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Lighting Trains


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1 minute ago, gavino200 said:

 

Not that exact kit but a couple of my other "electronics kits" I got have similar.   Guitar picks also work well 🙂

 

I just have not taken a lot of time to try and get it off yet.  I was looking at it befofre breakfast and a company wide meeting and only had limited time to mess with it.

 

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Not sure. I think they'll need to be absolutely exact, or else they trains will perform like ass. My local annual train show is tomorrow. I'll be my local train guy there and pick his brains.

 

This is roughly how I'll approach the issue. 

1. Open all my Fleischmann coaches 

2. See how many different designs/ trucks there are.

3. Measure all the lengths between adjacent axels, etc. 

4. Do an online search for existing solutions. 1zu160 might be a good source.

 

I'm going to leave the Fleischmann trains until last. Some knowledge may appear while I'm working on my Japanese trains. 

 

I also wonder if there's some way of lighting the Graham Farish trains. Perhaps @railsquid may know something about that. I don't recall if he lights his trains or not.

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@gavino200  Here is what the 861803 looks like inside.  With the lengthwise steel piece on each side, I think you are supposed to only put the wipes on one side of the truck so that you get one rod for each leg of your track power.

 

I am thinking about maybe drilling out the center and not using the long steell, but getting two squares of thing steel and placing them over where the trucks are and drilling it and putting a plug in the hole of the truck and drilling that out and then just using a screw and washer to hold the truck in.  Not sure of the details yet but that would allow the use of standard wipes and also make it easy to attach wire to the center screw and run it underneath the seating to one end and run your wire up one end out of the way as much as possible.  Put a simple pin connector on there and put your lights in the shell and connect it to the wires.

 

I could even stick a decoder underneath the seating piece.  There should be enough room if you remove some of the rib material.

 

IMG_0460.thumb.jpg.beeb91bae6238f21f4c5c09a71347f87.jpgIMG_0461.thumb.jpg.e01de93dc7882c579376709c7a2285fe.jpg

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2 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

I also wonder if there's some way of lighting the Graham Farish trains. Perhaps @railsquid may know something about that. I don't recall if he lights his trains or not.

 

 

Basically same way -- add wipes to the trucks.  See the link I posted that showed all the different versions.  And the Digikeijs ones.  How are the Graham Farish trucks attached?

 

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3 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

I also wonder if there's some way of lighting the Graham Farish trains. Perhaps @railsquid may know something about that. I don't recall if he lights his trains or not.

 

Not the British ones. Farish ones don't come with pickups (some Dapol do), I vaguely recall the existence of conversion kits using axle wipers, and possibly battery-operated lighting strips; the British N gauge forum should have more info buried somewhere.

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I need to inventory all my Euro cars (Fleischmann, Arnold/Hornby, and Minitrix passenger wagons) and see what they all look like in terms of axle/wheel supplied power, etc.  Whatever solutions I come up with, I'd like to be as generic as possible...

 

Any wagon that uses a screw to hold the bogies/trucks on should be pretty easy to do.  The ones with other ways of attaching the bogies (like the 861803) are the more difficult ones.

 

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I'll look for cheap European cars to buy tomorrow at the trainshow. It's a longshot though. People here love their Murican trains.

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BTW:  Putting that 861803 back together was a Royal Pain in the Patooty.  The metal strips jar out of place easily and it even looks like they have an up and down side (based on how they were stamped out of the base sheet).  Finally got it back.

 

I've asked the Streamlined Backshop sales if they have dimensions for the various axel wipes they have so I can see what will work best in the various wagons.

 

Also, they sell replacement KATO strips:  https://store.sbs4dcc.com/SBS4DCCNScaleKatoPickupContactConnectorStrip.aspx

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18 hours ago, nscaler711 said:

Have any of you guys tried using COB LEDs for lighting cars yet? They seem like theyd be perfect for our use.

 

I actually ordered a bunch from china a year or two ago for structure lighting.  The ones I got are nice but way too bright at full power.  In the end I found getting prewired SMD LEDs to be a much easier way of lighting models.

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Thanks, was kinda curious about it, figured the way they are set up they would have been perfect. 

Have a few flashlights with them but did not want to tear them up for the LEDs lol.

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I had another look at the Fleischmann Epoch IV coaches. The plastic looks thick enough to light. If it turns out not to be, I guess I'll have to mask them off and lightproof the interior. They're too nice not to light up.

 

I took out my Epoch IV Fleichmann IC train as well. I'll look inside them tomorrow if I get time.

 

I looked inside one of my new Graham Farish (Bachmann - made in China) coaches. They're much nicer than the older 'made in Britain" one pictured above. But still there's no way to light them  unless with some kind of battery powered lights with a magnetic switch. It's a pity. I'd like to get some move British trains, but not if they're all unlightable.

 

I have everything put away now except my remaining seven unlit trains. 

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2 hours ago, chadbag said:

Why couldn't you add axle wipes etc?

 

It's a possibility. The build quality of the old "Made in Britain" car is so low it's shocking. It's one step up from something you'd find in a Kinder Surprise Egg. The newer ones are better but still pretty rudimentary. I may attempt it but I'll probably leave it until very last.

 

A similar project, I guess, would be putting lights in old cabooses, which I'd like to do a some stage. 

Edited by gavino200
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A few of my items are due soon.  My rectifiers are still somewhere indeterminate (the tracking sucks).  Let us know how it goes.

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So, to clarify.

 

If i know that my DIY lightboard is going to be installed in a DCC decoder situation -- Ie, a function decoder will be supplying the lightboard, I can leave the rectifier off.   The rectifier doesn't hurt in this case, but is not needed.   Lightboards installed in cars on a DCC track but without a decoder should have the rectifier.    Is this correct?

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And for those cases where I am using a function line off a motor decoder that does not have a blue wire, I guess I can use the rectifier bridge there as well to make a blue wire for the internal lights.

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8 hours ago, chadbag said:

So, to clarify.

 

If i know that my DIY lightboard is going to be installed in a DCC decoder situation -- Ie, a function decoder will be supplying the lightboard, I can leave the rectifier off.   The rectifier doesn't hurt in this case, but is not needed.   Lightboards installed in cars on a DCC track but without a decoder should have the rectifier.    Is this correct?

 

Yes. You definitely don't need a rectifier if you are using a decoder. 

 

Actually, it's sort of a theoretical issue/ matter of opinion whether a rectifier is necessary at all in any case. I'm just going to play it safe and use one. But later, mainly out of curiosity I'll light a train without them to see if there are any short or long term differences.

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30 minutes ago, chadbag said:

And for those cases where I am using a function line off a motor decoder that does not have a blue wire, I guess I can use the rectifier bridge there as well to make a blue wire for the internal lights.

 

I can't answer this. For decoders with no blue wire, I've just followed examples where people complete the circuit directly to the pickup wire. I've been told that this is not a good idea, but I do it anyway and have had no problems.

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