Monthly Archives: September 2016

Newsletter Binders

Swindon Panel Newsletter issue 14 is currently in the post (and email copies will be coming out to Bronze members shortly). We are now delighted to have available brand new high-quality binders for your Swindon Panel newsletters!

Very similar to those available for The Signalling Record from the SRS, and numerous other clubs and Societies, these dark red binders have a sprung cord system inside that allows up to 12 SPS A5 newsletter magazines to be held in each binder. They will be embossed “SWINDON PANEL SOCIETY” on the spine (not “The Fairground Mercury” – that’s just the sample!) The binders look very professional on bookshelves and are a great way to preserve your collection of Swindon Panel newsletter magazines.

The binders are available for £10 each.
Please email us to place your order.

If you have any ‘gaps’ in your collection of SPS newsletters we may be able to fill them from our spares in return for a donation to SPS’s funds. Please let us know if you would like any back issues and we will establish what we have available. Some of our earlier newsletters were issued in A4 size. If there is sufficient interest we may produce reformatted versions of these in A5 booklet size to make the collection consistent and fit nicely into these binders.

Work Week 2

Thank you to everyone who joined in with Work Week 2 at Swindon Panel.

Testing and Recording

A great deal of testing took place of the panel wiring and alterations during the week. This involves feeding the tags at the back of the panel and confirming the correct combinations of lamps, switches, buttons and buzzers respond on the front of the panel. There were, of course, three temporary fringes in the closure of the panel (at Loco Yard, Rushey Platt and Brinkworth), so it has been necessary to undo the effects of these.

Electronics Fitting

We made great progress on the fitting of electronics in the panel in readiness for the simulator. These jobs are generally small and fiddly, rather than physically demanding, such as dealing with the PCB components or DIN rails in the panel, but in our case they are often required hundreds of times for all the fittings required, so take a while!

Cable Manufacture

A large number of plug-ended cables are required in the panel, and our young workforce was put to good use in testing and installing these.

Finally, on the last day, all of our tools and equipment were packed away to leave the room empty of everything except the panel in readiness for plastering of the walls to take place which should now be under-way!

When half the room has been plastered, the panel will be moved forward to the other side of the room to allow the rear wall to be plastered, and also to give better access for work in the rear of the panel.

Soldering Update


Thank you for helping with Swindon Panel soldering!

The components have started to be sent out now, so you will shortly receive one board, plus components. I am sending everyone one board first (despite protests!) This is for two reasons – firstly to make sure that the instructions are correctly interpreted, as a minor ambiguity on the part of the instructions could otherwise lead to numerous wasted boards, and also just in case anyone’s skills… might better suit them to helping in other ways(!)

(I’m sorry it’s taken a while to get these out, the job has been more time-consuming than I first thought).

Please make sure you see the tutorial videos on YouTube – just search for “Swindon Panel PCB Tutorial” on YouTube and you’ll see them. There are three – one for each type of the different types of board.




For identification, the input boards are blue, the output boards are small and red (approx. 3″x4″), the flashing boards are large and red (approx. 4″ x 5″).

A couple of points that have come up over the last few weeks:

– Ventilation – please ensure you solder in a well-ventilated environment. The solder fumes aren’t very good for you.
– Flux cleaning – Several people have asked about this. If you have the tools and skills to do this and wish to then please feel free. If not then no problem. Please let us know if you do do this.
– The tip cleaning sponge is mentioned in the video, but never seen in use…….. (sorry!)
– A tip, particularly for the terminal blocks and similar larger items, is to hold them in place with a blob of Blu Tack so they are held square and don’t fall out when you turn the board over.
– The serial numbers have not been supplied, so please ignore this requirement.

Thanks to everyone for these comments.

If you have any problems or you find you have made an error that you’re not confident to correct, please return the board to us in whatever state it is in. We have one or two “professional” solderers in the Society who can do “difficult” repairs.

Transistors supplied for flashing and output boards are in anti-static bags. There is no enormous risk to these, but if you could avoid touching them while wearing a nylon tracksuit on a carpet floor while holding a vandagraph generator in your other that… That would be appreciated! These boards can go into the anti-static bag provided to be sent back.

All PCBs can then go into the padded envelope they are sent in to be sent back.

Please send the boards back to :

Swindon Panel Society, Didcot Railway Centre, Station Road, Didcot. OX11 7NJ.

Please include a note (or mark on the envelope) your name so that we know who it’s from!

Thank you very much indeed for your help – please let us know if you have any queries.


Danny S.