Author Topic: Guidance needed for connecting street lights  (Read 707 times)

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Guidance needed for connecting street lights
« on: January 21, 2012, 07:47:59 AM »
I purchased several street lights several years ago.  I have some installed on my layout, but never connected to a power source.

I purchased some of the flat "wire" used to add lighting to doll houses, but have not found a good method of attaching the wires from the street lights to the flat wire.  The doll house method is to use micro connectors with needle points that are pushed into the flat wire.  I tried to use them with no success.


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Re: Guidance needed for connecting street lights
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 09:59:24 AM »
to use a power pack set to 50% to test individual lamppost bulbs with a pair of test clips.  Many accesories are configured for 16 volts AC from most power packs 'accessories' terminals.   Often the bulbs lifespan can be extended by using 12 volts or less, also giving the option to 'tone down' the heat and brightness because some of these accessories can actually melt themselves from the heat generated at 16 volts. 

If the accessories have LEDs lights, they are polarity and current sensitive and using a current limiting resistor (470 ohm .25 watt from Radio Shack) is a good idea just in case.  If they don't light reverse the leads and they may work.  Always a good idea to approach things with an abundance of caution to avoid breaking something valuable or hard to replace...
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Re: Guidance needed for connecting street lights
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 02:24:25 PM »
Is this flat wire a type of standard jacketed-wire flat ribbon cable; or are the copper conductors themselves flat strips sandwiched in layers of flat clear plastic?

If the former, I'd suggest using punch-on sockets available from the electronics outfits, and the matching header pins soldered to the lamp leads. If the latter, I'd suggest using the 1/2" fabric pins available from your local craft store, stabbed through the ribbon wire and into the underside of the layout (to avoid the sharp end with hands later), and simply solder the lamp leads onto the heads of the pins.
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