Modelling has taken a bit of a back seat over the last few months following the birth of our grandson Ruauri in May – weekends seem to be taken up with visiting, family social events, various jobs around the house and garden and the railway room has seemed a bit of an alien place to be honest.

However a timely reminder to get on with things arrived the other Wednesday evening with the return to base of the layouts operating panel. Although I’ve wired the layout myself, the club has a dab hand in panel wiring in Martin Edmondson and on a quid pro quo basis (I’ve got a lot of his parcels stock to airbrush and weather) he has wired up my pre constructed box for me and produced a very nice panel fascia as well.

panel 1

The underneath of the panel shows just how good Martin is at this job (He’s currently building the far more complicated panel for RMRG member Ian Worthington’s Glaisden layout). Its going to be freestanding on a small table at the back of a layout rather than mounted on the layout itself – and that’s all to do with the logistics of making the layout packable into two cars, the result of some very careful measuring of Octavia estates!

panel 3

The eagle-eyed will have noticed the inclusion of an “odd” toggle switch in the top left hand corner. This is a three pole double throw switch and is there to enable (when no ones looking) me to switch in DCC power. Bearing in mind that at shows where there’s non DCC people operating, it will be strictly DC, this allows me some noisy fun at home. Martin – who’s not a great fan of this digital malarkey – has labeled the positions accordingly. Bearing in mind its a centre off, I can see lots of opportunities and motivation to actually leave it in the centre position.

panel 2

To be honest my original idea was to have a bloody big knife switch to swap between DC and stress, but it was a tad impractical  😉