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F501: In-Cab Control Panel

Photo: F500-24.jpg (11K)

One day, the finished F501 will be my first venture into radio control. Until then, the loco needs a basic electrical system to provide a minimum of forward-off-reverse control (exploiting the low gear ratio) and a facility to re-charge the battery.

The 0.064" panel has been drilled and filed to accommodate a double pole 3-way slide switch and a recharging socket with an internal contact switch that opens when the charging lead is plugged in. The two 5 amp spade connectors in the foreground fit the battery terminals. Space has also been left for a speed controller.

Photo: F500-25.jpg (14K)

Behind the panel, the wires from the battery connectors are soldered to the charging socket with the -ve lead wired to the plug sleeve contact side of the internal switch. On board power will be disabled when charging is taking place, and enabled when the plug is removed. The +ve supply is soldered to the centre pin. NOTE BATTERY WARNING BELOW. Power supply is then taken from the centre pin (+ve) and switched side of the socket (-ve) to the upper pair of terminals on the slider switch, and then on to the lower pair with polarity reversed for direction control. Each of the traction motor supply leads in the foreground is soldered to one of the middle pair of terminals on the slider switch.

Photo: F500-27.jpg (16K)

The control panel has been bolted into position inside the cab. The top of the panel aligns with the ledge under the cab window frame. There's a plain panel in the opposite position in the cab. The motor supply wires pass through a hole in the bulkhead and are then held in screw connectors in a terminal block. The leads from the traction bogie are connected to the same block. The top of the battery can be seen level with the cab floor with the -ve spade terminal just visible.

All wiring in and out of the cab is via terminal block screw connectors to allow easy removal of the cab module when necessary.

POTENTIAL HAZARD FROM BATTERY. The polarity arrangements described here suit my particular charger, socket and cell. Make sure there are no short circuits and confirm correct polarity requirements for your system very carefully before connecting or charging a lead acid battery.

The photographs and text on this page are copyright (c) Paul Backhouse 1998 and may not be reproduced or distributed without the owner's permission.
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