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Discussion Starter #1
I am converting a couple of Athearn Blue Box SD40-2 and am in need of guidance on best practics. I plan on using LED's. My loco's started off as DC, and have had the DCC ready motherboard installed. So I have a spot up front and in the rear for a LED to be soldered.

I need to know how others have handled this

Thanks,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I appreciate your assistance, sadly I have already looked at many of those videos. I am looking for assistance specifically with the SD40-2 and its lighting challenges. Given the cab, number board, and upper light location.

Such as whether to use plastic optic cable to transmit the light into the back end of the lens.
Drill out the light housings to hold a 3mm led?
etc etc...

I may have 1 idea for lighting the front section to try. Its just getting harder to justify buying stuff only to find out it didnt work. That level of disposable funds is slipping away, and I am looking for what others did that did work as a result.

John
 

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I achieved lighting of the front lights of a BB SD40-2 and the number boards using one of these cheap pre-wired LED's:
I cut off the lens cylinder and glued the rectangular section to the back of the two stock lenses. Took a bit of positioning to get it centered just right to illuminate both at once but it worked fine.

The additional good news is that rectangular translucent piece also has enough sideways bleed to illuminate the number boards nicely.

Then I glued a thin card roof over the wiring and lights to keep it from illuminating the cab. If you want to maximize the brightness of the number boards, painting the surfaces enclosed by the roof white or silver would probably be a good idea.

One thing I will note is that its a very strong LED that makes the headlights very bright. I don't mind, but you may wish to dim it a bit. I'm currently a DC guy so I don't know if you would do that via a resistor, via DCC control or some other method.

I briefly tried using two of these LED's with the lenses intact (one in each front light position) and it was truly searing!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I achieved lighting of the front lights of a BB SD40-2 and the number boards using one of these cheap pre-wired LED's:
I cut off the lens cylinder and glued the rectangular section to the back of the two stock lenses. Took a bit of positioning to get it centered just right to illuminate both at once but it worked fine....
I have something similiar to these. I will need to see how big they are and give that a shot. Thanks for the suggestion
 
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