Using Dual Headlights on F units

How did the prototypes use the dual headlights on F units? Which of the special effects in DCC decoders are most realistic?

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Old.Professor wrote:

One of them (usually the top one IIRC) was a "Mars light", which flashed on and off, thus presumably making the engine more noticeable. I don't know the exact mechanism used.
HTH
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I thought Mars lights gyrated not flashed...
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Big Rich Soprano wrote:

You're right, but the effect from a distance looks like a slow flashing.
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Good point!
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Big Rich Soprano wrote:

Flashing isn't going to give the right effect! The Mars light will always look lit when in use, so you'd need the model Mars light to glow continuously _and_ flash slowly. Preferably the flash would rise in intensity, go full brilliance and then fade back to glowing.
Greg.P.
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All the Mars/Gyralight models I've seen produced in the last ten years or so do exactly that.
Here's what a real one looked like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
jzR5aj6vE
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P. Roehling wrote:

Looks like an astronomical phenomenon, the kind that is about to swallow a space ship ;-)
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Most all the decoders have a good MARS light. Take your pick. I like the new TCS units because of their new BEMF.
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Jon Miller wrote:

Works good, doesn't it? I replaced by Bachmann DCC decoders with TCS decoders, ahhh..... Added one to an Athearn and I have an Atlas engine that I'm going to do next, if I can figure out how to get it apart without destroying it.
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Different railroads did it different ways, but in most cases the lower fixture was the headlight proper, and the upper housing carried a variety of different oscillating or emergency lights, depending.
Oscillating headlights came in at least two different sorts: the type that moved from side to side, and the type that moved in a "figure eight" pattern. When seen from in front of the locomotive, these delivered different sorts of light-to-dark patterns: the side-to-side sort giving two bright flashes per cycle and the "figure eight" giving one bright and one dim flash per cycle.
Last time I looked both sorts were available, their only real drawback being that while they look neat from the front of the loco under daylight conditions, at "night" they look a little silly because of course the model's headlight beam doesn't traverse from side to side as did the originals, and this becomes painfully apparent in dark conditions.
I wouldn't hazard a guess as to which brands of decoder you'd think were the most realistic.
-Pete
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On Sat, 23 Feb 2008 12:59:35 -0800, "P. Roehling"

I addition some railroads had a red light in the upper position that came on if the engineman put the train into emergency braking.
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wrote:

Is that all it came on for? I thought the red lamp would be used as a marker lamp on the trailing unit when running light.
Puckdropper
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Yup.
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wrote

Used as emergency did the upper red flash or burn steady? Setting up a AT&SF F3, right now I have mars in upper with option of red steady but don't know if thats right? Thanks, Jim

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wrote:

That I am not sure of, it may have varied by railroad. There was also the ability to manually turn it on. For example if stopped on the main between sidings and unable to move. On GN I think these were only on passenger units.
You might try asking on a ATSF group, I think there is one on Yahoo.

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