Toolbox command station

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Mike_R
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Toolbox command station

Post by Mike_R » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:38 pm

I know others have already done this, but here is my take.

The Western Union recently bought a second hand command station and booster. To house it I decided to put it in a cheap toolbox, after finding that proper metal boxes cost too much. RS Tower had already done this, but in this case we didn't need track power boosters as they are now spread around the modules. We needed the x-bus (for throttles, booster bus and feedback bus), a DCC accessory power bus and a 16v a.c. supply for module power.

A cheap B&Q toolbox, a transformer and a few other bits make up the box.

The mains gear is mounted in a metal partitioned section, with the metal earthed. An IEC lead (kettle type) provides mains power. The transformer outputs are protected with self resetting circuit breakers.

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I made new mounts for the tray inside to provide enough clearance, and leave a ventilation gap around the edge. The tray is bolted in place to stop access to the mains gear. Sockets for the X-bus, Accessory bus and 16v a.c. are mounted in the tray.

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I put LEDs in for the Accessory bus, 16v a.c. and the 12v on the X-bus, to indicate it the power was on. A fuse and diodes protect the command station x-bus power.

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Mike Ruby

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torikoos
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Location: Newton Abbot, Devon, UK .
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Re: Toolbox command station

Post by torikoos » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:42 pm

Looks good Mike, have you thought about adding an external status light to the command station? Not sure if it would be useful, but I guess if there's an error of some sort, besides it being displayed on throttles, the flashing led will give you a clue too?

Koos
Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.

Mike_R
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Toolbox command station

Post by Mike_R » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:51 am

The indicator lights on the front of the units are visible through the ventilation gap.
Mike Ruby

Mike_R
Posts: 381
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Toolbox command station

Post by Mike_R » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:20 pm

The next box is now part complete.

This one is for my modules. It contains a 6 amp transformer, NCE 5 amp booster and my old Lenz command station, which can be used as a programmer or command station for the booster if the module is by its self.

This time I ran the steel plate all the way along the bottom and the two DCC units are clamped down. The strip wood at the ends lift the tray up to give an air gap.

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With the most wiring done, I'm waiting for plugs for the Lenz unit. Note the transformer and mains wiring is all covered or heat shrunk. A fan in the centre sucks air out, fresh air goes in the air gap around the edge of the tray.

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The tray contains the connectors and controls. It is bolted down to stop access to the mains gear and allows the tray handle to lift the box when the lid is open.

The mains cable on this unit goes through the gland at top left, with the cable coiled up inside there is nothing external to get damaged or wet.
4mm sockets at top left are for track power and program track. The lower part of the tray has x-bus sockets for connecting the booster to the booster bus from the layout and an x-bus socket for the command station. In programming mode a throttle can be plugged in here, for running the layout a lead links it to one of the other pair and then to the layout.

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Mike Ruby

Mike_R
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Toolbox command station

Post by Mike_R » Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:27 pm

The second box is now complete, and both boxes ran our modular layout on Saturday.

The Lenz command station is connected. All the circuit breakers protecting the transformer output are fitted (little blue boxes top left). The terminal block is used to distribute the transformer output to the three power users.

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This shows the box in command station mode, a cable links the bottom right x-bus sockets. The layout would be connected to the remaining socket. I put LEDs everywhere so it is easy to see what is on or off, much easier to fault find if it stops working.

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This box with the fan ran cool all day, the first box, which doesn't produce much power only got slightly warm without a fan.
Mike Ruby

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