The NEW C&L Layout

in2tech Mar 22, 2021

  1. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    No.. The WS employs the JST style connector

    Dupont connectors look like in the link below...males and females fit into breadboards, Arduinos, shields and Raspberry Pi general purpose input-output pins aka GPIO pins and so do 1/8 resistor leads. The male dupont fit into the WS JST female connector decent enough to use but a little more difficult physically to connect - disconnect due to size but have plenty of them around. The WS Depot grey and black wire pair goes to JST connector(white). The grey, (+) Black (-) . A 10k resistor in series to 5V DC. (furnished by the Pi) Plenty bright for mid 20th C era.

    https://www.digikey.com/en/products...QFCKnFFqGJy9pfA8SyjJWuKgt2fZjwGRoCf_QQAvD_BwE

    Definitely... Also, it can simplify things if in the future, you place lighting under DCC control with something like the NCE lighting decoder. Avoid cutting connectors off..
     
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  2. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Great now you have me looking at the NCE Light It decoders :) They look really cool. Don't completely understand it yet? Will they work with the WS Just Plug street lights I have?
     
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  3. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    NCE makes 2 versions. 1 for direct and another with the WS RST connectors. Presumably WS lighting that plugs into the Just Plug base will plug into 1 of these

    https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us...r-compatible-with-Woodland-Scenics-Just-Plug-

    The ones spec'ed for my layout are essentially the same sans the WS connectors.
    https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us...-Programmable-DCC-lighting-and-signal-decoder

    This decoder is designed for 5VDC which works perfect when transitioning from the 5V DC currently used.

    Below is a picture of lighting... Not bad for drawing a total of 1.2mA for all lights except spur bumpers.
    IMG_2399 Layout Final Before Breakdown Dusk Angle.JPG
     
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  4. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Component side of Raspberry Pi

    GPIO-Pinout-Diagram-2.png

    Under the current, non DCC based lighting system...I use female-male DuPont's to connect to pins 4 and 6 respectively to the lighting distribution main power in. Current output is rated for 1A max so at 1.24mA currently being drawn, have plenty of headroom. When desired, it was easy to make a 'junction" with the DuPont's for inserting an ammeter to monitor total current drawn as LEDs were added or limiting resistor change.
     
  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Y'all are killing me with this lighting tech -- SO NEAT!
     
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  6. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    So the $21.95 one is just a single board that controls up to 3 WS inputs and the 5 pack up to 15? And it can all be controlled through the NCE PowerCab? And you can get a NON WS one to control say Signals? This is very interesting. I had no idea about this! But I am NEW to the NCE PowerCab really.
     
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  7. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Agree @Mark Ricci is killing me too with this new information :) I knew nothing about this. I have so much to learn and so much money to spend apparently!
     
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  8. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    They're cheaper if you don't buy them from NCE (https://www.fiferhobby.com/nce-dcc-decoders/), and they can be used with just about any DCC system.
     
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  9. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    How many and what all WS lights are you wanting to use on your layout? Are you wanting to be able to turn them on and off through your accessory menu on your throttle?
     
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  10. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, according to the manual since you have the NCE throttle you should be able to set either the illuminator or "light-it" to act as a signal controller or use one for just lights. I use both types on my current layout for lighting and control with my throttle accessory menu but don't have their DCC controller so can't program mine for signals.

    The less expensive "light it" board requires direct soldering of the LED's and recommended to power 1 LED per output so be aware of that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2022
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  11. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Now that I think about it, depending on what I can do through the Light-It, I only need one board, and only one input at this time for Street Lights, as ALL 12 street lamps are on one Hub port, and I could use the other 2 for a few of my building LED's mainly the Gas Station market and the pump, area if it works the way I think it does. That is I can control the On/Off function and the brightness Up/Down through the NCE PowerCab? Can I with one board? And Power is also supplied through the NCE PowerCab correct?

    Yeah I want the one that the Just Plug directly plugs into it. Don't have or know if I'll ever get a Signal but probably will now at some point. I have no problem controlling it manually through the NCE PowerCab.

    @CSX Robert Thanks great information about the pricing! I am looking at NEW Kato SD70's, me thinks, and the drop-in TCS K1D4 or something to that effect, same as my ES44DC's. I know nothing about the Kato SD70M's, bigger than the ES44DC, same size, etc... I had no clue about the ES44Dc's till I researched them. I do know I want recently manufactured items if/when I can especially Kato locomotives or their rolling stock.

    I'm all excited about this NCE Light It stuff, thanks to @Mark Ricci.

    So exactly how do you set this stuff up in the NCE PowerCab? Is it in the PowerCab manual? BTW, at some point I think I want that Program Track/Main Track board too that put it in ONE mode or the other so you can screw up, me thinks!

    NCE Light It Manuals:

    https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us...-Programmable-DCC-lighting-and-signal-decoder

    Thanks everyone!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2022
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  12. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    So I guess you can control the brightness using the NCE PowerCab with the Light It board? I mean what he does is over kill for me, but cool!

     
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  13. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    First, to clarify, there are two product names, Light-It and Illuminator. The Light-It does not have the Just Plug sockets and has 3 volt outputs. The Illuminator has the Just Plug sockets and 12 volt outputs.

    The outputs on the Illuminator are rated for 30 milliamps, so you won't be able to power multiple lights off of one output.
     
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  14. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Gee, sorry.. didn't want to encourage spending but thought you would like. Initially, same sorta plan as you were thinking but using only Light-It. Was going to buy 1 3 pack -use 1 for station and tower, 1 for remaining 5 structures and the 3rd for street lights. Of course, have doubled the number of structures since initial plan so will be buying the larger multipack. As @CSX Robert mentioned, ensure current drawn is less than max spec of 10mA if using the Light-It for each light group.

    Sound advice if you don't want to experiment.. eg; Initially took each lighting (LED) type. Only have 3, the WS depot, the street lamps and the "warm" micro LEDs. Took 1 spare from each group, starting off with 3k limit resistor (very safe) and monitored brightness and current drawn from the supply. Since I have plenty of those LEDs, added 1 in parallel with the first, re-evaluated brightness and adjusted limiter if needed. eg; there are 2 micro LEDs in parallel for the station tower with a 15k ohm resistor in series to the 5V supply. Think you can see the brightness level below. More than satisfactory IMHO. If you feel comfortable with multimeter and have an adjustable power supply, use the multimeter's ammeter function and place in series with the power supply, set at 3V, to experimentally determine LED groups and ensure that you are within spec of the maximum decoder output current and happy with brightness. Another way to determine current is to use Ohm's law by measuring voltage drop across the limiter resistor and dividing by the resistance of that resistor. Some rough notes on approach...



    IMG_2303 Electrical Wiring LED Current.JPG

    Station Tower Night..

    IMG_2312 Layout Side Eve.JPG

    If you watched the movie Apollo 13, I'm sorta like Ken Mattingly, played by Gary Sinisi, ripping stuff out of the lunar module at NASA to reduce weight and finding ways to decrease power consumption. "Gotta get the boys home". Kinda like one of the key design parameters of my layout... :)
     
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  15. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    Something else you may want to look at is the NCE Mini Panel. It allows you to trigger DCC commands with a pushbutton input, even sending multiple commands with one input. For example, if you have a signal protecting a turnout, with one pushbutton you can throw the turnout and change the signal aspect.
     
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  16. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Or for old skool coolness, I flash my Radio Shack Ohm's Law Calculator ...... :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    Oops! I mangled that a bit. Don't know why I always get those turned around in my head.
     
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  18. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    This may be too late as you seem to be pretty invested in that system but... ESU makes a signal pilot which can handle up to 16 outputs each with individual lighting effects similar to the light it boards. Total rated output is 2A. Less money than a 5 pack of light its. It can also be powered externally so as not to draw power from the track while still taking commands from the DCC power bus. I've got a few for my upcoming layout and they are very slick. Even more fine tuning parameters over the light its. Originally I was going to use them for just signals but when I got into the settings I realized they have all the same plus even more fine tuning parameters than the light it/illuminator. In fact I think I am going to sell all my Just plug power distribution stuff as well as my Illuminator/Light it boards and replace them with one of these. The one advantage to the smaller NCE boards is they can be be split up and located near each lighting center where with the signal pilot one may be running a lot of extra wire to get to one centrally located unit.

    :D

    Right, I have a single illuminator that powers two crossbucks which is eight LEDs or 4 LEDs per output. I can do this because I have the illumination turned way down and the lights alternate therefore power draw is within the rated specs of the decoder.

    There are many more examples of where I too have more lights per circuit than recommended but I have no need to power beyond 50% brightness on any output (full brightness doesn't appear realistic) therefore current draw is way less than if at full power per output/combined. Like you mentioned though once one starts to exceed the recommendations it's time to pull out the test equipment and or pen and paper and verify power draw is within specs.
     
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  19. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I had one by another but very similar and the Radio Shack spin wheel version. I don't know what happened to them but they sure would be handy as well as a book on all the acronyms being used on this board. And a dictionary for all the boards and systems being enjoyed by others.
     
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  20. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah I for sure want the Illuminator for the Just Plug lights I have. I'll have to watch a few more YT videos about the product, and learn more, and ask more questions here about it, when/if I get it. Pretty sure I am going to try one board for sure! See how it goes. Have other projects going on too right now.
     

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