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I was told that with a series resistor attached to an LED you can wire it straight into DCC track (i.e. it simply draws current from the transformer). So I tried, just by simply wiring up an LED and resistor and place to each rail of track and it worked. I was also told that the Horby Select can cope with upto 100 of these LEDs with no problem (along with running locos simultaeneously, as the LEDs draw very little current each). I have also started to fit my diesels with directional lighting - not entirly prototypical in my case but it adds some more fun to the layout!

Lets get to the point; I have a GWR Toad brake Van (Hornby). I therefore though it would be nice to add a red LED instead of the plastic red bit that is there. (conveniently the hole there is the right size for a 3mm diameter LED!) I though also that you could simply wire to the wheels to pickup current. (This saves the need for a function decoder - as the LED - due to the AC current and series resistor - will work no matter which way round it is!).

My problem is getting some sort of pickup from the wheels / axles on my van! Any ideas appreciated! Thanks
 

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When I did mine. I fitted tail lights from First class trains. The vans had one insulated wheel, I simply put a wiper on each axle. I think the current wheels have an polypropylene insulated bush so if you find a bush or a mate with lathe, you would simply fit uninsulated wheels opposite for a very simple method of current collection. I must get a plug - in for First Class trains, their tail lights are excellent.
 

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QUOTE (Teleman @ 12 Feb 2008, 23:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Are you certain about LEDS working with just a resistor ? I thought they only worked on a dc voltage

Believe it or not: LED's will work on low AC voltage with appropriate resister. The only thing, the life of the LED may be shortened a little bit.
How does it work? As we all know(well, most do) AC current alternates direction at a very rapid rate. When a LED is connected to AC current it is actually turning on and off but is usually doing so faster than the eye can see. DCC is AC but operates at a much higher frequency than standard AC therefor the LED, when connected to DCC voltage, looks to be a solid light.
I have LED marker lights etc, on various rolling stock with DCC, some over 6/7 yrs, and are still working as good as day I fitted them.
Happy DCCing
Ian sa
 

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QUOTE (iansa @ 13 Feb 2008, 00:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Believe it or not: LED's will work on low AC voltage with appropriate resister. The only thing, the life of the LED may be shortened a little bit.
How does it work? As we all know(well, most do) AC current alternates direction at a very rapid rate. When a LED is connected to AC current it is actually turning on and off but is usually doing so faster than the eye can see. DCC is AC but operates at a much higher frequency than standard AC therefor the LED, when connected to DCC voltage, looks to be a solid light.
I have LED marker lights etc, on various rolling stock with DCC, some over 6/7 yrs, and are still working as good as day I fitted them.
Happy DCCing
Ian sa

Further to my last post. Flashing LEDs usually will not work on DCC because the pulse rate of the DCC current interferes with pulse (flash) rate of flashing LED.
Ian sa
 

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Hi

LED's work on AC or DC and depending on the LED size you need a resistor in series if taking power direct from main lines. The brightness of the LED depends on the resistance.

See below the red light has a 6.2k resistor and the white a 9k resistor to dull it down. There is another light in the van which has a 1k resistor but it is a poor quality LED so not much resistance.

In short put a resistor on all your LED's.

LED in guards hand is a micro and I used conductive paint on his body to get the juice up there.





Hope that helps,

m
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 12 Feb 2008, 23:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When I did mine. I fitted tail lights from First class trains. The vans had one insulated wheel, I simply put a wiper on each axle. I think the current wheels have an polypropylene insulated bush so if you find a bush or a mate with lathe, you would simply fit uninsulated wheels opposite for a very simple method of current collection. I must get a plug - in for First Class trains, their tail lights are excellent.

Thanks for all your help, although I'm still not too sure how to pick up the wire from the track - I get the bit for alternating the uninsulated wheels, but what can I use to touch (reliably) the axles of the weels?
 

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Locoman,

I have added a rear light to the Hornby GWR toad and modified a number of wagons that I run immediately behind some of my 0-4-0 engines to provide extra pickups to the loco stop them stalling on points

For pickups I replace the Hornby wheels with Bachmann wheels that have the plastic axle. I then wind some fine copper wire around the metal behind each of the wheels so that they make continuous contact with the metal but still allow the wheel to turn - it took some experimenting but eventually found the right combination of tension and number of turns. ( As I wanted add pickups to a number of wagons I made a template of the axle by lightly sanding the end of a wooden chopstick to allow some mass production).

I have found it works really well and for me it is easier than modifying wagons to fit the "normal" style of pickup.

Dave
 

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Some very nice pictures providing inspiration to those who want lighted guards van.................excellent, simple to do and highly effective. Now what about some lamps on those buffer stops!
 

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Very impressive, a quick tip i found with led's is to only buy the clear led's and use the clear paints from tamiya or humbrol to colour to your choice, tamiya having the better choice of colours.

upnick.
 

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clear LEDs are genuinly more expensive!
 

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By "clear" LEDs do you mean white? if so are they available in the subminiature size of less than 2mm? Are these broad spectrum (ie white light)?
 

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Hi

Heres a bit of a guide for you. I have others like green blue etc but this is the main range we use in our hobby. I got all these from Richard at DCC Concepts.

I like most, shopped everywhere and anywhere for LED's etc. I found DCC Concepts excellent has all the stock and knows our hobby, thats only a fraction of what he does. . If not DCC Concepts find someone like him... dont waste your time shopping around.

The clear ones at the bottom I have also in yellow and I think red also. They give that bluey white light, really bright suitable for modern rolling stock.



Hope that helps,

m
 

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QUOTE (Martin71 @ 13 Feb 2008, 14:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi

LED's work on AC or DC and depending on the LED size you need a resistor in series if taking power direct from main lines. The brightness of the LED depends on the resistance.

See below the red light has a 6.2k resistor and the white a 9k resistor to dull it down. There is another light in the van which has a 1k resistor but it is a poor quality LED so not much resistance.

In short put a resistor on all your LED's.

LED in guards hand is a micro and I used conductive paint on his body to get the juice up there.

Hope that helps,

m

Hi Martin,

I do not usually look at the DCC threads but I just came across your information regards LEDS.
I like what you have done with the guard.Neat.You have just given me more ideas!
Where to you get conductive paint?
I did a guard standing on a station with a green "gull" wing LED shaped into a lamp as per the Loco made up lamps you saw on photobucket.
I saw your pictures of various types of LEDS and saw what you meant re "Gull Wing" types.
I have also been using old relay coil wire for conductors as it is very fine.
As said before there are few UK/European modelers here in Victoria so the MRF has been very helpful.

Cheers Nozomi/Bryan.
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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QUOTE (Martin71 @ 25 Feb 2008, 22:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi

Heres a bit of a guide for you. I have others like green blue etc but this is the main range we use in our hobby. I got all these from Richard at DCC Concepts.

I like most, shopped everywhere and anywhere for LED's etc. I found DCC Concepts excellent has all the stock and knows our hobby, thats only a fraction of what he does. . If not DCC Concepts find someone like him... dont waste your time shopping around.

The clear ones at the bottom I have also in yellow and I think red also. They give that bluey white light, really bright suitable for modern rolling stock.

Hope that helps,

m

Martin,

Thanks for the clear definition. I live within a short drive of Richard and have used him on several purchases before and I agree with your comments.

I am interested in a small clear yellow or whit to use in 4mm scale semaphore lamps. The prototype had red and blue lenses such that the yellow light of a gas lamp made it red and green. I would like to replicate this with my LED as opposed to using a filament bulb. Any thoughts on that Martin?
 
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