Jump to content

Lighting Trains


Recommended Posts

Hey,

 

I just create an account with the hope you can help me out.

 

I've bought Tomix Yamanote line car (the bottom sais TOMIX8393) for a diorama (please see the picture).

Which is the right lightning kit for this car?
And does there also an interior kit (means seats, etc.) exists?

Also, what voltage do I need to attach to the rails to make the lightning kit and the already build in position lights turn on?
(I want to power the diorama with a button cell,)

Thanks for your help!

Yamanote.jpg

Link to post

Jes it is a E231 (for me it gave ma a higher emotional feeling to the Yamanote line from my visits than the E235).

So do I need the 0755 or 0733 kit for this car?

Are there also seats or something like this available?

 

It is just a mini diorama with a 10cm piece of track.

So I can just solder a 3V battery to the rails and it should work?

Link to post

Crix,

 

the lighting kits are a single led with a plastic light bar to spread the light down the car. They have a resistor with them and usually start to show some car lighting at about 4-5v and can handle up to 12v. Two 3v batteries in series should give you some decent light. You can get double pack coin cell holders as well to stack them.

 

Cheers

 

jeff

Link to post

Hi Jeff,

 

thanks for the reply.

So you mean, I should double it up to 5V?

These double holder should fit in perfectly into the dioramas's socket.

 

Just still not sure if I need the 0755 or 0733 kit^^

 

Link to post
5 minutes ago, Crix1990 said:

Just still not sure if I need the 0755 or 0733 kit^^

 

0755 is the old, discontinued bulb kit. Those are not compatible with long term operation, DCC or PWM, because they will melt the plastic (and your train) around it.

 

0733 is the LED version and recommended/the only one available/the one with the best performance.

Link to post

Thanks for your help!
I've ordered it via ebay (could take up to 6 weeks to arrive...).

 

Just to ensure, Tomix cars get their power via the rails, one side V+, one GND and it does not matter which side is V+?
Sorry, it's my first Tomix car, I normally use just Fleischmann.

 

Edit:
But there are'nt any seat-sets avalable, right?

Edited by Crix1990
Link to post

Japanese trains pick up both + and - on all bogies, while european bogies are usually isolated on one side, requiring you to have both bogies on the track to close the circuit. So it does not matter how you install the light in your car.

Link to post

Crix,

 

two 3v coin cells (like a 2032s) will get you 6v in series (ie stacked) and probably run the led at a decent brightness for like 12 plus hours, but you will need to experiment. Worse case is you could add in an single battery holder in series to get 9v. If 9v is just a tad too bright you can add in a resistor or better yet a variable resistor to set the brightness to just what you want.

 

To test you can just take a couple of coin cells and stack them up (same direction with the + of one touching the - of the other. Then you can probably slant them so that the outside of faces of the cells touch the wheels on each side of a wheel set (ie outer - of one side of the stack to one wheel and the other + site to the other wheel. Don’t touch the axle. If that’s too crazy a juggle just get a couple bits of bare wire and hold one on either side of the stack and the loose ends you can touch to the wheels. If not bright enough for your needs stack 3 coin cells.

 

no I don’t think I’ve seen any detailed seat sets for this or any Tomix Trains. There are some garage companies that make sticker sets to spruce up interiors on some of the sleeper and luxury trains. Usually you just have to snip off the legs off figures and just plant torsos in the just seat back interiors you get in most of the trains. Even the ones with more of a full seat it’s hard to get the seated figures in them well and some surgery is usually needed. This is usually fine as most viewing angles you really don’t see the seats or floors. And once figures are in there the eye will go to them and ignore any tiny incomplete bits there may be. It’s only when totally empty you tend to notice the incomplete aspects of the interiors and even then the eye has to be pretty close.

 

cheers

 

jeff

Link to post

A question- my apologies if it’s been answered here or elsewhere-

 

After some unhappy experiences with KATO lighting, I’ve recently been fitting all my trains (where possible) with Poppondetta capacitor equipped lighting, and love the look, both moving and at a standstill-

 

Is there any danger to leaving powered cars on a CL powered track for extended time with the minimum required voltage to illuminate, but not enough to move the motors?

 

The motors seem to not be putting out any force, and unlike the Kato power packs, I hear and feel no hum from them when at rest using the Tomix CL power.

 

Whatever the answer is, is there any difference for cordless motors, specifically those in recent Greenmax KiHa’s vs more traditional Tomix/Kato?

 

Im asking all this as I’ve been thinking to make a display case that can provide track power for lighting only.

 

I am aware DCC should be a safe bet as the motor receives no power until commanded to, but I’m not sure I want to convert all my passenger models to DCC yet.

Link to post
10 hours ago, defor said:

Is there any danger to leaving powered cars on a CL powered track for extended time with the minimum required voltage to illuminate, but not enough to move the motors?

 

 

Providing the motor is supplied with a low enough voltage so that it is definitely NOT buzzing or making any other noise it should be safe but not really best practice especially if it will be sitting 'on' for some time.

 

This is a bit similar to running an analogue loco on DCC using pulse stretching - Yes it can be done but it is not really conducive to long motor life.

 

While you may not hear anything, the motor will be generating some heat - although, hopefully it will be low enough due to the low voltage supplied - You might just want to test it out ie let it sit for say 1 to 3 or 5 mins and feel the motor to see how warm it will get as it all depends on the actual voltage supplied to the motor.

 

I suspect that you may not be able to run a low enough voltage to keep the heat generated to a low enough level but also have enough to drive the lighting - You will need to experiment/test a bit.

 

Keep in mind that the heat generated by the stalled motor increases by a square function, so doubling the voltage increases the heat factor by 4 etc.

 

You definitely want the voltage set so it is much lower than where you can hear the motor buzzing as at that point the motor will get quite hot and possibly damage it or degrade the brushes/commutator.

 

Same applies to coreless or non-coreless motors - so no real difference here.

 

DCC is totally safe in this application as you can set the motor drive level right down to 0 (ie no voltage supplied to motor) but still control the lighting.

 

If it was mine - I would not do it.. until I had DCC installed.

 

One other option that may or may not suit you is to simply isolate the motor but this is not much use to you if you want to run the train...😥

Edited by Costas
Spelling error
  • Like 2
Link to post
4 hours ago, Costas said:

This is a bit similar to running an analogue loco on DCC using pulse stretching - Yes it can be done but it is not really conducive to long motor life.

While you may not hear anything, the motor will be generating some heat - although, hopefully it will be low enough due to the low voltage supplied - You might just want to test it out ie let it sit for say 1 to 3 or 5 mins and feel the motor to see how warm it will get as it all depends on the actual voltage supplied to the motor.

 

Thanks Costas- that is what I had assumed, but figured I should ask and see if if was a correct assumption.

If I do decide to go down this route, I'll just stick to DCC only then, but I'll probably just shelve the idea altogether.

 

Link to post

I've been browsing a couple of Modellers in youtube. Some of my favorites are Kathy Millat,  Marklinofsweden and Budget Model Railways. I've been watching some Sam's trains as well since I'm such a sucker for British rolling stock. 

 

Anyway, I think it was today, I came across Marklinofsweden's newest video. It's about using interior lights 

 

 

I'm quite interested in this video. Mostly because I've had my own encounter with Bachmann Acela Carriages using KATO lighting, well it does flicker about, but mostly my problem is with the weight of these carriages. They are simply too heavy to be pulled by my trusty EF80, and it had difficulty being pulled by the D51. I suppose it could be pulled by american diesels but N scale americans cost WAAAAY to much for me. At least for now. 

 

So when I watched this video. It seemed like using light tape would solve the weight problem, and it does look much nicer. As if the train already unloaded its passengers before dimming by the capacitor. Of course HO scale could fit so many components, but I was wondering whether we could replicate the same principles on N scale carriages. 

 

Thoughts?

 

 

Link to post
  • cteno4 pinned this topic
5 hours ago, AhmadKane said:

I've been browsing a couple of Modellers in youtube. Some of my favorites are Kathy Millat,  Marklinofsweden and Budget Model Railways. I've been watching some Sam's trains as well since I'm such a sucker for British rolling stock. 

 

Anyway, I think it was today, I came across Marklinofsweden's newest video. It's about using interior lights 

 

 

I'm quite interested in this video. Mostly because I've had my own encounter with Bachmann Acela Carriages using KATO lighting, well it does flicker about, but mostly my problem is with the weight of these carriages. They are simply too heavy to be pulled by my trusty EF80, and it had difficulty being pulled by the D51. I suppose it could be pulled by american diesels but N scale americans cost WAAAAY to much for me. At least for now. 

 

So when I watched this video. It seemed like using light tape would solve the weight problem, and it does look much nicer. As if the train already unloaded its passengers before dimming by the capacitor. Of course HO scale could fit so many components, but I was wondering whether we could replicate the same principles on N scale carriages. 

 

Thoughts?

 

 

I think you could easily add something similar as the LED strips come in various sizes. The challenge would be fitting the components into an area where they would be hidden. In Marklinoffsweden’s case he used the toilet cavity to hide the capacitor and bridge rectifier.  For Blue trains, you could add printed paper blinds to the ends with the components should there not be enough space but commuter trains don’t give you much alternative than having it visible from outside.

 

Poppondetta do produce ready to run lighting with capacitors attached for both Tomix and Kato n gauge. Roughly ¥5000 for a pack of 7 for those less confident at a professional looking job.
 

Having viewed a number of DCC conversions here in Japan, it seems the hiding of wires is not a priority with many modellers. That would certainly annoy me watching a beautifully lit train whizz last with a rainbow of wires going everywhere inside the coaches.

 

 

Link to post

Apologies if this is already widely known - I think I've stumbled across the OEM for Popondetta's LED strip lighting (both the regular and capacitor-equipped versions) -

 

https://www.hktilc.com/

 

Significantly cheaper. I've just placed an order for all four lighting colours they do. IF they arrive, I'll throw some comparison shots up here.

 

Website is all in Chinese, however. I'd visit it via Chrome with it's page translation feature.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to post

Looks great, didn’t know them yet, and they are 40 cts cheaper than my usual go to place for the version without capacitor. The 4.5 euro per bar for the capacitor version is still steep for me, I will stick to cleaning.

Link to post

Hello again all. My order from https://www.hktilc.com/ finally arrived today.

 

To recap, I purchased several sets of their KATO "ADVANCED" LED PCB strips. This differs from the "STANDARD" version by including capacitors (from Samsung apparently) to reduce flicker.

 

Product page - https://hktilc.com/product/Ry34aXDlEPetiZWX

 

I purchased the following -

WHITE COLOR 2PCS

WARM WHITE 2PCS

LIGHT BULB COLOR 2PCS

Lite Yellow 2PCS

 

20201010_210838.thumb.jpg.2644ecc865e756aa00078f15825d8799.jpg
(From left to right, - "Light Bulb" colour, yellow white (aka "Lite Yellow"), plain white (aka "WARM WHITE") and blue white (aka "WHITE COLOR".)

(Image is my own, taking by my rubbish mobile phone camera.)

 

I've provided pictures in the JNS Discord of the kind of temps you can expect. I do want to post more pictures here, but I want to take them with a better camera eventually. The image above does give a pretty good idea of what to expect.

 

As for a verbal description of each colour:

 

"WHITE COLOR" - This would properly be called "Blue White". It is white with a bluish hue. It doesn't seem to be as aggressively blue as the Popondetta equivalent* (more about that later). Imagine a normal plain white colour with a tinge of blue mixed in.

 

"WARM WHITE" - This is, I believe, the closest to an absolute plain white out of the 4 colours they do. It has a very slight yellow tinge I think. VERY slight. I had to look extremely closely when it was lit up to tell (like this guy > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HKFgDjOkeA). But I reckon most people would see this a middle-of-the-road white, neither warm or cool. I would light my Narita Express up with these.

 

"LIGHT BULB COLOR" - A few forumites might remember a month or two ago at my plight of the "Overly Yellow Popondetta Light". I had purchased a 7PCS pack of Popondetta "Light Bulb" colour LED strips with capacitors (which is same product as these - more on that later). These lights were to go into my SL Yamaguchi, suitable for an old-timey train with, presumably, old timey lighting. So you can imagine my slight disappointment at how yellow-hued these Popondetta lights were. The promo image on Hobby Search suggested that the "Light Bulb" colour had a more orangey-hue than these banana lights, which didn't match at all. (See here for more info > https://jnsforum.com/community/topic/17185-green-car-lighting/?tab=comments#comment-213187)

 

I'm happy to report that THESE LEDs are much closer to that original promo image. We have a proper (in my opinion, your mileage may vary) incandescent light bulb colour with an orange/white temperature. This was what I was expecting originally!

 

"Lite Yellow" - It's White lighting with a yellow hue. Smack bang in the middle between "WARM WHITE" and "LIGHT BULB COLOUR". It MIGHT be a good equivalent for 80's/90's era flourescent lighting, but I'm no expert.

 

Now for some other things of note:

 

  • My total cost for these lights was 312HKD. (Approx 34EUR, 40USD, 30GBP at time of writing - https://www.xe.com/)
  • Shipping, NOT included in the cost above, was 250HKD. However, I believe this was a mistake. @Yavianice has discovered that the price for shipping has since dropped to 80HKD, which is much more reasonable. I believe that my shipping cost was intended for the likes of retailers who are purchasing wholesale, not individual consumers. As of result of paying this higher cost in shipping, HKTILC threw me a few extra lights for "free" (specifically a 7PCS "STANDARD" WARM WHITE" set.) Hopefully should you deign to purchase from HKTILC, you won't have to pay the shipping costs that I did!
  • Customs caught the packet. It was shipped via HK Post "E-express"/"EC-ship" according to the packaging. I don't know what that is exactly. Contents were described as "light for toys".
  • I'm certain that HKTILC are the Original Equipment Manufacturer for the Popondetta series of extremely similar LED strip lighting (both with and without capacitors). @defor determined that the circuitry between these lights and his Popondetta branded ones are 100% identical. Also, HKTILC have links and embeds of various Youtube videos reviewing the Popondetta-branded lighting on their "feature page". A final clue is that, on the checkout page, there is a warning that they do not ship to Japan. This is probably an agreement with Popondetta as buying the lights from HKTILC is significantly cheaper.
    • Further to the above, it seems the design has changed slightly from last year. @defor noted that there appears to be a "2019" and "2020" version, with differences in the PCB circuitry, width of the PCB, and *possibly the temps of the LEDs themselves. Also, when Popondetta first announced these lights (2018?), there were only 3 colours to choose from, with "WARM WHITE" not yet existing. My "Overly Yellow Light Bulb colour" Popondetta-branded lights mentioned above are likely from a "2019" batch, and the equivalent HKTILC (with proper orange hue) that I have received, being of the newer "2020" design.
  • As usual, you cut these to length to fit in your cars.
  • Like the Popondetta lighting (which these are, just without the branding), these have the two-position switch allowing you choose between how brightness/better capacitor performance, and high brightness/normal capacitor performance.
  • I have not yet tested the anti-flicker capability of these lights. However, the capacitors definitely work as the lights stay on, and dim, for a short while after removing the car from the track. Testing will be another job I do on the weekend.

 

I hope this is of use to everybody. As for me, I'm very happy with my purchase and will be looking to outfit my collection with HKTILC lights, without having to pay the (now relatively) outrageous Popondetta pricing!

 

Thanks to folks on the JNS Discord for their help.

Edited by SuperAzusa
Added what the contents were listed as on the package.
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to post

If you look at the number code on the back of your Popondetta strips, you'll see something like P0620, it appears this is a datecode from what I can tell- the first batch I bought in Popondetta Shizuoka store in September 2019 were dated P0219, a later batch I bought early this spring from Amazon Japan is dated P0619, and the most recent batch I bought from Amazon Japan is dated P0620. (All regardless of model)

 

From what I can tell, the new PCB designs happened between P0619 and P0620 for both tomix and kato PCB's and include an individual resistor per LED as well as a completely new arrangement of resistors before the capacitor bank... I'm not entirely sure what these changes really do to be honest, and a black pcb makes tracing the design to a schematic a lot more difficult

 

What's most interesting to me personally is that the HKTILC lighting uses white PCB's, which would look a lot more at home in the roof of a car if you photograph from a low angle that might catch them...

Edited by defor
  • Like 1
Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...