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Lighting Trains

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Oh wow that looks great Squid!


I gotta start amputating some of my people and place them into the trains! Definitely adds on to the realistic!


Didn't know TORM was for the Kato? I thought they were only for Tomix and MicroAce, like illumi. Interesting that Kato has a third party light tube that's usable! Can you share what the installation process is like; I mean like is it a full light tube with springs that easily sits into the carriage or does it come with some assembly required like the Kato?


They've got a special Kato-compatible version, no springs but has the L-shaped power contacts and the L-shaped bracket which connects the power contacts to the LED strip. It's basically the same assembly process as Kato; a potential problem is that the light strip doesn't clip into the ceiling like the Kato refractor strip does, so if the vehicle has no internal structures to support the far end, you might need to fix it in place somehow yourself.


This is the part I used ("warm" light):




Comes in multiple packs and also a white light version ( http://www.hs-tamtam.co.jp/item-109706.html ).


Oh, 12 LEDs per strip, not 8 as I wrote earlier.

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Just for fun, here's a video of the car in motion:



Apologies for the terrible picture quality. Also note the layout is electrically not exactly a work of art, the track is not fixed down and the main loop is running off a single feed (DC).

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Looks great, but it would look a bit better with a Tomix CL controller... (especially the station stop) Otherwise, i really see no problems with your track, the train runs nicely.


ps: For some older trains flicker looks autentic, for example most high voltage only emus and streetcars that ran all the lights directly from the overhead did flicker in 1:1 too.

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Looks great! Thanks Squid!


Yap like kvp mentioned definitely looks great with the constant lighting feature. What was the loco that was pulling the carriage?

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So I decided to try out my recently delivered TORM lights.


Being a long term illumi supporter, I was sceptical about TORM and how they work. To be frank, if it wasn't for them being in the HS bargains bin I wouldn't have looked at them at all.


I was glad I did!


These are the reasons why (see pictures):


1) TORM lights, like illumi or even Tomix/ MicroAce, comes in 4 types, white wide, white narrow, orange wide and orange narrow. However, TORM comes with 12 LEDs, each LED on a breakable section of the light tube. This means we get uniform lighting around the car which we often cant get from the other brands! They're often too bright in the centre where the single LED bulb is and too dim at the sides where the light cant get there as much. Using the TORM, there wasn't this issue at all!


The Track Inspector is installed with TORM, while the 500 series with the illumi. See the differences!


2) TORM lights come with an extension piece at the end where the contact springs are. This is a good touch as on some trains the contact springs are quite a distance from the end of the car, resulting in darkness on that portion where the light tube is not at. Having an extension with LED there lights up that area nicely!


3) With the uniform lighting, the cars just looked so much better! Some resistor to bring down the light brightness will be nice though..


TORM here I come!









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Talking about lighting, today I received a bunch of different types of low-profile SMD ceramic capacitors that I ordered to try out with the Kato LED Interior Lighting Kit.  I wanted to try adding a 1uF capacitor after the bridge rectifier so that it works better with the Tomix CL lighting controller.

I ordered a few different sizes to try.  The  best one seems to be the Murata 0805 GRM 1uF 25V X5R.  It’s only 0.6mm high, so the plastic holder clips back on to the lighting board without any obstruction.
Works pretty well.
Here’s the board with the capacitor soldered on:
And here it is running in a Kato Seibu 101 Series motor car:
So now I can order lighting kits for the rest of the set!
Edited by mrp
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Nice, just starting to experiment more for constant lighting with dc, but now starting to think I want fancy tomix controllers and cl (but wallet does not, but cheaper than dcc!)!


How well does the 1uf cap work on flicker? I've thought at least 10uf would be needed.


Adding end lighting can be done the same way or just reversed leds on each end w.o the rectifier.



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How well does the 1uf cap work on flicker? I've thought at least 10uf would be needed.


Hi Jeff,


I think the 1uF is more just to smooth out the PWM pulse.  It’s the same value that Tomix use in their boards (I pulled one apart and measured it).  I calculate the discharge time at only about 0.5ms.

Also, the smallest 10uF capacitor I could find (a Murata 10uF 25V 0603) was starting to be high enough (at 0.8mm) to obstruct the little plastic clip-on cover.  I couldn’t find any 10uF 0805 or 1206 SMD capacitors that were 0.6mm or 0.5mm high.
I’d like to try and reduce the occasional flickering of both the Kato and Tomix lighting over track joins and turnouts, but I think it’ll need a *lot* more than 10uF.  I was going to try a few larger values - maybe some 100uF SMD Tantalums - but that’s not just a simple board mod any more.  I guess if the lights are turning off long enough for you to see it then that's probably more than 50ms.
I’m still tossing up whether it’s worth the effort.  I’m always surprised how much you can reduce flickering by the judicious application of Rail Cleaner - even with tracks that I could have sworn were already spotless.
I haven’t looked at the Kato head and tail light boards yet to see how easy it is to fit capacitors.
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Ok gotcha, seemed very small!


Yep I have some D size SMD 100uF to try. Do need to be hidden, not 603 form factor!


Yes clean track is always the best defense, but not always happening!


Want these as well for Btrain shorties and those tend to jump around a lot so I think lighting in them may be a bit more flickery than regular trains.


I am thinking more and more of moving to tomix throttle with full controls and cl...



Edited by cteno4
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Hi JR500,

Are you asking about installing the Kato kit?  It’s just a standard 11-211.
The only thing I did was add the SMD capacitor - which maybe makes it work a bit better with the Tomix CL controller.  It doesn’t change the light level or spread.  Installing the kit was just a matter of following Kato’s instructions - which were pretty straightforward.
Adding the 0805 SMD capacitor is a different story.  You have to solder it onto the really small Kato 11-211 PCB.
When I first started playing with SMD parts about a year ago, I got myself a Hakko FX-951 with some really fine tips, a roll of 0.015” Kester 44, and an entry-level stereo microscope - so that makes it a lot easier.  I’m not sure I’d want to try it with my old Weller and no scope.  Probably melt the LED or something.
Those TORM lights you showed look really good.  I’d get some to try except you seem to have pretty much bought HS out!
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Hi mrp:


Thanks! That was informative! I definitely have no skills whatsoever for those shouldering and my electrical knowledge is like a 3-year old...


Anyhow, here's some still available at HS: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10298732 \


It does however, seem that the TORM at 650yen default price is a little more expensive than the illumi at 560yen default price... But for the sheer uniform evenness of the light inside the car I'll gladly pay the extra 90yen!  :)

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Thought i'll just drop this here after trying out some lights installation yesterday.


Being a long time supporter and fan of illumi lights, I have quite a fair number of them in my trains, but the recent HS bargains prompted me to try out the TORM while it was on a 50% discount. I'm sure happy I did!


The TORM interior lights come with 12 independent LED bulbs along the light strip, like this:




With a light bulb at the end after the springs, which is something new as that used to be a blind spot on some trains whereby light cannot reach. 1st point up for TORM!


While quite a number of trains were unable to fully make use of the light bulb at the end due to insufficient space, it was still a good point and especially so for trains with a gap behind the spring coil holes that usually will not be lighted up by the normal light tubes.


Next, I went ahead to swap my Tomix E2 Hayate with the new TORM. This is the picture of the E2 BEFORE swapping; using the illumi lights:




illumi lights inE2. Notice the super brightness, and the big bright patch at only the centre of the carriage, with fading lights at either rear ends...




And now with the NEWER TORM lights. You can see the even-ness of the light distribution, and every window was clearly seen through the lights, along with having both ends of the carriage as brightly lit as the centre. Another beautiful point up for TORM! 




Here's a look at the TORM in the dark. I really appreciate the light distribution evenly!




I like the TORM the more I install them! Although they cost a little more than illumi and is harder to find from retailers, the light distribution and that additional light bulb behind the springs were a really nice touch. i'm trying a newer source of third party light that will be arriving soon this week and we shall then be able to compare further. I'm having high expectations for this new third party source and do hope that it is as good as the seller claims it is. More on this when they arrive...






While I was installing interior lights for my HOT Super Hokuto, I have to commend on how detailed the driver's cockpit is! I've never seen details printed like these on models! Kudos on this MA!  

Edited by JR 500系
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Those do look nice! Always better to have more leds at lower amps to light better! Buildings included!



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Does torm compatible with Tomix CL?


Sure is! illumi is too, actually I haven't found one light that isn't compatible with Tomix CL function yet. I'm having some third party lights arriving this week and should be interesting to see how they fare. Please keep tuned here for updates!

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So I went ahead with a new source of 3rd party lights. They look very nice with uniform lighting throughout the carriage and softer lighting for more realistic effects. Please see attached pictures; they look really nice!


So now I found a new (and cheaper) source for interior lights for my trains! Cool! And they do for Kato models too!  :)


P.S. while I was installing them, I have to say good job Tomix for accurately representing the interior of the E5! There's even toilet details and look at the grand glass seating in the last car!  :)









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Nice, so these are more of the torm units?




Nope. They're from a new 3rd party source, whereby the seller made them himself. Effect is good and also cost is only around half of TORMS!  :)

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