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Just another modeller
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QUOTE (Doug @ 5 Feb 2008, 20:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for the review Martin. I see that resistors are supplied with the kit. The specs on the Flicker Free unit say that with an output 4.7 volts resistors are not needed. Why are they used then? For protection or to reduce the intensity a bit?

**Hi Doug

The Prototype white/Golden white LEDs can be a little bright in the more traditional coaches, especially when half a dozen are used, and so using the the resistors gives the overall light quality a softer and more natural look as you will agree I think if you review a couple of Martins images.

They also current limit a little more so the overall "time on" will be slightly longer. (full charge takes several minutes, but then they will be on and bright for many minutes!)

One thing not pointed out in the review by the way:

The flicker free works equally well with AC(Marklin) DC conventional control and DCC - and can simply be added to a hornby pullman for example so the lights will never flicker, and will stay on in a station when the train is stopped even on a non-DCC layout.

It will fit N scale and work on large scale equally well.... its tolerant of "low to 20 volts".

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Chief mouser
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11,775 Posts
Thank you for an excellent review - and good photos to boot.

Regards
 

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Thank you very much guys for your comments. It was a project I really really enjoyed doing. Believe me the night pictures do not do it justice. I wish I had a better camera to capture the true effect!

Forgot to mention I used double sided sticky tape to hold Lights in and I found with the flicker free kit the 1000 ohm resistors dull down the lighting to make it prototypical lighting. With LED's I feel much safer with resistors. I used 9.5k resistors on the buffer beam lights on the 9f.

Now can anyone tell me a good method of removing the clear plastic from the coaches? 2 of them it just poped out a 3rd with a little work and the last 3 there was so much glue...not a chance.

m
 

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Just another modeller
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QUOTE (TimP @ 13 Feb 2008, 04:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>What did the kit cost?

The DCC concepts website doesn't mention it or a price.

Thanks

TimP

Hi Tim

A direct question so I guess its OK to answer direct

6 pack (FF6) is $A99, 3 pack is $A54 + post. They are also available ex UK from Bromsgrove models and Euroscale models. Sorry the website isn't updated - we are working on it but there are only so many hours in the day!

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 13 Feb 2008, 01:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Tim

A direct question so I guess its OK to answer direct

6 pack (FF6) is $A99, 3 pack is $A54 + post. They are also available ex UK from Bromsgrove models and Euroscale models. Sorry the website isn't updated - we are working on it but there are only so many hours in the day!

Richard
DCCconcepts

Thanks very much
 

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Hi all
Great work by Martin
The detailing in the coaches is fantastic as is the lighting and Revue
My next project (if I can find them!) is a couple of Br614 DMU's with intermediate coach a pair of motorized ends with headlights and red tail lights and interior (I'll try to replace these with LED powered from the Blue wire DCC) and that flicker free lighting kit looks ideal for the intermediate coach . The 2 unpowered ends will need a fleet lighter decoder though
the centre coach has a lighting kit built in ( on a circuit board ) just needs the bulbs removed and a few little cuts for resistors etc.
I have seen some kits 4 Sale on feebay with SMD LEDs on circuit boards that can be cut to length at a couple or 3 spots
but not flicker free

Regards Zmil
 

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Hi Zmil

Thanks for your reply. I have posted a couple of extra pictures as the flicker free kit is much improved and a coach can be done easly in 1 hour. If you paint well it becomes an over night job but its worth it for the effect.

Now Richard has added these new boards which speed up the process. I have also cut them down and used to mount surface mount LED's for directional lighting for Diesels.

The board in question



How it looks in a coach (painted)



Flicker free with 3mm LED's



The boards are 5mm spaced so working out spacing is easy! It also is very easy to mount SMD on this board. I have done many.

A couple of weeks ago I got Richards optic fibre so I will do a post on 2 German Roco coaches which will have flicker free and dining table lights using optic fibre.

The only coach that gave me trouble to date have being the Maunsells as I spent more time pulling them apart than lighting them.

Will keep you posted.

m
 

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Hi

Richard has built into the flicker free kit a bridge recifiter which accepts AC which is converted into DC on the LED side. DC to DC and DCC to DC. I don't want to get to techo but that the basics of it. It will handle a maximum of 20 volts across the range.

Where abouts in Perth do you live, and I think I have asked this question before.

Hope that helps

m
 

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DT
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I'm posting this on behalf of Pedro as I have the copy. This is a review and installation of the DCC Concepts Flicker Free lighting system.

so, over to Pedro:


I recently received some DCC concepts Flicker Free units to review.
They differ from previous units in that these have a new circuit board to help with the locating of the LED's.

They are available either individually, in 3 packs or 6 packs.



In the pack you get the flicker free units themselves, the LED's, a set of resistors, the circuit boards and a set of very good idiot-proof instructions. They are available either with the 1.8mm microdot LED's or 3mm LED's. you just need to specify which when you order them.



The flicker free units are really tiny. I really cant see a problem with including them in any 4mm item of rolling stock and you could even squeeze them into N gauge stock if you were feeling adventurous. Of course they could also be used for O gauge and gauge 1.



The circuit boards themselves are very well designed and have a space for the resistor and at the other end the spacing of the holes is slightly closer so that it can be cut and daisy chained with a second board.

The first thing I did was to solder the resistor in place. The circuit boards are very high quality. Something I did notice was that the tinning around the hole actually ran right through the hole, I had never seen this before and I was very impressed by that. It meant that there was no chance of the LED only being connected to one side of the board and causing problems if the power supply happened to be connected to the other side. I remember on a previous layout I worked on we had great problems with double sided PCB being used and screws running through them causing shorts. But having both sides permanently connected in this case ensures conductivity. it also means that you can test it before soldering to make sure you have the LED's the right way round.

The first thing I did was to solder in the resistor. If this is your first time soldering a PCB I would recommend you get some thin solder. I couldn't find mine at first and tried it with some thicker stuff, it really didn't want to work!! I eventually found a couple of inches of thinner stuff lying on my bench. Those 2 inches were enough to do 2 coaches worth of flicker free units.


Soldering the LED's in place is a doddle with the new boards. It took less than 5 minutes to have them all soldered in place.



Despite the fact that it would have been very easy to daisy chain 2 together, I managed to do the whole coach with the one board. You can extend the board by about an inch either end simply by soldering to the very ends of the LED leads and cranking them to give that little bet of extra distance that might make the difference between having to use one unit and using 2.



I decided to light a Hornby Pullman that I had lying around for ages. It already had the pickups for the table lamps in this case many of the fibre optic strands had been broken by its previous owner.

Disconnecting the pickups was an easy job once the body was off. And I simply cut the feeds to the built in LED's and connected up the flicker free units.



They can be run either on DC or on DCC so it doesn't matter which way round you put the pickup wires but the LED's are polarity sensitive so make sure you connect the positive lead (red) to the positive terminal (the longer one) on the LED.

DON'T FORGET TO RUN THE CABLES THROUGH THE INTERIOR FIRST.
We have all done this a dozen times and last night I did it for the 7293rd time. I connected it all up then realised that I couldn't pass the cables through the hole I had made in the interior.
This is the entire system all connected up.
On the left is the PCB, connected with the wires running through the hole I made in the interior. Next is the flicker free itself. This fits very easily in the toilet compartment of the coach. Then of course is the chassis.
This is a good time to check its all working. A good idea is to charge up the flicker free unit at this stage so if there are any problems you will notice it instantly by seeing the LED's go out.

One last test fit to make sure all the lights are in the right place.


They come with an incredibly simple item that makes the whole unit soooooooo much easier to install, -a simple double sided sticky pad for sticking the circuit boards to the roof of the coach..

This is how it looked just before I stuck the board in the roof of the coach. All ready to go.


The unit was still charged up and putting out plenty of light even 5 minutes after I had charged it to test.
They do take 4 or 5 minutes to charge but that doesn't have to be continuous. I fitted both my Pullmans last night. The first took about 90 minutes because I was figuring out how I was going to fit that particular coach but the second was done in about 20 minutes. They don't light the coach up like a Christmas tree but that's prototypical anyway. Its more of a pleasing glow.

Something I did notice was that the light from the LED's is quite directional. This emulates the 24 volt bulbs that the prototypes had quite well but I have to admit its not really to my taste. Next time I take the lid off these coaches I might just run the scratch brush over the top of the LED's to try and diffuse the light a little. At the moment it's a bit like a set of spotlights lighting up the tables. But that should be and easy fix.



Peter

Flicker Free is available as follows:
FF-1
1 pack: 1x Flicker Free, 5x G/White LED, 1x Red
6 1,000 ohm / 1k resistors & instructions
FF-3
3 pack: 3x Flicker Free, 15x G/white LED, 2x Red
17x 1,000 ohm / 1k resistors & instructions
FF-6
6 pack: 6x Flicker Free, 30x G/white LED, 3x Red FF-6
33x 1,000 ohm / 1k resistors & instructions

BASIC Specifications:
Input: AC, DC or DCC, 9~20 volts.
Connection: Pre-wired (150mm fine wires pre-fitted) and ready to connect.
Storage: Super Capacitor, 200,000 microfarads.
Output: 4.7 volts, current limited & protected
(already current limited and so safe for direct LED connection)

Flicker Free has a I year "Goof Proof" warranty.

Flicker Free is made by:

DCCconcepts Pty Ltd
Unit 3, 13 Lionel Street, Naval Base
WA 6155 Australia

http://www.dccconcepts.com/
 

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I do not live in Perth (but much enjoyed the City and environs when I visited a couple of years back).
This looks to be a great product and am grateful for such a clear review. I have been dogging Hornby for some time to light their super new Maunsel coaches but guess I will have to do it myself - with quite a bit of help from DCC concepts.
 

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Just another modeller
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Hello Barry

We've installed Flickefree in the Maunsells and they come out very well indeed. When you decide to do it, decide first whetheryou would like a realistic light level or a slightly brighter result - for a realistic level the 1.8mm Micro dot LEDs are perfect, for a slightly brighter look, the 3mm LEDs - we supply the kit with a choice of either.

Richard
 
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