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  • Topic: Stand alone fiber optic lighting?

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    • April 21, 2021 1:49 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Stand alone fiber optic lighting?

      Hey folks,

      I wanna run an idea by you all. I was approached over the weekend to design and print some warehouse type lamp shades for a club member who is building an indoor Gscale layout and is using fiber optics to light it. It got me thinking about a lighting solution for a project I am working on for Pete Lassen. I need to make some small lights that need to stand off the project (yes I am being vague). I was going to use Pico or similar LEDs but even as fine as their wire is the pair of wires is still way to big to look like conduit and unless I put it in something even larger it wouldn't be rigid. So I had a conundrum on how to light this and make it look right. Enter the fiber optics. I purchased 1mm fiber filament/cable. It fits nicely in 3/32 brass tubing which makes a nice looking conduit. I then designed a prototype light engine/generator that is on my printer as we speak that will bundle about 8 or less fiber cables and light it with a 5mm LED. I will use a solar powered dollar store path light for the solar cell and battery. Long story made longer and this will be a stand alone solar powered fiber optic lighting solution. It can give you several points ( I am thinking up to 8 or 9 filaments) per engine. And at least two engines would be able to be run off a single solar panel and battery.

       

      My question from you guys is this, would you all think there would be a market for a stand alone solar powered light fiber optic light source for our hobby? Basically each building would have its own light source with maybe even a couple buildings being lit by a single solar cell/battery. It won't be as bright as a single source LED but it would give us the option of lighting individual fixtures instead of individual rooms. And for things like exterior lighting like porch lights and what not. I am curios if this is worth me spending the effort to develop the product as something to market instead of a one off for my project. What I would do as a one of would be more rudimentary than something I would market as a package. I can also see developing the fixtures to go with it like various lamp shades, junction boxes and conduit, and housings for the solar panel and battery that would be a trackside detail. When i get Pete's project done I will debut it and will get your guys further input.

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    • April 21, 2021 10:54 PM EDT
      • Pleasanton, CA
         
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      Following to see what you come up with...

    • April 22, 2021 2:26 PM EDT
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      Enter the fiber optics. I purchased 1mm fiber filament/cable. It fits nicely in 3/32 brass tubing which makes a nice looking conduit.

      Devon, why do you need brass? Use Evergreen styrene plastic tube - much easier to bend and glue.

      I recall a thread somewhere about making street lights by heating the fiber until it made a blob on the end, then bending it in a half-curve and feeding it down a brass tube (needed for strength this time.)  This wasn't it but you may find it interesting:

      https://www.mylargescale.com/threads/lights-camera-action.59602/

       

      I would think a well-planned set of products that provide solar-powered building lighting might be useful. Unless you want to become a full-fledged dealer, I would stick to selling an instruction manual and some 3D printed parts that are unique!

       

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        Pete

    • April 22, 2021 6:21 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      It really doesn't need to be brass Pete. you are right styrene or ABS would be equally appropriate. I just happen to have some brass tube and it fit so I went with it. But actually styrene would be easier.

       

      No ambition whatsoever to be a full fledged dealer. My only thought is since I am making it anyway why not offer it to others at a reasonable cost. Just as you mention some parts and instructions.

       

      interesting about the guy bending the fibers and what not. will have to play around with that. Another idea I had was instead of the end glow fibers, playing with side glow fibers and see if I can create "florescent tubes" by sanding the sides to "etch" them and soften and diffuse the light. This would be more for playing around with my model cars and what not. fluorescent lights would look kind of funny in 1880's. But if I do offer it out there having a variety of options would be fun. I am not sure how much light the fluorescent would put out as far as actually lighting something but could be interesting for effect.

       

      This post was edited by Devon Sinsley at April 22, 2021 6:37 PM EDT
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    • April 22, 2021 6:37 PM EDT
      • South Central , PA
         
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      Devon Sinsley said:

      It really doesn't need to be brass Pete. you are right styrene or ABS would be equally appropriate. I just happen to have some brass tube and it fit so I went with it.

       

       

       

       

       

      Amen !

    • April 22, 2021 6:40 PM EDT
      • South Central , PA
         
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      The beauty of brass is you only need one hot feed in the tube as the tube itself can be the ground .....just saying

    • April 22, 2021 6:41 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      we will see where this goes. I hope to have the warehouse light set up for my friend done this weekend. And then maybe Petes project done in a couple weeks. His is a bit of a larger project where lights are only a part of it. I am doing a few things outside my box of tricks so it has stalled a couple times as I just haven't been able to overcome some hurdles. But now the lighting may have solved one and laser printing decals has solved the other. And with my new mistress (my 3D printer) some of the things I knew I could scratch out will be easy peasy with the printer.

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    • April 22, 2021 7:20 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Rooster said:

      The beauty of brass is you only need one hot feed in the tube as the tube itself can be the ground .....just saying

      Good point that never crossed my mind when I was thinking LEDs. Never even remotely considered the brass tube as the wire. why didn't you tell me this a couple days ago before I came up with the other hair brain idea. And don't say its because I didn't ask. . . thats a cop out

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    • April 26, 2021 8:49 PM EDT
      • OTTAWA, Ontario
         
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      Devon Sinsley

      I placed one photo of a wall lamp in a new album named LED lighting. It is a 3mm LED with a 3D printed ABS shade and a brass tube. Brass tube is the negative ground. A 30 GA wire is positive lead and runs inside the tube.

      In considering a lighting system for market for the large scale railroaders, the best I can recommend is keeping it as simple as possible. Many model railroaders find electrical wiring hookups a considerable challenge, at least it is the case in HO. Look into the Plug and Play systems in HO scale and adapt for the garden layouts.

      If the layout is outdoors, a small solar panel is ideal for a power source. Look at how the garden and pathway lighting systems work.

    • April 26, 2021 9:21 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Gilbert - You should post a link to that album.  Albums aren't searchable and there are way too many to scroll through!  I'd like to see your wall lamp.

       

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      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

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