Author Topic: Rolling your own grade crossing flashers in n scale  (Read 916 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Philip H

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 7434
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +488
    • Layout Progress Blog
Rolling your own grade crossing flashers in n scale
« on: March 30, 2016, 09:41:16 PM »
0
Yeah I know - with all your other half finished projects and all the decent suppliers out there why bother? Well I like working in brass and I like building electronics - I was a HeathKit guy in middle school. So let's just say I'm testing some ideas.

To that end - would these scale out well for grade crossing lights:

https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/321448262971

I think there are some shape ways hoods that would fit, and if this new black plastic works out to be cheap enough it might be fun to build up some. Just not sure if a 1.5mm led is too big or not.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 21534
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +2008
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Rolling your own grade crossing flashers in n scale
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2016, 09:51:52 PM »
0
Back about 20 years ago I did something like that on a semi-commercial scale (I made about a dozen pairs, and sold them at a local hobby shop). Come to find out later  that @daniel_leavitt2000 bought most of them and used them on his layout/diorama.

I used the lens hoods and crossbucks from the cheap Bachmann set.  I made a new mast from brass rod and tubing.  They looked half-decent.  The LEDs I used were very similar to the ones you found, except mine had a rounded back (not rectangular like the ones you found).  I made a jig to solder the positive leads of the LEDs to the brass mast at a proper spacing for the hood unit to fit them. Then I ran 2 magnet wires from the other leads of the LEDs down the back of the mast (glued the wire using thin CA glue).  Then I flooded the backs of the hoods with CA glue to seal the LEDs in the hoods and painted everything black, then silver to prevent the light from leaking through the back of the signals.

--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

djconway

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 332
  • Respect: +20
Re: Rolling your own grade crossing flashers in n scale
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 10:22:25 PM »
0
The LEDs scale out to just under 9.6"
Close enough for me, hoods may be a big factor in what you can make.

daniel_leavitt2000

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5434
  • Respect: +537
Re: Rolling your own grade crossing flashers in n scale
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2016, 10:57:52 PM »
0
Back about 20 years ago I did something like that on a semi-commercial scale (I made about a dozen pairs, and sold them at a local hobby shop). Come to find out later  that @daniel_leavitt2000 bought most of them and used them on his layout/diorama.

I used the lens hoods and crossbucks from the cheap Bachmann set.  I made a new mast from brass rod and tubing.  They looked half-decent.  The LEDs I used were very similar to the ones you found, except mine had a rounded back (not rectangular like the ones you found).  I made a jig to solder the positive leads of the LEDs to the brass mast at a proper spacing for the hood unit to fit them. Then I ran 2 magnet wires from the other leads of the LEDs down the back of the mast (glued the wire using thin CA glue).  Then I flooded the backs of the hoods with CA glue to seal the LEDs in the hoods and painted everything black, then silver to prevent the light from leaking through the back of the signals.


Yep... I have 6 sets stashed somewhere. Love em!

They actually made it onto the cover of an issue of N-Scale about 10 years ago:
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 11:01:10 PM by daniel_leavitt2000 »
'In my great and unmatched wisdom'

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 21534
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +2008
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Rolling your own grade crossing flashers in n scale
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 11:22:41 PM »
0
Yeah, I had a double-take when I saw that cover photo. It was like "Those cross-bucks signals look just like the ones I made!"  :D

Actually that bottom photo shows how the back of the signals looks and how I ran the magnet wires down the mast.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

tehachapifan

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1856
  • Respect: +307
Re: Rolling your own grade crossing flashers in n scale
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 11:45:09 PM »
0
It's been a while, but I've rolled a few of my own using similar (red) LEDs from I believe Miniatronics. I, too, used brass tubing and magnet wire.

Here's the first one I made that is yet to be installed on layout...







Here's the second one installed and operational....







I also made this doubleheader on the left in the same fashion, prior to the cantilevers. I don't know what compelled me to make this one as these are pretty darn uncommon (but cool looking :D)....



Since I was unable to find anything else at the time, the targets and visors were scratch-built out of brass with the help of one of my wife's scrapbooking punches and a LOT of patience and perseverance. ;)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 11:56:31 PM by tehachapifan »
Russ

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 21534
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +2008
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Rolling your own grade crossing flashers in n scale
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2016, 12:45:37 AM »
0
Russ' Miniatronic LEDs are the same size as the ones Philip found on eBay.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"