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Having set up and tested the Alpha Power /Box / Central units and happy all was working correctly, (so much easier to press one button to switch the points rather than several on the PowerCab handheld)  I decided to start the build of my mimic panel. I had already bought two DCC Concepts Alpha Mimic Panel Controllers, one with green and one with red LEDS. I want to fix the mimic panel to the wall at the rear of the layout as this is where most of the loco operation will take place and I’ll be able to easily see the routes through the points around the layout.

I couldn’t decide what to house the mimic panel in, then the other day in the loft I came across a display cabinet – that would do! The cabinet is slightly larger than A4 and has a sliding clear panel that will help protect the Mimic Controller boards and panel from dust etc.

My idea was to take a SCARM produced mimic panel, laminate it and fix to a sheet of 2mm grey board and fit it inside the cabinet. To start, I attached a small timber batten to the two long sides of the grey board to add some strength and rigidity. The bottom batten was attached to an identical batten by a pair of small hinges and this batten was then fixed to the inside of the cabinet. I now had a drop down panel that I could access the rear to fit the LEDs to indicate the route though the points.

A small timber strip was then fixed to the inside top of the cabinet and a magnet attached. Another magnet was attached to the inside top of the drop down panel. This means that the panel can be placed vertically and display the point directions via the LEDs and I can see the selected routes easily. The Alpha Mimic Controllers were then fixed inside the cabinet using nylon pcb fixings, then daisy chained together with one of the suppled cables. Following the user manual it is a simple task to set the controller boards to a consistent address series. The first controller board displays the routes for the first 12 sets of points and the second follows consecutively from 13 onwards.

This is the SCARM sheet showing where I intend to insert the LEDs, the final copy will be laminated:


To be continued…

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About The Author


Recently retired and building my first model railway in about 50 years. Live on the Lancashire coast with my partner Deb and our three French Bulldogs. Modelling OO gauge / recent/modern image / DCC NCE Powercab / Cobalt Alpha Power / Alpha Box / Alpha Central / Alpha Mimic / PSX-1 Circuit Breaker

1 Comment

  1. samhill

    Just a suggestion: You can get bicolour LED’s with both red and green in one, that would simplify the wiring for the indicators a bit.

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