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Old 12-07-2018, 02:37 PM   #1
Paul1066
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Default Having a go at coach lighting...

Hi all, a little advice please, not sure what I'm planning is practical or sensible so would like some input before I go too far! I've got some old Airfix coaches that I had an idea to install lighting in. I've done a little test run on my DCC layout with one coach, I took off the plastic wheels, put on two metal wheels, built in two power pick ups and ran a strip of 8 LEDs along the underside of the roof (using that roll of LED lighting strip), stuck in a 4.7K resistor to bring the light level down to a sensible level and thought - well that doesn't look half bad. Now my idea was to make a four coach train and run the power from the first coach through the connecting doors to the remaining three coaches - that way I would only have to change one set of wheels. The coaches would be more or less permanently connected but that's no big deal.

The thing is, that would total 32 LEDs for the four coach set - is that becoming a significant load on the system? If it's pretty inconsequential I might try a similar thing with other coaches. Also as all the LEDs are fed in parallel, as I add additional coaches would I need to adjust the original 4.7K resistor to keep the same brightness of lighting for four coaches as for one?

Thanks for the advice.

Paul
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:58 PM   #2
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I would repeat what you have done on further coaches. Simpler to swap coaches around. If you do daisy chain them then the resistor you have will be OK so long as you don't exceed the resistor's current limit, you can test this with a meter. The strip leds I think you are talking about have individual SMD resistors in every LED circuit. Also I would add extra pickups.
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:23 PM   #3
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You may find that it is not best practice to have the coach lights on permanently so you could incorporate a latching reed switch in circuit with the resistor in the roof and make a wand with magnet to reach over to control on/off.........HB
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:19 PM   #4
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Ok thanks fellers, I was going to put a little dip switch in so I could turn the lights on and off but the magnetic switch sounds useful.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:38 PM   #5
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Regardless of the lights, change the wheels to metal one. Plastic ones spread dirt to the track and the coaches will run much much better with metal wheels.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:56 PM   #6
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I've often wondered if anyone has tried the battery operated coach lights that come on with movement. Are they any good? They would appear to answer a lot of challeneges with converting coaches to track powered set ups.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadman View Post
You may find that it is not best practice to have the coach lights on permanently so you could incorporate a latching reed switch in circuit with the resistor in the roof and make a wand with magnet to reach over to control on/off.........HB
Cadman - do you know of a supplier of latching reed switches?
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:05 PM   #8
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Yes, Paul, you can get stuff here....... http://www.layouts4u.net/switches.html ...scroll down near the bottom of the page.....HB
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:10 PM   #9
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Many thanks
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Old 13-07-2018, 11:25 AM   #10
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Thanks Cadman for that link I was wondering the same question.
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