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  • Scott
    New memeber here and already have benefited from some of the posts. One question. I am working on a new Z scale layout. What are the best lights to use to
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 30, 2003
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      New memeber here and already have benefited from some of the posts.
      One question. I am working on a new Z scale layout. What are the
      best lights to use to light the interiors of Z scale buildings and
      where is the best place to get them. I am in Canada BTW but have no
      problem with mail order.

      Thanks

      Scott
    • zbendtrack@aol.com
      ... Pull up a chair, and listen to the mistakes of someone else (mine). Others on the list may benefit me with other solutions, I hope. If you are working
      Message 2 of 13 , Jun 30, 2003
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        Scott:

        > One question. I am working on a new Z scale layout. What are the
        > best lights to use to light the interiors of Z scale buildings and
        > where is the best place to get them.

        Pull up a chair, and listen to the mistakes of someone else (mine). Others
        on the list may benefit me with other solutions, I hope.

        If you are working with brass buildings, this part won't matter much. But if
        you are working with plastic or paper buildings, there is a problem that has
        to be solved before you buy lamps.

        For most of these structures, even with the exterior painted, when you put a
        bulb inside and turn off the room lights, they will look like lighted
        ornaments on a Christmas tree. The walls, roof and window frames will glow brightly
        even with a small bulb inside.

        The first step is to insure the walls, window frames and roof are not
        transparent to light. Different folks use different techniques of stopping light
        transmission such as aluminum foil glued to the walls/roof or black or silver
        paint on the inside of the building. White paint just won't stop it, by the way <
        sad experience face>

        Once the building is no longer translucent, then you can consider the
        application of paint or paper so that when you look inside the windows and doors, you
        won't see the "light block" foil, coal black paint or stark silver paint. I
        use an off-white dull finish paint. Others may have other ideas for a color.
        Even small pieces of real wall paper could work.

        Now for the lamps.

        In Z, I found I needed smaller bulbs than I did in N, just because the
        buildings have less volume in which to hide a bulb. And you can't put a hot bulb
        next to the roof, or it may melt the roof. But when I bought smaller bulbs,
        they only had a life expectancy of 500 hours. Sounds like a lot of running time,
        but I sure don't want to have to rip up a building that's glued down, and
        replace the bulb and solder wires on finished scenery.

        Solution: Use a bulb with a higher voltage rating that the power supply puts
        out.

        Benefits: (1) the bulb will last more than 10-50 times longer (2) it will
        run cooler and (3) it will have a yellow tint to the light. The latter helps
        the viewer to separate the color of the lighting in the real room from the color
        of light in the Z building -- to create the mental image of "model
        incandescent light" if you please.

        Miniatronics (www.minatronics.com) is probably the most widely available
        source of model railroad lighting out there. Mail order, their own website, or
        virtually every model shop out there are sources for their products.

        If your power pack has 10vac accessory terminals on it, consider the Sub
        Miniature Clear Lamp, Item: 18-014-20 (pack of 20) or 18-014-10 (pack of 10). Its
        a 2.1mm lamp rated at 14volts and 30ma.

        If your pack puts out more voltage, consider the 18-016-20 (and 18-016-10)
        packages which are 16volt at 30ma lamps.

        Lamps over 30ma look like searchlights to my eyes, with beacons of light
        coming out every opening. If you can find 20ma lamps, they work even better.

        The idea is obviously to run the bulbs on less voltage than they are rated
        at.

        The bulbs would be wired in parallel to your power pack. In other words, ALL
        the wires on the left hand side of each bulb goes to one power pack terminal,
        and ALL the wires on the right hand side of each bulb goes back to the other
        power pack terminal. Pardon the use of left and right, but it may help reader
        visualization.

        The use of terminal strips keeps all those wires from coming back to one
        screwhead at the power pack. Or just solder the lamp wires to a piece of 2 wire
        lamp cord that wanders around under the layout picking up lamp wiring, with the
        lamp cord terminated at the power pack.

        Hope some of this might help.
        Bill K.
        Houston








        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Scott A. Whitmire
        ... Welcome! In general, I d aim for fiber optics with an LED source. The LEDs last longer than bulbs, and the use of fiber means you ll never have to get into
        Message 3 of 13 , Jun 30, 2003
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          At 6/30/2003 05:26 PM, you wrote:
          >New memeber here and already have benefited from some of the posts.
          >One question. I am working on a new Z scale layout. What are the
          >best lights to use to light the interiors of Z scale buildings and
          >where is the best place to get them. I am in Canada BTW but have no
          >problem with mail order.
          >
          >Thanks
          >
          >Scott

          Welcome!

          In general, I'd aim for fiber optics with an LED source. The LEDs last longer
          than bulbs, and the use of fiber means you'll never have to get into your
          buildings to replace a bulb (or an LED). You can use black construction paper
          as a separator between rooms. If you want colored walls, use two sheets
          of styrene with a piece of black construction paper in between. From
          experience,
          I can say that it is nearly impossible to paint a sheet of styrene so that no
          light shines through.

          Check out the LEDs (small and smaller) at http://www.ngineering.com

          They have lots of products (and tips!) for very realistic lighting effects.


          Scott Whitmire
        • Frank Daniels
          Bill: Nice insight. May I add that Vollmer buildings include pretty handy little cutouts that fit inside their buildings. These are black with various-colored
          Message 4 of 13 , Jun 30, 2003
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            Bill:

            Nice insight.

            May I add that Vollmer buildings include pretty handy
            little cutouts that fit inside their buildings. These
            are black with various-colored translucent paper at the
            window/door areas.

            When the light is turned on, the black areas "insulate"
            the light from escaping and the window openings allow
            light out right where you want it.

            A nice touch by Vollmer and I am sure anyone can custom
            create such a light shield for any building.

            Also, Vollmer offers a lower-cost alternative to Marklin's
            8950 light.

            Regards,
            Frank D
            z.scale.hobo

            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, zbendtrack@a... wrote:
            > Scott:
            >
            > > One question. I am working on a new Z scale layout. What are
            the
            > > best lights to use to light the interiors of Z scale buildings
            and
            > > where is the best place to get them.
            > For most of these structures, even with the exterior painted, when
            you put a
            > bulb inside and turn off the room lights, they will look like
            lighted
            > ornaments on a Christmas tree. The walls, roof and window frames
            will glow brightly
            > even with a small bulb inside.
            >
            > The first step is to insure the walls, window frames and roof are
            not
            > transparent to light. Different folks use different techniques of
            stopping light
            > transmission such as aluminum foil glued to the walls/roof or
            black or silver
            > paint on the inside of the building. White paint just won't stop
            it, by the way <
            > sad experience face>
            >
            > Once the building is no longer translucent, then you can consider
            the
            > application of paint or paper so that when you look inside the
            windows and doors, you
            > won't see the "light block" foil, coal black paint or stark silver
            paint. I
            > use an off-white dull finish paint. Others may have other ideas
            for a color.
            > Even small pieces of real wall paper could work.
          • de Champeaux Dominique
            ... memeber here and already have benefited from ... Hi Scott, try also on www.richmondcontrols.com Cheers Dominique
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 1, 2003
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              --- Scott <canuck1@...> a écrit : > New
              memeber here and already have benefited from
              > some of the posts.
              > One question. I am working on a new Z scale layout.
              > What are the
              > best lights to use to light the interiors of Z scale
              > buildings and
              > where is the best place to get them. I am in Canada
              > BTW but have no
              > problem with mail order.
              >
              > Thanks
              >
              > Scott

              Hi Scott, try also on www.richmondcontrols.com
              Cheers
              Dominique

              ___________________________________________________________
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            • Bob B
              Hello Frank, ... I m glad you mentioned the 8950 as it is on my shopping list. I ve built a Marklin 8970 Wintersdorf Station and didn t even notice it had a
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 1, 2003
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                Hello Frank,

                > ........
                > A nice touch by Vollmer and I am sure anyone can custom
                > create such a light shield for any building.
                >
                > Also, Vollmer offers a lower-cost alternative to Marklin's
                > 8950 light.

                I'm glad you mentioned the 8950 as it is on my shopping list.
                I've built a Marklin 8970 Wintersdorf Station and didn't even notice
                it had a hole in the base for the 8950. Of course now it is completed
                I can't get access to the interior to "seal" it if required.
                Is the 8950 in fact suitable for such a small building or would the
                Vollmer alternative be better?

                --
                Regards, Bob
              • M. Gottschalch
                ... Bill, Wouldn t a reostat in line with one of the leads allow you to adjust the voltage and brightness of the lamps as well? -- Manfred
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 1, 2003
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                  zbendtrack@... wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > The idea is obviously to run the bulbs on less voltage than they are rated
                  > at.
                  >

                  Bill,

                  Wouldn't a reostat in line with one of the leads allow you to adjust the
                  voltage and brightness of the lamps as well?
                  --
                  Manfred
                • ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com
                  It is suitable...but you will have a glowing building... make sure you can adjust the voltage to the bulb, as mentioned previously, maybe by dedicating a cheap
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 1, 2003
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                    It is suitable...but you will have a glowing building...

                    make sure you can adjust the voltage to the bulb, as mentioned previously,
                    maybe by dedicating a cheap trafo to just the 8950's.....

                    T




                    "Bob B"
                    <bbyrne@bigpond.n To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    et.au> cc:
                    Subject: Re: [z_scale] Re: First Post
                    07/01/2003 07:41
                    AM
                    Please respond to
                    z_scale







                    Hello Frank,

                    > ........
                    > A nice touch by Vollmer and I am sure anyone can custom
                    > create such a light shield for any building.
                    >
                    > Also, Vollmer offers a lower-cost alternative to Marklin's
                    > 8950 light.

                    I'm glad you mentioned the 8950 as it is on my shopping list.
                    I've built a Marklin 8970 Wintersdorf Station and didn't even notice
                    it had a hole in the base for the 8950. Of course now it is completed
                    I can't get access to the interior to "seal" it if required.
                    Is the 8950 in fact suitable for such a small building or would the
                    Vollmer alternative be better?

                    --
                    Regards, Bob



                    "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!


                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  • Frank Daniels
                    ... notice ... completed ... the ... Hi Bob: I believe the 8950 is on quite a few shopping lists, as it has been out of stock from Marklin USA for quite a
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 1, 2003
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                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Bob B" <bbyrne@b...> wrote:
                      > Hello Frank,
                      >
                      > >
                      > > Also, Vollmer offers a lower-cost alternative to Marklin's
                      > > 8950 light.
                      >
                      > I'm glad you mentioned the 8950 as it is on my shopping list.
                      > I've built a Marklin 8970 Wintersdorf Station and didn't even
                      notice
                      > it had a hole in the base for the 8950. Of course now it is
                      completed
                      > I can't get access to the interior to "seal" it if required.
                      > Is the 8950 in fact suitable for such a small building or would
                      the
                      > Vollmer alternative be better?
                      >
                      > --
                      > Regards, Bob

                      Hi Bob:

                      I believe the 8950 is on quite a few shopping lists,
                      as it has been out of stock from Marklin USA for quite
                      a while now.

                      Marklin is pretty slick...they make their opening
                      just the size of the 8950's base.

                      The Vollmer buildings are wide open at the base and
                      you can fit any lighting inside.

                      So, no, the Vollmer light will not work for the 8950
                      Wintersdorf station, unless you custom hack an
                      opening larger than the one they supply.

                      Frank Daniels
                      z.scale.hobo
                    • zbendtrack@aol.com
                      ... You are correct. There are several solutions to operating lamps at reduced voltages: 1 - A separate AC or DC transformer 2 - A rheostat (of high
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 1, 2003
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                        Manfred:
                        >
                        > Wouldn't a reostat in line with one of the leads allow you to adjust the
                        > voltage and brightness of the lamps as well?

                        You are correct. There are several solutions to operating lamps at reduced
                        voltages:

                        1 - A separate AC or DC transformer
                        2 - A rheostat (of high wattage, not a simple "potentiometer")
                        3 - Series full wave diode bridges (1.7v drop per shorted bridge)
                        4 - A cheap power pack, using the DC throttle
                        5 - Wiring lamps is series or series/parallel circuits (maybe not for
                        beginners)

                        Most of the small to medium size layouts don't have a lot of room for extra
                        packs, I am guessing. Folks may only want the track pack, and nothing else
                        on/around the layout. Solution 3 takes up the least room (and cost), with
                        solution 2 right behind it. Buying overvoltage lamps takes no extra parts (or time)
                        at all.

                        (only my opinions follow, fame suit is in place):

                        The key is extending lamp life and reducing temperatures. The fringe benefit
                        is the very slight shift in color toward yellow to trick the eye into seeing
                        "model lighting" different from room lighting.

                        LED's work, but most yellow LEDs are really yellow, perhaps too yellow to
                        represent filament type interior lighting. It does represent sodium based street
                        lighting just fine. White LEDs work, but they are super bright and
                        expensive, which might be a consideration. Color correction of white LEDs might be
                        something to consider also.

                        Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Not everyone has the same level of
                        talent, or time.

                        PS to Scott Whitmire: You should have never posted the URL on the source of
                        tiny tubing and lighting accessories. Cost me $50 on a web-placed order last
                        night. <smile>

                        Bill K.
                        Houston







                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Bob B
                        Hello Frank, ... FWIW Walthers have it listed in stock :
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 1, 2003
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                          Hello Frank,

                          > I believe the 8950 is on quite a few shopping lists,
                          > as it has been out of stock from Marklin USA for quite
                          > a while now.

                          FWIW Walthers have it listed 'in stock':

                          http://www.walthers.com/exec/search?category=Track&scale=Z&manu=Marklin&item=8950&keywords=&instock=Q&split=30&Submit=Search

                          > ......
                          > So, no, the Vollmer light will not work for the 8950
                          > Wintersdorf station, unless you custom hack an
                          > opening larger than the one they supply.

                          That won't be a problem, out of sight out of mind :-)

                          --
                          Regards, Bob
                        • Bob B
                          Hello T, ... The talk of fiber optics has intrigued me and I will investigate that option further. It may make sourcing material easier down here in
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 1, 2003
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                            Hello T,

                            > It is suitable...but you will have a glowing building...

                            The talk of fiber optics has intrigued me and I will investigate
                            that option further. It may make sourcing material easier down
                            here in Australia, Z specific stuff is rare and pricey.

                            --
                            Regards, Bob
                          • Scott A. Whitmire
                            ... Did you see that scene in N Scale? That was done with a single LED. ... No kidding. My shopping list at that place grows daily. I especially like the lamp
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jul 1, 2003
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                              >LED's work, but most yellow LEDs are really yellow, perhaps too yellow to
                              >represent filament type interior lighting. It does represent sodium based
                              >street
                              >lighting just fine. White LEDs work, but they are super bright and
                              >expensive, which might be a consideration. Color correction of white LEDs
                              >might be
                              >something to consider also.

                              Did you see that scene in N Scale? That was done with a single LED.


                              >Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Not everyone has the same level of
                              >talent, or time.
                              >
                              >PS to Scott Whitmire: You should have never posted the URL on the source of
                              >tiny tubing and lighting accessories. Cost me $50 on a web-placed order last
                              >night. <smile>

                              No kidding. My shopping list at that place grows daily. I especially like
                              the lamp
                              shades. Now, *every* building will have to be lit, both inside and out.


                              >Bill K.
                              >Houston

                              Scott Whitmire
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