Large Scale Central

Repurposing some 1:1 RR lanterns

You forgot Jarts…image

Sean, I think Darwinian principles wrapped up Beer Jarts pretty quickly…

[edit] Where the Jart company messed up was not offering a Mini-Jart “expansion pack” that let you continue your game while in the ER.


Awesome project! I would love to have some old RR lamps someday.

BTW, I noticed the cooling fins on the LED units. How much heat do those units put out? Any risk of them overheating inside that lantern?

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Hi Ray, thanks for commenting!

Good question, so I let the 4-flood lantern run for an hour, and the temps on the cases of each flood unit varies from 100 to 120 deg F, depending on where you measure. The 120 reading was a hot spot, and I’ll estimate the average temp is 105.

The chimney on this lantern is very perforated, and should the heat to dissipate fairly easily. However, I just noticed there’s no drain holes, and now I’m wondering where the entering rain water is supposed to go?

The single-flood signal units are completely sealed, except for a small vent on the side. I’ll have to test that next, with it all sealed up. Need to borrow my wife’s digital turkey thermometer…

[edit] Ray, I ran that test for an hour, and the interior of the signal light box never rose above room temperature. So while we can assume the flood unit got to 105-ish, the large space inside and heat-sinking of the signal box took care of it.

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Over two months later, I made some progress on this today. My goal was to mount the switch lantern on a piece of short deck railing that needed rebuilding anyway.

That’s pretty much what happened today. The tricky bit for me was to make the aluminum stub for the lantern to fit onto. Wasn’t sure how that would go, but it turned out fairly well.

It’s 9 pieces of 1/8 x 2" x 8" aluminum bar, jammed into a slot in the (new) post top. The hexagonal board trims it out, and a 1/4" bolt (match-drilled through post and bars) locks things together.

You can see the bolt ~4" below the lantern pedestal. The lantern is jammed onto the bar very snugly. I was going to match drill for another screw, but there’s no need. The reworked railing seems pretty solid now, that’s a big relief (it was sort of falling over).

I wanted to get the lantern high enough to not blind any seated dinner guests on the patio.

Tomorrow I hope to mount the two signal lanterns. And maybe do the bare wood painting for all three, if the forecast behaves.

888:> Cliffy

Here’s the final switch lantern install.

Next today was the pair of signal lanterns (thanks again Hollywood!).

I also got a start on mounting the deck lanterns, which I’ll get back into tomorrow.

Maybe next weekend I’ll get the wiring done for all this, or get a start at least.

The remaining deck lanterns went up this morning, and about half the wiring got done after that, so I’m happy. There are several that the deck bridge hides from view, but this gives you an idea on how they’re placed.

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Looks like it could be a fun project to copy in sandcast aluminum.

I got all the wiring done today on the RR lanterns and deck lanterns. FWIW, the build thread for the latter is here.

I hope to remember to get some shots of them operating this evening…

I took a few shots early in the evening, here’s a couple.

But I wanted to see if they were helping illuminate anything, so took a few more when it was dark.

In case anyone’s interested, I’m using two X10 lamp modules which are dimmable from a handheld remote. The modules feed their varying line voltage (0-110) to two dimmable LED power supplies, which then supply the separate globe and downlight circuits. The RR lights are tied into the downlight circuit. Please let me know if you need specifics on some point.

I guess that’s it for this project, yay! Thanks guys for taking an interest.

888:> Cliffy


That looks great, Cliff. Well Done!

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Thanks Dan, I’m glad you like how it turned out.

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It will provide for some great nighttime running of trains. And since most are below eye level from the deck it doesn’t distract from enjoying the deck at night.

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Really looks good. Are the signals / switch lantern blinding if you get in the beam? Mine is and only has a standard LED bulb, like 40 watt equivalent.

It really adds a nice sense of theme to your lanai.

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Looks great but I’m having a hard time seeing the trestle … :laughing:

Thanks Dan. And I hope it will. The globe circuit can be dimmed down, so just the downlights are on. I’m hoping they’ll make a sort of general moonlighting.

Thanks Jon. The signals are high, so you can’t look into them. But the switch lantern… I tried that out when I first wired it in and yep, the fresnels really do their job focusing that beam.

That’s why I mounted it higher, to not be a problem for people standing on that lower table area. But at the higher deck level, yeah, you won’t look directly into it twice. :innocent: :grin:

Thanks Eric. We have a lanai?? Cool! But don’t tell my wife, I have a hard enough time keeping her from putting pineapple on everything. :laughing:

Me too Sean, me too… :slightly_smiling_face:
Some day!