Large Scale Central

Repurposing some 1:1 RR lanterns

Well done, Cliff. Those will be quite the conversation pieces when you get them installed.

Thanks Dan, much appreciated!

These will be mounting to a couple 4x4 deck posts, on either side of a stairway.

The light case has a tapped pipe hole and 4 (3/8") tapped holes in the back. The pipe threads are for the spider Bob described, but I’d like to mount this as close to the 4x4 as possible, without a chance of turning. So here’s the plan (the hood isn’t modeled, but goes off to the left).

There are 2 long 3/8" bolts thru the post; a sandwiched 2x6 spacer with a big hole in the center (to clear the pipe thread boss) and 2 short bolts on the sides. Without the post:


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Maybe it’s me but wouldn’t it make more sense to have a yellow light behind the blue plastic or a yellow bullet in front of the blue. Both would make the green light of the signal. Only because I’ve never seen a blue light in the signals. :sunglasses:
Nice work on the housings and the hanger plan

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So they will be used to provide clearance to utilize the stairs :smiley:

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A blue aspect is called “lunar.” Meaning varies depending on RR.


I see what you mean Dave… but if I combined the blue lens with the yellow bullet, the other light would be clear lens and clear bullet. I suppose that’s ok…

However, I put them back together as I received them (from you) and I didn’t want to mess with the prototype, haha!!

Also, the final stage of this project is the switch lantern, which also has blue and yellow (well, amber) lenses, so at least things will match… :grin:

Thanks again for the lights. And seriously, I’m relieved you’re good with what I’m doing to them!


Speaking of the switch lantern…

It seems like the only way to mount it to a deck railing is for a metal post to protrude upward into the cavity in its base.

The cavity is 2.0 x 1.38 x 3"h. I’m thinking of cutting 5 2" x 1/4" bars to shove in. Then cutting a slot in the deck post, and putting a couple bolts thru all.

I don’t think I can make a mortise that deep, hence the cross cut. To dress it up, a couple pieces can be added. Then the cap piece, which will probably be part of the railing (this small rail section needs rebuilding anyway).

Might go with aluminum bar stock, so much easier to cut. But that would invite corrosion with the iron base of the lantern. So… yeah, probably steel bar stock, cut with the abrasive wheel on the chop saw.


Very nice. Now we need a switch stand lamp expert to tell us how Yellow and Blue/White aspects relate to switch position. I have, what I believe to be, a New Haven switch lantern. It has Red and Green aspects, which in these parts is common. Green being mainline and Red being diverging.

Mine has a hoop handle so I simply hang it on a hook. I was able to get a standard lamp base inside and use a low wattage LED bulb inside. It can be seen a half mile away on the main road!


Yellow/red are the combination I’ve seen on switch stands. Yellow is for the yard lead, red is for the track.

I’d guess that yellow is for the yard lead, white is for the track and the blue is for when the track is blue flagged for carman.

The project looks freaking great! I just hope there are no airports close by or you will need to build a runway somewhere close! As for mounting the switch lantern you might want to look at metal newel post brackets. Could make for a quick easy solution however I like your idea as well.

Thanks Rooster, that’s quite an interesting bracket, I’ll have to check it out.

I got into the switch lantern more, with the first discovery being that the LED floods wouldn’t fit next to each other, behind the lenses. It’s kinda spherical in there. So, I ended up chopping the LED housing corners with the Dremel, and that worked.

Some disks of stiff foam fill up the base, and serve as a platform to set the floods on.

Then a simple bracket to keep them in position.

Yesterday I couldn’t get 3 floods in there, but now they’re in and centered.

Need to find a better place to poke the wire out… There’s room for a fourth flood, but since this will probably mount next to the house I’ll leave that out for now.

In other news, the driveway snow yesterday evening was mesmerizing, so I went out and took a little video.



Holy Lumens Batman, that is going to be bright! You may need to register with the FAA.

I was so mesmerized, I couldn’t even comment. :innocent:

It’s just no wonder I stay inside…

I decided to put the 4th flood in, and make the decision later whether to disable the one next to the house (since final positioning is under debate).

Then final wiring, part cleaning and testing.

Yeah, kinda bright Jon! Well, especially if you look right into it… I’ll need to be sure not to blind any dinner guests at the deck table nearby!



I am reminded of the classic War of the Worlds, 1953:

That’s perfect, Jim! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Before there was R2D2… there was RGB!!

Whatever happened to Simon


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Perfect, Dave! I sure remember playing that with our family when the kids were young.

Imagine a switch lantern with those colors, each lens being a touch-button for that game… You’d have to be pretty quick, running round the lantern…

Add beer? Not sure how that would play out… Hmm…

Have to be out in the yard, not up on a deck I think, haha!!