is on/on instead (2 positions). They may even be cheaper and you can still tell what position the turnout is in by the up or down of the toggle. 😉

PRO 276 says:

i do not know so much about model railroading. i require help. the question may be silly. my turnout has three wires coming out instead of two.
how do i wire up?

Sandra J. Syx-Spears says:

good lighting in a model RR video you have to stop before you get a good nsme!

Scott Shoyat says:

Hi, great setup. Do you have a link to the particular double position double throw switches you purchased for this project?  Thank you!

JT The Railfan says:

I think im going to use tortoise switch machines on my layout. Do you know about dcc and how to wire it?

James Brown says:

DJ, very nice.  I just built a Kato Unitrack layout, albeit in HO.   I like your idea in lieu of using the clunky Kato switches. Question…your video showed how to wire one pushbutton to one switch.  But your finished panel shows one button for all switches.  So are you just sending five wires from the button to the DPDT switches (that would be hard!)?  Or did you use a terminal strip?  Or something else?

drewzdrew27 says:

This is actually really brilliant – nice work. 🙂

Lithonion1 says:

If you want a nicer set up google Kato 751K and look for the website called syimpatico.  That is what I am using on my layout and you can hook LEDs to them as well.  I think they actually work better and you have no chance of burning up the switch with them.  They do cost a little more then doing it this way but model railroading isn't cheap anyway. 🙂  If you check my N scale layout part 4 and skip to 33 seconds in you can see them in use.  I don't make or sell them I just really like them.  You can get the schematic for free from him as well if you don't want to buy the kits as he has those on the website as well in PDF.

Leon Peterson says:

one thing nice about using the push button and on-off toggles, you can tell by looking at the toggle if it is set for the main or the siding. Up main, down siding. Using just the momentary toggle's you can't tell which way the turnout is thrown because they return to center position.

djstrains says:

I will use Mike's idea on my next layout. Good guy, great info.

gmaneis says:

DJ, I hope you'll check out "How to Wire a Kato Switch" on Mike Fifer's pages at Fifer Hobby Supply.
You are pretty doggone (in fact very) smart to have thought of your system, but I think you'll find Mike's simpler and maybe even a tiny bit cheaper. Aha! I see someone already showed you that page.

rdgk1se3019 says:

They should work…… only want a momentary type of switch for use with Atlas turnouts.

djstrains says:

would that work with atlas switches?

Bench Racer says:

DJ- Hey, great videos man. Have you experienced the derailment issues with the #4 turnouts? And if so, have you notched/sharpened the rails to fix them?

I've got 12 #4 turnouts on the layout I'm building (private message me if you want to see it). But I was thinking it'd be great if someone did a video on the #4 turnout fix. I've read a few articles on how to do it, but nothing is as instructional as seeing it done in a video!

djstrains says:

I can't answer yet, because I haven't bought my dcc system yet, and don't want to give wrong information. As soon as I buy my dcc digitrax system, I'll do some videos on them. I'm still learning.

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