10. Power and Control
Despite not needing very much in the way of train control (DC with all one block), there's a need for a very healthy control panel, thanks to all of the animation and special effects, with nearly two dozen items and counting. I was going to build it all into the back of the Schmuck Printing building, but there were two problems: one, the building has its own animation device which consumes needed real estate, and two, there are so many devices to control that it would be a squeeze even if there wasn't an animation device to work aroundówith no room left for the throttle. So, the lighting and animation controls will be sprinkled along the front edge of the layout, in between the turnout controls; I don't have any other practical option. Besides, this will place the controls in close proximity to the things they operate.
Everything on the layout will operate on battery power. There will be three sets of batteries: one for the throttle, one for lighting and animation, and one for special applications (such as the sound units). I've pretty much standardized all of the lighting and animation devices on 4.5 volts, and anything I couldn't get to operate on 4.5 volts will have its own dedicated battery supply.
This will be one of my DC (Decent Cheap) throttles, which are made from LED dimmers. All of the track is wired as one block. On the rare occasion I'll have more than one locomotive on the tracks, it'll be for a photo-op.
There will be a few sound units to generate environmental effects (crickets, rushing water, etc.), plus one external unit to provide Jazz Music for Phil's. This will be the only device external to the layout, as there was no practical way to build it into anything, although it will have a little "cubby" on one side of the layout where it can be stored. It has its own power supply, so the only tether to the layout is the speaker wire.
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