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  • Topic: Lights

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    • October 25, 2008 3:00 PM EDT

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      I have installed interior ligthts on my LGB Christmas set. They lights are operated by track power. My issue is that I run the train slowly and as such the lights are very dim. Is there a way to boost the brightness of the lights but maintain the slow speed of the train?
    • October 26, 2008 10:06 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Batteries in the cars could power the lights. They would also stay on when the train is at the station. Yellow LEDs would last a long time. Maybe 2 per car.
    • October 26, 2008 11:23 AM EDT

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      Yes, I thought about batteries. Is there no way to do this with track power?
    • October 26, 2008 12:33 PM EDT

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      Nope. Not without putting large dropping resistors in the motor leads. These dropping resistors would dissipate the wasted power (voltage x current) as heat. Perhaps doable, but not a good solution.

      As Rick suggested, battery powered LEDs are really the preferred solution.

      Happy RRing,

      Jerry
    • October 26, 2008 12:37 PM EDT

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      Alright. Anyone have any pictures, steps and or schematics on how to do batteries? Mind you... I am "electronically challenged" according to someone on another "forum".
    • October 26, 2008 8:56 PM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      Tim,
      DC travels one way, out of the battery at the positive pole, thru the resistor and LED and back to the negative pole.
      Use a 9 Volt battery.
      Pick up your resistors at Rshack and make a note of the milliamp.
      Use this:
      http://ledcalc.com/
      to choose the resistors.
      glue a piece of velcro to the battery and a piece to the bottom of the car.
      Pick up a nine volt battery cap with leads at Rshack.
      The longest leg on the LED is the positive.
      Put the resistor in line on the positive lead between the battery and the LED. Doesn't matter which direction the color bands are.
      Simply unplug the lead off the battery to shut down, or make a harness or..................????
      Build up a prototype on the bench and play around a little until you get the desired effect.
    • October 26, 2008 11:46 PM EDT
      • Silver Spring, Maryland
         
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      You could covert the current bulbs to a lower voltage bulb which would be brighter at a lower voltage. Your current ones are probably 18v. Swapping in a 9 or 12 volt bulb would do the trick. Of course, they would burn out fast if run at a voltage higher than they are rated.

      -Brian
    • October 27, 2008 11:55 AM EDT

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      Instead of using incandescents, use LEDS, which reach full intensity at 3 volts. Radio shack sell two 5 mm white LEDS in a pack, and they are rated for a maximum of 3.5 volts. Hard to believe you'd be running slower than that. You might want to install a voltage regulator, so that if you turned the throttle up you'd keep it at 3 volts. Dave Bodnar has a good article on doing this at

      http://www.trainelectronics.com/articles.htm

      See the section on LED's

      you would need a bridge rectifier, so the light stayed on when you changed track polarity, a 3 volt voltage rectifier, some resistors and a big capacitor, to reduce flicker. It's not hard to do.

      Alternatively, you could just power LEDs with batteries: although I dislike that option myself you can get a lot of runtime out of 4 AAs
    • November 24, 2008 5:56 PM EST

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      OK.... nevermind... I got lights! I strung all the cars together and power them from the loco. Works great! First time I have ever had lights on the Christmas train.

      Thanks for the suggestions.
    • November 25, 2008 6:52 AM EST
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Timmyd,

      Good for you.

      If you desire to pursue this battery idea further, there is a thread running talking about finding a string of 12 battery powered LED's at WalMart. I thought of your request for lighting when I read about these LED lights.
    • November 25, 2008 8:11 AM EST

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      Thanks Ric. Can you ad the link to the post?
    • November 25, 2008 11:00 AM EST
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Sure, here you go.
      http://largescalecentral.com/LSCForums/viewtopic.php?id=10052
    • November 25, 2008 6:59 PM EST

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      YES! What you need is a constant brightness circuit. See RAM TRACK item # RAM 131 at http://www.ramrcandramtrack.com/page2.html#CLS There are also other choices available.
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