Loco Lighting (among other things)

Akirasho Feb 16, 2019

  1. Akirasho

    Akirasho TrainBoard Member

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    Loco lighting on 12V DC has certainly changed!!! Last time I worked on such a project, we were still looking at constant lighting circuits as the Bee's Knees. Indeed, in order to get the kind of lighting effect I wanted (white LEDs were still in development) I'd dabbled in bulbs used in medical equipment exam scopes (mini halogens)!

    Alongside, I also invested a bit in some fiber optics to offset attempting to illuminate something a bit out of the way like ditch lights or a roof beacon.

    So, my Q is, given the advances in miniature LEDs and the ability to eliminate bulky constant lighting circuits in DCC, do you still use fiber optics in your locos (or elsewhere)?
     
  2. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Well, we've gone from constant lighting circuits to voltage limiters to keep the lighting circuit at one and a half volts. That not only keeps things constant, it keeps the little widgets from frying. But nothing electronic is bulky any more!

    Yes, fiber optics are still handy. And will be until LEDs get small enough for caboose marker lights.
     
  3. Akirasho

    Akirasho TrainBoard Member

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    Got any examples you could share? What about bioluminescent paint or similar schemes?
     
  4. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Well ,you don’t have to have actual fiber to use the fiber optic effect, most manufacturers use it all the time to illuminate marker lights, dual headlamps, numberboards, etc. from ‘light guides’.

    For example I cut the light guides on kato F3s and am able to illuminate mars and Lower headlamp individually. I attach a single LED per side to the top of the clear plastic insert for the portholes... and you’ve got illuminated portholes.


    I’ve been on the hunt for transparent n scale marker lights/ kerosene lamps so I can use them externally on a caboose, yet light them from within. Being transparent, all you'd have to do is paint the frames and color the lenses, install them to the body thru hole with canopy glue, then affix an led over the stub/stem to light them from within.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019 at 10:02 AM
  5. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter

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    I model in N Scale and I use fiber optic in all of my locomotives.

    An example:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks,
    Wolf
     
  6. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Wolf, Beautiful work... though I thought the sealed beams were mounted horizontally on those. Either way it is super convincing!
    Do you happen to know if mars lights were vertical on F3s?
     
  7. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks,

    The lower lights were vertical on the E-9's. It was horizontal on the lone E-8 (6018).

    Are you referring to the upper light (which was the oscillating signal light - some were made by Mars) - or, the lower light (which of course was fixed) - ?
    SP F-3's were delivered with one large light for the lower.

    Thanks,
    Wolf
     
  8. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    Very nice Wolf, well done. Love those SP shots as I am from an SP family and actually I worked for PFE icing cars "back in the days" ( 300 lb. blocks). O U C H ! ! !

    Akirasho :

    The next images are to demonstrate my use of fiber optics. First, I just said I am an SP fan so why a CP loco? Well as Richard recently learned I have a wife ( 56+ years ) that is a teddy bear collector and through the past years our friends, Wig-Wag Trains, gave her a smokey bear Micro Trains car for assisting them at shows. She just had to have a smokey loco but I did not know of any models. A good friend, Buzz Lenander, of the New Mexico Railrunners, sent me a photo of this CP loco that was painted to honor Smokey Bear's 50th birthday. Well, I love to talk so to shorten the story, I did the SD40 snoot nose as faithful as I could. Even moved the bell to over windshield. I put a TCS K1D4 ( I think ) decoder and put fibers into ditch lights and headlights, bundled them and put inside a piece of plastic tubing, glued to bottom of cab ceiling, right in front of the decoder LED. You can see they are bright and YES I have eliminated the cab light.

    First one is just an overall view....................
    [​IMG]

    Lights from a distance...................
    [​IMG]

    Up close........................
    [​IMG]

    One more, and since this is my wife's train, I thought it best to put a lady engineer in the window...........
    [​IMG]

    Hope this gives you an idea. Hope you enjoy and thanks for looking,
    Carl
     
    SP-Wolf and Onizukachan like this.
  9. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    The upper mars on the F3a is what I was wondering about, my google-fu has failed me on this detail!
    I have SBS photoeteched sealed beam inserts and thought I might insert one between the LED and light pipe to better emulate the mars light, especially when off.

    Carl, lovely locomotive!
     
  10. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter

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    Gotcha.

    The signal light on the F3'S was a large single bulb.
    I believe they also had a red lamp inside - when the engine went into emergency.

    Like this class DF-2
    http://www.railpictures.net/photo/486720/

    All you ever wanted to know about Mars and Pyle National: - The SP used signal lights from both company's.
    http://www.trainweb.org/gyra/gyra.htm
    http://www.trainweb.org/gyra/history.htm
    http://www.trainweb.org/gyra/mars.htm


    Thanks,
    Wolf
     
    Carl Sowell likes this.

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