How to light rolling stock?

What is involved in lighting something like a caboose? I'm talking interior or maybe an exterior light(s). Are there kits or particular
parts used to do this (will be working in On30 scale and the eventual caboose and cars will most likely be purchased as kits).
~Brad fd64
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net spake thus:

Heck, at that scale (huge to me, compared to HO), you should easily be able to stuff in a battery-powered rig with a switch on the bottom, and not even worry about picking up track power (unless you're talking about DCC-controlled lights).
--
Don't talk to me, those of you who must need to be slammed in the
forehead with a maul before you'll GET IT that Wikipedia is a
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another plus with this is that the lights don't flicker.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Model Railroad Books, Toys, and Trains: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,200 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net skriver:

It depends on how you want it done, the price you are ready to pay for it and what kind of system you are running.
I 0 scale there is a lot of room for all kinds of stuff, personally I would run everything by DCC and have lokdecoder with a lot of function outputs, for example the LokSoundXL (if there is room for it) with its 8 function outputs and 8Mbit sound memory.
Different light can be obtained by using LED's either by calculating the right ohm value and mounting LED's by yourself, or buying ready made circuits with current limiters.
Klaus
--
Modelbane Europas hjemmeside: http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk
Modeltog, internet, gratis spambekmpelse, elektronik og andet:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

The niftiest looking light on a caboose comes from lighted marker lanterns. In HO you can find tiny hollow cast brass lanterns big enough to accept a tiny surface mount LED. O gauge lanterns are twice as big, so it should be no problem drilling them out to accept a grain-o-wheat or grain-o-rice incandecent lamp. Or a LED. Battery power is one good way to go, it keeps the lamps on when the train is stopped and it doesn't flicker. Use the biggest battery you can get into the caboose. I used a type N battery to light an HO passenger car once, and it just wasn't bright enough. If you decide to pick up track power with wipers, make axle wipers rather than wheel wipers. The friction from wheel wipers can be enough to keep a train from making a hill. Wipers should be phosphor bronze, brass isn't springy enough. I get mine from a roll of door weatherstrip. Once I did a capacitor powered lighted caboose. Found some humungus 0.47 FARAD capacitors at All electronics. They are a little touchy to use, they need the right polarity and they can only withstand 5 volts. I managed to squeeze a full wave bridge rectifier, a 5 volt regulator, the cap, and a 1.5 volt regulator into a HO caboose. The cap stored enough juice to keep the lights on for better than 20 seconds after power was removed. Completely solved the flicker problem.
David Starr
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thank you David N,. Klaus, Bill, and David S. for the replies. For now I'm staying with plain DC power but what a DCC light system can do sounds interesting. I guess to start, a battery pack in the caboose will do but eventually I'd like to put in a bit of interior detail. The windows being also large in this scale, with the inside lit, a battery system might show up too much. Will have to see what it looks like when it's built.
If I get to the point where I might want lanterns on flatcars I'd definitely need to figure out how to put in the "wipers" David S. mentioned. I actually thought those would be something similar to brushes (like slot cars use) on the wheel or axles. -As I think about this more, wouldn't a metal axle need to be cut and connected with an insulator to be used for the wipers? It seems a wheel/axle assembly touching boh rails wouldn't be able to divide the positive and negative currents to the light. ? Or am I missing something.
I like the capacitor idea too. Will keep that in mind. :)
~Brad fd64
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net skriver:

DCC is not only a light system, it is a complete digital control system, where you can control the speed of your engines individually. The advantage of DCC is that you have "full power" on the tracks allways. Further more you can control the lights from remote....

An example of how it can be done i H0 scale:
http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk/klaus/currpu01.jpg
http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk/klaus/currpu02.jpg
http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk/klaus/currpu03.jpg
A truck from a passenger car.

No, your "normal axels" is problerbly insulated in one side so picking up current from the metal axle is simple.
On newer Roco cars, the axle is divided into 2 halves and put into a plastic tube. Hele the side of the truck is in metal and it is easy to pick up current.
I just took a quick snapshot of a Roco passenger car
http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk/klaus/currpu04.jpg
You see the axle is black plastic, but the alxle pionts is metal and so is the axle "bearing" inside the plastic truck. On this car there is 8 current pickup points.

If an axle is not isolated it will short circuit your normal DC voltage.
For small interior lighting this one can be used http://www.tams-online.de/download/GB/FB-1_GB.pdf But as you can see from the circuit diagram it is very easy to build by yourself.
On "my" layout we use theese: http://www.tams-online.de/download/GB/WIB-2_WIB-3_WIB-4_GB.PDF for passenger cars.
Klaus
--
Modelbane Europas hjemmeside: http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk
Modeltog, internet, gratis spambekmpelse, elektronik og andet:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Klaus posted:

Is does sound tempting but for now due to extra cost and the fact that my first layout won't involve much more than the train running a circuit on it's own, it would be a waste of technology. But in time, if I get around to more complicated and interactive layouts I can see myself going that direction.

So just a wire with tension on the axle will work too. Interesting.

Now I get it. Knew there had to be something I wasn't seeing there.

Thank you for doing that. Yes, the insulation is more obvious there and if those are the pickups against the inner wheels they look well designed and able to get good solid contact.

It's a wonder I didn't short out something on my old train set when I was a kid. I remember laying stuff on the track to watch the engine plow through it. Fortunately I guess none of it was metal. :)

My WebTV+ isn't reading the PDF but I'll forward this over to my computer to check them out later. Thanks again for all the info. I do appreciate it. :)
Also to Jon, thanks for the tip on Miniatronics. I have their site saved now. Pricey but it's good to know what's available. They come in handy in the future. Thanks again.
~Brad fd64
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net skriver:

The pickup is made from 0,3mm phosphorbronze(name??) wire. IT gives a good tension without braking the wheels.

It is a very good system...

Just remember it is "European" and probebly not easy to get hold of, if you are in the US.....
Klaus
--
Modelbane Europas hjemmeside: http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk
Modeltog, internet, gratis spambekmpelse, elektronik og andet:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
KlausD.Mikkelsen posted:

The phosphor bronze material is also what David S. mentioned but in the form of -or rather sourced from door weatherstripping. I guess either (strips or wire) would work but I do like the look of the wire.

Yep, I'm in the U.S. :) Thanks again. Will post again after I view the other photos.
~Brad fd64
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Had a chance to look at those light units. Nice! Very compact and simple. If I can't find or make something similar here in the States wil consider giving these a try.
Thanks again. :)
~Brad fd64
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net skriver:

Viessmann sells the same units - but at a higher price (I guess that Tams makes them for Viessmann). From Viessmann's homepage (http://www.viessmann-modell.com/en/vip/inhalt.php ) I can see that they have "specialist shops" in the US.
Klaus
--
Modelbane Europas hjemmeside: http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk
Modeltog, internet, gratis spambekmpelse, elektronik og andet:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Klaus posted:

Cool. I've placed them in my favorites file for future reference. Thanks again for all the info. :
~Brad fd64
Commentary on the state of the board: Trolls still here but they will get bored soon. They're even digging up the old Christmas thread. And as a note on the post by Wayne L. (March 1st, 2007) on that thread, it's a shame the board is in such shambles. Were it not, I'd be tempted to reply to his evolution post just for the fun of it. There is not one point made that can't be annihilated with logic and facts. But I'm gonna behave. :/
~Brad fd64
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

With a non-DCC layout, there is one thing I haven't seen mentioned yet. There is a complex method of getting constant power to the lights without batteries, but involves putting a high frequency AC signal on the track. The high frequency AC signal is too high for the motor to notice it, but the lights will still light up.
Did anyone ever make a commercial version of this system? I know that there were several home built versions out there for a while, based on drawings in Model Railroader.
With modeling stuff in On30, you should have enough space to play around in the caboose with some batteries and still have nice interior details. LEDs and other very small lights really don't require that much power.
Let's suppose, for example, you decide to go with a 3 volt system and have two AAA batteries. Those are *almost* small enough you might be able to cram them under the floor of the caboose in On30. I know I almost did that in HO scale, so On30 will be close as well, and *might* just fit.
2x red LEDs draw about 0.018 amp each or a total of 0.036 amp. These will be your tail lights.
An AAA Ni-Cad battery (the worst rechargible technology on the market in terms of capacity) has about 0.3 amp hours of capacity.
0.3 amp-hours / 0.036 = 8.3 hours of run time.
That should be enough time for you to enjoy your operation and then put the batteries back in the charger. The battery is simple, and doesn't involve trying to put in a constant brightness system so that the lights don't change brightness based on the track voltage.
But suppose you wanted the lights to last a much longer time. The more expensive NiMH AAA batteries have about 0.750 amp-hours of capacity:
0.75 amp-hours / 0.036 = 20.8 hoursof run time.
So, the Ni-Cad battery would probably satisfy you when it comes to lighting caboose tail lights, but for interior lights in the caboose you would probably want the NiMH battery because the incandescent lights to show off your interior will draw quite a bit more power.
If you can't fit the battery under the floor to your satisfaction, keep in mind that they do offer a smaller type of stnadard battery called an N type battery. It is the size of an AAA cut in half. You might be able to get a couple of those crammed into the closet and bathroom space located under the cupola platform in your interior.
Oh, yeah, and don't wire stuff like this:
http://www.the-dormouse.org/temp/100_0160.JPG
--
-Glennl
The despammed service works OK, but unfortunately
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Glennl posted:

Too scary for me. I can imagine making a mistake in the wiring and looking up to see my 0-4-0 melting flat to the tracks. :O

Will take this all into consideration. What I really need to do is go ahead and buy the caboose kit, do some measuring and figure out what could be fit in where. All my rolling stock will be of the stubby type to work tight curves. I forget what the scale feet is but even the longest will be of the type where 2 trucks have hardly any gap between them and the narrow gauge stuff isn't as tall either. That squeezes the interior down more than usual.
David S. mentioned he once tried a N type battery but the light was dim. This might be O.K. though as my layout will be a night scene and a dimmer light might look better here anyway.
A thought I had last night was to tear apart an electric LED tea-light (talked about these last year) and use the works in one of those. These run a long time but they are designed to flicker. I might be able to bypass the flicker circuit or use it perhaps in the interior of a pot-belly stove?

Lol. But did it work?

Anyway, it will be fun to play around with this and experiment. Thanks again to everyone for the thoughts and ideas. :)
~Brad fd64
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 21:06:24 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

This doesn't need to be scary or complex. Get an old war-surplus 400Hz "dynamotor". They are fairly plentiful and inexpensive. They were used on airplanes during WW2 and probably after. I have one. It's half the size of a beer can and has a 12 volt DC input which powers a motor coupled to a 400Hz AC generator. The 400 HZ AC won't harm your motors.
I don't know what this might do to a DCC system, but I also don't know why anybody would need it with DCC :)
Dale
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
DaleCarlson posted concerning Glennl's post about the method of getting power to rolling stock lights through the tracks via a separate, high frequency AC signal, and my fear that a mistake might fry something:

Sounds interesting but I'd like to see maybe an online article of someone who actually runs such a system. Do you or anyone here know of a layout that operates it's rolling stock lights by such a method? And no, I'm not using DCC.
~Brad fd64
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net skriver:

Over here (in Europe) constant lighting by high frequency AC voltage has been used for many years. Basicly what you need is a 20khz sine wave, an amplifier and some capacitors.
It takes a lot of wireing and capacitors if you run a large layout, but mosy systems is dismantled again since most is running DCC (or similar) on their layouts.
Klaus
--
Modelbane Europas hjemmeside: http://www.modelbaneeuropa.hadsten.dk
Modeltog, internet, gratis spambekmpelse, elektronik og andet:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
While it will work 400Hz is way to low of an frequency. DCC which is much higher frequency will still cause motors to buzz. 20K will work better but why not go to DCC and have all this taken care of besides vastly better control of the trains.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

At the club I belong to we run either DC or DCC depending on various circumstances. While running DC some club members *MIGHT* be interested in this capablility? Paul -- Excuse me, I'll be right back. I have to log onto a server in Romania and verify all of my EBay, PayPal, bank and Social Security information before they suspend my accounts.
Working the rockie road of the G&PX
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.