Author Topic: How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight  (Read 8144 times)

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CodyO

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How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight
« on: March 05, 2013, 05:31:56 PM »
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Not being able to live with a headlight-less L1 I set about adding one to my current and in-process L1`s

I didn`t like the process I used to add a headlight to the current one was a bit sloppy and a struggle
But  here`s how I added one in about 5 mins using a dremel and an exacto


Here`s the dremel bit I used it was a small cutting bit that came in a


I then marked a small hole with an exacto of the location of the headlight on top of the boiler and then using this as my starting point drilled straight though the shell with the dremel (Can also be done with a drill vice)


Next I turned to the headlight and cut off the peg and again marked and made a small dimple sing the exacto to use as a starting point for the dremel drill bit. With that marker I drilled down into the headlight about 3/4 of the way though. I started off with the dremel at the lowest setting and only upd the speed once the bit had started drilling where I wanted it to


I then started a hole though the front by again marking and creating a small dimple with an exacto. I then drilled though slowly till I reached the previously drilled hole though the bottom I then used an exacto blade to widen out both holes.


Afterwards a LED was installed inside the shell and a piece of fiber optic was pushed up into the headlight to light the headlight!

Here`s it all finished on my first L1, I will document and show off more of how I added a headlight as I build this GHQ kit



This method can also be used to drill out and light the tender light, I`ll also document that




 
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 05:46:26 PM by CodyO »
Modeling the Pennsylvania Middle Division in late 1954
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peteski

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Re: How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 07:16:52 PM »
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Nice job on the modification and on the writeup and photos.

Have you considered using a warm white LED instead of one that glows lemon-yellow? With the current state of LED technology it should be easy to find LEDs which emit incandescent-like glow.
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superturbine

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Re: How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 11:05:37 PM »
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Nice Job. 

CodyO

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Re: How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 11:49:25 PM »
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Thanks guys as for the LED light I just simply used the stock Kato broad
Kibda just laziness on my part I have a bunch of LEDS of different colors just didn't change them out
Modeling the Pennsylvania Middle Division in late 1954
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mike_lawyer

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Re: How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 12:02:38 PM »
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I use a similar method for my L1 and I1 conversions.  Instead, I use a micro-LED from Ngineering and install it in the headlight casting after drilling it out.  I then feed the small wires through the GHQ shell to a resistor and a DCC decoder.  Works great.

mmagliaro

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Re: How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 12:49:07 PM »
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Good work. 

Here is a suggestion, (assuming you stick with the fiber optic tube and don't go the surface-mount LED route).

I don't know how you "bent" the fiber optic tube so it would point straight out of the headlight housing, but if you use the heat
of a soldering iron to flare the end of the fiber optic tube first, you can then push it in from the the front (instead of
up from the inside), and the flared end makes a nice lens.  It also spreads the light more, off-axis, because
the end of the tube is dome-shaped instead of flush-cut.  It isn't hard to do.  Just hold a soldering iron close to the
end of the fiber optic tube (but NOT touching it!) and the end of the tube will mushroom back into a dome.  It takes
a few practice tries to get the hang of it.  You of course have to do this on the tube at the workbench, away from the model.

It looks like this from the front:

« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 04:52:33 AM by mmagliaro »

CodyO

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Re: How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 04:35:55 PM »
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Actually forgot to mention I did "mushroom" the fiber optic
But comparing yours and mine up close I think I should do it again and try and get a bit better results


How did you mount the headlight on the forward position? I wanted to mount it there but saw the lighting being much easier if done from the top of the boiler

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chicken45

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Re: How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 08:52:54 PM »
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Good work. 

Here is a suggestion, (assuming you stick with the fiber optic tube and don't go the surface-mount LED route).


It looks like this from the front:


...ok I'll be "that guy" and ask why the that is red instead of black.
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mmagliaro

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Re: How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 12:15:42 AM »
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It's red because I did it a long time ago, didn't pay any attention to the fact that freight number badges were
black (instead of red like the keystones), ands never bothered to fix it.

As for how the light is mounted in the correct spot...  I did a similar thing to what you did, Cody, but I drilled my hole on a 45 degree
angle down through the lower back corner of the headlight housing, instead of straight down.  The upper edge of
the boiler has a hole drilled in it to match.  The fiber optic tube then snakes down through the front at a 45 degree angle
into the boiler.  Now, with the tube still sticking out of the housing, say, an inch or more, at a 45 degree angle, THAT's
when I held the soldering iron near it to mushroom it.  And you can get it to mushroom on an angle so that when it is
pushed into the housing, the lens it nice and straight, even though the tube itself goes down at an angle behind it.

When it's all mounted, a drop of 2-part epoxy and a drop of black paint, if necessary, will hide anyplace where things
don't go quite right (i.e. if the hole or the tubing shows).

I don't have enough other photos to quite show it, but this one might help, from the inside.



« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 04:53:17 AM by mmagliaro »

peteski

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Re: How I made a GHQ L1 Headlight
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 12:32:39 AM »
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To add to Max's info, plastic fiber optics we use can be bent.  THis is especially handy for the thicker ones.

Here are the formed  fiber optics I used for the Atlas shay (2 items at the top of the photo).


To curve the fiber I heat it up by placing it over a tip of a soldering iron. After few seconds it will start to get softer and it can be bent.  There is a limit to how much it can be bent. If the bend it too sharp, some of the light will escape from the fiber at the bend.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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