light in locomotive help

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Wyndigo, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. farnham

    farnham New Member

    Posts and cleats.


    How's this: Forget about moving the controller while the train is running-- trains will clearly have to stop at stations, sidings, etc. What I don't like is the idea of children running around with 110 volt power packs, plugging them in and taking them out-- what about a 12 VDC supply line going to two or more connectors, and only the regulating part of the power pack being used? That would be good enough for us I think.

    As to posts and cleats, why are they called cleats? I think I also heard lintels and risers. I am thinking, could some or all of my sections be built with open work, without a flat sheet of plywood? Or all of them? But then would the sections be heavier and harder to remove or carry? Also materials would probably cost more. Would it be better with open work only on sections where bridges/ over- or underpasses were planned?

    And now I'm thinking in any case an eight-foot-by-nine-inches piece of 3/8" plywood could get, uh, floppy! Oh yeah I get it-- there will always be something else on each section to support the backdrop . . .

    BTW, two auto stores were without a clue about connectors for RVs. This could be because of New York City where the hardware/ automotive industry is very very competitive and profit-driven, not a reflection on yr advice-- also a shortage of RVs. I am concerned about the connectors being replaceable. Do you know the names of any suppliers/ hardware sites? Best wishes, still dreaming of trains,

    farnham . . . :thumb:
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I started a new thread called "shelf layout construction" in the Technical section. I'll leave this thread to its original discussion of locomotive and car lighting.
  3. johnnyb1216

    johnnyb1216 New Member

    constant lighting

    i was wondering if i can use a 3mm ultra bright led with a 1k resitor in place of the bulb
  4. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I don't know.
  5. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    Yeah you can. I personally never use bulbs (IE grain of wheat) as they tend to melt plastic things!

    Two issues however;

    1. Ultra bright is probably waaay too bright for a model loco, since the prototype often isn't that bright anyway. (however, different manufacturers have differing ideas on what constitutes "ultra bright", so the best thing is to light up the LED before you put it in the model and decide for yourself)

    2. 3mm might be a bit large. I personally use 3mm and larger for street and building interior lighting because it throws out a lot of light.

    You might not actually have any preference, and the brightness of the lights on the loco might not bother you that much. Personally I'm quite particular about it, because I like to emulate that dim yellow orange look that the prototype has, and I've seen models with ultra bright LEDs on them and they've just looked like squad car lights!
  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I'm with Fred on this one. DCC seems like a natural for this layout. Don't rule it out unless you are absolutely certain you prefer DC and the complications it brings when running multiple trains.
  7. johnnyb1216

    johnnyb1216 New Member

    your right

    thanks canopus for the info tried it anyway and your right its is way bright almost blue bright what is the name of the color led you use im just a beginer and lovin the "experements" thanks again, john
  8. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    Yeah blue bright, I've seen that before. Bachmann's "Branchline" (models of English prototypes) had that problem on their Class 37 locomotive. Again, looked like a squad car!

    The best thing to look out for is the MCD rating. By the sounds of it I'd say that the MCD rating on your LEDs is probably about 15000 to 20000 MCD. Ideally you want about 4000 to 5000 MCD or lower. Color depends on what the prototype is like, take a good look at it. Usually they're sort of off-white, so the best thing is usually yellow, or an old trick which is to paint a white LED in a really thinned down layer of brown paint, which should tone it down to give you an off white color. You can also achieve the same affect by giving it a light dusting of brown with an airbrush.

    The only other bit of advice I can give you is to buy LEDs from ebay suppliers who send them with free resistors. Saves you a lot of time and money in the end!

    Just experiment, see what works best for you. Also don't forget to paint the inside of the bodyshell of your locomotive black - this prevents the locomotive from "glowing"!

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