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Gold Dog Railroad

Lighting Tips

I like bright diesel loco headlights. The way to get them is to install Warm Ultra Bright LEDs. George Schreyer has several tips on LED lighting. Sometimes it is as easy as putting a resister in series with the LED and using it to replace the stock light. Other times it is not. I will slowly add ways to use LED lighting and create constant intensity lighting circuits. 

Dave Bodnar has some great write ups on LED lighting here

Below is how I installed LED headlights in a RS3 and GP7.

 

A while back I installed new new headlights into this RS3. This made it easy for me to connect the headlights to the receiver so I could control with the transmitter.

Aristo uses three wires to connect their headlight/marker/cab lights circuit board. Hard to separate them so I made a new headlight board with ultra bright LEDs. The original board is on the left, the new board is on the right.

I measured the voltage supplied to the original board and used one of the many LED resister tools found on the internet to determine the proper sized resister. 
I soldered one lead to the power wire of the original board and ran the other back to the main board.  The original board supplied power to the marker lights and cab lights so I kept it and stuck it to the side of the body. It didn't shine through the body. If it did I would have covered it with tape.
The original board supplied power to the marker lights and cab lights so I kept it and stuck it to the side of the body. It didn't shine through the body. If it did I would have covered it with tape.  Here are the new headlight boards I made for the GP7. Since I'm installing the Revo and the loco will see full track power I used one 1k ohm resister and wired the LEDs in series.
I bought perf board from Radio Shack and cut it the same sized as the original marker light board. I used two 12 volt mini lamps (RS#272-1141) wired in series for the marker lights. I used Radio Shack red LEDs (RS#276-0026) for the colored markers. They are also wired in series with a 1k ohm resister and directional diode. The original circuit board was connected with three wires from the main board and controlled marker lights, red marker lights and headlights. All were supplied with track power.  The new boards were much simpler, with each lighting set have it's own circuit. The headlight circuit is not shown here.
Here you can see the marker board and head light board installed.  And here is the other end. The cab light was wired to track power but was too bright with full 23 volts. A 300 ohm resister wired in series with the bulb resulted in a nice dim cab light.
LEDs must always have a resister wired in series with them. There are several good LED Resister Calculators available on the net. Just Google for them.

 

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Comments? Suggestions? E-mail me at golddogrr@wardhutton.com 

This site was last edited on 11/15/2015