Provisional conclusion

On purpose, I did not wish to detail the whole device. Indeed, it must be adapted according to the needs, the nature of the turnout motors, etc. Concerning this last point, I have in mind to study a servo motor control, of the type used in radio controlling. Indeed, if these motors require a little electronics, their control is much simpler: a simple input switch controls the direction of rotation. No need for limit switches: the stroke can be adjusted by means of a potentiometer and therefore adapted to each particular turnout case, without having to twist more or less the control rod. On the other hand, they operate with a special voltage of 4.8 V which is not necessarily very practical for us, and it would be necessary to provide contacts for the feeding of the turnout frog and for feedback, which the servos are not equipped with. This may complicate things a little… In short, there’s still work to be done!

Here is the current aspect of my control panel, seen from the rear (at the front are the desk and a shelf to hold the remote control).

What about the yellow LEDs?

By the way, I forgot to tell you about driving the route LEDs (you know, the yellow ones). That’s because I can’t have them work! I would need at least six more outputs for this, and my programmable relay has no more free input! I would have to buy another SR3PACK2BD expandable module with sixteen inputs and ten outputs, plus one SR3XT101BD 6-input 4-output expansion module.

Control board

Some prices (VAT incl.) in 2012

Designato Pack Zelio
24 V 12E/8S
Pack Zelio
24 V 16E/10S modular
Extension module 6E/4S
Radio­spares €296.61 €333.68 €72.00
Conrad €268.94 €301.57 €66.28
materiel­electrique €232.37 €260.73 €59.18

The prices are more interesting at materielelectrique.com, but the delays may be longer (material not in stock).

For my needs, overall price 2012 at materielelectrique.com: €319.91 VAT included. But it may be better in this case to switch to computer control, as I said before. For Lenz, the USB / digital interface is about €130 at Modellbahnshop Lippe (all prices 2012). But it is also necessary to provide control software, plus relay interface if I still do not want to drive my turnouts with DCC.