Minature electrical connectors???

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by kf4jqd, Sep 2, 2001.

  1. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Hello All:

    I am going to light up my IHC passenger cars. Here how I am going to do it. First I am going to install two single cell AA battery holders in the baggage car (has no windows.) The I want to run 30 gauge wire to the cars. Now the question is: Where can I get small electical connectors to put between the cars? What are the name brands? Any ideas?


  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    Andy - Can't give you a brand name or anything, but it sounds like a part that would come from an electronics supplier.
  3. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Found them!

    Thanks Billk:

    I did find them on Walthers website. They are expensive! I have an idea. Maybe I could go to Radio Shack and buy a 25 pin male and female parellel port connectors. I could use the pins to make my own! Sounds like a trip to Radio Shack today.

  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Coach Lighting


    I'm also looking at ways to light the passenger coaches. Keep me informed of your success doing it this way.

  5. Donn Welton

    Donn Welton Member

    Using track power?

    What would be especially interesting would be to use the power in the tracks to light up the cars but I do not have the slightest clue as to how to do this. Some type of bushing to the metal wheels? Using track power should be especially attractive to DCC folks where the power to the tracks is continuous. Surely someone must have tried something like this. Anyone?
  6. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    Donn That's the way most are done, metal wheels and pickups for the lites. The trouble is, A speck on the rail, a smudge on the wheel, and the light keep flickering, totally unrealistic. I tried keeping everything spotless and perfect, but after a round or 2, samo-samo. I think batteries with a switch is about the only way to go.

  7. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member



    How many and what type of globe do you intend putting in the passenger cars? Do the cars have interiors? perhaps you could check with IHC to see if they make "powered" bogies that you could swap. That would let you take power direct from the track for each car, therefore not requiring the connectors and/or batteries. Wouldn't the batteries flaten pretty quickly when powering a whole set of passenger car lights? Have you done some tests to see how long the batteries would last?

    No more questions, your Honour.
  8. scudrunr

    scudrunr New Member

    I think with batteries you could run a train for a long time if you aren't using lights bigger than GOW. I think the perfect battery for this would be a C cell that we use in R/C aplications, you can buy them one cell at a time if you want at your LHS. they can be recahrged using a cheap non-peak charger DC charger made for these type batteries.
  9. IMRL393

    IMRL393 Member

    Andy -

    Walthers is comming out with a new light system for their new Budd passenger cars. It runs off of track power, and is (supposedly!) easy to install. You might give that system a look-over to see if it would work for you (but you'll have to wait a month or so for it to come out!).

    As you probably already know, if you go batteries a "D" cell would last longer than an "C", which will last longer than an "AA" - more chemicals to react to produce electricity. Don't know how well the bigger batteries would fit, though.

    I won't go into the reactions unless you want - most people have this "reaction" to chemistry:


    Besides, I try to keep my chemistry at the University and my trains at home (by order of my wife) !

    Unless I could find a way to put trains into my chemistry lectures ..............


    Anyhoo, Good luck!

    - George
  10. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Here we go!

    Hello All:

    I have talked this over with our local model RR club. The way they keep their lights on without them flashing is to use DCC. There is a constent 18v supply to the tracks. My budget wont allow me to use DCC.

    I have been experimenting. Here are some of my results. Two single AA holders will work in the baggage car. The reason I want to use AA batteries is because of the small size. Since there is no interior, this works perfect! :D I tried to make my own connectors, too much a pain.:mad:

    To answer your question Woodie. I am adding a min of 3 lights per car. I haven't made up my mine if I want to use white LED's or regular bulbs.

    To give you what type of batteries I will be using. Here are the specs:
    Nickel-Metal Hydride

    I use these in my Ham Radio walkie-talkie. They last for a month or two while all other only last for a few weeks!!!! :eek: If I decide to use strickly LED's, they will last a VERY long time.;)

    I hope this helps,
  11. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Andy, DCC is not a way to prevent flickering lights. Yes, power is always on the rails, so lights stay at a constant brightness, regardless of throttle setting. However, dirty wheels and track still will make lamps flicker. Just wanted to avoid having someone be disappointed!

  12. JeffGerow

    JeffGerow Member

    I've been using track power for my passenger cars for a few years now, first with DC now with DCC. With DC there was flicker, with DCC there is very little -- I think the AC nature of the power helps cut through dirt (also the fact that it's at full voltage level all the time, rather than varying from nothing to full).
    I use the AeroCar Track cleaner solution on track and wheels, and I think that helps too.

    If eliminating flicker is the goal, why not rectify the track power (whatever kind) and use a big capacitor to get over the "bad" spots. Really big value capacitors (up to a whole Farad) are available in smaller and smaller packages, as the miniaturization of electronics continues.

    If you are going to use batteries, use the LED's, they need less current to operate (thus batteries will last longer). However, by their design they "focus" the light (it's like they include a lens, created byt he shape of the capsule). You may want to file off the "lens" which will create a more diffused source (lacking the lens as well as diffusion from the file scratches). Remember that white LED's require higher voltage (around 3V) than the "earlier" colored ones (that's 'cause white LED's have three LED's inside (Red, Blue and Green)
  13. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    There was a way years ago called “High Frequency” track lighting, it worked on a similar way to the Relco track cleaner which was brought out around the 1960’s. This worked on a high frequency to alleviate any dirt on the track by giving a high frequency impulse and ionised the dirt between the wheels and rails. If you left the track cleaner on whilst a loco was standing still, the lights on the loco would come on also, this is what gave the manufactures the idea for a high frequency lighting unit.
    Don't know if it is still available.


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