How to Use Panel Connectors on Your Layout

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Once you’ve wired the trackage on your model railroad layout and programmed your locomotives with onboard decoders, it’s time to hook up throttles to the digital command control (DCC). To do so, you’ll need to install panel connectors, which are available in a few basic types, and the type you choose dictates the kind of railroad you run.

In this lesson, modeler and DCC expert Steve Barkley teaches you how to pick the right kind of panel connectors for your railroad. He walks you through the three most common connectors you’ll find in stores — plug-ins, radio receivers and infrared receivers — and explains some of the pros and cons of each option depending on how you want to operate your layout. You’ll also learn how to select the proper amount of panel connectors to hook up to your DCC based on the size of your layout and the number of people you plan on operating your railroad. With this expert advice, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for when you go out to buy your own panel connectors!

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