Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Signaling a Change in the O-Gauge Zen Garden 2

Last post I outlined the project; install a Lionel 450 signal bridge and make it operational. It was a little bit of a challenge, because the pressure plate switch that operated the signals wasn't compatible with the brand of track I had on the layout. So instead, I used three-position toggle switches for manual control.

I don't have a separate control panel for the layout. The transformers and switch controls just kind of huddle in a corner of the layout (at least for now). I couldn't mount the toggle switched directly to the table. I would then have to reach over the switch controls to activate them, which would have been awkward.

So I built a switch box that would hold the toggle switches at the same level as the other controls. And I did it with a ruler. Hardware store yardsticks are actually pretty sturdy, and their width was about the height I wanted. I simply built a box with pieces cut from a single yardstick (with plenty left over).

After cutting the pieces, I drilled holes in what would be the top of the box
for the switches. I had a jury-rigged switch for the floodlight on the layout,
so I replaced it with a two-position toggle switch and added it to the box, too.

Ready for final assembly.

And here it is. I removed the switches, then primed and painted the box.

Yep, it all looks a little rough, but with the box in place,
everything will look much better.

And the box is installed. Sure, it looks homemade, but not totally
out of character with the other controls.

Now the installation's complete. The signal bridge adds to the clutter of an urban industrial area that I'm after. And more lights (and colored ones at that) are always a good thing on my O-Gauge Zen Garden -- as you can see below..

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