Lighting the Ludwig
- Finally I got the diodes for testing the flickering light in the
Ludwig car. Well It WORKS!!!. I used a bridge rectifier with 200uf
capacitance and the lights are flicker free, when the car goes over
rough spots the light seems to go a little dim but not noticeable. It
feels like a leap to get the lights to stay steady while moving.
Some Pics with the diode and cap installed
I had a tough time to hide all the wires.
- Hi Kim -
I recall in your previous post a photo of the car's undercarriage,
showing brass wipers.
There's apparently been a good deal of discussion on the Z-92 list [in
German :-( ] recently about the use of graphite paint for electrical
Could you describe for us why you selected mechanical wipers, and share
any tips you might have for those of us who might attempt the 'mod'
On 3/3/01 Kim wrote:
>Finally I got the diodes for testing the flickering
>light in the Ludwig car. Well It WORKS!!!.
I looked at the lighted cars by Marklin and used a similar approach.
I have no idea about the graphite paint, Could you please describe to
us how the graphite paint pick up works? I am planing on making more
tender pickups and it is time consuming to make the brass pickups.
Conductive paint sounds very interesting.
--- In z_scale@y..., Jeff Rothfus <saranac.tv@w...> wrote:
> Hi Kim -
> I recall in your previous post a photo of the car's undercarriage,
> showing brass wipers.
> There's apparently been a good deal of discussion on the Z-92 list
> German :-( ] recently about the use of graphite paint for
> Could you describe for us why you selected mechanical wipers, and
> any tips you might have for those of us who might attempt the 'mod'
> On 3/3/01 Kim wrote:
> >Finally I got the diodes for testing the flickering
> >light in the Ludwig car. Well It WORKS!!!.
- Hi 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?
> Perhaps now you can help me ...The Ludwig chassis has four slots and I slid four strips of thin brass
> How do you attach your brass strips to the wagon chassis?
connections through it and twisted it on both sides to hold it in
place. I also added epoxy inside the loco so it holds the brass strips
> How do you manage to apply sufficient pressure on the axle tomaintain a
> circuit, without applying too much drag to the entire train?I did that through trial and error. I drew a few stripes on the wheel
so I know when it rotates and put it on the track and pushed it if the
wheels did not rotate I adjusted the pressure on the brass strips so
it was free enough to rotate.
The spring method of pickup from Bill seem to be the easier way. I am
going to try that next. Will keep you posted on how it works out.
- Hi Kim, Jeff,
I'm the author in the German list. I try to translate the usage of the conductive paint.
But first what I am using is paint which is enriched with silver. This paint is used to repair printed circuits. Unfortunately I do not have photos how to do that - but as far as I will build up a new lighted car I will take some pictures.
At first you have to remove the bogies (if it is one car with bogies) from the coach. Then you have to dril a tiny hole (I am using a diameter of 0.6mm) in the middle of the bogie. This will be used to get the wire into the coach. After removing the axles you are ready to paint. Paint the bearing of the axles up to the middle of the bogie. If the paint is dry take a varnish wire (diameter less than 0.6mm), melt the varnish (you can do that with a soldering iron), put the end of the wire through the hole, bend the wire, fix it and put a fat drop of the conductive paint on the wire. After drying you can test your result with an ohmmeter - perhaps it is necessary to repaint your work. Replace the bogies - voila you have voltage in your coach. If the paint is not to thick you will have much less friction than the brass stripes.
I also did this with coaches without bogies and it works nice as well.
For example : I am running the very nice orient express with the additional coaches (all over all 9 coaches) without any friction problems in gradients and curves.
I hope you understand what I'm meaning - 'cause my english is not as good as it should be.
If you have further questions please don't hesitate to ask.
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