Author Topic: Lighting decoder reccomendations?  (Read 244 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

daniel_leavitt2000

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4889
  • Respect: +312
Lighting decoder reccomendations?
« on: September 24, 2018, 04:08:05 AM »
0
I will be using Rapido battery powered lighting for most of my Conrail OCS, but the theater car has proved to be a bit more challenging. I have wired up Class lights, as well as individual ditch lights to the car. These obviously can't be controlled by the Rapido unit so I think I may need to wire this one up for DCC. I'm looking for a lighting only decoder, as small as possible. It should handle interior lights, class lights and the two ditch lights independently (so 4 functions). Obviously I don't need motor control.

Bonus points for outputs designed for LEDs so I don't need to add resistors. Also bonus points for a small keep alive function.

Ideally it would be small enough to fit in the kitchen section of the car (which I will have obscured with translucent tape).
You've crossed the walls, excelled
Further along through their hell
All for my heart, I watch you kill
You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18000
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1372
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Lighting decoder reccomendations?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 04:26:28 AM »
0
You have some high expectations Daniel!  :D

I know of no function-only decoders (any physical size) which would include a keep-alive circuit.  They also require current limiting resistors.
MY recommendation is ZIMO681
It has 6 function outputs and it is quite small .47 x .33 x .086 inches (12 x 8.5 x 2.2 mm).

ESU also has a nice function-only decoder, ESU 54620, but it is a quite a bit larger.  I have not used that one, but I'm sure it works well.

You can always go with the Digitrax or TCS decoders, but I was not impressed with their lighting effects (like alternating ditch lights).  Digital still has not figure out how to properly drive LEDs (the lighting effects).  Even in the newest decoders like DZ126.

--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

Scottl

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4017
  • Respect: +444
Re: Lighting decoder reccomendations?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 06:47:33 AM »
0
NCE has tiny lighting only decoders.  About $7 each.

jdcolombo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1547
  • Respect: +450
Re: Lighting decoder reccomendations?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 03:28:42 PM »
0
ESU's LokPilot FX Nano is 7mm long by 8mm wide by 2.8mm thick.  Six functions, and ESU's lighting effects are good (and they handle LEDs well).  Doesn't come with built-in dropping resistors.  And it's expensive ($30 at Streamlined Backshop).

http://www.esu.eu/en/products/lokpilot/lokpilot-fx-nano/

http://store.sbs4dcc.com/search.aspx?find=ESU+Lokpilot+Fx+Nano

John C.

Scottl

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4017
  • Respect: +444
Re: Lighting decoder reccomendations?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 03:57:08 PM »
0
Here is the link for the NCE product https://www.ncedcc.com/online-store/Light-It-3-p78626959  I have no experience with these but they seem to fit the bill.

jdcolombo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1547
  • Respect: +450
Re: Lighting decoder reccomendations?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 06:51:16 PM »
0
BTW, for lighting only, I think you could easily "roll your own" keep alive with a couple of 220uf, 20v tantalum polymer caps.  You just need enough to keep the lights from flickering.

The LokPilot FX Nano has a ground pad for attaching a keep-alive (positive side of caps is wired to blue wire), so it's an easy connection.

John C.

RBrodzinsky

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 656
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +190
Re: Lighting decoder reccomendations?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 07:31:25 PM »
0
I’ve used the ESU Nano FX in cab cars with excellent results. Teeny-tiny solder pad for the keep alive ground, but works great.
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

daniel_leavitt2000

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4889
  • Respect: +312
Re: Lighting decoder reccomendations?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 02:37:39 AM »
0
I would use the NCE decoder if I could, but it's just too big. I've also worked myself into something of a box with the way I constructed the car. Both the sides and under frame are reinforced with brass plate. Since the roof was made to be removable, I needed to add reinforcement to the top of the car as well at the theater end. This means I have to slide the custom interior into place from the end. And this required me to run attach the lighting BEFORE painting. So there are micro LEDs secured with Kristal Klear. Fiber optics are used as light pipes. Right now the fiber optics stick out of the ends by about 1/2". After painting I'll trim them to proper length and dab a bit of Kristal Klear to create lenses.

But all this makes wiring a decoder and adding live trucks extremely difficult, which is why I shelved the project for the past year.
You've crossed the walls, excelled
Further along through their hell
All for my heart, I watch you kill
You always have, you always will
Now spread your wings and sail out to me