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Bernard

Lights for Kato Buildings

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Bernard

As promised here are the photos of the process I used put the lights in the structures.

1) The 1st photo is the building I chose to experiment on.

2) 2nd photo is the LEDs on reel and the Copper tape.

3) 3rd photos is how you cut the LED stripes into sections. (sorry photo is out of focus:(

4) 4th photo shows the 2 solder points at each end.

5) 5th photo I cut the copper stripe in half down the middle, there is an adhesive on one side but there is contact on either side of the strip. After I solder on the 2 copper pieces I test it with a transformer to check that there is contact.

6) 6th photo has the LED in place with the copper stripes running up the inside wall of the building.

7) 7th photo before I replace the floor into the building I cement in the people inside.

8) 8th photo I cut a slot on the inside floor to run the copper stripes up the wall to connect to the next floor.

9) 9th photo here is where you see the 2 floors will meet and complete the electrical connection. I repeated the process for each floor and at the base I add the prong connection that Jeff recommended (Sorry forgot to take a photo :(

 

In all it does take time to do (like everything) but well worth it! The advantage is that if something needs to be checked in the future all you have to do is pull apart a single floor and it easy to access. After this I went crazy and used the LED/copper method on the entire layout.

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Bernard

Here are more photos.

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Bernard

Here are more photos.

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KenS

Very nice.  I'll have to do my buildings that way.

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Bernard

Very nice.  I'll have to do my buildings that way.

 

 

Ken - the Copper tape is wonderful with the Kato buildings since there are made in sectional floors. At any point if a section of LEDs burns out or there is a loose contact, you don't have to go through the entire building, just take apart the one floor and put in a new LED stripe.

 

I just did my station platforms.

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Bernard

Here are 2 photos of the station platforms I added LED lights to. First from a distance and the second close up.

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inobu

That is a great job Bernard. Really like seeing things come together.

Inobu

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KenS

Bernard,

  Are you using the "white" or "warm white" LEDs?  I'd normally assume white for fluorescent lighting, but your platform lights appear to have a warmer color, and I notice quinntopia's original link was for the "warm white" ones.  That's making me think about which would be better.

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Webskipper

Lights add realism.  Nice work!

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Bernard

Bernard,

   Are you using the "white" or "warm white" LEDs?  I'd normally assume white for fluorescent lighting, but your platform lights appear to have a warmer color, and I notice quinntopia's original link was for the "warm white" ones.  That's making me think about which would be better.

 

Ken - I also went with the "warm white" LEDs and got them from an ebay seller from Hong Kong. My thinking was that it would be a softer light in the structures. 

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KenS

After a bit of checking, the same "3528 SMD" LED strips appear to be available for less (at least for us U.S. folk) than from the original HK dealer, if you want to buy a whole 5m reel.  I found these on Amazon through Google, but Amazon's own search (by string or by vendor) doesn't find the same page, which is a bit odd. In any case, the quantity there was very limited.

 

I don't know if this is a temporary thing, but the seller apparently recently marked down their usual US$60 price (much less than the US$89.50 of BHK) to $45.50. You can either order through amazon (if you can find it) or apparently directly from them (same price either way):

 

LED Wholesalers

 

And they apparently have three kinds of white: a bluish "white", a natural-looking "warm white - 3100K", and a yellowish-looking "warm white - 2700K".

 

I found a second company, LEDLightsWorld, which also had these marked down to US$58.50 (their usual price was higher than BHKs), and they also sell in smaller quantities.

 

I just ordered (via Amazon) spools of "white" (which I'm planning to use for station platform lighting) and the 3100K version of "warm white", which I expect I'd use as my typical building lighting, although I may mix the two (in different buildings) depending on how it looks.  I'll let you know how the two compare, assuming I actually get them.

 

This was motivated by a desire to put lighting in my subway station before I reassemble the tracks above it (which makes access hard).

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Bernard

Ken - Also get the copper tape that is if you don't have any. I got mine from Fine-Tape in New Jersey and it came within 2 days. Here is the link:

http://www.findtape.com/product329/JVCC-CFL-5CA-Copper-Foil-Tape.aspx?idx=1&tid=2&info=Copper%2bFoil%2bTape%2b%28Conductive%252fNon-Conductive%29

 

I got the 1/4" width and cut it in half and soldered it to the LED contact points.

I'll PM you with more details.

 

Here is the ebay seller I got my LED lights from, it may take longer but it's the best price I could find:

http://cgi.ebay.com/5M-500CM-3528-SMD-LED-Strip-Light-300-leds-Warm-White-/260735333109?pt=Lamps_US&hash=item3cb50972f5

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KenS

I actually got the tape first; I found a roll of copper tape (which looks the same as yours) used for patching circuit boards at a local electronics store recently when I was looking for something else, and picked it up thinking I could use it for an under-street power bus for building lighting.  I hadn't thought of using it inside the buildings until this thread.  My only concern is amperage; I'm sure it's fine in open air for a few strings of LEDs, but sandwiched inside scenery and feeding several buildings, overheating could be a concern.  I need to do some research, and maybe some testing.

 

But more info is certainly of interest. I'm not sure how quickly I'll get to wiring buildings, which is where I expect to need the tape, since my iniitial project is going to be hidden lighting inside the subway station (lots of room to conceal wires). But eventually I want to light all of my buildings in both my Urban Station area and the more residential village area, and that's going to be a lot of building lighting.

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cteno4

ken,

 

well if you look a the layer of copper on one of the long strings of led lights its even less than what is on foil tape like this. its also on very light plastic backing. probably fine as long as you are not trying to feed 5A over it! plus it has a large surface area to dissipate heat. so you would need to do quite a run of lights in a row to probably start worrying much about this. smarter to keep things is smaller groups anyway with multiple feeds or drops from a main power buss cable for trouble shooting.

 

also same tape on amazon for $12.95 with free super saver shipping.

 

http://www.amazon.com/JVCC-CFL-5CA-Copper-Conductive-Adhesive/dp/B000UZ8SJK/ref=sr_1_4?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1298911440&sr=1-4

 

looks good for building wiring, no messy snaking wires while trying to re assemble layers!

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

I actually got the tape first; I found a roll of copper tape (which looks the same as yours) used for patching circuit boards at a local electronics store recently when I was looking for something else, and picked it up thinking I could use it for an under-street power bus for building lighting.  I hadn't thought of using it inside the buildings until this thread.  My only concern is amperage; I'm sure it's fine in open air for a few strings of LEDs, but sandwiched inside scenery and feeding several buildings, overheating could be a concern.  I need to do some research, and maybe some testing.

 

But more info is certainly of interest. I'm not sure how quickly I'll get to wiring buildings, which is where I expect to need the tape, since my iniitial project is going to be hidden lighting inside the subway station (lots of room to conceal wires). But eventually I want to light all of my buildings in both my Urban Station area and the more residential village area, and that's going to be a lot of building lighting.

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