Date   
Re: Coach Lighting

John Cahill
 

That works, William.  Interesting products.  Will investigate further!
Best,
John


On Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 7:41 PM, William E. Davies <wedavies@...> wrote:
 



Try proto87.com.



On 29-Jan-14 18:47, Douglas Krahn wrote:
 
The link to  http://www.proto87stores.com/. didn't work Only got a hosting service.

Doug K
From: Alden G. McBee
To: WiringForDCC@...
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 5:37 PM
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Coach Lighting
 
Check out flex-lighting on http://www.proto87stores.com/.
—Alden McBee
On Jan 29, 2014, at 1:25 PM, John Cahill <johncahill25@...> wrote:

Hi! I am investigating the multiple possible methods of lighting coaches/carriages on my HO NCE controlled layout.  I have tried Flicker Free, which works fine.  I have also built small circuits using miniature rectifiers feeding LED strips.  In order to light my entire collection using any of these methods, a significant investment in time and electronic components would be required.  I have tried a small experiment using direct DCC track power to light a short strip of LED lights and found it worked fine, especially with the addition of a 1K resistor in series in the circuit.  Is this approach too simplistic or am I missing something?  Any comments appreciated!  Thanks in advance,
John Cahill



Re: Coach Lighting

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

John, Be sure to take a look at http://www.wiringfordcc.com/gorhlite.htm#a17 to get a grasp of the basic concept of using a simple capacitor for carry-over energy storage, but with the resistor & diode trick to limit charge-up current from the DCC track.

I’m curious to see what you find inside the LED strip. Some of the cheap LED pocket ‘flashlight’ circuits are really crude as they rely on coin-cell battery impedance to limit current. I have seen 120Vac ‘xmas’ lights wired with a bunch of LEDs in a series string with a simple resistor and another series string connected in the opposite direction. Net result is a 60/50Hz ‘dazzle’ from the LEDs.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John Cahill
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 3:15 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Coach Lighting

 




Don, that's really helpful.  What I will do is try to measure what's on the LED strip (resistor, etc.) and see how that fits with your advice.  Also, I think a few experiments with different approaches to life test them may be in order.  I'll start with a simple circuit and see how it goes from there.  I can handle the building of circuits but weak on theory so I may take you up on your offer once I've got a bit of homework done.  Thanks for that!

Ed, that looks a great source of cheap components, so thanks for the tip!

Best regards,

John

 

On Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 7:39 PM, Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...> wrote:

 

John, what I don’t know is what is inside the LED light strips you have in your hand. I’m guessing that there are 4 or 5 LEDs wired in series with a current limiting resistor (or maybe an active current regulator IC, NOT the same as a voltage regulator) with the intention of the strip being powered from 12-14Vdc (think auto-car battery). There probably is a (+) or (-) mark where you are to attach power wires. Yes, each LED is indeed a diode supposedly to conduct current on only one direction. However as others have pointed out the rated reverse breakdown voltage of each LED is limited… and particularly low for blue and white ones. If/When voltage is applied in the reverse direction, like directly from DCC on the rails, which is actually alternating in polarity, some current may flow backwards through the parts. It may appear to work OK for a long time or they may fail catastrophically without warning. One way to prevent that is to put some sort of rectifier in the circuit so as to protect the LED cells against reverse voltage and current flow. There may already be a diode or other protective device inside the lighting strip.

 

Either way… To add a flicker-free power carry-over mechanism, you have only three choices: 1) purchase some commercial product and pay their price or 2) utilize independent battery power or 3) become a D-I-Y expert enough to figure out what is inside the LED strip and come up with an external carry-over mechanism using readily available low cost components. The thought of using a 5.5V supercap is a good one, but you are not going to get more than 2 LEDs in series to light up [If you try this don’t forget the series resistor to limit current.] You will need to trace out the circuitry inside the lighting strip to be able to cut PCB traces to connect directly to 1, 2 or possibly 3 LED cells and wire them up to external circuits.

 

Each external circuit should start with a 50V rated full wave rectifier with the AC inputs attached to power pick-ups from the truck(s). the DC side of the rectifier needs to power the charger for the supercap or rechargeable battery. It must be current limited and have over-voltage protection for the supercap or battery (whatever that maximum working voltage may be) to protect from catastrophic failure of the storage cell. Yes a good method is to place a zener diode across the battery or supercap. From the storage cell, supercap or battery, there needs to be a current limiting resistor in series with the 1, 2 or possibly 3 LEDs to light and control current. Adjust the resistor to determine lighting intensity. LED current is likely to be 8-20 milliamps. For more LEDs in the same coach, connect up multiple LED and resistor circuits as just described in parallel to be powered from the energy storage cell. Sounds simple enough, but without knowing anything else about what components you are likely to use and their maximum voltage rating it is difficult to show actual wiring or resistor values.

 

Good luck

Contact me directly by email if you wish

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of John Cahill
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 11:57 AM


To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Coach Lighting

 



Don, I may have mis-described initially.  I was trying NO rectification and feeding direct track DCC voltage into the LED strip.  You have explained the need for a 50V diode in line with a suitable rated resistor to that circuit to protect the LEDs.  I will use this going forward. Don't really want to put a big cap in coaches (weight, size, cost factors}. However, I recall a drawing of a lighting circuit I found on line a few years ago which showed a zener across the rectifier outputs and a small supercap in parallel for flicker free lighting.  Does this make sense?  Voltage was around 5.5V out of zener, if I remember correctly, but my knowledge of electronics is rather basic, I'm afraid.

Regards,

John

 

On Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 7:52 AM, John Cahill <johncahill25@...> wrote:

Thanks Everyone for your helpful suggestions. I'm learning slowly! Will now add 1N4001's + resistor in circuit. 

Can anyone add thoughts on using super capacitors in the circuit for flicker free operation instead of a battery?

Best Regards,

John


On Jan 29, 2014, at 22:11, John Cahill <johncahill25@...> wrote:

Thanks John. I'm using DCC and a strip of LEDs, about 12 diodes on strip (varies for different makes of coach).  I'm a bit unsure how to calculate current draw other than measuring it as no data sheet for LEDs in question. From that I can get wattage, right?

I also have some supercapacitors I'd like to use to eliminate flicker, but they are rated 5.6V, I believe. Is there a way to work them into the circuit or is that a bridge (no pun intended) too far?

Best Regards,

John


On Jan 29, 2014, at 19:34, john.p.dunn@... wrote:

 

John,

   Unless you add a battery (like Spectrum cars), your only option is track power. If you run your cars on DC you will have to power your lamps through a rectifier and use a capacitor to keep the brightness constant. On DCC, forget the rectifier and if you use LEDs you just need a resistor. They are their own rectifier. Bulbs draw more current usually and need a heavier wattage resistor.

   You need to know the wattage, amps and volts of your lamps and use Ohm's law to figure your resister and the total wattage tells you the size resistor you need (1/8, 1/4, 1/2 watt and the resistance in ohms.

   Another option is to put LEDs or bulbs in series to equal your track voltage, of course if one bulb goes you are in the dark.

   Hope it helps.

john

 

 From: John Cahill <johncahill25@...>
To: WiringForDCC@...
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:25 PM
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Coach Lighting

 

 

Hi! I am investigating the multiple possible methods of lighting coaches/carriages on my HO NCE controlled layout.  I have tried Flicker Free, which works fine.  I have also built small circuits using miniature rectifiers feeding LED strips.  In order to light my entire collection using any of these methods, a significant investment in time and electronic components would be required.  I have tried a small experiment using direct DCC track power to light a short strip of LED lights and found it worked fine, especially with the addition of a 1K resistor in series in the circuit.  Is this approach too simplistic or am I missing something?  Any comments appreciated!  Thanks in advance,

John Cahill

 

 

 



 




Re: Power Pax ?

Paul O
 

Terry, connect a voltmeter across the program track rails; set it to around 15 volts AC.

When you issue a program track command (read or write) the voltmeter should show a voltage for a brief moment.

That only tells you that the device is turning on the track power and is talking to the command station, it doesn’t tell you if the DCC commands are correct.

 

Only other way is to place a loco on the program track and try to change/read it’s address or some CV’s.

 

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of terryintexas7@...
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:34 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Power Pax ?

 

  Is there a way to test a power pax booster to tell if it's working properly

 

Thanks

Terry

Re: Coach Lighting

Flash Gordon
 

John,

If this is what you have:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-300Leds-Cool-White-3528-SMD-LED-Non-Waterproof-Flexible-Strip-12V-/321305664422?pt=US_Car_Lighting&hash=item4acf4f5ba6


They are set up for 12V DC with a resistor built in every 3 LED's.  No diode included.

I use these on my pontoon boat and they work well.  They are very bight on a car battery, we look like a party boat... well we are LOL.

 I have extras that I plan to cut. You can cut them every 3 LEDs. there is a spot to solder new leads.

For others interested these come in different colors and lengths plus you do not need the water proof ones.

But realize they expect to see 12V DC  so you need add another resistor for DCC and a diode. I use a diode bridge and a battery, not a capacitor.

Ed S






At 05:13 PM 1/30/2014, you wrote:
 

John, Be sure to take a look at http://www.wiringfordcc.com/gorhlite.htm#a17 to get a grasp of the basic concept of using a simple capacitor for carry-over energy storage, but with the resistor & diode trick to limit charge-up current from the DCC track.

I�m curious to see what you find inside the LED strip. Some of the cheap LED pocket �flashlight� circuits are really crude as they rely on coin-cell battery impedance to limit current. I have seen 120Vac �xmas� lights wired with a bunch of LEDs in a series string with a simple resistor and another series string connected in the opposite direction. Net result is a 60/50Hz �dazzle� from the LEDs.

DonV

 

Re: Power Pax ?

terryintexas7@...
 

thanks
 

In a message dated 1/30/2014 4:32:16 P.M. Central Standard Time, pomilian@... writes:
 

Terry, connect a voltmeter across the program track rails; set it to around 15 volts AC.

When you issue a program track command (read or write) the voltmeter should show a voltage for a brief moment.

That only tells you that the device is turning on the track power and is talking to the command station, it doesn’t tell you if the DCC commands are correct.

Only other way is to place a loco on the program track and try to change/read it’s address or some CV’s.

Paul O

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of terryintexas7@...
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:34 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Power Pax ?

  Is there a way to test a power pax booster to tell if it's working properly

Thanks

Terry

Re: Power Pax ?

terryintexas7@...
 

I hooked the meter to the booster wires on the programming track and set it for voltage
Then did a write and got a reading of 6 volts just for a second as the meter resets its self while reading voltage
so i did a read and got 6 to 8 volts it varied as a read takes longer
 
doesn't sound like enough to me
 
Terry
 

In a message dated 1/30/2014 4:32:16 P.M. Central Standard Time, pomilian@... writes:
 

Terry, connect a voltmeter across the program track rails; set it to around 15 volts AC.

When you issue a program track command (read or write) the voltmeter should show a voltage for a brief moment.

That only tells you that the device is turning on the track power and is talking to the command station, it doesn’t tell you if the DCC commands are correct.

Only other way is to place a loco on the program track and try to change/read it’s address or some CV’s.

Paul O

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of terryintexas7@...
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:34 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Power Pax ?

  Is there a way to test a power pax booster to tell if it's working properly

Thanks

Terry

Re: Power Pax ?

terryintexas7@...
 

I'm using a Radio shack meter

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2104114&znt_campaign=C
ategory_CMS&znt_source=CAT&znt_medium=RSCOM&znt_content=CT2032235



The command system is a Digitrax Zephyr with a powerpax booster




I hooked the meter to the booster wires on the programming track and set
it for voltage

Then did a write and got a reading of 6 volts just for a second as the
meter resets its self while reading voltage

so i did a read and got 6 to 8 volts it varied as a read takes longer



doesn't sound like enough to me

In a message dated 1/30/2014 4:32:16 P.M. Central Standard Time,
@Paul78 writes:





Terry, connect a voltmeter across the program track rails; set it to
around 15 volts AC.
When you issue a program track command (read or write) the voltmeter
should show a voltage for a brief moment.
That only tells you that the device is turning on the track power and is
talking to the command station, it doesn’t tell you if the DCC commands are
correct.
Only other way is to place a loco on the program track and try to
change/read it’s address or some CV’s.
Paul O


From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
On Behalf Of terryintexas7@...
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:34 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Power Pax ?





Is there a way to test a power pax booster to tell if it's working
properly



Thanks

Terry









[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Re: Power Pax ?

Carl
 

Hi Gang:

If you really want to see what is online, couldn't you hook your loconet up to the computer with a Digitrax MS-100?:

http://www.digitrax.com/products/computer-control/ms100/

I think it would be nice to see a screen with assigned locomotives, active cabs, etc. I'm just not willing to learn the computer stuff to make it happen myself, but if someone wrote a package like JMRI?

Thanks, Carl.

On 1/30/2014 8:59 PM, terryintexas7@... wrote:
 

thanks
 
In a message dated 1/30/2014 4:32:16 P.M. Central Standard Time, pomilian@... writes:
 

Terry, connect a voltmeter across the program track rails; set it to around 15 volts AC.

When you issue a program track command (read or write) the voltmeter should show a voltage for a brief moment.

That only tells you that the device is turning on the track power and is talking to the command station, it doesn’t tell you if the DCC commands are correct.

Only other way is to place a loco on the program track and try to change/read it’s address or some CV’s.

Paul O

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of terryintexas7@...
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:34 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Power Pax ?

  Is there a way to test a power pax booster to tell if it's working properly

Thanks

Terry


Re: Coach Lighting

Flash Gordon
 

John,

Only problem is it takes a month to get the stuff from China so plan ahead.... but it is cheap.

Ed S

At 04:14 PM 1/30/2014, you wrote:



Ed, that looks a great source of cheap components, so thanks for the tip!

Best regards,
John

Re: Power Pax ?

terryintexas7@...
 

Carl
JMRI has a feature under the loco net tab
called "monitor slots"
 
it shows all the acquired locos and their status
 
Some show  "In Use"
Some Show  "idle"
 
etc
 

In a message dated 1/31/2014 9:49:36 A.M. Central Standard Time, carl.blum@... writes:
 

Hi Gang:

If you really want to see what is online, couldn't you hook your loconet up to the computer with a Digitrax MS-100?:

http://www.digitrax.com/products/computer-control/ms100/

I think it would be nice to see a screen with assigned locomotives, active cabs, etc. I'm just not willing to learn the computer stuff to make it happen myself, but if someone wrote a package like JMRI?

Thanks, Carl.

On 1/30/2014 8:59 PM, terryintexas7@... wrote:
 

thanks
 
In a message dated 1/30/2014 4:32:16 P.M. Central Standard Time, pomilian@... writes:
 

Terry, connect a voltmeter across the program track rails; set it to around 15 volts AC.

When you issue a program track command (read or write) the voltmeter should show a voltage for a brief moment.

That only tells you that the device is turning on the track power and is talking to the command station, it doesn’t tell you if the DCC commands are correct.

Only other way is to place a loco on the program track and try to change/read it’s address or some CV’s.

Paul O

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of terryintexas7@...
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:34 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Power Pax ?

  Is there a way to test a power pax booster to tell if it's working properly

Thanks

Terry


Re: Coach Lighting

george hohon3
 

Just for the record, I just placed two separate orders via eBay to two different sellers from China for LED ribbon lights and BOTH orders were received in less than 10 days.  May be it has something to do with me being in California (closer to China), but it didn't take a month.

George


To: WiringForDCC@...
From: eschwerkolt@...
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 11:29:09 -0500
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Coach Lighting

 
John,

Only problem is it takes a month to get the stuff from China so plan
ahead.... but it is cheap.

Ed S

At 04:14 PM 1/30/2014, you wrote:
>
>
>
>Ed, that looks a great source of cheap components, so thanks for the tip!
>
>Best regards,
>John


Re: Coach Lighting

Flash Gordon
 

George,

You are correct.  It depends on the vendor, some are very slow... I gave worst case....  I have received stuff sooner.

Ed S


At 11:35 AM 1/31/2014, you wrote:
 

Just for the record, I just placed two separate orders via eBay to two different sellers from China for LED ribbon lights and BOTH orders were received in less than 10 days.  May be it has something to do with me being in California (closer to China), but it didn't take a month.

George


To: WiringForDCC@...
From: eschwerkolt@...
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 11:29:09 -0500
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Coach Lighting

 
John,

Only problem is it takes a month to get the stuff from China so plan
ahead.... but it is cheap.

Ed S

At 04:14 PM 1/30/2014, you wrote:
>
>
>
>Ed, that looks a great source of cheap components, so thanks for the tip!
>
>Best regards,
>John


Re: Coach Lighting

george hohon3
 

I was very surprised by the quick turn around on the order.  I had a mindset not to expect them for a couple of weeks at a minimum.

George


To: WiringForDCC@...
From: eschwerkolt@...
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 11:38:33 -0500
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Coach Lighting

 
George,

You are correct.  It depends on the vendor, some are very slow... I gave worst case....  I have received stuff sooner.

Ed S


At 11:35 AM 1/31/2014, you wrote:

 

Just for the record, I just placed two separate orders via eBay to two different sellers from China for LED ribbon lights and BOTH orders were received in less than 10 days.  May be it has something to do with me being in California (closer to China), but it didn't take a month.

George


To: WiringForDCC@...
From: eschwerkolt@...
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 11:29:09 -0500
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Coach Lighting

 
John,

Only problem is it takes a month to get the stuff from China so plan
ahead.... but it is cheap.

Ed S

At 04:14 PM 1/30/2014, you wrote:
>
>
>
>Ed, that looks a great source of cheap components, so thanks for the tip!
>
>Best regards,
>John



Re: Power Pax ?

Paul O
 

Terry, I just tested my PowerPax.

During a ‘read Address’ my program track was about 20 volts AC. (Digital and analog voltmeter)

 

A couple of things:

n  Check that the power supply is supplying the rated voltage.

n  Is there the possibility that your program track may have gotten shorted to the main track.

The manual says that will damage the PowerPax.

 

Paul O

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of terryintexas7@...
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2014 3:47 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Power Pax ?

 

I hooked the meter to the booster wires on the programming track and set it for voltage

Then did a write and got a reading of 6 volts just for a second as the meter resets its self while reading voltage

so i did a read and got 6 to 8 volts it varied as a read takes longer

 

doesn't sound like enough to me

 

Terry

Re: Power Pax ?

terryintexas7@...
 

Yes of course that's always possible
my programming track is isolated but still it could have happened
 
I can't find any output info listed at the DCC specialties site
but 20 volts sounds better than my 6- 8
 
 
I'm told my meter won't read square wave DCC voltage but still it should be more than 8 vo;ts
 

In a message dated 1/31/2014 11:51:42 A.M. Central Standard Time, pomilian@... writes:
 

Terry, I just tested my PowerPax.

During a ‘read Address’ my program track was about 20 volts AC. (Digital and analog voltmeter)

A couple of things:

n  Check that the power supply is supplying the rated voltage.

n  Is there the possibility that your program track may have gotten shorted to the main track.

The manual says that will damage the PowerPax.

Paul O

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of terryintexas7@...
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2014 3:47 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Power Pax ?

 

I hooked the meter to the booster wires on the programming track and set it for voltage

Then did a write and got a reading of 6 volts just for a second as the meter resets its self while reading voltage

so i did a read and got 6 to 8 volts it varied as a read takes longer

doesn't sound like enough to me

Terry

Re: Coach Lighting

Carl
 

Hi gang:

I've had good luck with ordering from China. Machine tool parts, miniature people, electronic parts and special consumer goods. The last orders even held my money in escrow until I had accepted delivery. Most were quick considering the distance.

Carl.

Re: Power Pax ?

Paul O
 

Terry, try calling DCC Specialties, they are very helpful.

I had problems with a PSX-AR and they repaired it.

 

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of terryintexas7@...
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2014 1:05 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Power Pax ?

 

Yes of course that's always possible

my programming track is isolated but still it could have happened

 

I can't find any output info listed at the DCC specialties site

but 20 volts sounds better than my 6- 8

  

I'm told my meter won't read square wave DCC voltage but still it should be more than 8 volts

Re: Power Pax ?

terryintexas7@...
 

 
Paul
I did email them but can't call due to the fact i am mute due to throat cancer
have not heard back from them yet
Terry
 

In a message dated 1/31/2014 1:20:19 P.M. Central Standard Time, pomilian@... writes:
 

Terry, try calling DCC Specialties, they are very helpful.

I had problems with a PSX-AR and they repaired it.

Paul O

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of terryintexas7@...
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2014 1:05 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Power Pax ?

&nb sp;

Yes of course that's always possible

my programming track is isolated but still it could have happened

I can't find any output info listed at the DCC specialties site

but 20 volts sounds better than my 6- 8

  

I'm told my meter won't read square wave DCC voltage but s till it should be more than 8 volts

Re: Power Pax ?

Paul O
 

OK Terry, take care of yourself.

I hope you get the problem solved.

 

Paul O

Re: Coach Lighting

Eric
 

I have had good luck with Chinese orders, also. My only problem has been with US Customs in Chicago. I have had a 12 v power supply stuck in the Chicago Customs area for over a month. USPS and the seller can do nothing about it.

RicZ

--- In WiringForDCC@..., Carl <carl.blum@...> wrote:

Hi gang:

I've had good luck with ordering from China. Machine tool parts,
miniature people, electronic parts and special consumer goods. The last
orders even held my money in escrow until I had accepted delivery. Most
were quick considering the distance.

Carl.