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    • October 12, 2014 2:08 AM EDT

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      I like to get LEDs from this guy:



      http://www.modeltrainsoftware.com/bl-212.html



      He has a wide variety of sizes, from tiny "nano" and surface mount, up to 3mm and 5mm. The best part is, they come wired with a tiny circuit that automatically provides both the correct voltage and polarity. This is a big plus if you're "electronically challenged" like me.



      I've used them for the headlights and tail lights on my rail bus, as well as headlights and cab lights on locomotives. Currently I'm in the process of converting all the lights in my buildings from grain-of-rice bulbs to LEDs. Many of them are being installed in scale light fixtures.



      I have no connection with this company, I'm just a very satisfied customer.



    • October 12, 2014 2:24 AM EDT

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      Interesting, but they use a resistor, so the input voltage range is 7-19 volts. This limitation is because of using a resistor. Note not compatible with DCC, which is probably untrue, should say "not compatible with DCC if you are using 5 volt common". Most DCC units will also let you use the track voltage as a common, in which case these would work.

       

      Also wonder why they include a capacitor? Ahh, for the filtering on the full wave bridge.

       

      I get the full wave bridge, so you can run on any polarity and also on AC, but adding the capacitor is only needed on AC.

       

      Not a big deal though, because the price is reasonable, but do realize you cannot use the diode across a motor for a headlight that turns on and off with direction. If you want that you use a single diode in series with the LED.

       

      If you needed true "automatic" current control (LEDs do not need voltage control), the CL2 integrated circuit is all you need, which works from about 5 volts to 90 volts. It's about 50 cents.

       

      Nice assortment of LEDs and nice and easy to use, although you will see variation in intensity if you vary the voltage from 7 to 19 volts.

       

      Regards, Greg

       

      This post was edited by Greg Greg Elmassian at October 12, 2014 2:27 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

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    • October 12, 2014 6:55 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      I have to agree with you Ray. I've gotten quite of of those LEDs myself for rail trucks. 

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • October 12, 2014 7:35 AM EDT

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      They certainly look useful to me ; they can also apply to Model Big Rigs which generally have 7.5v batteries for the R/C and motor .


      Mike

    • October 12, 2014 8:48 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Ken Brunt said:

      I have to agree with you Ray. I've gotten quite a bit of those LEDs myself for rail trucks. 

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • October 12, 2014 8:50 AM EDT
      • Orlando, FL
         
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      I have also ordered from them, I remember the email exchange being friendly and helpful. I also don't understand how to make the electronics myself so their pre-wired setup is ideal for me.
      Thanks for the commentary about it Greg, I only understand half of what you said but it helps me learn what is going on.
      This post was edited by Thomas S at October 12, 2014 8:50 AM EDT
    • October 12, 2014 9:30 AM EDT

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      thanks Ray...plenty of needs for those right now as I press into service the 'old fleet'.  Batteries and Lights are needing replacement!

    • October 12, 2014 11:23 AM EDT

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      It's not meant to be negative, but to give some other information.

       

      There are also alternatives, often I just buy the LEDs with wires attached when I use the very small ones, and add the CL2 current regulator later.

       

      One main reason I added commentary is that using a resistor to set the current on the LED depends on voltage, and even though there is some tolerance for variation in current it affects the LED brightness when you change the voltage.

       

      So, for example, if you were to run LEDs from track voltage, like variable DC, these are not a good choice for a number of reasons.

       

      If you were to use these on DCC they are also not a good choice.

       

      They are fine if you are running a fixed voltage like battery or constant track power.

       

      Regards, Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • October 12, 2014 12:20 PM EDT

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      Ken Brunt said:
      Ken Brunt said:

      I have to agree with you Ray. I've gotten quite a bit of those LEDs myself for rail trucks. 

       


      Ken , I took you literally there , so I thought your railtrucks were the things we make up from converted road-going trucks and drive along railway track , and not the 1/14 scale or larger trucks we run which is where we use LED's rather than plastic melting festoon bulbs .


      Mike


      Conversion chart------             UK                                   USA

       

                                                Truck                                 Pickup


                                                Lorry                                 Big Rig


                                                Bogie                                 Truck 


      See , a vicious circle .


      Mike



      This post was edited by Mike Morgan at October 12, 2014 12:24 PM EDT
    • October 12, 2014 12:54 PM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      These kind:

       


      This post was edited by Ken Brunt at October 12, 2014 12:57 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • October 12, 2014 1:08 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Lorry is a big rig

       

      She is a large girl, but calling her a big rig is a bit insulting

       

      ;)

       

      Mike, yes, the British and Americans are a people separated by a common language.

       

      And that is why I say that I talks American, because I do not speak the Queen's Engalish

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    • October 12, 2014 1:49 PM EDT
      • Sacramento, California
         
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      Greg, I'm a big fan of (and user of) CL2s.  Made my life a lot simpler when trying to power an unknown quantity of LEDs.  Like on passenger cars. Never quite know how many I'm going to run from track power.  One of these in a circuit seems to power from one to 15 LEDs with no brightness drop.  

    • October 12, 2014 1:58 PM EDT

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      Yup , that's true , the common language bit does cause misunderstandings , but can give us a lot of fun as long as we keep our sense of humour----see, we even spell "humour" differently (properly?). But I like to think we do have some commonality in humour however it is spelled . Spelt . 


      As for speaking The Queens English , not many people in the UK speak it . 


      For example , my very kind turban wearing neighbour-----Hello good morning Mr Michael , vee are going to the shoppings and are vundering if you have need of any goodie things and so on-----No thanks Mr Hindaraliwliani , not today----Vell , vee are asking because vee are knowing that the shoppings are difficult for you isn't it ? .


      Lovely fella , really nice chap . He tries very hard to fit in , and we try to encourage him , otherwise he'll finish up in some ghetto .


      Mike


      PS I like the railcar , you will be enraged to know that they form the good basis for conversions .

    • October 12, 2014 2:12 PM EDT

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      Yep, theoretically, it could power 90v worth of leds, less it's internal drop, so in the case of red leds and about 2.7 volts each, giving 4 volts to the cl2, maybe 30 from 90v input.

       

      I know you know that often leds will "fire off" at even lower voltage, so 15 is not surprising. I tend to run the circuits at the full 20 ma myself, and pick the led for the brightness I want at that current.

       

      Makes it easy, and "automatic", self-adjusting to input voltage.

       

      Regards, Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • October 12, 2014 2:40 PM EDT

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      There is a company here that is called "Everything LED" and they sell , for about $25 a reel of "tape" about 5 metres long with 300 led's on it complete with drivers . They can be cut off in threes .

      Anyone ever seen them and can they be cut individually ? They claim that a special power pack is required , but that is for domestic use .


      Mike

    • October 12, 2014 3:11 PM EDT
      • KENILWORTH, WARWICKSHIRE UK. (Just up the road from Stratford-Upon-Avon)
         
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      Hells teeth Mike..I bought Red Green and white reels of the 5050 types  (really bright) at about £5.50 (GBP) each  post free from Hong Kong and some people in the UK are charging three to four times that..AND  mine are waterproof.  I see someone in the US is asking nearly $50 for a 5m reel (300 leds). Talk about rip off.....

       CAVEAT EMPTOR  indeed!!

      This post was edited by Ross Mansell at October 12, 2014 3:18 PM EDT
    • October 12, 2014 3:15 PM EDT
      • KENILWORTH, WARWICKSHIRE UK. (Just up the road from Stratford-Upon-Avon)
         
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      PS.

      You really need to look around the Chinese market for leds on Ebay as they vary in price quite a bit..but still cheap.  Note that the 5050 types are the higher intensity types.  They (5m) will operate from a 12v battery of at least 2 amps

       

      This post was edited by Ross Mansell at October 12, 2014 3:19 PM EDT
    • October 12, 2014 3:37 PM EDT

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      Thanks Ross , that's why I asked .


      By the way , their domestic bulbs are good . But a bit large for my models .


      I really asked the question for comparison purposes , this site can be a mine of information .


      Mike

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