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Old 01-28-2018, 03:29 PM   #141
Yard Master & Research
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Seacoast, NH
Posts: 10,384
Scales Modeled: Lionel, S, HO
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I like the earbud idea!

When small is a necessity I use 30 coated wire. Basically for winding motors or just jewelry craft. I was the smallest wire in the old Radio shack three pack
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Trains, Track, Trestles, and more Trains

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Old 11-15-2019, 03:18 PM   #142
traction fan
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: San Diego
Posts: 3,559
Scales Modeled: N
West Simple cheap LED tester

I use 3-volt, flat disc, watch batteries to test LEDs. The problem was that holding the leads to the battery was sometimes problematic, at best. This wasn't the case when testing a single 3mm or 5mm LED. Then I could simply fit the battery between the leads and squeeze a little. However, surface mount LEDs and circuits containing LEDs (ie. inside a lighted structure) were a very different story.
So, I made this simple gadget from a clothespin, two brass brads, some bits of wire, and two mini alligator clips. It works quite well. I drilled through the jaws of the clothespin then inserted the brads with their heads meeting inside the clothespin's jaws. I then soldered red(+) and black(-) wires to the brass brads, and cut off the excess length of the brads. I soldered the mini alligator clips to the other end of the red & black wire leads. For good measure, I painted the halves of the clothespin red and black so I could always be sure of polarity when inserting the battery. By the way, don't leave the battery in the clothespin when you're not using it. The leads have a nasty tendency to short to each other and deplete the battery. Also note that I did not include a resistor. With only three volts and limited on time, it's not really necessary to use a current limiting resistor, but you could easily add one if you want to.

Traction Fan

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Old 11-15-2019, 03:42 PM   #143
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: SE-PA, USA
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Scales Modeled: O-gauge 3-rail
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Why not go with the fancy option for less than $3? I've worn one of these out plugging stuff in, I have a new one coming. It has all current ranges so you can test any type of LED.

Mini Handy 2~150mA LED Tester Test Box for Light-emitting Diode

MTH ASC Certified Tech, Factory Authorized Lionel Service, ERR Dealer
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