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Kato platform lighting

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cteno4

Yes magnet wire is nice stuff for very specific jobs but just a pain to deal with. Even handling it is a pain!

 

Wrapping wire is about 1.5" scale so about the size of electrical conduiting. Comes in grey so like grey electrical conduiting.

 

Keep the thru power bus along the platform bases a higher gauge wire like 24-20g and just do the run up to the roof with the 30g. Wrapping wire can take like 0.75amp for short spans, but on longer runs for power transmission you want to stay at like 1/8amp.

 

You can get the micro jst 1.25mm connectors w.o leads but ironically they are more expensive than with leads (the 1.25mm pin spacing is rarer than the standard 2.54mm)! The micro connectors are also fiddly to crimp. Even though you have surgeon fingers, leaded ones are easier to deal with.

 

Jeff

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gavino200

Keep the thru power bus along the platform bases a higher gauge wire like 24-20g and just do the run up to the roof with the 30g. Wrapping wire can take like 0.75amp for short spans, but on longer runs for power transmission you want to stay at like 1/8amp.

 

You can get the micro jst 1.25mm connectors w.o leads but ironically they are more expensive than with leads (the 1.25mm pin spacing is rarer than the standard 2.54mm)! The micro connectors are also fiddly to crimp. Even though you have surgeon fingers, leaded ones are easier to deal with.

 

Jeff

 

Thanks. I've been thinking about about what gauge to make LED power transmission wire, as well as my common ground wire. I've been trying to find out what gauge the wire in the 12 transformer cable is (without dissecting one) to use that as a guide.

 

This will be an issue also as my "control panel" is likely going to be serious overkill for just this station project. The station will have only three separate switches - Platform 1, Platform 2, and Station house. So the control panel will probably have switches for future zones that may not necessarily be close to the station. I may have one or two small LED power buses.

 

Agree about the wired connectors. I just recently learned how to crimp molex wires as the final step for my main wiring project. It's a bit tricky, I tried to do it first without the special crimp tool. I have a LOT of different crimpers now. I'd rather not get yet another crimp tool just for 20 gauge wires. 

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

Related question. I've been trying to find junction connectors for 30 gauge wires. Haven't found anything yet. What do you use?

 

Like these but smaller

 

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Molex/38770-0108/?qs=cK82DWBJs9zpHyrXfUB8wg%3D%3D&gclid=CjwKEAjwz9HHBRDbopLGh-afzB4SJABY52oFUTXAc5PURWAjQP9DT8TO_dN5THpt2bbGpMAv8E_YIRoC57nw_wcB

 

I guess I could use two of these back to back on a tiny board and wire them together however I want.

 

http://kefacn.en.made-in-china.com/offer/pMYmvfVuODhI/Sell-PCB-Screw-Terminal-Block-Connector-KF166-5-0-.html

 

Is that generally what people do?

 

Edit: I probably should have put this question in the LED control panel thread. Feel free to move it.

Edited by gavino200

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

Try euro style barrier/terminal strips. Great for these sorts of wiring as it's totally insulated (old screw terminal strips are open). You can cut them easily to the length you want.

 

Here is a set of 3, 5, and 10 amp ones you can try on for size. 3 or 5 probably best for 30g wire, but if you are mixing with heavier gauge buss wire thru it you may want the 10a for the room in the hole for the buss wire and tapped 30g wires.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3x-12-Way-Barrier-Screw-Terminal-Block-Wire-Connection-Connector-Strip-3A-5A-10A-/352028905920?hash=item51f68ed1c0:g:IQ8AAOSwrddY7jqB

 

To add to boards, these are great. The slide together to lock as needed. Bennie in rolling your own is you can make a custom in/out for bus and separate outs for your buildings etc if you like to separate things out. Also on the pc you can wire in pots off the buss to blocks for dimming.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10X-KF301-2P-5-08mm-2-Pin-Connect-Terminal-Screw-Terminal-Connector-FLC-/282404121315?hash=item41c098eae3:g:5iwAAOSwc3ZUmnXj

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-KF301-3P-5-0mm-pitch-3-Pin-Blue-Screw-Terminal-Connector-for-PCB-Mounting-/332143687492?hash=item4d554e7744:g:wjoAAOSwImRYG4eO

 

Another handy thing If you are tapping off a buss wire and want to just drop a wire down to a terminal block or board are these crimp splices, called suitcase connectors.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/20x-Red-Electrical-Cable-Connectors-Quick-Splice-Lock-Wire-Terminals-Crimp-F5-/172554374734?hash=item282d0ace4e:g:IAYAAOSwyjBW64HW

 

You can get them for various gauge wire. Also also with a crimp plug connector so you can unhook the tap line

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Pcs-Electrical-Cable-Connectors-Quick-Splice-Lock-Wire-Terminals-Crimp-SN-/152452068952?hash=item237ed9f658:g:Le4AAOSwMORW64o4

 

Last ones are if you need to quick unlock

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-White-Car-Home-Electric-Cable-Connector-Splice-Self-Lock-Wire-Terminal-Crimp-/371908933522?hash=item56977ff792:g:G4AAAOSwB-1Y32BU

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

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gavino200

Gavin,

 

Try euro style barrier/terminal strips. Great for these sorts of wiring as it's totally insulated (old screw terminal strips are open). You can cut them easily to the length you want.

 

Here is a set of 3, 5, and 10 amp ones you can try on for size. 3 or 5 probably best for 30g wire, but if you are mixing with heavier gauge buss wire thru it you may want the 10a for the room in the hole for the buss wire and tapped 30g wires.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3x-12-Way-Barrier-Screw-Terminal-Block-Wire-Connection-Connector-Strip-3A-5A-10A-/352028905920?hash=item51f68ed1c0:g:IQ8AAOSwrddY7jqB

 

To add to boards, these are great. The slide together to lock as needed. Bennie in rolling your own is you can make a custom in/out for bus and separate outs for your buildings etc if you like to separate things out. Also on the pc you can wire in pots off the buss to blocks for dimming.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10X-KF301-2P-5-08mm-2-Pin-Connect-Terminal-Screw-Terminal-Connector-FLC-/282404121315?hash=item41c098eae3:g:5iwAAOSwc3ZUmnXj

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-KF301-3P-5-0mm-pitch-3-Pin-Blue-Screw-Terminal-Connector-for-PCB-Mounting-/332143687492?hash=item4d554e7744:g:wjoAAOSwImRYG4eO

 

Another handy thing If you are tapping off a buss wire and want to just drop a wire down to a terminal block or board are these crimp splices, called suitcase connectors.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/20x-Red-Electrical-Cable-Connectors-Quick-Splice-Lock-Wire-Terminals-Crimp-F5-/172554374734?hash=item282d0ace4e:g:IAYAAOSwyjBW64HW

 

You can get them for various gauge wire. Also also with a crimp plug connector so you can unhook the tap line

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Pcs-Electrical-Cable-Connectors-Quick-Splice-Lock-Wire-Terminals-Crimp-SN-/152452068952?hash=item237ed9f658:g:Le4AAOSwMORW64o4

 

Last ones are if you need to quick unlock

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-White-Car-Home-Electric-Cable-Connector-Splice-Self-Lock-Wire-Terminal-Crimp-/371908933522?hash=item56977ff792:g:G4AAAOSwB-1Y32BU

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

 

Thanks Jeff. Lots of goodies there :)

 

The euro style barrier strips look great. I like that you can cut them. I also like that they are insulated. I have a bunch of the open US style strips under my table which I'm not super happy about. Been meaning to look for covers for them. The one function they don't seem to have that the US/uncovered ones have, is the ability to add metal strips to turn it into a splitter. I'll pick up a few for when I just simple want to join wires.

 

I'll probably pick up a variety of the pin connect terminal screw connectors and make custom little boards. I ordered some of the cheap breadboards you told me about before. I'm anticipating a lot of difficulty cutting them to size based on a side conversation in the thread. Any wisdom on that? I wonder if I should go with a type that's easy to cut instead. I generally just use a hack saw for that kind of stuff. I use hand saws for everything. Btw to fit these little boards to the underside of a layout can you just drill holes and use wood screws with a spacer? Or would they shatter if I took a screwdriver to them?

 

The suitcase connectors are great. I used them for my DCC bus. Those links you just gave are for fairly large wire. What gauge would you use for an LED power bus? ie. a wire to deliver electrons from the neg side of a 12 volt power source to a area to be lit by LEDs. For the return I'll still need to run multiple long lengths of 30 gauge wire, if I want to use my control panel. What gauge wire would you use for this. Say distance from transformer to the LED cluster is 10 feet, and the distance from the LEDs to the control panel serial port is 10 feet.

Edited by gavino200

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cteno4

when you join wires with the euro you just have to use larger ones to get room to combine a few.

 

or do a bunch of little jumpers to daisy chain down one side and then come off other side with others.

 

having a selection to choose from for your particular need is nice.

 

the cheap brown pc boards i did not have a great time snapping, but give it a whirl and see how yours do. just take a matte knife and scribe along the wholes then try to snap. you can clamp down to the bench with a piece of wood and a c clamp right along the scribe (or use a vise) to help force the snap along the line. after a few did not snap well on the cheapo brown ones i just went to using my mini table saw as it was fast and easy to zip them along the fence to the sizes i wanted, but sawing fiberglass can be itchy so i just use the vacuum on the table saw to suck it all away! the nicer blue and green boards do snap much better and are cleaner, nicer boards, just more expensive!

 

on the pc board just drill out holes to larger size to put a wood screw thru to mount it. you can just use a little piece of wood or plastic and drill a hole thru it the same size to act as a spacer to raise the pc board off the layout. you can also saw off bits of plastic tubing do to this or buy premade standoffs/spacers

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/B9-200Pcs-4mmx3mm-Nylon-PCB-Mount-LED-Spacer-Support-Holder-Standoff-V4R7-/122447608576?hash=item1c82723b00:g:9ugAAOSwnF9Y8Yar

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-Pcs-M6-Spacer-Washer-Screws-Supplies-Standoff-Insulation-Gasket-Hollow-/371867445862?var=&hash=item569506ea66:m:m0IS0_TRaBsTRpbrLdxw3kw

 

the red crimps i think are like 22-18g or 16g usually. good to drop from an 18g bus line to run a 20g down to a euro connector or custom board and the 20-30g out from there to whatever depending on how many leds each are powering.

 

18g will easily carry a 2-5 amps over distance like that with just a little voltage drop. depends on how many leds you will be driving. if you are using 12v and then each 1-3 led circuits are taking 0.02A at full force unless you drop them more. so 100 led circuits will run you a couple of amps.

 

jeff

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kvp

I would like to mention raster borads and raster connectors. Those who have seen the Tomix system probably know them, but these are also the standard connector for most PC motherboards and other electronic devices, not to mention servos and other RC stuff. You can build distribution strips and other nice circuits with some raster proto boards (just get the higher grade yellow stuff with glass fibers), which have three usual types, the 1x1 round pad variant, the 1x3 dashed variant and the 1xN long strips variant. The latter is good for distribuation if you add 2x1 pins along two strips. The plugs (and the sockets if you don't like bare motherboard pins) could be purchased online both with wires and diy unassembled variants. Most local electrical parts stores carry them too.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-54mm-Raster-Pin-Dupont-Buchsen-Stecker-Litze-0-14mm-Molex-Pinheader-Connector-/141798295707

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1x-10Pin-Jumper-Kabel-20cm-lang-Raster-2-54mm-Female-/371190099838

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-40Pin-2-54mm-Pin-Header-Male-/371159702822

 

If you have Tomix or Tomytec accessories, then this allows you to build plug and play wire extenders/splitters and other accessories without buying the more expensive Tomix variant. Also nice if you want to connect the Tomytec battery based 3V or 4.5V lighting accessories to network power, you just need the right voltage (or a variable) wall adapter.

 

ps: The raster pin system is compatible with ribbon cables/connectors and you can get both solder on and press fit dsub and raster pin connectors for those, meaning you can route lots of wires on a single wide ribbon cable. (these could also be familiar from the Tomix crossing gate)

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-54mm-Pitch-20-Pin-20-Way-F-F-Connector-IDC-Flat-Rainbow-Ribbon-Cable-48cm-/231605851835

http://www.ebay.com/itm/D-SUB-DB9-9-Pin-Female-Connector-To-IDC-Female-10-Pin-Flat-Ribbon-Cable-L-30CM-/172069774301

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1M-10P-gray-flat-ribbon-cable-1-27mm-pitch-Diameter-0-1mm-connectors-/181714285972

 

The gray ribbons could be pulled apart to the required size or terminated in one connector on one end and then spread out to all points. They are also small and gray enough to be routed to platform lights. The same ribbon cable could carry turnout, signal and lighting wires and if you use the thicker variant, even traction power and main power buses.

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gavino200

These LED strips came in the mail today. They look like a great product. And they're exactly as advertised. It didn't quite sink in though, what 1.5cm spacing would mean in terms of appearance. I probably should have drawn it out and put it next to the platform. 

 

Looking at it, I think there are going to be to many LEDs, and it won't look authentic. I'm going to experiment with it anyway. I'm planning on installing it on a spare platform, to see what it looks like. 

 

I have a feeling I'll be putting these aside and going with either a LED-soldered-to-brass-strips arrangement, or Narichi's LED strips. I'm not worried about not using this product now. It's pretty awesome and I know I'll find a use for it at some stage.

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/DD85W1520-3-Strips-20-LED-Pre-soldered-micro-Copper-Wired-WHITE-SMD-LED-0805/630387_32804163601.html?spm=2114.12010612.0.0.Ltl5yC

 

454jEQh.jpg

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cteno4

1.5cm spacing works out to a light every 7.5' so not bad. drop the current down some to the right brightness on the platform. 

 

jeff

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gavino200

1.5cm spacing works out to a light every 7.5' so not bad. drop the current down some to the right brightness on the platform. 

 

jeff

 

I guess that seems reasonable. I was thinking that it was too many. But a quick image search shows it probably isn't. Many platforms have continuous bars of light. 

 

I hope to have time this weekend to make a mock up. I'll post some pics.

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gavino200

I had my first go at the platform this evening. Overall, it went ok. The lights look good. It's "proof of concept".

 

I'm not satisfied with my workmanship. I used hot glue, which was very messy. If I use this platform as is, it'll be one of the rear facing ones, so it'll be a bit hidden. Or I may re-do it. But not until I've done the other ones. I used hot glue, because I didn't know if I'd be able to do it right and I didn't want to use something permanent. But I'd really like to be able to glue each LED in place precisely with no excess. 

 

Any glue recommendations. 

 

Here are some pictures. I'll be wiring in pots, so the brightness won't be an issue. Actually the brightness in person looks better than these phone pics suggest.

 

 

shDpuBS.jpg

 

7bna5HJ.jpg

 

AbyLu4i.jpg

 

fE3LZru.jpg

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inobu

I'm having issues with lights myself. Hot glue is problematic because of the the fast cool times and webbing. Might be better off with double sided tape. If I can ever finish this HO engine lit I pull out one of stations and do a mock up.

 

Anyway good to see the results.

 

Inobu

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gavino200

I'm having issues with lights myself. Hot glue is problematic because of the the fast cool times and webbing. Might be better off with double sided tape. If I can ever finish this HO engine lit I pull out one of stations and do a mock up.

 

Anyway good to see the results.

 

Inobu

 

Tape would do a good job, I agree. It would avoid the webbing and instant drying issues.

 

The problem is that these aren't LED strips in the usual sense. They're really just a chain of LEDs soldered in parallel onto magnet wire. There'd be lot of sticky tape surface left exposed. It'd pick up dirt and fluff like crazy.

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

Here's a related issue. Lighting the Kato station. It's not really different enough to warrant a separate thread.

 

I took the station apart. I'm planning to paint the interior with T-shirt paint to stop glow. I'll also add a bit of detail, but not much because you can't really see much through the windows. 

 

I'm planning to put some white card 'crossbeams' across the interior with the LEDs placed on the beams facing up. Diffusion?

 

Anyone here already done this project? Any ideas? Anything, you tried that didn't work well? Anything you'd do differently if you did it again. I'd rather not reinvent the wheel.

 

I'm planning to light all the stairwells and corridors as well. I'll probably do the T-shirt paint anywhere there's going to be an LED. Anyone think this is excessive? There was no shine-through with the Kato platform canopy. That seems to be the same kind of plastic as the station. 

 

HlTGzDC.jpg

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inobu

You would only use 3 pieces. End Middle End. Pull the LED string taunt and place the wire on a small piece of tape. Then sandwich the wire with regular tape. Get the really good tape. A quarter inch will hold it good.

 

Make sure that the surface is clean. The plastic has mold release on it during the manufacturing process. It prevents sticking. Many time we forget to clean the plastic. 

 

 

Inobu

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inobu

Yep, You want to control the light rays. The diffusion is controlling the reflective aspect of light.

 

Take your lights and place them on copies paper. Keep adding the sheets and you will see what it mean. You can even print dots on the sheets to control the lights. 

 

They use transparency for this type of diffusion.

 

 

UEP-GR380-Gradiant-Filter.jpg

 

Inobu

Edited by inobu

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cteno4

You can test the walls to see if you get shine thru. Usually it's the joints where you get seepage. Turning down the leds help as when at full blast is when they tend to be bright enough to bleed thru. Up lighing may spread well could try it with the ceiling white or put some white paper on the roof to help the bounce lighting and diffusion.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

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gavino200

You would only use 3 pieces. End Middle End. Pull the LED string taunt and place the wire on a small piece of tape. Then sandwich the wire with regular tape. Get the really good tape. A quarter inch will hold it good.

 

Make sure that the surface is clean. The plastic has mold release on it during the manufacturing process. It prevents sticking. Many time we forget to clean the plastic. 

 

 

Inobu

 

Oh, I see. I think I'll pick some up to experiment with. Especially for building interiors.

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gavino200

Yep, You want to control the light rays. The diffusion is controlling the reflective aspect of light.

 

Take your lights and place them on copies paper. Keep adding the sheets and you will see what it mean. You can even print dots on the sheets to control the lights. 

 

They use transparency for this type of diffusion.

 

 

UEP-GR380-Gradiant-Filter.jpg

 

Inobu

 

I'm intrigued but this gradual shading diffusion barrier. My understanding isn't deep enough yet to allow me to apply that. But I'll search and learn more about diffusion.

 

Know of any good learning sources? 

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gavino200

You can test the walls to see if you get shine thru. Usually it's the joints where you get seepage. Turning down the leds help as when at full blast is when they tend to be bright enough to bleed thru. Up lighing may spread well could try it with the ceiling white or put some white paper on the roof to help the bounce lighting and diffusion.

 

Cheers

 

Jeff

 

Yes. I'm planning to paint the roof/ceiling white. The roof sort of bows gently away from the interior. It seem like it would be an ideal reflecting surface.

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gavino200

Edit: I redid it today. I'm much happier with it now.

 

Hot glue is not suitable at all for this product. I tried using CA with no luck either. I ended up using Elmer's glue, applied carefully and thinly. After it cures completely I may use some matt clear coat to sort of paint the wires down for extra security.

 

I think this LED chain is a great product. I just ordered some more.

 

rZN8SNw.jpg

 

 

 

 

amIindJ.jpg

 

 

Final iteration - fewer lights. 

 

MdI5G0M.jpg

 

GELjLi5.jpg

 

It might look good with still fewer LEDs. Less is definitely more.

 

6r8rgA8.jpg

Edited by gavino200
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cteno4

Gavin,

 

Nice!

 

Might try tacky glue. Basically very thick and sticky white (pva) glue. You can get it at craft stores. You can let a dolip sit a minute and it gets pretty tacky and sets up relatively fast. Thick clear nail polish works well for the tacking down of wires like this. Cheap, clear, gooie, and sticks well to most stuff.

 

Jeff

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Khaul

I have installed platform lights, finally, whoo-hoo!

 

IMG 0933

Two sections of LED strip lights connected by wires.The sticky back of the LED ribbon is pretty bad so getting the lights in place has been quite a pain.
 
 

IMG 0934

IMG 0936

IMG 0940

Very few lights, but still a bit too bright.
 

IMG 0950

 

IMG 0954

So I installed filters. Happy now.
Edited by Khaul
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cteno4

great khaul! what did you use for a filter/diffuser? leds do like diffusers as they tend to be such pinpoints of extreme light.

 

jeff

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Khaul
Thanks Jeff.

 

For the filters I am using the plastic from the Kato track packages. I cut it to measure then paint one side white. On the other side I paint two grey stripes leaving a 3mm gap in the middle. The filtered light comes through the gap. I also built two walls on both sides of the LED strip so it gets enclosed in a box. The lights don't are not to scale, but you can only notice if you twist your back enough to look at the platform from below. From the side you just see the side of a grey box attached to the roof.

 

IMG 0956

 

Filters

Edited by Khaul
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