Totem Racks for Model Railway Electronics

I have been using various Totem items to build control frames for model railway electronics. I use a mixture of Arduinos and other items which need to be connected to each other and to computers for programming. They also need power. Some of these need to be grouped together to operate a control panel.

I have a Totem Minilab as one of my racks for experimenting. I also have one of the Grove frames which I have adapted to hold more of the modules I want to mount.

I bought two sets of the side frames for the Minilab which I am using to build a wider frame - 10 cm instead of 5 cm. I also have spare fixtures to build more of the Grove type frames. Those can be 20 cm wide or wider if needed. I will link these together to make a panel.


Id love to see your full setup :smiley:

Craig, Thank you for your interest. I am still developing things. My next stage has been to connect the minilab to my expanded sideframe, so that I can fix to it some of the peripherals for the minilab.

I found the brackets for two connections in the kit for the side frame. I wanted also to get a good fix at the base so that the two frames can stand together on a level base. This needed to be at the rear. To do this I had to join where there are already joints for the minilab. I have used one of the 3 cm pieces I did not need when I widened the sideframe. This picture shows the joint (upsided down). Three screws hold the two frames together, should I need to take them apart.

I will keep on updating as I have more to share.



When I bought the kit for the rack for Grove and Arduinos I also bought some of the plastic fittings. I have used some of these and some coloured beams I also bought to make an adaption of the Grove rack. I have extended the sloping side beams to 22 cm from 19 cm to have a larger top area which can now be 20 cm by 10 cm, I fit the cross beams slots up as that suits what I will fit on each level, I have enough fittings for another one. I should have bought an extra packet of the screws for the plastic fittings, as I have only a few left now. Here is a picture of the work so far.

My idea for the coloured beams is that a second one will have blue beams so that they can be easily identified by the model railway operators.

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Thank you for posting one of my pictures on Facebook! As a thank you here is another picture. One of the problems I have had working with Totem is keeping things tidy and not losing small parts on the floor in my office. The other day I visited a shop for office fittings and bought a set of colourful plastic drawers, I am using these to store a lot of my Totem parts. The drawers are on wheels too and the top is a convenient workspace and desktop next to the computer.

Decluttering is still a work in progress.


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So what is all this for? I am building control units for my model railways. Here is the red frame again after some work to fit things to it.

This has an Arduino MEGA clone with a display, keypad and two encoders.
The frame supports the various items using standoffs and other fixings. There is still plenty of room for other things on the bottom level as the MEGA fits on a shelf.
This is all part of my decluttering. The frame makes it much easier to gather all these components together.


Looking great mate!looks great buddy! Good to see it coming together

Here is my latest operation - three Arduino UNOs mounted for testing communications.

A fourth Arduino - a NANO - is connected to the keypad and enocoder.

My latest order has now arrived and I am able to build some more frames.


What are you controlling on the modelrailway?
I’m working with Gamesontrack (GOT) to controle my locs with sattelites. It’s also possible to make connection with arduino so i’m wondering how I can use totem with this?


Hi. I am a member of MERG ( and most of my uses are for things I want to connect to my model railway. Currently most of this is development of ways of building a control panel. The main problem with Arduinos is that the grid for the holes on a UNO is not metric so that I have to devise ways of connecting using Totem brackets and also standoffs. I ran out of those in the Totem kit so I use others from SZHKM. I have been glad to have a pack of Totem beams of mixed colours so that I can colour code my frames. One great benefit of Totem is to be able to find stable mounting for all the various small units. You can see that in some of my pictures. John

One of solutions for mounting Arduino and Raspberry we have special adapters: Totem Spider Pi mounting - #2 by Arnas

I am using a lot of different Arduino elements, not just the UNO and MEGA. I have several strategies using various Totem brackets. I have not been defeated yet. I do need to make an order for some things I am running out of.

Please note that a direct reply to the email did not work.

Thanks for notice. Will check what is going on.