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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone made their own with a lockon and LED?

The purpose would be two-fold - light the track (duh) and show places where the track power is not as high as it should be (the light would be dimmer where the voltage is lower.) I guess the third reason would be that it would look cool. ;)

I know this could be done with the regular lights, but connecting 15 or 20 incandescent bulbs would draw too much power, wouldn't it?

This is what I'm thinking of:


But with an LED instead of a bulb.
 

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Michelle

Yep, a bunch of incandescent bulbs would knock down on
your available track power, depends on your transformer wattage.

You are showing 3 rail track. That uses AC voltage. You'd need
a diode rectifier and a resistor to use LEDs but they would not
drain away your power.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
That's great! Did you make it? Have instructions anywhere???

What's a "command setup"? I'm guessing it's more complicated than my transformer setup? (You know, back when I got started in trains, there was only one setup - a transformer connected to the track... that was two whole weeks ago. How times change!! lol )
 

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A "command system" is indeed more complicated than the transformer setup. I supply a constant 18 volts to the track and a signal sent to the locomotive controls it's action. It allows you to run multiple locomotives totally independently on a single track. It also allows for stuff like talking dining cars, remote controlled switch and accessory operation, etc.

Here's the intro to the Lionel system, I use that as well as the MTH DCS command system.

Lionel Legacy Command System
 

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Has anyone made their own with a lockon and LED?

The purpose would be two-fold - light the track (duh) and show places where the track power is not as high as it should be (the light would be dimmer where the voltage is lower.) I guess the third reason would be that it would look cool. ;)

I know this could be done with the regular lights, but connecting 15 or 20 incandescent bulbs would draw too much power, wouldn't it?

This is what I'm thinking of:


But with an LED instead of a bulb.
What you are showing is a piece of A.C. track. A LED is D.C. and will not work without a bridge rectifier to convert the power to D.C. and match the + and - polarity of the LED. And a voltage limiting resistor and then only would go on and off when it crosses the voltage threshold that you have chosen. A LED will not light when the voltage is too low and will light to full brilliance when that voltage is reached. It would be necessary to experiment with the resistor to set a voltage where the LED lights (Say you set it for 8 volts, less than 8 volts it will not light, more than 8 volts it will light). Of course you will always run the risk of blowing out the LED if the voltage gets too high.
 

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Mnp13, is your layout going to be permanent or just for the holidays, you could just check the track voltage with a meter, I know you have at least one marx light, maybe you could make some custom lighting? It looses some of the cool factor but is an idea.
 

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I use this to check voltage on a command setup. ;) The car has two digital voltmeters that measure track voltage as it rolls along.

View attachment 30050
That is one of my favorite Gunrunner projects.

A "command system" is indeed more complicated than the transformer setup. ... It also allows for stuff like talking dining cars, remote controlled switch and accessory operation, etc.
But a "talking dining car" sounds like one of the most annoying things I can imagine!
 

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Actually, the Station Sounds Diner is a cool addition. You control the dialog from the remote, it's not like it spontaneously starts talking. ;)
I'm just envisioning a bunch of vapid chit-chat about the meal and what not. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If you ever get real interested in making one, I can come up with enough detail to help. You will need basic soldering skills as there is some construction and wiring involved. :)
Yes, I would make one. I have a lot of pipe soldering experience (I'm messy, but they don't leak), not much wire soldering, but I'll work on that and let you know. :)
 
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