3480Re: Lighting the Ludwig
- Mar 5, 2001Hi Kim -
I was hoping *you* could help *me* (<grin>), but I'll share what little I
The recent discussions on Z-92 were in German, and sadly I don't speak
German. I've tried both Babelfish and FreeTranslation.com, but neither
translates key German technical terms (which makes the translation
considerably less helpful).
On 3/5/01 you wrote:
> I looked at the lighted cars by Marklin and used a similar approach.
>I have no idea about the graphite paint,
The proper term is "conductive paint". With conductive paint, you can
literally "paint a wire" --- or (more correctly) paint a "conductive
trace" similar to a printed circuit trace.
You can make your own conductive paint by mixing ground pencil lead
(graphite) into ordinary paint or lacquer. Or, you can buy conductive
paint ready-made at auto parts stores, where it is sold as a kit to
repair torn traces on rear window defoggers.
>Could you please describe to
>us how the graphite paint pick up works?
In larger scales, there's a famous method of train detection called the
"Twin-T". The method shorts left and right wheels together by soldering
a resistor laterally across one axle, and then measuring the voltage
across the rails.
I first saw conductive paint used in Z-scale as a replacement for the
Twin-T's resistor. The author simply "painted" the Z's axle, bridging
the plastic insulation on the backside of the metal wheels. (You
apparently can vary the effective resistance of the connection by varying
the amount of pencil lead you mix into the paint).
What I still don't know is how you transfer the current from a rotating
axle to a stationary wagon chassis. The Z-92 discussion spoke of
"varnished wire" (apparently for thinness), "graphite paint", and "rotary
towers" (apparently the Babelfish translation for "bogies"), but I was
never able to understand any more than that.
Perhaps now you can help me ...
How do you attach your brass strips to the wagon chassis?
How do you manage to apply sufficient pressure on the axle to maintain a
circuit, without applying too much drag to the entire train?
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