Best carcase materials for switch/mimic panels.

Have any questions or tips and advice on how to build those bits that don't come ready made.
collectors
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Best carcase materials for switch/mimic panels.

Postby collectors » Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:28 pm

Have you found good materials for a carcase/faceplate for switch/mimic panels. I found steel if not to thin very good. Aluminium i found terrible to work with. Perspex is a no, no. ply can splinter easily on the surface. I have read that Polycarbonate is very forgiving & nice to use. Have any of you used this with good results ??. I am hoping to make another panel up like the one in the photo & what i did with this was made the layout using the Hornby software, then added the other bit to the plan & sent it off to Vista print & they printed it onto a plastic type of paper for under a fiver. Then stuck it to my ally plate.
Now the ally is what i want to avoid.

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Bigmet
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Re: Best carcase materials for switch/mimic panels.

Postby Bigmet » Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:38 pm

Got to ask what was the problem with aluminium? Easy to work and cut, robust, I have used nothing but for control panels, but then again I had a stash of aluminium sheet. (Samples of deep drawn sixteenth inch sheet from BA, Pechiney and VAW. The dimension may just suggest how long ago these were obtained.)

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Bufferstop
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Re: Best carcase materials for switch/mimic panels.

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:45 pm

Mine is a piece of 3mm white faced MDF, the stuff they provide for the back of flatpack bookshelves, the framing is 6mm ply.
20190220_154149.jpg

The diagram is printed onto OHP transparency the black tape around the edge hides the double sided tape which keeps it in place. The two meters are wired between the socket for the right hand controller and the track feed switches, and the polarity is flipped by a sub miniature microswitch mechanically connected to the slider of the reversing switch. It puts 12v down a spare wire in the connecting lead which operates a relay which "unreverses" the output for the meters then "re-reverses" it before feeding it to the section switches. The lower panel covers a shelf with the various transformers, 3 for the hand-held controllers (there's a third one on a sub panel, plus a multi voltage one for lights etc. It's held in by four dome headed screws and the first thing it uncovers is a reminder to disconnect the whole lot before going any further.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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collectors
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:41 am

Re: Best carcase materials for switch/mimic panels.

Postby collectors » Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:04 am

Thanks for the reply. I have ordered a box from amazon that might save me some work. The unit i have at the moment is in a hand made box & mounted on a TV wall bracket. So i have splashed out £19 for this box & will see what i can do with it. its 400x300x140mm. I have a few relays to mount in the back as well.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Best carcase materials for switch/mimic panels.

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Dec 02, 2021 11:34 pm

That could be a useful box for many things, do you have a link for it, or an Amazon reference?
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

collectors
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:41 am

Re: Best carcase materials for switch/mimic panels.

Postby collectors » Fri Dec 03, 2021 6:13 am

Have a scroll through their Amazon shop. They do lots of handy things.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/CreativeDeco/page/F95E1A3D-49F5-4C7F-BE79-FFE4DFE7D64D?ref_=ast_bln Wooden items.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Best carcase materials for switch/mimic panels.

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Dec 03, 2021 11:01 am

Thanks collectors, I've bookmarked it for further investigation.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions


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