Figured out how to light a passanger car!

Hos_ Apr 21, 2021

  1. Hos_

    Hos_ New Member

    6
    4
    1
    Hey guys and gals. I thought I had a running post in here, but it turns out I didnt even have an account - or at least forgot the old one.

    On to the post!

    After a few trials, I figured out how to evenly and beautifully light the interior of a passenger cab for cheap (about $2 per car). It's all wired in parallel, so you can add more or higher ohm resistors as needed to adjust individual LED brightness. Heres how I did it.




    I put a bridge rectifier between the trucks to the capacitor for a constant +/-. From the capacitor I added the resistor (470ohm 1/2w). I may add a diode from the bridge rectifier to the capacitor to keep the heat off the rectifier, but lets see what happens over time. From there, I wired in parallel three 3mm warm white LEDs - you can add more for for individual compartments etc. The LEDs had their culmonators sanded down flat and CA glued to the square light pipes which you can see in the pictures. The bottom of the light pipe which is facing down and angled is sand blasted with 320 grit which makes a nice even glow. The underside of the cab roof I glued tinfoil on so no light escapes, but also all the light is reflected downwards. I also painted the inside floor white as the windows are frosted and theres no interior detail. I added baffles over the entrance points of the wires from the trucks as light shinning down onto the tracks doesn't look right. To do that I used card stock and glued one edge down so the paper lifts and moves as the trucks twist.



    The overall result is a beautiful illumination that looks like prototypical at night and day. For the porch light on the end car, I added an additional 470ohm 1/4w resistor to make it a little less jarringly bright.

    Let me know what you guys think of this approach.
     

    Attached Files:

    Mike VE2TRV, dalebaker and acptulsa like this.
  2. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    2,670
    2,360
    63
    I like it!(y)

    I did something similar for lighting up a Proto RDC-2. I used some LED tape, and wired it through a full-wave bridge to track power. I'll need to add some resistance, though - it's a tad bright.
     
  3. Hos_

    Hos_ New Member

    6
    4
    1
    Im glad you found success with the tape. It just doesnt suite my projects well. Plus I add lights to all of the lighted points on my cars and locomotives. For instance I just drilled a 0.5mm hole through the mounting bracket of all 3 reversing tender lights, popped out the lenses, seated the 0402 leds, and put it back together. Once im done with the locomotive, I'll have one bad mamby jamby of a train.
     
    Mike VE2TRV likes this.
  4. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    2,670
    2,360
    63
    I know what you're talking about. I tried something similar to for station platform and exterior lighting, with about 20k resistor to dim down the brightness just right.

    Threading it around the eaves of the station building was about as productive as trying to get an angry snake to lie still.:confused:

    Tape is fine as long as there's a reasonably flat surface to install it on.

    I'd love to see your train when you're done.:)
     
  5. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    1,243
    303
    34
    Thanks for the info. I'll have to save it for the future layout. Just need to find a place to get supplies. The electronics store I used to go to is long gone.
     
  6. Hos_

    Hos_ New Member

    6
    4
    1
    Yeah, that super small wiring is a pita. I found that a small bit of silicone glue or hot glue works well as the high viscosity keeps the wires in place.
     
  7. Hos_

    Hos_ New Member

    6
    4
    1
    Look at ebay. Theres some really cheap prewired 6030 and 4020 LEDs. I've tried both and there doesnt seem to be a difference at the 500hr mark. One is chinese components assembled in murikuh and the other is chinese components assembled in china. Up to you.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/153020221518

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/153961854562?var=454041075105
     
  8. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

    1,243
    303
    34
    Thanks Hos_ ;)
     
  9. Hos_

    Hos_ New Member

    6
    4
    1
    My Bad guys. Its a 560 resistor. Not a 470.
     
  10. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

    1,968
    2,749
    53
    I might have to try this in my Hillbilly varnish for the Hindsight Industrial Railroad. Very cost effective too.
     

Share This Page