Brightness Lighting
for Model Railroad

Please excuse my photography,
I'm blaming the camera!

New Photos! — New photos of an Alco RS-3 locomotive which has had the LEDs installed can be found here! You can also click "Next" at the bottom of this page to get to the new photos page.

Excuses and Explanations

OK, my skills as a photographer really are lacking, so you're going to have to use some imagination here. Below are some photos I took of the original LifeLike SD7 N-Scale locomotive. This locomotive served as both an example and a test locomotive..

The Original Locomotive

Above you can see the original locomotive, which came fitted with a bulb at one end. The light was non-directional (it worked both in forward and reverse) and was not externally visible in daylight hours until the train went mach5. The entire unit is less than 10 cm (4 inches) long! You can see the bulb on the left, which sits in a groove molded into the weight/ worm-gear housing.

Our New Lighting System, Ready to Install

Above you can see the circuit, already soldered together. I have arranged the entire circuit to fit in the grove vacated by the light-bulb. The LED was too big, so it got a severe filing until it conformed. The rounded portion of the chips was also filed off significantly to make the chip flatter. After this shot a small amount of tape was applied around the exposed wires to prevent them from shorting against each other or the sides of the weight.

Installed and Almost Ready to Roll

You can see here the dual completed circuits assembled, insulated and installed. All we now have to do is snap the shell back on and we are away. The chip looks to be close to the brass flywheel in this shot, but there is actually a small distance separating the two vertically.

Coming Down the Line

This locomotive has just started moving. The light was so bright the camera flash refused to go off! I inserted a small piece of paper behind each number board to try and diffuse the light. I am sure more could be done, but I will leave that until another day. In this photo it looks like the light is very localised on the boards, but it does not look like this when viewed from the side. In the dark the light cast by the headlight illuminates a good distance in front of the train!

With the dual, directional lights we put in the locomotive looks equally fantastic going in reverse!

end transmission

pollen software pty ltd 2000.