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Eurostar25

Kato platform lighting

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Eurostar25

I've been toying with the idea of getting some LED lights to fit under my platform canopies.

I have very limited electrical knowledge so am looking for easy options.

 

I've seen these on hobby search but they're long sold out and quite expensive for what they're worth

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10183330

 

Also there is the basic Tomytec building lights that I thought could go on the roof inverted

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10275816

 

Any thoughts? I've seen plenty of LED strip lighting available on our local EBay (TradeMe) but they come in 5m lengths and lack a power supply.

 

LEDS would be preferred as they're pretty small, slim and unobtrusive.

 

Regards

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JR 500系

Actually, your best bet would be those from ebay that costs really cheap for a 5m strip. They can be cut down into stripes of 3 LEDs each. They are really bright and can be easily soldered to the power source with wires:

 

LED_strip_light_soldering_diagram_instru

 

The wires can then be connected to a feeder cable like this:

 

DC-Connector-DC-Female-Hollow-Plug-Adapt

 

These can then be connected to a simple adapter for electric supply like this:

 

power_adapter.jpg

 

The entire system is cheap and easy to do, and can also be used for buildings too aside from platforms ~

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katoftw

Actually, your best bet would be those from ebay that costs really cheap for a 5m strip. They can be cut down into stripes of 3 LEDs each. They are really bright and can be easily soldered to the power source with wires:

 

LED_strip_light_soldering_diagram_instru

 

The wires can then be connected to a feeder cable like this:

 

DC-Connector-DC-Female-Hollow-Plug-Adapt

 

These can then be connected to a simple adapter for electric supply like this:

 

power_adapter.jpg

 

The entire system is cheap and easy to do, and can also be used for buildings too aside from platforms ~

^This^

 

Wire cutters and solder is all you need.  I recently on got into model train electricals.  But have played with auto-electrics and audio stuff for years.  So the switch was very easy.

 

Lots of options to make it all work.  I recently brought 10 pairs of mini Tamiya connector (same as kato's) got $6.50 on ebay.  and 10m of 22awg red/ black wire (same as kato's) for $4.74.

 

Both of these can be connect to the side power options on tomix/kato throttles or exturnal power options as above.

Edited by katoftw
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Eurostar25

Thanks very much for all the above info guys, that's really helpful. 

 

Now to have a go experimenting.

 

Will post updates when they're done.

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Dani

Hello,

 

What I did is to use a thin cooper strip and solder SMD led on it. Normal led strips are too big at least for my Kato platforms.

 

DSC_0721.JPG

 

It's quite tricky to solder them, but I like very much the final effect using sunny led:

 

DSC_2614.JPG

 

DSC_2523.JPG

 

 

DSC_2520.JPG

 

 

Cheers,

Dani

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cteno4

Dani,

 

Excellent! Love the lighting.

 

Did you wire each smd led in series with a resistor or just a bunch in parallel? If in parallel how many LEDs ans at what voltage?

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4

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katoftw

Yeah that looks really good.  And you can place the lighting wherever you like then.

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JR 500系

That's nice! I like it! Gives a really nice serene feel with that warm lighting. perfect for a rural station setting! Changes those to bright white and they work perfectly for modern ones too!

 

Thanks for sharing!

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inobu

LOL, That's how you do it. Good job. 

 

What track are you using?

 

Inobu

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kvp

My strategy involves soldering to a single solid pretinned copper wire (pcb jumper wire), then cutting it behind the leds so they are wired in series. A single resistor on the end somewhere hidden, some paint and it's ready to go.

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Dani

Hello,

 

Thanks for your comments!

 

@Inobu, I'm using PECO code 55 and servo motors to move the switches.

 

@Jeff, I solder three led for each canopy directly to the cooper strip, so they are connected in parallel and each led stays between the posts. I use one resistor of 1KOhm for each strip with 3 led and feed it with 12V. Resistor is hidden under the platform. I use a power source from an old computer for all illumination. A normal ATX power source gives more than 20Amp so you can light thousands of led with it. Cooper strip is fixed to the canopy with transparent double sided tape.

 

Cheers,

Dani

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Melandir

A normal ATX power source gives more than 20Amp so you can light thousands of led with it. Cooper strip is fixed to the canopy with transparent double sided tape.

 

Cheers,

Dani

 

Hi Dani

 

Can you kindly let me know how you have connected the ATX PSU ? I was thinking to use it, but I was not able to understand on how to power it on and off, because that is usually done by the motherboard of the PC

 

thanks

 

thanks

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kvp

There is a power supply on (PS_ON) signal wire (usually green) on the main ATX cable, that has to be connected to a ground (black) wire. This activates it and power can be taken from the high capacity 5V/12V output cables. Some supplies need a minimal load on one or both output rails (5/12V ones) to be stable. Adding a power led on each one is usually enough.

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Melandir

Some supplies need a minimal load on one or both output rails (5/12V ones) to be stable. Adding a power led on each one is usually enough.

 

Thanks kvp

 

for Power led you mean a standard 3mm led with a resistor right in serie right that turn on once you have powered up the power supply right?

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kvp

Yes, they show that the PSU is working and also provide the required minimal load. I would say 10mA on both 5/12V outputs should be ok for most modern supplies. (for testing, you can even use a paperclip to turn the unit on, but i would replace that with a proper switch for long term use)

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Dani

Hello, sorry for my delay, but kpv explained it perfectly. I'm not electrician, but I thought 20Amp is quite a lot, so I added a 5Amp fuse to reduce the risk in case of short circuit. I used a normal 5Amp car fuse, in a normal fuse box as used also in cars.

 

Cheers,

Dani

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Khaul

I am looking at a simple way to illuminate the platform in my modular layout. I find all the information above really useful. I would like to keep plugging and unplugging things to a minimum.

 

I see many of the LEDs work at 12V DC. So, wouldn't it be a good idea to feed the LEDs from the standard Kato controller through a 24-850 switch? The controller is rated for 1A and the lights take 10mA each. I would have only 6 or 8 of them.

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cteno4

Khalil,

 

Should be fine, but the leds usually take 20ma and then you have some ma for the resistor as well. The 1a includes your train as well. You can use any old 12v wall wart transformer to power these. You can pick these up for like $3 on ebay and just wire them in with a little toggle switch to turn on/off.

 

Fatter led strips are dirt cheap on ebay and Nariichi at Modeltrainplus.com has some very thin ones now for sale that look better on these platform roofs.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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Khaul

Thanks Jeff. That's really useful.

 

Pablo

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Kiha66

I am looking at a simple way to illuminate the platform in my modular layout. I find all the information above really useful. I would like to keep plugging and unplugging things to a minimum.

 

I see many of the LEDs work at 12V DC. So, wouldn't it be a good idea to feed the LEDs from the standard Kato controller through a 24-850 switch? The controller is rated for 1A and the lights take 10mA each. I would have only 6 or 8 of them.

Most individual LEDs operate at the 2-3 volt range, and you might even want less to dim the brightness.  Most LED strips, however, are 12v due to them being electrically wired with sets of three or four individual leds in series so that each bulb sees the proper voltage.  If you are using bulbs meant for 12v then the kato power pack should be fine, just be careful to make sure that the voltage supplied is at or below the bulbs rating!  

 

I'm using this 12v LED strip for my layouts buildings.  You can cut it every inch or so, and if you add a potentimeter you can vary the brightness of each building individually!  It also comes with tape already attached, which makes it really easy to add to buildings.

post-3846-0-93754900-1489728314_thumb.jpgpost-3846-0-69883300-1489728322_thumb.jpgpost-3846-0-70481400-1489729792_thumb.jpgpost-3846-0-09471000-1489728320_thumb.jpgpost-3846-0-14170200-1489729797_thumb.jpgpost-3846-0-44339600-1489729800_thumb.jpgpost-3846-0-81483700-1489729805_thumb.jpgpost-3846-0-69634200-1489729808_thumb.jpg

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cteno4

Yes pots are a great addition to turn down the brightness of leds. Most leds at full brightness are way too bright in many modeling situations and can make structures glow like nuclear plant meltdowns...

 

The strip leds come in sets of 3 leds and a resistor in series to 12v. You can reduce the brightness by lowering the voltage below 12v or you can add another resistor in line with the a set of leds. You can do this either with a fixed resistor or a variable resistor (usually called a potentiometer or a trim pot) in series with a strip set of leds. The trim pits let you change the resistance and thus set the brightness of the led strip

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=trim+pot&_sop=15&LH_BIN=1&_oac=1&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xtrim+pot+1k.TRS0&_nkw=trim+pot+1k&_sacat=0

 

For a set of three leds (the basic unit of these strips) you will need a 1/4w fixed resistor or trim pot. You can either get a bunch of different value fixed resistors (you can even get sets of these) or trim pots. Adding about a 1k trim pot should give you enough dimming to a set. The above trim pots linked are 1/2 watt so they could do 2 3 led sets comfortably with one pot. If you want to do more sets off one pot you will need a higher wattage pot. Each set of three leds could need the pot to dissipate up to 200mw to dim the set way down, so hence the 1/4w pot per set.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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gavino200

Hello,

 

What I did is to use a thin cooper strip and solder SMD led on it. Normal led strips are too big at least for my Kato platforms.

 

 

 

It's quite tricky to solder them, but I like very much the final effect using sunny led:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

Dani

 

Great post. Thanks.

 

Where do you get that copper strip? What's the narrowest gauge strip you can use? What gauge do you use?

 

How did you pass your wires from the platform to the canopy?

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