Author Topic: Working N scale traffic lights  (Read 2060 times)

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Erik aka Ngineer

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Working N scale traffic lights
« on: February 15, 2016, 02:48:59 AM »
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I made traffic light heads that are true to scale that can be fitted with SMD nano-LED's. I made them available via Shapeways. When you let me solder, it will end in disaster. But a German modeller by the nickname Loetboy made an excellent how-to for these lights.
The traffic lights: http://shpws.me/HbTX
The how-to in German: http://www.wawerko.de/spur-n-ampeln-bauen+5952.html
The auto-translated how-to in english can be found here


peteski

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2016, 04:21:06 AM »
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I remember the crude attempts at this decades ago.  Nowadays it is doable (and in scale). Very nice!
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2016, 08:26:43 AM »
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This is very cool.  Will take some time for me to get to that point on my new layout (moving into new house with large basement, so bigger and better layout, maybe I will finally finish one).  But this will add a lot to the downtown intersections near the station.  I will leave it to the folks who need some "right now" to talk you into doing an older design from the 40s or 50s, although the current one could be backdated by the modeler into a reasonable representation.

I checked out the "instructions" and if I am reading him right (gppgle translation notwithstanding), it sounds like he is soaking parts in "lye" solution (ovencleaner?  DSP?) and there is no mention of Bestine.  Is this to remove the wax from the shapeways parts?  The translation does make things difficult, but I have heard that bestine was difficult to get in Europe, so wondering if this is their alternative.

In any case, good work, and thanks for bringing these to N scale.

Tom D
Tom D.

"The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that doing the impossible is usually more fun." (my college design professor Russell Whaley)

jmarley76

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2016, 09:31:02 AM »
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Very cool indeed! I've recently gotten interested in adding traffic lights and crossing signals to my layout.

Erik aka Ngineer

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 12:45:06 PM »
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This is very cool.  Will take some time for me to get to that point on my new layout (moving into new house with large basement, so bigger and better layout, maybe I will finally finish one).  But this will add a lot to the downtown intersections near the station.  I will leave it to the folks who need some "right now" to talk you into doing an older design from the 40s or 50s, although the current one could be backdated by the modeler into a reasonable representation.

I checked out the "instructions" and if I am reading him right (gppgle translation notwithstanding), it sounds like he is soaking parts in "lye" solution (ovencleaner?  DSP?) and there is no mention of Bestine.  Is this to remove the wax from the shapeways parts?  The translation does make things difficult, but I have heard that bestine was difficult to get in Europe, so wondering if this is their alternative.

In any case, good work, and thanks for bringing these to N scale.

Tom D
I can't seem to find Bestine or heptane over here. But the best part is I don't need it. I have an ultrasonic bath and clean parts with warm water and dishwashing liquid and then just clean warm water.

bman

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 02:48:53 PM »
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I bought Bestine at Dick Blick art supply.  They've several locations around the U.S.  And by over here I am guessing you mean here in the States.  Bestine can be shipped, but only via ground transport and not outside the continental U.S. because of hazmat transportation regulations.  Wonder if I can glue 4 of these into a square and build the traffic lights I remember growing up in the (sigh) 60's.  Either way I've been to your Shapeways store and you have some neat items.

Nevermind.  I see you have them offered.  Now to hone my soldering skills.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2016, 02:55:55 PM by bman »

Erik aka Ngineer

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 03:18:28 PM »
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Thanks!

I live in the Netherlands, so importing Bestine really isn't practical. Heptane is flammable and has some health risks and my hobby isn't worth that... :) ([/sarcasm]I am a volunteer firefighter, talking about health risks)
My ultrasonic bath can just stand in the corner of the kitchen and it does it's work very well.

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 08:25:53 AM »
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Thanks Eric.  Interesting to know that dishsoap and an ultrasonic will work.  My inquiry just had to do with the instructions that were pointed to on the webpage, when read in English, have several references to "lye".  Most of us don't run across cans of lye very often, and so I was assuming it was probably a more common household cleaner of some description, but the specifics were lost in the translation.

I went to non-toxic, non-flammable materials, wherever possible, when I had kids.  They are all grown up now, but I find I get along fine with acrylic paints, and only cheat on alcohol to strip paint and some adhesives (there just isn't anything out there to replace CA or styrene bonders).
Tom D.

"The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that doing the impossible is usually more fun." (my college design professor Russell Whaley)

randgust

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 09:21:23 AM »
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I'm still trying to figure out how to get anything other than the first page to translate into English.   If you page forward it reverts to german.

Last time I thought I knew what I was reading in German I got a model without a motor in it.

Erik aka Ngineer

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2016, 11:02:32 AM »
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I'm still trying to figure out how to get anything other than the first page to translate into English.   If you page forward it reverts to german.

Last time I thought I knew what I was reading in German I got a model without a motor in it.
I get all pages in English, but the translation is still horrible. I use firefox if that matters

Thanks Eric.  Interesting to know that dishsoap and an ultrasonic will work.  My inquiry just had to do with the instructions that were pointed to on the webpage, when read in English, have several references to "lye".  Most of us don't run across cans of lye very often, and so I was assuming it was probably a more common household cleaner of some description, but the specifics were lost in the translation.

I went to non-toxic, non-flammable materials, wherever possible, when I had kids.  They are all grown up now, but I find I get along fine with acrylic paints, and only cheat on alcohol to strip paint and some adhesives (there just isn't anything out there to replace CA or styrene bonders).
I looked up the german word "Lauge" and it can be lye, but also a soapy solution. I assume he means the latter but I'll ask him.

Erik

jmlaboda

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2016, 01:01:12 PM »
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Quote
Wonder if I can glue 4 of these into a square and build the traffic lights I remember growing up in the (sigh) 60's.



I remember these in my mother's home town back in the late-60s/early-70s... including the fact that some did not actually operate at times quite the way they were intended too.  The timers were quite old and often gave double aspects, green and yellow, yellow and red.  Such a head might be done by splitting it into two parts set on a diagonal plane, possibly with the cap printed as a third piece.  This is the type I would be interested in... they would be perfect for the late-40s.

Erik aka Ngineer

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2016, 01:06:56 PM »
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I can adapt the current model for that. If you want to get that to work it would be pretty crowded with 13 wires. If you want one without function I can upload it with no trouble at all.
I have made these in the past: http://shpws.me/HiLS
These can be hung on a wire across the intersection

Erik aka Ngineer

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2016, 01:09:06 PM »
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I looked up the german word "Lauge" and it can be lye, but also a soapy solution. I assume he means the latter but I'll ask him.

Erik
Yes, he means a soapy solution, not the chemical lye.

peteski

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2016, 02:16:54 PM »
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No need for all those wires. Wit some creative micro-soldering, you could wire all 4 sets with only 4 wires going out of it.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
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-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

wcfn100

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Re: Working N scale traffic lights
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2016, 02:52:23 PM »
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No need for all those wires. Wit some creative micro-soldering, you could wire all 4 sets with only 4 wires going out of it.

Can you draw a diagram for that?  I can only get it down to 5 wires (4+1 common).

Jason