Here's a few control board pictures I've collected and found over the years. More to come.
This is the control board belonging to Giant Dipper at Belmont Park. It is based on technology from the 1970s, with manually-controlled brakes, and has no PLC (ride computer). Although the picture is blurry, the six black buttons on the bottom-right control the skid brakes. There are three brake sections. As the train of riders comes into the station, the operator opens the spring-loaded brakes by holding/pulsing the buttons sequentially until the train is lined up correctly. When the train is ready to dispatch, the operator sounds the warning bell (big black button) and holds brake section #6, which releases the brakes so the train can roll out of the station. The ride does have a simple block system with limit switches, so if there are two trains on the track they will not be allowed to occupy the same block. There is no mid-course brake run. I believe block 1 begins at the loading area (brake area #6) and ends near the top of the lift hill. Block 2 is the entire ride portion up until the first brake area (#1).
Picture from: http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-Diego-Magazine/October-2011/The-Art-of-Coastal-Coaster-Maintenance/
Control board of Octotron, Belmont Park
Control board of Maliboomer, California Adventure (defunct). To operate, the operator locks and checks restraints, and then presses the green weigh button, which lifts the carriage on hydraulic posts to weigh the riders, which tells the system how much air to fill the tank with. Shortly after, the air tank will fill with air and the ride will begin the launch cycle. In automatic mode, all the operator has to do is press the weight button, and the system will cycle through the program automatically. In manual mode, each button must be pressed in sequence. If the down button needs to be pressed, it should be done so during the weigh cycle, for least consequence. The ride program will then promptly halt and return to the ground. If down is pressed during fill cycle, the carriage will descend, but the rider's restraints will be kept locked until all air is out of the shot tank. If the ride is already in the launch cycle and the down button is pressed, the carriage will descend very, very slowly (much slower than normal). For that reason, I can't think of any good reason to use the down button during the launch cycle.
Control board of Control Freak, Belmont Park
Control panel of Sky Tower, Six Flags Magic Mountain