Let there be light - How to Install locomotive lights.

Discussion in 'Dapol RTR' started by Kimbo, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. Kimbo

    Kimbo Staff Member Moderator

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    A little how to which will hopefully help others to install lighting on there locomotives in what ever scale. The basic wiring and installation principle can be applied to all models and gauges.Today's victim is the excellent new model from Dapol a 3F Jinty, this model came with sound already installed and a working firebox glow. Just four screws needed to remove the body. One plug to the firebox needs disconnecting from the board and the speaker just needs a little tug to remove it from the firebox where its fitted in using double sided tape.
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    These are a modified 7mm gauge LED lamps that I make up. There's lots of different types in all gauges out there at your local supplier or on the nett.

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    On some models you can simply pull out the lamp bracket holder and use the hole to run your wires, on some you can glue the lamp to the holder and then drill a small hole as close to the bracket as possible, it will vary from model to model. On the Dapol model i'm going to drill a small hole to the inner side on the lamp bracket.

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    Go o the internet and you will find several useful pages showing where to place your lamp or in some cases like express passenger trains two lamps.

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    Repeat the process for the rear lamp.

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    Now the lamps i'm using are from the excellent after market range from Ixion. This set comes with 6 lamps, two large spot lamp style and some tools and an oil can, all very useful items and not to expensive. (Peters spares Toto !!)

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    These are the four parts required to make up the lamps as shown in the earlier pictures.

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    Turn the body of the lamp over and it reveals the hollowed out area, where I'll place the small LED .So firsts glue in the small lense, then glue a tiny Nano Led to the back of it. After it drys I add the small plastic block and again when dry file the back off this block as it will now stick out to far because of adding the LED. Finally add the handle and you can then paint it. I tend to paint mine up after the model is weathered. Then I finally add the delicate handle.Again, this process will vary depending on the lamps you buy. Some come pre-wired ready to install, and some will need drilling out etc.

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    Next feed the wires down and glue the lamps in position. I normally use a small bit of electrical tape to hold the wires in place, but you can use glue sparingly.

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    The hole is completely covered on the rear. Some times you might just need to fill the hole and add a drop of paint to conceal it. A little piece of black plasticine is also a useful dodge.

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    On this model I need to extend the wires, so the positives are connected together (blue) and the front and rear negatives are wired with white wire (front) and yellow wire (rear) At these joints on the white and yellow wires I add a resistor.

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    Don't forget to add some heat shrink or electrical tape, very important with this model as theres alot of metal parts.

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    Now on this model it has a 21 pin decoder, which makes the wiring up to the lighting functions a little bit more challenging than an eight pin with a wiring loom. On an eight pin its just a case of joining white to white and yellow to yellow. So on this model remove the decoder with a straight up pull so as not to damage the pins.

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    Note the orientation of the pins, here I've pointed out the index point where there is no pin.Make sure the decoder is re-fitted correctly after the install is complete.

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    This is a basic layout of the pins and what they are, we need to identify the White and yellow function pins for the lighting.

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    now if like me your eye site is not what it was, get your self a magnifying glass and a good lighting as the base of the pins are small o solder to. But if you take your time its a straight forward job. I only flux the wire and then add a tiny amount of solder to my small tip, turn the temp up and its then just a very quick in out with the soldering iron.

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    At this point i decided to change the speaker to a twin speaker set up from Zimo. Again just two wires on the board to solder up to.

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    Once completed I reassemble the model and place it on the programming track and check all is well, this way if you have made an error and caused a short it should show up on your dcc system. All was well on my test, so I programmed in the running number and then switch over to the layout for a test.Shown here with the J94 I did the other day you can see the difference a small blob of wood varnish on the lamps lense can have to the lighting effect. It becomes a more prototypical "yellow" white light as apposed to a bright white white.
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    Rear light is also white on this model as it will only ever be used pulling wagons forward or reverse cab, or shunting on Lords Street Depot.[​IMG]

    Well that's my way of adding lights to steam Locomotives, others will have their own way. Give it a go and get more from your DCC equipped locomotives and have some fun. If you need any help, post up a question or a picture and I along with others on the forum we will help you out.:thumbup: Kim
     
  2. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    Your 'how to's' are excellent Kimbo thanks

    Ian vt
     
  3. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the how to Kim, very useful :thumbs:.

    Cheer's, Pete.
     

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