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Bernard

Electrical connectors for Buildings?

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Bernard

When I was using bulbs for buildings it used to be to have the socket mounted on the base of layout. Recently I been mounting the the LED stripes inside the building now I have a new problem how to connect the wired building to the separately from the base of the layout which is attached to the power grid.

I went though my supplies and found dollhouse plug & sockets which I used, but I'm not totally sold on this method because the connection isn't tight and soldering can easily melt the plastic around either connectors.

So after a lot of babbling  :grin here is my question....What do you use to connect your building to your power grid on your layout?

 

Here are 2 photos (sorry about the quality) of the connectors I have been describing:

post-22-13569926923904_thumb.jpg

post-22-13569926924148_thumb.jpg

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cteno4

bernard,

 

got the connector for you, cheap and solid, call JST connectors. used for battery connectors a lot.

 

while you can probably glue one end into the layout top, guess you could do that, just having the plug just above the surface that you can then have a bit of extra wire inside the building then to lift the building some and pull the plug apart.

 

at 28 cents per pair its dirt cheap!

 

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.15234

 

cheers

 

jeff

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quinntopia

Once again I am compelled to agree with Jeff!  :grin  JST connectors are the thing you need!  They are cheap and super easy to use. 

 

Before I found these, I tried to use the Marklin plugs/sockets, but I found the connections to not be as reliable and I much prefer the small investment (of time mainly) of soldered connections.

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Bernard

Perfect and Thanks!

I have actually used these connectors to the batteries for my RC sailboats.....they're not too tight to pull apart and not as loose as the dollhouse sockets.

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cteno4

Bernard,

 

the dealextreme ones are really nice and inexpensive, but they do take 1-3 weeks to get here (i think they were shipped from singapore). they also give you bulk deals. i have not found anything even close to this price for a 2 wire plug like this, especially pre assembled.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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cteno4

bernard,

 

you dont need very big wire for leds like this as they really low amperage. you could use 20g or less with no problems. might want to do a 18g main trunk line.

 

i think the leads on the jst connectors are around 19g.

 

btw if you need heavier wire, monoprice has some great stuff with 12g, 14g, 16g, and 18g wire with a nice outer sleeve as well.

 

http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10239

 

unfortunately they dont sell much in the way of finer wire, but is THE source for any sort of computer of AV cable, i use them on all our installations and a number of HD engineers i know use them now exclusively and save loads of $$$.

 

cheers

 

jef

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inobu

Bernard,

 

Building lighting was/is on my to do list. This is the option I plan on using. I think modular and like versatility. I bought this copper tape

for DCC installs but realize it can be used for a lot of things.

 

Here is my plan.

 

To have the light work with modularity. Wire to bottom of building and have contacts positioned on the foundation. That way you just have to set the building on the contact points and all building are pre-wired.

 

[smg id=1179]

[smg id=1178]

[smg id=1180]

 

Copper tape is the key. You can solder the led wires to the table and tape it to the bottom

 

Inobu

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cteno4

Inobu,

 

very cleaver! easy to remove and even some room for the building to wiggle some if needed!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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inobu

You just have to reverse the concept you are using where you have a spring loaded pin on the bottom the weight of the building makes the contact connection. It is doable  Might be able to do it with screws heads.

 

Inobu

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Bernard

inobu - You idea reminds me of the interior lighting for dollhouses.

Is the the copper conducting tape that you used and if so what size would you recommend. It's a great idea for the multi-level floor Kato bulidings (just find areas where there are no windows) and connecting the LED strips then to the base on the building to the grid.

Here is a link I found:

http://www.findtape.com/shop/product.aspx?id=329&setscreen=1&width=1024&height=564

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quinntopia

Bernard...thanks to the link for that copper tape vendor! I just ordered me a roll!  I've been wanting to try something like this for awhile but never got around to it!

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inobu

Thanks, Jeff

 

One of the benefits of growing up poor is, while one sibling is playing inside of the box you are outside thinking of ways to change the situation.

 

My early stages of thinking outside of the box.

 

Inobu  

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inobu

McMaster Carr gives you more options on size and price.

 

http://www.mcmaster.com/#copper-foil-tape/=amy1fv

 

For me I plan on using magnet wire and running it through the elevator shaft. The magnet wire is stiff and can be formed along the wall. I only used the tape where I have to go through the floor to the foundation.

 

I got the magnet wire from FRYs they sell it in smaller spools that Mc Master Carr

 

http://www.frys.com/search?search_type=regular&sqxts=1&query_string=Magnet+Wire&submit.x=16&submit.y=11&cat=0

 

I got the 1" tape. I felt that it was the ideal size because it is wide enough to cut right angle or arcs if needed. It can be cut down to 1/4" and put me in a descent price range.

 

Inobu

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Bernard

Alright, I have now placed a few orders at various places....I should be all set to light the buildings in a few weeks...ordering the LED strips from Hong Kong is going to talk about a month, but do have the best prices.

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quinntopia
Alright, I have now placed a few orders at various places....I should be all set to light the buildings in a few weeks...ordering the LED strips from Hong Kong is going to talk about a month, but do have the best prices.

I'll be curious to find you what you think of the quality of these once they arrive.  I've ordered plenty of LED's and other random bits from Hong Kong without problems (other than the very long wait for the package to arrive!).

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Tenorikuma

While we're on the subject of building lighting, does anyone have a lead on cheap chip LEDs that a pre-soldered to wires? I'm scared to try soldering them myself.

 

Since I live in Japan, an Asian supplier would be perfect, but anyone will do.

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cteno4

Tenorikuma,

 

right now the cheapest sources for pre wired smd leds i know of are trainaidsa.com at $1 ea (he does ship internationally)

 

http://www.trainaidsa.com/shop-leds.shtml

 

and ledbaron on ebay at about the same but a few more sizes (they use to have them a bit cheaper by 100x and sometimes auctions that went for half the normal price when they had excess from orders)

 

http://stores.ebay.com/ledbaron/WEISS-WHITE-/_i.html?_fsub=4334379&_sid=67795515&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

 

yell if you find other sources.

 

as long as they dont get too tiny they are not too horrible to solder. tin your leads first then apply a tiny dab of flux on the led contact. then place lead on the contact and apply the needle point iron. you can buy the smd leds really cheap, its attaching the leads that costs the $$!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Bernard
Alright, I have now placed a few orders at various places....I should be all set to light the buildings in a few weeks...ordering the LED strips from Hong Kong is going to talk about a month, but do have the best prices.

I'll be curious to find you what you think of the quality of these once they arrive.  I've ordered plenty of LED's and other random bits from Hong Kong without problems (other than the very long wait for the package to arrive!).

 

Quinn - I had already got a small amount of LED strips from Hong Kong....the supplier you recommended. They're great, very good quality. I found ordering a reel of the LED was a little confusing but I found another supplier in Hong Kong and the LED look exactly the same. I got my roll of copper adhesive tape in 2 days from the supplier in NJ, fast delivery but not sure as of yet of the quality until I get the reel of LEDs.

I also order a few of the connectors Jeff recommended....I'm going to experiment with both methods.

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Tenorikuma

Thanks, Jeff.

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cteno4

ledbaron on ebay has an interesting connection for led lighting, flexible PC strips. these are 2.5mm wide two conductor strips of flexible plastic with two strips of copper. you just scrape the varnish off the place you want to solder an smd across and solder it on. it can bend as well. while not as small as magnet wire its pretty convenient! not cheap though...

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/10x-High-Tech-Platine-flexibel-DOPPELSEITIG-0-07-cm2-/320647136245?pt=DE_Modellbau_Modelleisenbahnen&hash=item4aa80f03f5#ht_3272wt_934

 

cheers

 

jeff

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quinntopia

I ordered several sets of the pre-wired SMD LED's from LED baron...the prices aren't bad and to have these tiny SMD's come pre-wired is a huge plus for me (I've tried to solder my own, but its a very tedious process!).  I intend to use them for home made train and traffic signals, and the red/white double color LED's seem like they'll be ideal for replacing incandescent lights in some of my older trains. 

 

I only wish they produced a red/green double color SMD LED for signals! That would be helpful!

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Bernard

I just got my reel of LED from a different Hong Kong supplier, it took only 2 weeks....I must have really lucked out with the air cargo.

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quinntopia
I just got my reel of LED from a different Hong Kong supplier, it took only 2 weeks....I must have really lucked out with the air cargo.

 

Wow! That IS impressive....especially lately.  It seems like nearly all of my international packages take twice as long as they used to!  Luckily my HobbySeatch building order seemed to break this trend, but I was thinking it might have had to do with tightened US customs and the holidays....oh well.

 

By the way, I got to use my copper tape today...WOW...what a difference this makes for wiring up mulitple street lights underneath the layout! A couple of spots of solder on the tap, and then I just need to hold the light wire lead leads to the copper tap where I left the solder and its wired up!  So much easier than any other method I've ever tried for wiring really small gauge wires (for track and heavy duty wiring I use suitcase connectors and taps, which has made that process a lot easier too)! 

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Bernard

I was lucky with the reel of LEDs but the connectors from Hong Kong took 6 weeks.

I'm hoping next week I get to go Upstate and work on my layout. The first thing I plan to do is light my Kato buildings. I've been thinking about how to use the copper tape inside them. Here is the approach I'm thinking of doing:

 

1) From the top floor ceiling run the copper tape all the way down the interior wall to the base.

2) Cut a stripe of 3 LEDs, solder the ends of LEDs to the copper stripe. I might have to bend the copper tape so that the contact points meet...not sure until I try it??

3) On the ceiling of the next 3 floors, mount 1 LED strip, then solder to the copper tape that runs the length of the ceiling to the side of the floor, bending it where the side wall and lip of the ceiling meet....I'm thinking the tight connection between these 2 points will not need soldering???

4) This is where I'm going to experiment between the type of connection I'll use from the buildings base to a point on the layouts base point. 

 

I really like the copper tape and now am thinking of re-wiring another section that is already lite using wire and making a grid with the tape.

 

With the copper tape....do you think there will be a problem in the future with the adhesive backing not sticking?

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