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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This project was talked about early spring. There is an article by Ken Stone on how to do it. As with most projects I start with a diagram. I gather the parts. Then I try to place the info on a breadboard and get it to work. Then lastly, I solder the parts onto a board. It only looks complicated because of the number of parts. A flasher looks simple. Each piece is placed in the right connection and in the right direction.

Update. I also have a Flame Flicker Board I built with the specifics at this thread.


If you read the article, this board will run off a DC power pack. HO guys take note.I plan on using my
12 volt updated power supply.

For a brief parts description I have resistors, capacitors, diodes. a Zenner diode, two transistors and a 14 pin IC chip.
So far I substituted A 2M2 resistor, for 2, 1 million and 1, 200k resistor.
Also I used 2, 33k resistors for a 68k replacement.
I will be using an LED 8000mcd. Considered super bright when the article was written.


Everything started with the chip. 1 to 14 pins counter clockwise. I numbered the four corners. I forgot the numbering my first mistake.
Time to the fix errors.

Since I don't have a prefab board the work up will help me place the pieces for the final assembly.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Transistors NPN

This is my first project with transistors. I know they are NPN vs PNP. I had to substitute parts so the BD679 is NTE 253 and the BC 547 is NTE 123A.

I just want to know how to hook them up. Looking up at the diagram. Each one has a line a base and an arrow. These are called collector, base and emitter. Knowing this I found data sheets on each component and they told me which lead was which. So I drew them out for you to see. Chances are I connected them up wrong.


 

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T-Man,

You are boldly venturing where few men have ventured before. (Need a little Star Trek theme music going here ...)

Good luck ... seems complicated to me, but I'll take your word that the welder circuit is a bit simpler than it looks.

Cheers,

TJ
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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T-Man,

You are boldly venturing where few men have ventured before. (Need a little Star Trek theme music going here ...)

Good luck ... seems complicated to me, but I'll take your word that the welder circuit is a bit simpler than it looks.

Cheers,

TJ
Yes they look like symbols from outer space.:D
Spock.....tell me what you think.:laugh:
 

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"Cap'n ... she can't take it, I tell ya' ... the Dilithium Reactor just can't be pushed like that ... we've gotta dial her back to Warp Factor 3, Cap'n!"
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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"Cap'n ... she can't take it, I tell ya' ... the Dilithium Reactor just can't be pushed like that ... we've gotta dial her back to Warp Factor 3, Cap'n!"

npn transistors.jpg

We have to get the NPN emitter connected to the e side of the NTE123a right away before we crash Mr Spock!

Call Scotty!! And see if he has a spare NTE 253 laying around maybe if we hook that to the collector side and then to the B side of the NTE 123a hooked to the c side of the NTE 253 we can muster up warp drive again!

If all fails.....,
give The T man a call ,down on the planet earth, he will know what to do!:eek:
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I was right Kepten! Both were in wrong, those reservists again. Starmites and Novaflees.!

The trail failed. I need to recheck and try switching some parts.SO much for troubleshooting.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I set up a second time. I got one good arc. My 74HC14 is a low voltage IC. I needed a 74C14. Well it won't work, so I need to look for a replacement. A 40106 will work. The project is on hold till I get one,
 

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Going for the obvious question: just how hot a spark are we talking about? Is there an inherent danger of setting fire to your layout (or at least the welding crew!) while you're on a bathroom break?
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I blew the chips up. Too much voltage. All light no heat. I am not sure how to test them. The only thing I can do is switch them out. Everything else would show black so I know the other components are working.
It was bright! I thought I blew the Led but it didn't smoke. THAT, I do know very well.

In general hey make chips "cmos" which means to me they run on lower voltages. The 555 has a cmos brother that operates under 5 volts. I got that info from reading the specifications of the IC. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I can actually understand it.

Here, I am trying to keep explanations simple. I thought this would be entertaining to see an in process project.

I am sure that chip is my weak point. Time to look at e bay.
 

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T-man, your doing good.
but your proto-board work is quite a messy one (not saying my is so much better). my electronics teacher would seriously cut the grade for something like this. and its not for aesthetic reason - when you carefully lay down components you will
1. avoid neighboring contacts of tall elements touching each other by mistake
2. less confusion and less mistakes. which means easier troubleshooting.

ADD:
1. once protoboard project is done it will need to move somehow to a PCB or perforated PCB. this can be messy. so last time i tried to build one directly on perf board.
2. 12V for a supply? IMO you need to adapt this for 5V (cellphone charger) easier to work with logic level devices - your trigger IC


as for reliable parts supplier i think you got one already, but i just want to say that after trying a bunch of them i really enjoyed newark. they realize not only big firms going to order parts and cater to hobbyist crowd as well. response time and packing were top notch, better then digikey IMHO.


and guys, all is fun and all, but lets try to keep this thread clean. at the end this will grow to be a good how-to article. this project is in my que as well.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
All well and understood, Anton. I ordered a 40106 for 12 volts. It should work. The board was a mess but what you saw was my first try. I do understand about shorts and was very careful. I have plenty of wallwarts too.My table has a 12v supply. Troubleshooting, ha, with me it works or not. If not I will go over the diagram and pray I didn't blow something. Then I try replacement. Now it is easier to replace suspected parts ans try again. I figured out my first mistake from rushing into it, but that is how it goes.Thanks for the tips.


Here is the next try. While waiting for parts I decided to give a little show and tell. What you need to do is look at the circuitry diagram then see how I have it laid out on the board. It is actually easy if you break it up into parts.

I left the upper right of the circuit diagram out completely it only is used to get power from the throttle of a DC transformer.

Next This picture is just as how of where the parts are. They are connected but the quality is not for that now.
The first is the 4.7 uf capacitor. Black line.
Next is the Darlington transistor (green line) to the left of that is the 1.5k resistor, and to the left of the is the two small diodes. They look like bugs.

The Schmidt trigger is the burned ic is black (yellow line). I have the replacement ordered.
The grey is the addition of resistors to get 2.2million ohms.
The red circle is the adjustable potentiometer, that I used to set at 15 k ohms.
At last you have 4 2.2uf capacitors with small diodes grounded out with a 100k resistor.These are connected to pins 1,3,5,11.
My LED test light is under the Darlington transistor hidden by the yellow line.
The two bottom resistors are the combination to get 68k ohms across pins 3 and 4.
So this covers the breadboard layout.

It is a pain to understand without the diagram, that is why I just printed it for my reference.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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T-man, your doing good.

and guys, all is fun and all, but lets try to keep this thread clean. at the end this will grow to be a good how-to article. this project is in my que as well.
We stopped way back on the 15th Anton. :cool:
And clean it will stay.:D
Continue please, T man.:thumbsup:
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Is this just a project you decided to tackle, or is this going to be used for something? (just curious)
I started with simple Led circuits. Since this is along that path, I want to have one on my table. I still need a building to use it in. I have no specific use for it yet. It is a neat light circuit.

Anton, already gave a quick rundown on this How-to.
It starts with a diagram. Then you get the parts. I use a breadboard to lay the parts out. Physically, the parts have to be located and connected properly. Diodes and capacitors are directional.(Some capacitors are not). You get into the 3 prong components, as I showed you above. In short you place and connect.

Now what makes this complicated is that you have to be the engineer and layout everything. I take it one connection at a time.The 14 pin 40106 is the center of the board and will be my starting point. Overall, this is different than buying a kit with a pre made board that has the part locations all marked out.

Of course my method is not cost effective, and is time consuming. I have always enjoyed electronic applications in model railroading. I am a firm believer in the How-to demonstration threads. To me there are no secrets about it. If you know how you show it. I use this as my definitive edge in the Model Train Forum. Plus this makes an interesting read.

My next step is using a 14 pin socket and start the board soldering, while I wait for my chip in the mail.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Boring stuff

The video will come with success. The blowup had no physical appearance to show anyway.


The socket is in with 16 pins. I have two extra. The chip will fit in to the left.
In place I have the 47k, a 47K and 22K, and to the right a 100k resistor.


The flip side show a blue dot where my connection will be for a 2.2uf capacitor to pin number three ( just above it)and the resistor below.By adding two resistors I had to do it this way. My solder skills are not refined so I used a dremel wheel. A smaller iron would help.
The bottom row of pins are 1 to 7. 8 will go the top. The last one is unused which is a number 8 for a 16 pin sequence but we have only 14.


Using the Ken Stone Diagram. I circled the resistors.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Mistake review

Today I added the 2.2 m ohms resistors across pins 12 and 13.
I have discovered that my board is not a good quality. I have trouble reattaching components on the copper circles a second time. The first time is OK but if the solder separates it won't go back on. I can work around it because everything is connected and holds each other piece together.

So, my first mistake was the wrong chip.
The second was miscounting my 16 pin socket where I have a 14 pin IC.
Today I had my small diodes wrong on the breadboard. I had them connected off the caps where they should of been off the other side of the resistor to the adjoining pin. Confusing, yes. That is part of the reality of going from a diagram to a breadboard.

Since I am actually working on two at the same time, I am running out of parts. I need some more 100k and 47k resistors.

Making progress.

A look at the parts box.


Front view of the 2m2 ohms installed with 4 resistors to get the total.
I do strip 22 gage wire to add on the resistors for insulation.



This shows how they are connected and where they connect to the pins 12 and 13.


Using the Ken Stone Diagram. I circled the resistors.

 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Could you use one of your tin buildings to simulate welding work going on inside.:thumbsup:

I have an o gauge flat bed car that has a guy welding on it.
You mean to tell me that somewhere on the flatbed is a circuit board like that? (if that's what you call the board?)

You could try mounting it on the underside of a floodlight tower and add some people set up welding the tower. Or if it's to big for that is there someway to mount it on the underside of the layout and run a wire for the flickering light topside to the tower?

Or mount it in an old cast engine shell and simulate people welding it?
Pile some parts around, wheels,handrails, cowcatcher, etc?

May I ask why you are making 2? One in case you burn up the other?:confused:
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Yes to the first question.
Your board may be only a dot,like the one used for N scale.
Mounting is not a problem. All I have to do is run a wire from the board,
So far two is easier to make since I am checking one against the other.
The breadboard will be used for testing different power supplies from wallwarts. Also I am still working on understanding how the trim Potentiometer works.( 20k variable resistor) I still have a little investigating to do.
For parts I always get extra. Shucks, I could start up a Reckers welding school.
AS far as the board is concerned there is a red test light designed for it to show that it works. Then you wire in an LED from a scene.

Also after I make the first board I will see where I can clean it up to make it better. I will be passing one on to a friend I do work for too.
Today I bought some 10k trim pots. I have to figure out the leads on them.The package said the center lead was the wiper. Whatever that means?


8/26/10
As added info, I found a string of Xmas lights at a yard sale. These are in plastic tubes and are made up of 5 separate circuits of 6 volt incandescent bubs. For HO you use two and 027 you use 3 in series. A good source for bulbs if you have the patience to get them out of the tube.

.

On the top to the right.
I installed the 47 k resistor over pins 10 and 11 today.



The 47 k connections are circled in green. Today was a short day.


 

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