Connecting switch panel to layout

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heda
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby heda » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:31 am

You have confirmed my doubt about the wire gauge Suzie. I'm going to go with the D connectors and solder them up myself. They were what I was planning to use but I didn't actually know they were called 'D connectors'. When I looked for multi pin electrical connectors they didn't show up.
Just to add it's the fact people are so helpful on here that makes it such a good forum to belong to. Without the advice I was given here building my first proper layout I would never have completed it.
Dave

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Bufferstop
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:42 pm

Brave man :) Should I send you a tube of Savlon cream for your finger-tips, it get's awfully hot.
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Suzie
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby Suzie » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:44 pm

D connectors are quite easy to solder.

1. Slide a rubber or heatshrink sleeve over the wire (rubber is easiest to work with if you can get the right size but heatshrink is more readily available).
2. Strip the wire end (just enough).
3. Hold the D connector firmly in a vice or similar.
4. Put the wire in to the solder bucket (don't tin or twist if using 16/02 - it won't fit if you do!) Hold it in place with a 'helping hands' or similar device - you don't want to have to hold the wire (not enough hands - see below).
5. Apply the soldering iron to the joint (25W minimum, ideally 40W - more heat means it gets done quicker and less chance of damage). Keep the iron in place for step 6 below.
6. Straight away apply the solder to the joint. As soon as it flows in to the bucket and the wire remove the Heat and solder.
7. Slide the sleeve over the joint. If using heat shrink shrink it straight away.

Job done. Repeat for the rest of the pins. Use 16/02 wire where possible for any circuit that uses high current, for low power circuits 7/02 is a lot easier to work with. The key is to be comfortable while doing the job. Once everything is held steady you will have less of a problem with shaking hands upsetting it all.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:19 pm

As you might guess from the comment about 2" holes many of the first ones I did were with the cable in-situ, some of the situations made upside down under a baseboard a picnic, until I said monkeys to this where's the hole saw. I discovered that if you kept the wooden plug that the hole saw made, drilled a half inch hole through it then cut it in two, with a bit of discarded cable sheath between the cut ends you could plaster it with thick PVA and jam it back in the floor around the cable when you finished.
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Flashbang
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby Flashbang » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:03 pm

Don't use ready made cable with D connectors on the ends. As stated the wires inside will be far too thin for most model railway use, unless the cores/pins are treble or quad connected up at both ends!

These are by far the easiest to use but cost more... link 1 With possibly a mating one of these at the other end either fixed to the panel or in line Link 2 no soldering needed at all :D
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heda
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby heda » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:57 pm

Now that does look easy Flashbang.
As it happens the original connectors that I looked at arrived today (pre wired) , I decided to give them a go, the wiring is naturally simple, just a case of connecting up, the fiddly bit was cutting a square hole in the base but it's done now, I just need to open up the back of the hole a little so the socket sits further forward.
Another task almost completed and the thread should make a good reference for anyone else wanting to connect multiple wires.
Dave

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Flashbang
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby Flashbang » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:08 pm

Excellent Dave

Well done for sticking with your original idea. :D
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heda
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby heda » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:21 pm

Thank you Flashbang, and everyone for there input.
This is what I used, 10 pins all nicely wired for less than £5. It will look neater once it's properly fitted and the front of the board is painted.
Dave

Image

Image

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pete12345
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby pete12345 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:53 am

Those connectors work great for all sorts of uses. It's worth getting a supply of the pins and the correct crimp tool if you are going to be using a lot. Then you can wire them yourself using the colours you want.
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby Flashbang » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:09 pm

When you get more circuits from the panel to the layout.....

D connectors mounted in panels side frame - Note two are Male and the middle one is Female to help prevent accidental cross connection plus the coloured bands help too.
Image 1.jpg


Wiring of a 25 way D connector with 16/0.2mm wire.
Image 2.jpg
Image 2.jpg (35.17 KiB) Viewed 512 times


Wires are now sleeved with heatshrink tubing and the whole lot is ready to fit into the panel.
Image 3.jpg


Inside part view of panel.
Image 4.jpg
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Bufferstop
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:05 pm

Very neatly done! How's the fingers?
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heda
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby heda » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:05 pm

Excellent work, way beyond my electrical skills, I'll stick with my little pre wired 10 pin set up
Dave

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Flashbang
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby Flashbang » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:56 pm

I would add...
Alarm cable is normally made up of conductors of 7/02mm but it can have a smaller wire size so check actual wire gauge size.
Alarm cable in not recommend for solenoid point motor operation - a large wire size is needed or join two cores together to increase wire size.
CPC sell 100Mtr rolls for much less, at £14.32 with free delivery on any order over £8 ex VAT. Example CPC Alarm cable There are of course many other suppliers who may be cheaper and some more expensive!
Maplin ceased trading about 12 months ago.
D connectors are available in 9 way, 15 way (two types - 3 row high density - Not recommended and 2 row - Recommended for easier soldering!) 25 way and 50 way
If you don't want to solder but wish to use D connectors then use Break out D connectors and their covers. Example... D Breakout with cover
I highly recommend using Heat shrink tubing on all D connectors regardless of wire size used. It ensures there is then no possibility of a wire strand not soldered or becoming free by breaking from touching the next terminal.
Soldering wire ends then inserting into screw down terminals seems a good idea but the soldered end causes the terminal to loosen over time! The best connection into a grub screw terminal block is either a bare twisted wire or use a crimp ferrule of the correct size to fit the wire. e.g. 7/0.2mm or 24AWG ferrules example... CPC ferrules
Terminal blocks with wire protectors are best as there is no twisting action as the grub screw is tightened, but they cost more!
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Bufferstop
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:28 pm

Chocblock connectors with an internal wire clamp are the work of the Devil if someone has used one amongst a lot of the normal ones, especially if they have been tightened down on very thin wire. When you release the wire the clamp only lifts a little, acting as a bar to inserting a new wire. I usually spend a couple of minutes struggling to insert the new wire, before the penny drops. I usually end up unscrewing the block from its support so that I can tip it up and get a watchmakers screwdriver in there to reshape it. A colleague who hadn't done any hands on wiring for a good few years, appeared one morning in high dudgeon having taken somewhat longer than me trying to get wires back into one. I was happy to swap the one he'd butchered for one from stock, I have an alternate use for the brass bits and screws in my mechanical signalling system.
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Flashbang
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Re: Connecting switch panel to layout

Postby Flashbang » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:40 pm

A lot depends on make/cost. Cheap anti twist terminals tend to have a very thin piece of metal that the grub screw pushes on while the better makes have a clamp bar that's attached directly to the grub screw.
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