adding lights to my G scale Thomas

b-16707 Oct 10, 2018

  1. b-16707

    b-16707 TrainBoard Member

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    Hey folks. Have a G scale thomas that im looking to ready up this year for Christmas running under the tree and was wondering if anyone has advice on how to wire an led if i drilled out portion of the fake light in front. The light in front is just one piece of plastic that I plan to get a large LED that can fit in there and wire it to the internals somehow so it can run off the track power. I've always wondered why bachmann didnt just make that a read light as so many model trains have.

    This is a bachmann g scale thomas: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61ysjtDcm3L._SL1020_.jpg. Just using the standard powerpack running in an oval with a siding to park the train when not in use.

    Any ideas on how and where i can wire the led to? and or if this is possible? I may want to do it with the coaches too and wire 5v led strips inside the cabins to get a golden glow inside the coaches. Would placing metal strips that contact and "rub" against the wheels as the train move power such lights? If all else fails I could always wire to a battery and stick it somewhere inconspicuous.
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    If you tried to use track power, you'd most likely end up with the light flickering.

    I would consider seeking out a company which offers a board for constant (track or battery powered) lighting.
     
  3. b-16707

    b-16707 TrainBoard Member

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    thanks. would you have any leads on companies that make something like this?
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  5. Keith Ledbetter

    Keith Ledbetter TrainBoard Member

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    so the answer is all the possibilities exist. You could hook them up to the rails through a capacitor to avoid flickering and then put a current limiting resistor in to get correct brightness. I have not opened my Thomas up but usually in G scale there is plenty of room. you could also certainly use a battery and switch and do it that way.

    The coaches are a little more work as they have plastic wheels. You could convert to metal wheels and do the same as suggested above with wheel wipers but I just used a battery. Stick a 9V battery in there and put a small switch on the bottom. I would put a small potentiometer in line so you can adjust brightness (9V will power a 12v light strip with plenty to spare)

    Another commercial option that you could just power with a battery but honestly way overkill. Wth a very basic circuit and under $2 worth of parts can do what you're trying to do.
    https://store.sbs4dcc.com/SBS4DCCHOScaleDCC-FriendlyUniversalLongPassengerCarLightKit.aspx

    This will give you the jist of what you need to do. You can forgo the bridge rectifier since on DC and not DCC. for your purpose a 9v battery power would work fine.

     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019

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