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Lighting Trains

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disturbman

@SuperAzusa Thanks for that, much easier to read a post than having to find the posts on the discord.

 

I ordered a box of 7 to test. The shop/manufacturer left a good impression on me, they contacted me to be verify of I had ordered the correct type of lights. Look forward to getting the lights, I can foresee a lot more orders.

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SuperAzusa

Here is the best image I've taken so far that shows the differences in colour temps.

 

From left to right, using HKTILCs product names:

 

"LIGHT BULB COLOUR" - "Lite Yellow" - "WARM WHITE" - "WHITE COLOUR"

20201010_210838.jpg

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Yavianice

After getting some definitely not Popondetta lights myself, I made some comparison pictures with the different light colors available and the original KATO alternative.

 

All the pictures are at the same power setting! I just made them using my smartphone in a slightly dark room so forgive the picture quality. It may seem bright, but in real life, it isn't as bright and you can clearly make out the interior. I chose the TGV as an example because it has a broken white interior (the standard "we don't bother with painting" interior color KATO has)

 

KATO 11-121 WHITE

K-BW.thumb.png.9e174f01c27412240487390c48f05158.png

 

KATO 11-121 WHITE with optional filter

K-BWF.thumb.png.e254d988a394bc9b5ae32e9af7ba6008.png

 

KATO 11-213 Warm WHITE

K-WW.thumb.png.d4c32cd44ef822254c0341ae6b8599bd.png

 

KATO 11-213 Warm WHITE with optional filter

K-WWF.thumb.png.4d7992ed0997b22b007bf833b60a38e1.png

 

Definitely not Popondetta Advance X WHITE

HK-BW.thumb.png.aa38017e49ea5ff63e2be6266ba2d151.png

 

Definitely not Popondetta Advance X Warm White

HK-WW.thumb.png.f54b9dd3898ce7cf5c48229472cb35f7.png

 

Definitely not Popondetta Advance X Lite Yellow

HK-LB.thumb.png.60006f67a885d1f9dcce3c215121a200.png

 

Definitely not Popondetta Advance Yellow (PCB) Normal Setting

HK-Y-L.thumb.png.6ee01946960366777af2de7e022b6b04.png

 

Definitely not Popondetta Advance Yellow (PCB) Supernova Setting

HK-Y-BR.thumb.png.5011595bda2840ce2957bbdb86d9f688.png

 

The vendor also sent me a rainbow PCB for free which.... is amazing! Don't know where to use that one in, however. Perhaps in my Apres Ski European train!

 

Overall Impressions:

  • The flicker free technology is pretty cool...
  • But it stays on for a very short (split second) amount of time. You will still need to clean the track/wheels for optimal performance, but having flicker free lights means you (or the manufacturer, looking at you KATO) can be lazy instead of cleaning the track/wheels until your fingers bleed.
  • The PCB lights can be adjusted in brightness (2 settings with capacitor, 3 settings without capacitor, the X type does not have brightness settings). If you set it at the normal brightness, the capacitor version will stay on a split second longer. I'd say that having the advance PCB at the highest setting negates having capacitor lights in the first place. But would you really want your people that ride the train go blind? I don't see the point of the supernova setting on the Advance lighting.
  • The X lights are slightly brighter than the PCB Lights. But this also depends on the length of the train, I guess.
  • The color difference between Warm White (picture 6) and Lite Yellow (picture 7) is really small, even in real life. There IS a difference, but it is so small that it might as well be irrelevant (depending on the color of the interior and the glass filter). I'd say that the Warm White from KATO (picture 3) is color wise between the Lite Yellow (Picture 7) and Yellow (Picture 8).
  • KATO Warm White with Filter remains the best color in my opinion for old or romantic (Orient Express for example) trains. It is very dim and orange-yellow.
  • If you want to just solder everything together, the normal lights will probably be sufficient for you.
  • The X type PCB is about the same thickness as the "bracket" of the KATO lights. Which is a problem, because the KATO lights also have this metal pickup. As a result the X lights are often loose in the train, though some clever pickup folding trickery ensures the lights are rock solid. This also means it is not strictly speaking compatible with all KATO lights, e.g. the HB-E300.
  • The PCB Advance lights are really cool because they also have an LED at the "rear". As you can see in the last 2 pictures, the area of the "Group" space (on the right) is always dark except if the PCB lights are utilized.

 

Edited by Yavianice
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AhmadKane

Hey Guys, I just got the 10-005 KATO D51 steam starter set with 3 passenger carriages. 

 

I'm thinking of customizing interior lights for these carriages similar to old tomix and micro-ace units, where the cables could be run from the hole on the running plate. Using a simple clip, some Yellow 9V bulbs and a cable.  

 

However, I see that though these carriages do have supports for lighting, I can't seem to find where to attach the cable and the lamp from? Are they attached from the sides between the clips? Or do they need to be drilled into for installation?

 

Many thanks

 

Kane

WhatsApp Image 2020-11-26 at 6.16.03 PM.jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2020-11-26 at 6.15.55 PM.jpeg

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roadstar_na6

You can solder wires to the pickup strips below the seats and get them up through where the Kato light unit would sit (top side on your 2nd photo)

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AhmadKane

Thanks. On a sidenote, I'd like to confirm something regarding the lighting. 

 

Do Japanese trains have a lighting system similar to planes? In planes it's all dark, but passengers may choose to turn on the reading light. I assume that trains carry the same function, that the cabin will be darker for overnight services/night services. 

 

I have yet to take a late shinkansen or a limited express service, so I was wondering if this was the case. I'm also wondering about this, because Indonesian rolling stock does not dim the cabin light for overnight services.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Kane

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Yavianice

As far as I could tell in my Japan travels, generally trains (shinkansens, local, rapid etc.) are always bright. However some modern and very recent trains do have "mood" lighting depending on the time of day.

 

It never gets dark in a train, except if you splurge on a gran class car seat or whatever, I guess. Dunno, never been in them. But in general the atmosphere is much more cozy from what I've seen.

 

This of course does not include the Sunrise trains or the JR West sleeper/joyful trains/excursion trains.

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JR 500系

Just liked to recommend the only other person playing with Japanese trains in Singapore (i guess) with is also my friend on how to make LED light strips for Kato and Tomix trains ~

 

Making LED lights for Kato trains

 

Making LED lights for Tomix trains

 

Comments welcomed!

 

*I'll post later in the Agora, it really seems i cant paste youtube links and get auto-embedded now... might be my setting

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Yavaris Forge

That's a really nice way of lighting trains yourself! 

One question though: Is the capacitor he uses really necessary? I doubt it will have much of an effect on the flickering of the lights.

And does someone know at what voltage the 12V strips start to light up? Not that the train only lights up at full speed...

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