Been awhile...

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by shaygetz, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    ...but I thought you might be interested in some of my wiring projects.

    These are my N scale traffic lights I just finished. The price of "scale" traffic lights being absurd---the flasher unit is $35, the lights run $10 or more apiece---I felt there was something that could be cobbled together from this>>> FK148 Traffic Light Kit, with 12 LEDs

    At $9, it certainly was worth a try. I deviated from the instructions by wiring the LED portions of the circuit with appropriate colored wire, then ran them to buss strips for each light. In my case, it was for a 3-way intersection so the remaining lights were wired into place, then the whole assembly was tested.


    My masts were made from lengths of C70 rail. My wires are pulled from a salvaged transformer. The wire on a transformer is coated with varnish already, making it perfect for this kind of install. The wire in a coil has to be insulated to work its magic that makes a motor or transformer do what they do. Just a matter of peeling off what you need, being careful not to nick or kink the wire. Soldering it or making a terminal connection requires scraping the ends first. My LEDS are 1.6mm clear red,yellow,green ones glued to the mast.


    My targets were made from sheet styrene drilled for the lights.




    The wire leads were soldered to the LEDs then color coded for later under table installation. The wires were then carefully glued down the side of each mast, then tested. Then the targets were installed and the lights tested again. Note the dime just behind it for size comparison.


    Several coats of paint insulates the whole assembly. The circuit is installed and wired under the layout. Yes, I use Micro Machines cars...placed there especially for rivet counters and Tony Koester.[​IMG]


    I've found the extra set of lights are a good diagnostic tool as the lights are in series with each other somewhat. I'm sure a more experienced electronics wizard would be able to simplify the wiring somehow to reduce the number of wires.


    At about 3/8" x 3/16", the signals are much nicer than what is currently available. The rail makes them quite sturdy and the wires are hardly noticeable at all, even when viewed up close. And, at $15 total and about 7 hours work from start to finish, are a good bit easier on the wallet.


    If there is any one improvement I wish I had the foresight for, it would be to place a piece of shim brass between each LED on the mast. At our bird's eye views, the colors tend to bleed into the upper lenses, making it appear to be two green or two yellow lights going. Near ground level it's fine. I'm stilled tickled I pulled it off, I'll just keep that in mind when I do my 3 light railroad signals.

    Glad to see some faces I still recognize and I hope to drop by more rather than lurk in the shadows.
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    It may have been a while, but certainly worth the wait. Good to hear from you again, Bob. :wave:
    The traffic lights look very convincing, but I didn't realise how small they were until you included the dime for comparison. And the Micro machines look just fine, although my eyesight isn't good enough to notice any rivets. ;):-D:-D

  3. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hey Shay...Good to hear from you again...and good to see you're still going strong. Hope to see you here more often...:thumb:
  4. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    Thats pretty cool. I miss seeing your step by step project posts!! As for your comment on the wiring; I'm sure that one of the wires to each of the leads to the LEDs is a common so you could probably daisy chain it from one LED to the other to save on wiring. Maybe you could even use the "post" as the common since you can solder to it.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Great idea, Shaygetz. And I too am glad to see a post from you. I missed your step by step projects.

  6. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    Wow, cool project!
  7. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    That's great! The videos show them off very nicely. Good to hear from you!
  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks guys. Jake, the wiring does have points where it share with others both I found no real common wire and so just stuck with what was there. The wire was fine enough that the paint coved it well.
  9. jesso

    jesso Member

    Those streetlights are great! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions! The video was really nice to see them work. We have micro machines all over our layout so they look right to me:thumb:
  10. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks, Jesso...:thumb::thumb: to your N scale Inglenook, I have an HO Inglenook that I'm working on.



  11. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Hey - that's cool!
  12. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Bob, that's brilliant, and should be entirely possible to adapt to other scales too.
  13. jesso

    jesso Member

    Wow! Your Inglenook looks great!:thumb: It makes a very nice looking scene!
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    That is nice. Shaygetz. I love the way you put in that dead-end track and the half buildings. But... what"s that hairy ball in the second picture?

  15. MadModeler

    MadModeler Member

    Shaygetz, my hat's off to you.:thumb:

    Very well done!:thumb::thumb::thumb:
  16. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thank you for the kind words. I figure since this is my last layout, I would go all out on detail...just finished a sign for my hotel that is lit and features raised lettering. I'll post it elsewhere once I have pics.

    That would be my little girl...kinda looks like Cousin It in the picture I see.:mrgreen:
  17. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Good to hear from you -- I've missed your posts and your help with my questions! Those traffic lights and layout progress look great! My British 00 layout has gone through quite a few revisions as well. Great Tozer quote too. Rob

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