The Runaround

Tracklaying, switch machine installation, and wiring has been completed such that the first section of track along the Embarcadero is functional, including the first run-around on the layout.   There’s enough track stubbed out on the north side to hold a 10 car train, and enough on the south end to allow an engine and 3-5 cars to go beyond the run-around switch.

I’ve also been busy making labels.   Each track has some sort of name associated, and the fascia has labels for each turnout’s pushbutton.   The destination shown on the label is where the train will go when the turnout pushbutton is lit.   These are Tortoise switch machines, controlled via a latching pushbutton, and there’s a light in each button that is active (lit) when the turnout is in the reverse (non-normal) position.

I found the latching pushbuttons at a good price at Adafruit, which makes them much easier to use than the Arduino based setup I had been planning to use with the non-latching buttons I found earlier.  There are still a handful of places where I will use the Arduino configuration, since I want to control those turnout from each side of a peninsula.   That will put the latching function into software rather than hardware.

Visually, the buttons look the same (latching & non-latching) so it won’t be too jarring (I hope) to have different types of buttons in use.

Pictures of the buttons on the fascia to come soon.

As will samples of the paperwork that I’m writing up for my first operating session.