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DMU Lighting


chris
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I've finally got everything I need to put lights in to my Hornby (Lima) Settle to Carlisle 156. I'm following the excellent guides from Martin Claydon specifically this one http://s110605900.websitehome.co.uk/class156dcc/

On the whole the 156 comes apart very pleasingly, so access isn't much of a problem. I e-mailed Martin before I started and he suggested that I used tiny "nano" LEDs for the running lights. I fitted these last night and had to use tweezers! Still got lots to do, but I will have a go at getting photos at some point.

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Got all five LEDs in one car, popped it on the track, selected the loco number, turned on the headlights and nothing.

To test I'd got the number right and I wasn't on a dead spot I drove the train forward and reversed it back and still no lights.

Switched the multimeter to 20Volts and applied the probes. -12v. Diodes don't work when they are the wrong way round, it's their defining characteristic.

So they all came back out and then after a frustrating hour or de-soldering and re-soldering I return the unit to the track and this time, with great relief the lights operated as expected.

Unfortunately I'd being working on both units at the same time so i've the same issue with the other end. :roll:

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That's exactly the sort of thing I would do Chris. I get something into my head that I assume is correct and never stop to think about it again until that awful moment when the realisation steps in. I've done it countless times but I must admit that the older I get the more times I reflect on past experiences and I'm learning.

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Actually Mick, I was being obsessively careful.

Apart from the polarity side, which is where I came unstuck.

I think the confusion came from the fact that on a DCC chip the function wires (yellow, white, green etc) are actually the return wires and the single blue wire is the "power". I'm used to working the other way round, where the return wire is ground. This confusion was reenforced by the diagram I was working from which had the resistors between the LEDs and their function wires and the instructions that came with the LEDs said the resistor should go on the anode (+ve) side.

Lesson 1 of my electronics degree was the diode. If only I'd paid attention and learn the difference between the Anode and the Cathode. And who's silly idea was it to call them Anode and Cathode rather than positive and negative, or even "in" and "out" seen as they are a one way device.

I'll be obsessively careful about polarity from now on.

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Finished off the trailer car today. Checked everything at every stage and the only thing I hade to de-solder was one of the pick ups I'd fashioned on the one wheel set. The wire was of too heavy gauge so I swapped it for something more suitable. The function only decoded went in with no problems and the only real issue was hiding all the wires from view once the roof went back on.

I really appreciated my computer connection today. Using the Decoder Pro software to sort out all the CV settings was a breeze. It took longer to boot up the computer than it took to set up the decoder.

I'm very happy with the lights on the 156. The head lights are probably a bit too bright compared to the prototype, but when running outdoors in lovely sunny weather then it's rather helpful to be able to see which lights are on.

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  • 6 months later...

Just opened up a driving car of my Cross Counrty Voyager and to my great surprise all the lights are filament bulbs. I did wonder why they were so dim on this model.

At first it looked like a complicated job, but having taken it to bits it doesn't seem so hard. I'll be following my usual guide http://s374444733.websitehome.co.uk/class-221/index.htm but won't be going for separate day and night running lights.

I'm not sure when I'll getting my iron out, but having the experience of 156 under my belt I hope there will be a lot less procrastination.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 6 months later...

 

chris said:

I'm not sure when I'll be getting my iron out, but having the experience of 156 under my belt I hope there will be a lot less procrastination.

Yeh right Chris. Just finished the job, on the first driving car. "Less procrastination" :!: just 10 months worth.

I've done a half decent job, but I haven't got the brightness levels right, tricky when there are three headlights two of which should be of the same brightness, but their positions are different and so are their light tubes. But much better that the original which had all five head and tail lights on dimly in DCC operation.

Good use of a wet Bank Holiday afternoon. Just the other driving car to do now. Shouldn't take long :oops:

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  • 5 months later...

 

chris said:

Good use of a wet Bank Holiday afternoon. Just the other driving car to do now. Shouldn't take long :oops:

Another 6 month wait to get round to it, but this time it was done in an afternoon. Too cold to be in the shed to do the work I'd planned, so the second voyager cab got DCCed. Did things a little differently, the more you learn…

I'd noticed that when parked in a platform a DMU can have the rear lights on at both ends and I wanted to have that feature on my models. Normally the function you use to control the rear lights is directional, so they only come on when the car is traveling in reverse. In a DMU one end car is always forward and the other reverse so the way the function works prevents the switching on of red lights at both ends. To get round this I have added a second function to the rear lights, this function can be switched totally independently of the direction, so I can turn the rear lights on whenever I like. In DCC a function is basically a wire from the chip, my red lights now have to wires to them with diodes on each to stop them interfering with each other.

It all worked first time and I'm pleased with the results. For once I didn't wire any of the LEDs the wrong way round.

I did think I'd have to open up the other cab of the voyager and add the second function wire in a similar way, but having thought it through I think I can get the effect I'm after without a rewire, just a re-program. Too chilly to head for the shed now. Sunshine forecast tomorrow, I leave it till then.

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A short reprogramming session and my Voyager can sit with it's parking lights on. Lovely.

Next job is the 158. On this one I'll have to "break" the model to remove the very dodgy yellow headlights. I could be a while until I'm brave enough to take it on.

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  • 7 years later...

This week I've returned to adding lights to DMUs. Actually it was an EMU, but on this model its hard to tell the difference. It was a mates NSE Networker, he consulted with me on how to DCC the lights and it turned out to be annoyingly complex, so I offered to do it for him. The head and tail lights were the tricky bit and I ended up breaking half of the LEDs. Luckily I had enough replacements in the spares box. To show off I added interior lighting  and door warning lights.

My mate is very pleased with the result.

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  • 1 month later...

One of things about lockdown is that there is an abundance of time and thus cannot be used as an excuse not to do things.

I've had my 153 DMU in bits for over a year. The simple job of adding door warning lights had been started, yet not finished. With it coming out of hibernation at the weekend it was time to crack on and get the job done. I'd already drilled the holes for the lights so it really was just a matter of gluing in the nano LEDs in and wiring up. Yes wiring up, that was the job stopping me. I thought it was the micro connectors that was putting me off. No its was wiring up to the "green wire" from the DCC chip. Normally I'd snip the wire from the harness. But this is a direct plug in chip so no green wire. I'd have to find somewhere to solder the green wire on to the PCB. That somewhere was very inconvenient. And I soldered to the wrong inconvenient pin first time, so had to desolder that inconvenient connection and make another inconvenient joint. Now I remember why I had put off this job.

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The green wire can be seen emerging form the underside of the of the circuit board.

Wires were glued in place and the unit carefully put back together. A quick test on the track, coach lights and the warning lights both worked. But not a the same time. I'd cut a corner on my wiring up and shared a resistor between to two. When both were switched on the current had a choice to flow through either lights and it chose the warning lights, the coach lights switched off.

Back to the soldering iron. The tricky bit was freeing the very fine wires from the supper glue I had applied to them half an hour earlier.

Lots of fiddling was required to get all the wires in positions that allowed the body to clip properly onto the chassis. Once it was safely seated the first train to run on Amblethorpe came back out of storage (unserviceable) and ran out to Barnmouth.

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A closer shot at Amblethorpe shows the lighting. I chose too higher resistor for the warning light, so it is a little dim. But I'm not  taking the blasted thing apart again, even though I have plenty of time.

 

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