Author Topic: Passenger car lighting with LED strips  (Read 7579 times)

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craigolio1

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2013, 09:00:27 PM »
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Hey here is another question.  I have some bi-level cars that require lighting on both levels.  With this circuit, do I just add more LEDs and then adjust the value of my current limiting resistor to give me the brightness I want?  I presume that if I say, doubled the number of LEDs, the current supplied to each LED would be cut in half, reducing the brightness and I would then experiment to find the brightness I like by using smaller resistors than my 15k?

Craig
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 09:06:04 PM by craigolio1 »

peteski

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2013, 03:09:33 AM »
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The easiest solution is to just power each strip through its own 15k resistor.  Hook up the other end of the 15k resistors to the positive side of C1. Leave R1 as-is.  The brightness of each strip will be pretty close to the brightness of a single strip circuit.  If you still need to adjust the brightness of either one or both strips, change the value of the resistor corresponding to whichever strip needs to be adjusted.
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craigolio1

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2013, 06:15:56 AM »
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Perfect, thanks.

TiVoPrince

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2013, 08:34:13 PM »
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Kato
Superliner bilevels have an open slot in the upper level floor to let light shine through.  WoT gallery cars have the natural opening for light to find the lower level...
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craigolio1

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2013, 10:02:17 PM »
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Excellent.  Any idea what's going on inside the Athearn Bombardier cars?

craigolio1

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2013, 10:04:15 PM »
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Hey all.

I finally got to experimenting with the circuit Peteski designed for me and it is awesome!
 The intensitiy is just what I was after and after removing DCC power they stay lit for about 3 seconds
 and begin to fade out which means there will be no flicker for sure.

I've included some pictures here.




First are the four components Peteski suggested.  The tiny black thing is the bridge rectifier,
the beige square is the capacitor, and the other two are 1/8th watt resisitors.  Peteski spec'ed smaller
 surface mount resistors but I chose these to make assembly easier, which you will see below.




Next we have a few views of the finished circuit.  I bent the resistor leads in such a way that thay created the
paths between components and made a neat compact package that I can stick to the inside roof of passenger cars.







And finally some shots of it in use.  I conected the circuit to my Digitrax Zephyr.  The first photo is over exposed to give context
as to the type of car it's installed in.  The white hot spot in the middle is a window on the other side of the car
that was blanked out with styrene and will be painted.

The second photo shows what it actually looks like to the eye.





Thanks Peteski!!!  Hopefully someone else can find this usefull as well.

Craig

peteski

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2013, 10:35:48 PM »
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You're welcome Craig!
Thanks for posting some photos of the assembly and showing how the illuminated car looks. You managed to assemble the circuit into a neat little package. It came out looking really good!  And you never have to worry about changing the batteries or having them leak inside the car. Plus, you don't have to worry about forgetting to turn them off.  8)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 10:38:51 PM by peteski »
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TiVoPrince

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2013, 04:42:55 PM »
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Excellent.  Any idea what's going on inside the Athearn Bombardier cars?

Dremel
plastic cut off wheel cuts a slot in the upper floor quite easily.  I added 0.008 phosplor bronze pickups after trimming back the plastic centre core.  Its just a nighmare to get reliable electrical pickup without adding a lot of drag.  Adding the constant lighting with a light touch on the pickup might be just the answer for these.

Metrolink Bombardiers (and possibly others) are cast in white unpainted plastic and rather thin so light transfer is a huge problem...
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craigolio1

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2013, 04:24:14 PM »
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Thanks TivoPrince.  I'm using the West Coast Express cars which are also white I believe.  I'm considering getting Kato Metroliner trucks.  The have electrical pick up and from what I understand, don't have the friction issues that the Athearn trucks do.

Craig

TiVoPrince

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2013, 05:18:02 PM »
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Not
quite the same external rotor brake on those Kato trucks.  I bought some Kato trucks but the strange alien glow of placing lighing inside the bodies put me off the project, and the bits are now scattered all about my 'failed to meet expectaions project storage' right now. 

I had thoughts about trying to make the body opaque with various methods but none gave the solid body and clear window effect without ruining the obviously white Merolink sides.  Any aluminum, gray, silver, or black paint inside drastically changed the appearance of the white.  Multiple coats of white automoive primer made it impossible to insert the 'glass' correctly and it still looked off in colour when it was lit. 

Accomodating the 'sprung contact' kato pickups with the athearn body was a real head scratcher too.  I look forward to your insights and solution...
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craigolio1

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2013, 06:09:55 PM »
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Hmmm.  Well that has scared me.  I know the trucks are different. I figured I could modify them.  What about applying white electrical or medical tape to the inside?  Or correction fluid (liquid paper).  It's thick, white, and easily removable.   Any of those ideas may look odd though.

Craig

TiVoPrince

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2013, 07:14:47 PM »
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Biggest
annoyance is the 'glass' overlap behind the body.  If you don't coat that area, light glows through 'the metal'.  If you do coat it the thickness causes the glass to seat improperly.  Tried some metallic (Nashua) duct tape like I use in Kato Superliners, but it was difficult to get it properly seated and smooth in the body cavity.  It is not easy to get that stuff out.  I think that I have one in the junk barrel that caved in when trying to remove badly applied tape from the inside.

Sorry that I don't have a better answer for you...
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craigolio1

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #42 on: June 18, 2013, 08:58:42 PM »
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What about painting  the spaces in the clear casting, between the windows, black?  Would that create a shadow inside the body?

Craig

TiVoPrince

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2013, 09:12:54 PM »
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thought
about it but the thickness of the paint becomes additive to the point that the 'glass' is simply no longer flush.  Frustrated me a bunch.  Put everything away to ponder what to do and have not had a 0300 epihany that has brought me back to woorking those bilevels...
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peteski

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Re: Passenger car lighting with LED strips
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2013, 09:28:40 PM »
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thought
... a 0300 epihany that has brought me back to woorking those bilevels...

Aluminum foil?
--- Peteski de Snarkski
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