Forums » Electronics

List of newest posts

    • February 8, 2019 1:03 PM EST
    • Thanks guys for the tips!

    • February 8, 2019 6:29 AM EST
    • I always advise my customers to use just a spot of  silicon adhesive  (the non vinegary smell type if there are PCBs around)...)

      Rubber solution works ok as well.

      Easy to remove when required.

      Cyano or Epoxy is rather permanent! or you damage something trying to remove it.

    • February 7, 2019 9:42 PM EST
    • Shane-

      5 minute epoxy?

    • February 7, 2019 9:34 PM EST
    • Eric,


      I've been using epoxy. I tape the wires to hold it in the location I want, and then carefully epoxy around the edge of the LED. I've only used these for my step lights. I've been using 5mm LED's for my headlight and ditch lights.




    • February 7, 2019 8:58 PM EST
    • Curious what others use to mount SMD LEDs? I've tried CA glue, works ok but takes awhile for the LED to take and the glue to dry. Suppose to be 10 second CA but that never works out. I'm using the SMD LEDs for headlights, ditch lights, step/truck lights and so on.

    • February 3, 2019 8:30 AM EST
    • If a cable can be connected backwards then I wire it so if it is plugged in backwards the power and motor pins remain the same.

      SO, for a 4 pin connector I do MTTM  Motor, Track, Track, Motor.  If 8 pins then I add Sound and Light    SLMTTMLS.

    • February 1, 2019 10:08 PM EST

      Greg makes a valid assertion with regards to Watts = Watts.


      A 20V smoke unit will pull less amperage as compared to a 5V unit; 5V @ 0.3A=1.5W, 20V @ 0.088=1.584W and or 0.212A difference or nearly 1/4 Amp. The math tells the tale... Seems all but trivial IMO at these numbers.


      A like capacity battery with higher voltage specification will provide more Watts i.e.; 18V x 2200mAh = 39.6 Watt/hours while a 14.4V 2200mAh battery = 31.7 Watt/hours.


      From George Schreyer's site:

      Smoke Unit DC Current Test Results

      Smoke UnitTest VoltageColdSmoking CurrentDry CurrentNotes
      LGB 5 volt 5 6.9 0.724 0.3 0.27 moderate smoke
      LGB 24 volt 24 91 0.264 0.10 0.09 heavy smoke
      LGB 24 volt 20 91 0.220 0.088 0.087 moderate smoke
      Seuthe #7 16 44 0.363 0.141 0.129 heavy smoke
      Aristo Rogers 16 27 0.59 0.26 0.25 light smoke
      Aristo Rogers 20 27 0.74 0.30 0.27 moderate smoke
      Aristo FA 20 14.2 1.4 0.34 0.36 moderate smoke
      Aristo RS-3
      (old version)
      20 8.7 2.3 0.45 0.45 moderate smoke
      Aristo RS-3
      (2nd version)
      5 4.8 1.04 0.49 0.49 light smoke
      Bachmann Shay 16 72.5 0.22 0.23 0.23 heavy smoke
      Big Hauler
      12 88 0.136 0.13 0.13 moderate smoke
      Big Hauler
      16 88 0.182 0.18 0.17 heavy smoke
      Aristo Long Steel Caboose 20 23 0.87 0.26 0.26 light smoke



    • February 1, 2019 9:19 PM EST
    • You got it Joseph,  the downside of multiple connectors is crowding the space between loco and tender, more wires to get in the way, and also you can mix up the connectors if you use the same ones.


      I like using wires of heavier gauge when routing power between the tender and loco, I prefer the electronics in the tender, and whatever you use, you have to at least run the motor wires between... if you use a smoke unit, another pair of heavy wires...


      Everything has a pro and a con...



    • February 1, 2019 9:16 PM EST
    • Sorry Jon, it's too quiet here... we need some excitement... 

    • February 1, 2019 8:16 PM EST
    • Ok this thread has gone off the rails while I was stuck at work today. Anyway, I am thinking that going with two 4 pin connectors or an 8 pin connector that Eric suggested but will need to see what kind of power it can handle. Can't help but feel like it may be crowded with two connectors but not many better options.

    • February 1, 2019 6:37 PM EST
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      (I use track power so I don't worry ha ha)



      This is why you used to get "dinged" in the rep system.  No need for that statement at all. For me, it kills the credibility of your post.

    • February 1, 2019 12:03 PM EST
    • Watts is watts... while the voltage regulator wastes some power... a 1 watt heater uses the same "amount" of battery whether you have a 5v unit regulated down or an 18 volt one from the battery.


      Basic law of energy, physics...  that is also Watts = volts times amps..... run a higher voltage, you use less amps for the SAME watts..


      Bottom line, these units can draw about 2.5 watts (1/2 amp at 5 volts), and that is significant compared to the motor powering the loco itself...


      (I use track power so I don't worry ha ha)


      I agree with Paul about considering the number of contacts and the force for a "high pin count" connector.  In my example of the K4 above, that is the stock connector.



    • February 1, 2019 9:49 AM EST
    • Dan Pierce said:

      LGB forneys come with a 5 volt smoke unit.  If you have 18 volt battery, change it to 18 volt smoke unit for longer battery operation.  See seuthe line of smoke units for other voltages/current draw.

      I'm using a voltage regulator on mine. At the moment it's shoved into the front of the boiler, but I have plans to move it so I can get at it...

    • February 1, 2019 7:31 AM EST
    • LGB forneys come with a 5 volt smoke unit.  If you have 18 volt battery, change it to 18 volt smoke unit for longer battery operation.  See seuthe line of smoke units for other voltages/current draw.

    • February 1, 2019 6:15 AM EST
    • Paul Norton said:


      If you are running battery power, using the smoke unit is not a good idea as it will shorten your run time. Unless it is a very big battery.

      I'm running my locos on battery power and my Forney does have a smoke unit. It was suggested to me to put a switch inline for the smoke unit so that if I'm not actively using it, I can turn it off. I've done just that and when it's on I have noticed a steep decline in run time.

    • January 31, 2019 8:49 PM EST
    • From my experience using two 4-wire connectors would be better than one 8-wire connector. The larger the connector would more difficult to connect and disconnect. That many wires on one side would also be stiff and help derail the tender or catch on the draw bar.

      If you use an LED for the headlight you can use a CL2 LED driver and bridge rectifier to power the headlight from the motor. The headlight would stay on in both directions, except when stopped. I have a picture of the tiny circuit board I made for my Pacific. But unfortunately I can no longer post pictures here.

      You might be able to do the same thing with the classification lights.

      If you are running battery power, using the smoke unit is not a good idea as it will shorten your run time. Unless it is a very big battery.

    • January 31, 2019 6:13 PM EST
    • K4 Pacific wiring:


      The wiring is so convoluted, I rewired to this: (track power DCC, but only save 2 wires for battery

      1. green, one side of chuff switch (no change) (goes to ground on chuff)
      2. blue, other side of chuff switch (no change) (goes to chuff trigger input)
      3. black, ground for headlight (no change to wires)
      4. yellow, hot for headlight (no change to wires)
      5. red, power to smoke unit (no change to connector)
      6. black, gound for smoke unit (no change to connector)
      7. red, left loco pickup
      8. black, right loco pickup
      9. motor +
      10. motor -
      11. classification lights +
      12. classification lights -


      8 wires aren't a lot when you fire stuff up... notice no cab light either...



    • January 31, 2019 3:23 PM EST
    • John,

      Correct I will be using RailPro and battery installed in the tender.