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    • September 10, 2017 5:39 PM EDT
    • Chris

      Hopefully you have at least one inch of space behind the clock face. There is one method of lighting signs I developed back in 2005 on my HO modular layout. It uses the same technology as backlit signs on commercial buildings. It will do a clock face as well. 

      Since it is a clock with a round face, you need a round plastic styrene tube of the same size as the face. Plug one end with a round piece of sheet styrene. Drill 3mm holes in the end. The 3mm leds will be glued into these holes or hole. The layout of the holes will be so the leds are at least 1/2'' apart. The led(s) will be lighting the inside of the tube.

      Once the leds are glued in place, fill the tube with clear silicone caulking. The caulk acts as a light diffusing material. It will also act as a glue of the clock face. The caulk dries overnight.

      The clock face is made on your home computer with your preferred drawing program. You then print the image on clear overhead transparency material. To seal the ink permanently to the transparency, use Testor's DullCoat. Cut the image & set it on the end of the tube into the caulk.

      Your building will have a hole cut into the side of the wall where you want to glue the tube into place.

      Since you are working with leds and it is an illumination project, test as you go so that you have the desired effect & your electrical is a ok once complete.

      Use black paint to hide any light coming through the wrong places.



    • July 27, 2017 6:51 AM EDT
    • IF you have the room, use a tube slightly deeper than the face is thick and a bit larger than the diameter of the face. place a clear lens on the tube and support the face on the other end of the tube with a couple pieces of wire glued to the back of the clock face and long enough to span the tube which will leave a slight ring around the edges of the face. place your LED or light bulb on the back of the face. Add a second piece of tube and a cap for the back and the light will appear to be surrounding the edge of the clock face and should be enough to show off the face.

      Or you can get real inventive and sand one side of a clear plastic rod and make a ring of light by placing a bulb at one end of the rod

    • July 27, 2017 5:34 AM EDT


      I also found this.. might be useful and avail in different colours...

       More than likely available in the  US

    • July 26, 2017 9:15 PM EDT
    • Rooster,


        It is a clock face (don't know why I didn't say that in the OP) that I'm trying to light.  Dennis made the face on his laser, and it is a beautiful piece.  He cut the minute ticks thru so you can back light it and they will show.  Thru some serious scientific testing, it looks like the tick marks show up great, but you can't really see the hands.  So I was trying to come up with another way to light the face, and thought of lighting it from the side.  Similar method to an old watch.



    • July 26, 2017 9:22 AM EDT
    • I never have Chris. However I will throw another alternative out there. What about a gooseneck lamp above the item? That would be period appropriate as well. (assuming its a sign of some sort)

    • July 25, 2017 9:35 PM EDT
    • I have an item going on the depot that would naturally be back lit.   Problem is, the model I have is of opaque material that won't permit it.  As an alternative, I was thinking of using some SMDs and lighting from the side, to simulate a back lit face.


      Has anyone attempted this?   This is what I'm thinking of using: Warm White SMDs




    • June 27, 2017 9:52 AM EDT
    • Pretty cool how that works Bob.



    • June 27, 2017 9:26 AM EDT

      Another minor update. I have all the electronic hardware for the CTC panel installed and wired (three boards, 50-ish LEDs, etc), and now I've started the JMRI scripting to make the panel actually work.   Here's a short video of the first control point leaving Burke yard.


    • June 22, 2017 11:23 AM EDT

      Some more progress.  Ive been working on the protocol for talking to/from the remote nodes.  I build up a second remote node last night to see if I was getting any data collisions or dropped packets anywhere.  Looks like the answer is 'no'.  So working as desired.


    • June 15, 2017 12:37 PM EDT

      Not a lot of progress on the mesh network, but I did get the remote node built up on an Arduino development board.  All components I got from Aliexpress.  Total remote node cost is somewhere around $6.   The design allows for up to 12 digital input/output pins, 4 input (via the analog input pins) or some combination thereof.  Dropping this shield on a Mega, or combining it with a Mux Shield would get you even more pins.


    • June 11, 2017 9:37 AM EDT

      Been slow the last week or so, just doing some wiring on various things.  Here's a short video I shot this morning on the occupancy LEDs on the CTC panel.  Minor progress.



      You can also look at my other videos in my channel to see where I am.

    • June 2, 2017 4:34 PM EDT
    • A bit of progress.  This is an inside view of the Burke yard office.  Servo on the upper left. Yellow and green paired wires go to the semaphore light, and the light over the door.  Power comes in the two-place terminal strip at the bottom, gets turned into 5v by the board next to it.  The white board center-left is a Nucleo F091RC STM32 board that takes care of the logic.


    • May 24, 2017 10:58 PM EDT
    • Nice !

    • May 24, 2017 12:58 PM EDT

      A quick and dirty project for a train order semaphore at Burke.


    • May 27, 2017 7:57 AM EDT
    • Closest diagram/parts list is the 2070/2171 pdf.  It is a 3 wire motor block and will need one motor lead isolated from the track.

      Hopefully it is not the split case as the wheel brushes and springs will fly away when the wheels are removed to get at the access screws to split the block.


    • May 24, 2017 9:06 PM EDT
    • Yea, "DCC ready" means that the locomotive was built so that a decoder can be plugged into a plug inside the locomotive. The plug will have a jumper board plugged into it, so the locomotive will run on DC. So, technically you want to make the locomotive DCC able, not really DCC ready.

    • May 24, 2017 7:23 PM EDT
    • I can't find the manual, but it may be out there.

      I'd guess it is a 3 wire block, which needs a wire soldered inside the motor block and a small insulator added.

      Then you have 2 track pickups and 2 motor leads.

      Can put almost any decoder in there, but it is NOT what you would call "DCC ready".



    • May 24, 2017 2:43 PM EDT
    • A friend has a LGB Zillertallbahn 2071D (purchased in Germany approx 1991.)  He is interested in making this loco DCC-Ready.  I am not familiar with this loco.  Is this something that can be fairly easily converted to DCC-Ready so it can be used with a decoder?  Is there any motor isolation required? or anything that makes the job more challenging than normal?

    • May 11, 2017 5:15 PM EDT
    • Forrest, the debt consolidation place told me, way back when, that my only option was to sell my truck and go on welfare. By the time I got home from there, I was past being hurt, and just so darn mad, that I started calling back all of the places I had interviewed with just to make sure that they really didn't want to hire me. They had said no, but did they really mean no? One of them had hired a guy that didn't work out, so they gave me a try. 24 years later and I am still repairing copiers, never once was on welfare, and eventually traded in that truck on a Jeep, after I put another 140,000 plus miles on it.

    • May 11, 2017 5:01 PM EDT
    • R.J. DeBerg said:

      Sounds like ya need to cut back on expenses Later RJD

      Brings to mind a budget math exercise which showed I could live pretty comfortably on Social Security disability if I got rid of the car, the phone, and the electricity.

      And, no, that's not a joke.