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Objectives for Constant Intensity Lighting & my Z lighting experiences

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  • Michael
    Hi Jim Hinds and Everyone, I ve been making lighting for awhile now for the Z community and have tryed all the suggestions I ve been reading lately except the
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 23, 2005
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      Hi Jim Hinds and Everyone,

      I've been making lighting for awhile now for the Z community and
      have tryed all the suggestions I've been reading lately except the
      peak hold with the appropriate power pack. I didn't want to buy a
      aristocraft controller so I haven't tested this option, but now that
      I hear the Jorger Controller has full wave pulse I can try this, I
      have a Jorger Deluxe Controller. I'll let everyone know what happens.

      Jim, your suggestion to try hooking up a surface mount led to a
      resistor and check for intensity is a good one. However it's been my
      experience that no matter what manufacturer of a Z loco that a
      ceramic capacitor is required to prevent "reverse" flickering when
      running DC. I'd also suggest trying to use a higher value resistor
      (higher than 1000 ohm) with nano white leds, it can help improve the
      color appearance to the eye.

      I've heard of you Jim, but never recall reading a post from you
      before, good to hear from you, I've been reading along. I also
      aquired one of your nano (603 package) golden white leds and
      compared to the ones I am now using and found they are the same, I'd
      be happy to send you one for a SASE to compare for yourself.
      Personnaly, I find the color pleasing as many others have, but not
      really golden in color, just no heavy blue haze often associated
      with white led's, more of a pure white, slightly golden/yellowish
      haze. It's actually a white led with a yellow diffuser lens. Someone
      recently mentioned the MTL GP35 as having "golden white" leds, but
      my observations suggest that there is nothing white about them, they
      are "amber" (orangey-yellow) colored leds, just like the new GG1 by
      Marklin has. I think this color may be a good choice for steam
      locos, etc., but not anything modern (modern to me is after
      transition era, U.S.).

      Besides the above (about full wave pulse packs) I would suggest
      going DCC for constant intensity lighting in Z. I've recenty
      purchased a DCC system and will be working on DCC lighting for Z due
      out this summer. If you want all the bells and whistles (mars
      lights, flashing ditch lights, beacon's, etc.) especially for modern
      loco's it seems the only "practical" way to go in Z for these
      effects.

      As far as poor loco power pickup, the MTL F7 seems to be the only
      one that is in NEED of wheel wiper's (available from Glen C.),
      others seem to be just fine as is, as long as one keeps track,
      wheels, etc. clean. There has been some desire for tender power
      pickup on steam loco's to improve thier performance and in peticular
      for DCC installation. I was planning on making these this summer,
      but Jim H., if you make them, I won't bother except for myself.

      About MTL F7 lighting, I currently make a lighting unit that
      replaces the exsiting bulb, basicly, just remove the bulb and slide
      in the dual led printed circuit board unit into the bulb holder. No
      chopping of the chassie or plastic bulb holder. Pics can be seen in
      this group's photo section in the choo choo terrain folder. Sorry if
      my camera can't take the best pictures, or maybe it's me <smile>.
      I've done the schematic and layout for independent operation for DCC
      to make the top light a mars light, but haven't made the PCBs yet,
      they should be out early summer this year. Installation will be the
      same except 3 wires (or solder tabs) on top instead of 2 wires
      comming out the bottom. It should work with a 555 timer circuit for
      DC operation as well.

      I also make marklin led lighting units that install even easier and
      do AZL lighting installations as well. I'll have some new designs
      for AZL lighting out this summer.

      Making bezels or lenses for Z locos that do not have them already is
      easy. Just use a piece of plastic fiber optic cable and hold it to
      the base of a lighter or candle flame, not touching the blue part of
      the flame, and melt/form a tiny bead on the end. It takes a little
      practice to get the bead the right size but is easy to master.

      I'm sure Jim that any Z lighting products you make will be well
      recieved and welcomed. I do this on the side, not full time, so I'm
      booked up with requests for stuff before NTS 2005 and have cut off
      new orders (crossing gates & AZL installs & custom Zecals) except
      for Zecals and MTL & Marklin lighting I already have, and a couple
      other tiny thingZ. I do believe this will be a record setting year
      for new Z products. Well, enough for now, back to work...

      Michael Hilliard
      P.O. Box 273
      Wilton, CT 06897
      203-762-2476 est
    • Jim Hinds
      MICHAEL: Thanks for your note. If you try that peak hold trick with the Jorger power supply, I hope you ll let us know the results. Maybe I ll try it with one
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 24, 2005
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        MICHAEL:

        Thanks for your note.


        If you try that peak hold trick with the Jorger power supply, I hope you'll let us know the results. Maybe I'll try it with one of my Aristocrafts -- maybe even an older MRC.


        I think I'll try my own suggestion about hooking up the LED. On that one, however, I'd rather hear someone else's opinion rather than my own. The conclusion will be subjective. By the way, in my opinion, the main purpose of that capacitor is to prevent the horrible voltage spikes coming out of the motor from killing a "white" LED that is attached. You have seen the flickering when the locomotive is running backwards, which is caused by inductive kicks coming out of the motor and forward biasing the LED. When the locomotive is running FORWARD, those horrible voltage spikes are still created, but in that situation they are reverse biasing the LED. My measurements tell me that a typical "white" LED can withstand -20 volts all day long, but not the -80 volt pulses coming out of the motors in some situations. Those high reverse voltages kill "white" LEDs. It appears that if the capacitor is properly selected, the same one that prevents the reverse flickering will also short out the same pulses with the other polarity and save the LED from destruction. Although Golden White LEDs are fairly inexpensive ($1.50 each), the main problem is the hassle of replacing one if it is destroyed.

        MicroTrains and other locomotive builders do use real Golden White LEDs in many new locomotives. Who knows what the GP35 will have. I was astonished that Kato put a YELLOW LED in their latest N Scale PA1 (and they call it something like "Golden Glow", even though it is really yellow). By the way, it is easy to tell whether an LED is really "white" or yellow without even looking at it. Set up a 5 mA current through it, and measure the voltage drop across the LED. You'll get about 3.0 volts for any flavor of "white" LED, and about 2.0 volts for a yellow LED.


        We should all be careful with the term "nano". It is sometimes used as a synonym for "tiny", but it has been used to describe so many things that its meaning is not specific. (Scientifically, "nano" means ten to the power of -9. Thus a nanowatt is 1 watt divided by one billion.) I would not call a 603-size LED a "nano" LED. What would you then call a 402 size LED? (For those who may not know, "603" means the footprint of the surface mount part is 0.060" x 0.030", and "402" means the footprint is 0.040" x 0.020".) I believe I have seen "nano" used elsewhere to refer to the 402 size. What will we call a 201 size? "Pico"? (That's ten to the minus 12.) (By the way, for those of you who have the advantage of working in the metric system, "603" is approximately 1.5 mm x 0.75 mm, and "402" is approximately 1 mm x 0.5 mm.)

        I have had 402 size "white" LEDs for years. In addition to being hard to handle, they do not yet come without the annoying blue tint, they are VERY expensive, and it is very difficult to attach wires without melting them. I bought a bunch for resale, and still have them, since I do not consider them appropriate for locomotive headlights. (They would make great BMW halogen headlights, however, if you could reliably attach wires to them.) Also, a 603 LED can fit into a smaller hole that a 402 LED! HOW? Insert it end first, and use the bright light coming out of the end. In my opinion, a #57 hole has the ideal diameter for this.


        I always shudder a bit when I see DCC mentioned in chat rooms like this. Sure, DCC can be used to gain constant intensity lighting, and can provide a modest assortment of special lighting features. You can do anything with Analog that can be done with DCC, and more (including lighting and control), with less hassle and expense. I still can't get the concepts of "DCC" and "practical" to coexist in my head at the same time.

        Obviously lots of people like DCC. Lots of people don't like DCC. It's a personal (and sometimes religious) thing. I know from experience that the things you mentioned (mars lights, flashing ditch lights, beacons, etc.) can be easily provided for use with ANY model railroad control system without having to go to DCC. I have NEVER seen a locomotive where these things could not be done without DCC, in ANY scale. If "practical" means having to possibly chop metal out of the chassis to make room for a circuit board, having to isolate the motor, having to solder some things, and having to do some programming, then I agree that DCC is a very "practical" approach using that definition. I prefer the "impractical" approach, where there is no chopping, no motor isolation, no soldering, and no module programming.

        I'm sure we all know of people who are fascinated with DCC, and that's as valid an interest as making trees, laying track, or detailing cars. I just wouldn't want people to conclude that going to DCC somehow makes locomotive lighting (or anything else) easier, or provides more features. In fact, the opposite is true.


        I have three different wiper designs used in Z Scale for freight cars, cabooses, passenger cars, and some tenders. I have no desire to do any more, particularly now that I know that someone else might be willing. (At $2.00 or $4.00 per pair, these are not money makers for me, and probably wouldn't be for you.) These were developed only because someone came to me, explained a need, and helped with the development and testing. I'm afraid that a lot of people don't know about my stuff and a lot of people don't know about your stuff. My magazine ads were a big waste of money, and my news releases are rarely published (and rarely read) because they do not report new locomotives or new cars. You probably have the same experience. This is a topic that perhaps the Group and people like Rob could help with. How does a small manufacturer with a small or zero advertising budget get the word out? This forum is probably useful. How many of you noticed the nano-blurb about my stuff in the new RMC? (I didn't notice it.) My feeling is that people like you and I have to show up at events like Columbus and be prepared to hand out literature and demonstrate the goods. It is hard to justify that time and effort unless it helps sales or (more likely) adds enjoyment to attending a train show.


        With regard to your lighting unit for the MicroTrains F7, I respectfully recommend a totally different approach: Build the lights into the shell. That works regardless of whether Analog or DCC is used, and I don't honestly think the quality of the lighting can be any better than that. I prefer using a simple connector that automatically connects the LED to the power source on the chassis in such a way that there are no wires between the shell and the chassis when the shell is removed. This is fairly easy for Analog systems when the lighting circuit can be mounted to the shell rather than to the chassis. Doing it for DCC users will probably require modifications by manufacturers of drop-in decoders, but I've seen it done.


        In model railroading, the term "bezel" has historically been used to refer to a trim piece that is partly decorative and partly functional. For example, the bezels made by Sunrise Enterprises are used to center small lamps or LEDs in larger headlight holes in locomotives. The functional part is holding the light source in the center of the opening. The decorative part is achieved by giving the outer region of the bezel a parabolic or spherical reflector shape, so the assembly looks like a reflector with a light source at the focus, like the real thing. Using a bezel in Z Scale allows an LED to be mounted almost totally within the thickness of the body shell plastic. This makes a lens made from fiber optics unnecessary. (I recommend avoiding lenses and fiber optics when direct lighting can be used instead to get better brightness and better optics.)


        The lighting products I have been making for the past 11 years have been quite well received, and I find myself in the same bind you mentioned: Too much business and not enough time. (It could be a lot worse!) I don't know about you, but originally, I designed my products with the idea that they would be easy for the user to install (no chopping, no soldering, no incomplete solutions). Through the years, I have found fewer and fewer people willing to do the work themselves, even with coaching and a promise that I would finish if they started and ran into problems. I have customers in O Scale who want to send me their locomotives to do the installation!

        I really believe that as the scale gets larger, installations get HARDER, not easier. If I don't count the time it takes for the glue to cure, I can install a bright LED headlight and Mars Light set in an Analog N Scale or Z Scale F7 in perhaps 30 seconds, with no soldering. This requires much more time in HO and O Scale. Yet folks in the smaller scales often seem unwilling to do this work. Let me know if you or anyone else ever finds a way around this.


        Jim Hinds

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Michael
        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2005 5:17 PM
        Subject: [Z_Scale] Objectives for Constant Intensity Lighting & my Z lighting experiences



        Hi Jim Hinds and Everyone,

        I've been making lighting for awhile now for the Z community and
        have tryed all the suggestions I've been reading lately except the
        peak hold with the appropriate power pack. I didn't want to buy a
        aristocraft controller so I haven't tested this option, but now that
        I hear the Jorger Controller has full wave pulse I can try this, I
        have a Jorger Deluxe Controller. I'll let everyone know what happens.

        Jim, your suggestion to try hooking up a surface mount led to a
        resistor and check for intensity is a good one. However it's been my
        experience that no matter what manufacturer of a Z loco that a
        ceramic capacitor is required to prevent "reverse" flickering when
        running DC. I'd also suggest trying to use a higher value resistor
        (higher than 1000 ohm) with nano white leds, it can help improve the
        color appearance to the eye.

        I've heard of you Jim, but never recall reading a post from you
        before, good to hear from you, I've been reading along. I also
        aquired one of your nano (603 package) golden white leds and
        compared to the ones I am now using and found they are the same, I'd
        be happy to send you one for a SASE to compare for yourself.
        Personnaly, I find the color pleasing as many others have, but not
        really golden in color, just no heavy blue haze often associated
        with white led's, more of a pure white, slightly golden/yellowish
        haze. It's actually a white led with a yellow diffuser lens. Someone
        recently mentioned the MTL GP35 as having "golden white" leds, but
        my observations suggest that there is nothing white about them, they
        are "amber" (orangey-yellow) colored leds, just like the new GG1 by
        Marklin has. I think this color may be a good choice for steam
        locos, etc., but not anything modern (modern to me is after
        transition era, U.S.).

        Besides the above (about full wave pulse packs) I would suggest
        going DCC for constant intensity lighting in Z. I've recenty
        purchased a DCC system and will be working on DCC lighting for Z due
        out this summer. If you want all the bells and whistles (mars
        lights, flashing ditch lights, beacon's, etc.) especially for modern
        loco's it seems the only "practical" way to go in Z for these
        effects.

        As far as poor loco power pickup, the MTL F7 seems to be the only
        one that is in NEED of wheel wiper's (available from Glen C.),
        others seem to be just fine as is, as long as one keeps track,
        wheels, etc. clean. There has been some desire for tender power
        pickup on steam loco's to improve thier performance and in peticular
        for DCC installation. I was planning on making these this summer,
        but Jim H., if you make them, I won't bother except for myself.

        About MTL F7 lighting, I currently make a lighting unit that
        replaces the exsiting bulb, basicly, just remove the bulb and slide
        in the dual led printed circuit board unit into the bulb holder. No
        chopping of the chassie or plastic bulb holder. Pics can be seen in
        this group's photo section in the choo choo terrain folder. Sorry if
        my camera can't take the best pictures, or maybe it's me <smile>.
        I've done the schematic and layout for independent operation for DCC
        to make the top light a mars light, but haven't made the PCBs yet,
        they should be out early summer this year. Installation will be the
        same except 3 wires (or solder tabs) on top instead of 2 wires
        comming out the bottom. It should work with a 555 timer circuit for
        DC operation as well.

        I also make marklin led lighting units that install even easier and
        do AZL lighting installations as well. I'll have some new designs
        for AZL lighting out this summer.

        Making bezels or lenses for Z locos that do not have them already is
        easy. Just use a piece of plastic fiber optic cable and hold it to
        the base of a lighter or candle flame, not touching the blue part of
        the flame, and melt/form a tiny bead on the end. It takes a little
        practice to get the bead the right size but is easy to master.

        I'm sure Jim that any Z lighting products you make will be well
        recieved and welcomed. I do this on the side, not full time, so I'm
        booked up with requests for stuff before NTS 2005 and have cut off
        new orders (crossing gates & AZL installs & custom Zecals) except
        for Zecals and MTL & Marklin lighting I already have, and a couple
        other tiny thingZ. I do believe this will be a record setting year
        for new Z products. Well, enough for now, back to work...

        Michael Hilliard
        P.O. Box 273
        Wilton, CT 06897
        203-762-2476 est


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Michael Hilliard
        Hello again, I m not going to comment on the pluses and miniuses of DC verses DCC, there s another Z group for that and DCC in Z in general. DCC can be a
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 27, 2005
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          Hello again,

          I'm not going to comment on the pluses and miniuses of DC verses DCC, there's another Z group for that and DCC in Z in general. DCC can be a topic in itself.

          I have to say jim, most of what you've said I'm aware of, such as body mounting the leds with wireless self conectors. I'm using this method for all current and future AZL lighting installs including for DCC. I'm using etched phosphor bronze "fingers" to make contact from the body to the chassie or a pcb contact plate attached to one side of the chassie depending on the situation.

          I thought about this approch for MTL F7's, but desided against it and have no intention of redesigning something that works well, is as easy to install as replacing the original light bulb, and the leds are directly behind the headlight holes when installed, you can see the leds through the holes when the body is replaced, "as if" they are shell mounted. This way the owner can choose to go back to using the bulb if desired in the future with no cutting or glueing to deal with, or live with.

          Personally I don't like the empty holes and no lenses and a lot of people seem to feel the same way. I don't understand your reluctance to use fiber optic cable to form the lenses (bezel was inappropriately used be me). It works well and looks profesional and looks optically the same as a round led. The led's are so close to the lenses that they actually light up the lenses, not just the back end of the cable. I use this in any situation that I can't buy a lens for or a led to fit often because nobody makes them that I'm aware of. This is often the case in Z, until someone makes them, we need to use what's available.

          I'm a Z enthusiast and have or have had my hands on most, not all, available Z locomotives and have found there are few that have any one solution for led lighting. Larger scales have lots of room in comparison to work with, but I choose to do only Z, it's more of a challenge. I'm sure being at the Z convention and NTS 2005 will help your sales, I wish I could be there...

          Enough for now,

          Michael Hilliard
          P.O. Box 273
          Wilton, CT 06897
          203-762-2476 est


          Jim Hinds <jjhinds@...> wrote:
          MICHAEL:

          Thanks for your note.


          If you try that peak hold trick with the Jorger power supply, I hope you'll let us know the results. Maybe I'll try it with one of my Aristocrafts -- maybe even an older MRC.


          I think I'll try my own suggestion about hooking up the LED. On that one, however, I'd rather hear someone else's opinion rather than my own. The conclusion will be subjective. By the way, in my opinion, the main purpose of that capacitor is to prevent the horrible voltage spikes coming out of the motor from killing a "white" LED that is attached. You have seen the flickering when the locomotive is running backwards, which is caused by inductive kicks coming out of the motor and forward biasing the LED. When the locomotive is running FORWARD, those horrible voltage spikes are still created, but in that situation they are reverse biasing the LED. My measurements tell me that a typical "white" LED can withstand -20 volts all day long, but not the -80 volt pulses coming out of the motors in some situations. Those high reverse voltages kill "white" LEDs. It appears that if the capacitor is properly selected, the same one that prevents the reverse flickering will also short out
          the same pulses with the other polarity and save the LED from destruction. Although Golden White LEDs are fairly inexpensive ($1.50 each), the main problem is the hassle of replacing one if it is destroyed.

          MicroTrains and other locomotive builders do use real Golden White LEDs in many new locomotives. Who knows what the GP35 will have. I was astonished that Kato put a YELLOW LED in their latest N Scale PA1 (and they call it something like "Golden Glow", even though it is really yellow). By the way, it is easy to tell whether an LED is really "white" or yellow without even looking at it. Set up a 5 mA current through it, and measure the voltage drop across the LED. You'll get about 3.0 volts for any flavor of "white" LED, and about 2.0 volts for a yellow LED.


          We should all be careful with the term "nano". It is sometimes used as a synonym for "tiny", but it has been used to describe so many things that its meaning is not specific. (Scientifically, "nano" means ten to the power of -9. Thus a nanowatt is 1 watt divided by one billion.) I would not call a 603-size LED a "nano" LED. What would you then call a 402 size LED? (For those who may not know, "603" means the footprint of the surface mount part is 0.060" x 0.030", and "402" means the footprint is 0.040" x 0.020".) I believe I have seen "nano" used elsewhere to refer to the 402 size. What will we call a 201 size? "Pico"? (That's ten to the minus 12.) (By the way, for those of you who have the advantage of working in the metric system, "603" is approximately 1.5 mm x 0.75 mm, and "402" is approximately 1 mm x 0.5 mm.)

          I have had 402 size "white" LEDs for years. In addition to being hard to handle, they do not yet come without the annoying blue tint, they are VERY expensive, and it is very difficult to attach wires without melting them. I bought a bunch for resale, and still have them, since I do not consider them appropriate for locomotive headlights. (They would make great BMW halogen headlights, however, if you could reliably attach wires to them.) Also, a 603 LED can fit into a smaller hole that a 402 LED! HOW? Insert it end first, and use the bright light coming out of the end. In my opinion, a #57 hole has the ideal diameter for this.


          I always shudder a bit when I see DCC mentioned in chat rooms like this. Sure, DCC can be used to gain constant intensity lighting, and can provide a modest assortment of special lighting features. You can do anything with Analog that can be done with DCC, and more (including lighting and control), with less hassle and expense. I still can't get the concepts of "DCC" and "practical" to coexist in my head at the same time.

          Obviously lots of people like DCC. Lots of people don't like DCC. It's a personal (and sometimes religious) thing. I know from experience that the things you mentioned (mars lights, flashing ditch lights, beacons, etc.) can be easily provided for use with ANY model railroad control system without having to go to DCC. I have NEVER seen a locomotive where these things could not be done without DCC, in ANY scale. If "practical" means having to possibly chop metal out of the chassis to make room for a circuit board, having to isolate the motor, having to solder some things, and having to do some programming, then I agree that DCC is a very "practical" approach using that definition. I prefer the "impractical" approach, where there is no chopping, no motor isolation, no soldering, and no module programming.

          I'm sure we all know of people who are fascinated with DCC, and that's as valid an interest as making trees, laying track, or detailing cars. I just wouldn't want people to conclude that going to DCC somehow makes locomotive lighting (or anything else) easier, or provides more features. In fact, the opposite is true.


          I have three different wiper designs used in Z Scale for freight cars, cabooses, passenger cars, and some tenders. I have no desire to do any more, particularly now that I know that someone else might be willing. (At $2.00 or $4.00 per pair, these are not money makers for me, and probably wouldn't be for you.) These were developed only because someone came to me, explained a need, and helped with the development and testing. I'm afraid that a lot of people don't know about my stuff and a lot of people don't know about your stuff. My magazine ads were a big waste of money, and my news releases are rarely published (and rarely read) because they do not report new locomotives or new cars. You probably have the same experience. This is a topic that perhaps the Group and people like Rob could help with. How does a small manufacturer with a small or zero advertising budget get the word out? This forum is probably useful. How many of you noticed the nano-blurb about my stuff in
          the new RMC? (I didn't notice it.) My feeling is that people like you and I have to show up at events like Columbus and be prepared to hand out literature and demonstrate the goods. It is hard to justify that time and effort unless it helps sales or (more likely) adds enjoyment to attending a train show.


          With regard to your lighting unit for the MicroTrains F7, I respectfully recommend a totally different approach: Build the lights into the shell. That works regardless of whether Analog or DCC is used, and I don't honestly think the quality of the lighting can be any better than that. I prefer using a simple connector that automatically connects the LED to the power source on the chassis in such a way that there are no wires between the shell and the chassis when the shell is removed. This is fairly easy for Analog systems when the lighting circuit can be mounted to the shell rather than to the chassis. Doing it for DCC users will probably require modifications by manufacturers of drop-in decoders, but I've seen it done.


          In model railroading, the term "bezel" has historically been used to refer to a trim piece that is partly decorative and partly functional. For example, the bezels made by Sunrise Enterprises are used to center small lamps or LEDs in larger headlight holes in locomotives. The functional part is holding the light source in the center of the opening. The decorative part is achieved by giving the outer region of the bezel a parabolic or spherical reflector shape, so the assembly looks like a reflector with a light source at the focus, like the real thing. Using a bezel in Z Scale allows an LED to be mounted almost totally within the thickness of the body shell plastic. This makes a lens made from fiber optics unnecessary. (I recommend avoiding lenses and fiber optics when direct lighting can be used instead to get better brightness and better optics.)


          The lighting products I have been making for the past 11 years have been quite well received, and I find myself in the same bind you mentioned: Too much business and not enough time. (It could be a lot worse!) I don't know about you, but originally, I designed my products with the idea that they would be easy for the user to install (no chopping, no soldering, no incomplete solutions). Through the years, I have found fewer and fewer people willing to do the work themselves, even with coaching and a promise that I would finish if they started and ran into problems. I have customers in O Scale who want to send me their locomotives to do the installation!

          I really believe that as the scale gets larger, installations get HARDER, not easier. If I don't count the time it takes for the glue to cure, I can install a bright LED headlight and Mars Light set in an Analog N Scale or Z Scale F7 in perhaps 30 seconds, with no soldering. This requires much more time in HO and O Scale. Yet folks in the smaller scales often seem unwilling to do this work. Let me know if you or anyone else ever finds a way around this.


          Jim Hinds



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Glen Chenier
          ... ... they are shell mounted. This way the owner can choose to go back to using the bulb if desired in the future with no cutting or glueing to deal
          Message 4 of 7 , May 1, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Michael Hilliard <mchwilton@y...> wrote:
            <SNIP>
            > is as easy to install as replacing the original light bulb, and the
            >leds are directly behind the headlight holes when installed, you can
            >see the leds through the holes when the body is replaced, "as if"
            they >are shell mounted. This way the owner can choose to go back to
            using >the bulb if desired in the future with no cutting or glueing to
            deal >with, or live with.
            >
            > Personally I don't like the empty holes and no lenses and a lot of
            >people seem to feel the same way. <SNIP>

            Michael's solution for LED lighting the MTL F7 has proved to be very
            effective and easy to do with no chopping needed. The dual LED module
            replaces the original incandescent bulb and mounts the same way,
            giving much nicer and highly visible low speed lighting, much better
            than the original bulb, and works both with and without DCC. Is
            brighter on DCC of course with the higher and constant voltage at all
            speeds.

            The lenses are fairly easy to make with a bit of care and practice to
            get the size right, the plastic optical fiber is held near a candle
            flame and the end self-forms and expands into a lens shape. Then cut
            to length and glued into the holes in the shell so the inside end of
            the fiber is close to the LED, a small lens can be melted onto the
            inside end too. Light transmission is very effective through this
            lens. Even if a LED module is not used the lenses look so much better
            than the empty holes.
          • Jim Hinds
            There are a lot of ways to do these things. Anything that avoids chopping has to be great for Z Scale. I prefer to put the LEDs INSIDE the holes (just
            Message 5 of 7 , May 1, 2005
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              There are a lot of ways to do these things. Anything that avoids chopping has to be great for Z Scale.

              I prefer to put the LEDs INSIDE the holes (just like the real thing), avoiding the empty holes AND the lenses.

              My experience is that when the lights are on and the lights are simple (e.g., not Mars Lights or Gyralights), you can't really tell how the lighting is accomplished if the light is bright.

              High brightness and constant intensity do not require DCC.

              Jim Hinds


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Glen Chenier
              To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2005 10:22 AM
              Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Objectives for Constant Intensity Lighting & my Z lighting experiences


              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Michael Hilliard <mchwilton@y...> wrote:
              <SNIP>
              > is as easy to install as replacing the original light bulb, and the
              >leds are directly behind the headlight holes when installed, you can
              >see the leds through the holes when the body is replaced, "as if"
              they >are shell mounted. This way the owner can choose to go back to
              using >the bulb if desired in the future with no cutting or glueing to
              deal >with, or live with.
              >
              > Personally I don't like the empty holes and no lenses and a lot of
              >people seem to feel the same way. <SNIP>

              Michael's solution for LED lighting the MTL F7 has proved to be very
              effective and easy to do with no chopping needed. The dual LED module
              replaces the original incandescent bulb and mounts the same way,
              giving much nicer and highly visible low speed lighting, much better
              than the original bulb, and works both with and without DCC. Is
              brighter on DCC of course with the higher and constant voltage at all
              speeds.

              The lenses are fairly easy to make with a bit of care and practice to
              get the size right, the plastic optical fiber is held near a candle
              flame and the end self-forms and expands into a lens shape. Then cut
              to length and glued into the holes in the shell so the inside end of
              the fiber is close to the LED, a small lens can be melted onto the
              inside end too. Light transmission is very effective through this
              lens. Even if a LED module is not used the lenses look so much better
              than the empty holes.



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Adam
              Glen, I d like to come by some time and check this out in person, if possible (and I m sure Tom and Stephen would be interested as well.) Also, is there any
              Message 6 of 7 , May 1, 2005
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                Glen,

                I'd like to come by some time and check this out in person, if
                possible (and I'm sure Tom and Stephen would be interested as well.)

                Also, is there any word on progress of the MARS-capable (3-prong) LED?

                Thanks,
                Adam
              • Jim Hinds
                A standard LED is Mars-capable. My attempts to grind down two LEDs, bond them together, and drive the LEDs individually with various out-of-phase Mars patterns
                Message 7 of 7 , May 1, 2005
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                  A standard LED is Mars-capable.

                  My attempts to grind down two LEDs, bond them together, and drive the LEDs individually with various out-of-phase Mars patterns ended in bad results. I don't know how to describe my results, but it certainly didn't look like a Mars light.

                  Miniatronics sells something that ATTEMPTS this, and I'll let you decide whether it looks like anything that ever ran on a railroad. However, it may look great to some people, and you may like it better than any other option you discover. Some hobby shops have a demo unit you can evaluate.

                  If you would really like to pursue this, here's a thought: Get two 603-size LEDs, bond them either face-to-face or back-to-back, drive them with whatever two different patterns you have in mind, and see if you like the results. That size LED is VERY small, and two bonded as I described will probably fit INSIDE the headlight hole of a MicroTrains F7. The key factor here is that a great deal of light comes out of the ENDS of these LEDs.

                  Let us know if you try this.

                  Jim Hinds




                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Adam
                  To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2005 7:02 PM
                  Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Objectives for Constant Intensity Lighting & my Z lighting experiences


                  Glen,

                  I'd like to come by some time and check this out in person, if
                  possible (and I'm sure Tom and Stephen would be interested as well.)

                  Also, is there any word on progress of the MARS-capable (3-prong) LED?

                  Thanks,
                  Adam





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




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