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Discussion Starter #1
I don't think actual boxcars have lights, but I like cars that light up!

I bought some 2mm red LEDs, some 24AWG wire with silicone insulation (so it's really flexible and easy to work with), LED controller chips, bridge rectifiers, and capacitors. I'm running DC.

I wired all four LEDs in parallel, and connected the main pickups to the wheels.

This boxcar is really the prototype. It's in pretty rough shape, but I have another one that I'm going to light up next. The biggest mistake I made was melting it in a few spots with the soldering iron by accident. I'm glad I tried it on the junker first.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! It was a fun little project!

I also have a Pennsylvania line. I'm thinking about getting some boxcars for that too. They would be red cars, so I could still use red lights, or I could put in yellow lights for contrast.
 

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I like cars that light up as well. That's why I prefer passenger vs freight.

That being said, you should add a bunch more to that boxcar, and all different colors. Maybe a flashing circuit on some of them. And then a few more cars. It could be a version of the CP Christmas Train.
 

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You are correct, actual boxcars don't have lights.....but you could wire up a FRED at the back of one that brings up the rear, unless of course you like running caboose trains.....or light up caboose running lights.....

But if you like lighting them up because you like it, then go for it....looks like you did a good job on your first one!
 

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Great fun...

Maybe next one could have interior lighted dimly
and showing a hobo or two lolling around.

Don
 

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Now that is a cool idea! Especially for end of train devices, when coupled with a decoder(for possibly blinking) ..

But, that alone is awesome, and something I'd like to try. Great stuff!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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Only freight cars with lights have always been cabooses. if it's an "oldie" it would have marker lamps on all four corners, but only the rear two would be lit. If it's a newer one there might only be one on each end with only the rear one lit.
 

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Only freight cars with lights have always been cabooses. if it's an "oldie" it would have marker lamps on all four corners, but only the rear two would be lit. If it's a newer one there might only be one on each end with only the rear one lit.
The old kerosene marker lamps were removable and inserted into brackets at the corners of cabooses and passenger cars to bring up the rear of the train. So they'd only be mounted where needed.

Some of the more modern cabooses in the seventies had built-in electric marker lights which of course would be permanent and only lit when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thinking about this further, since LEDs are directional, and I run DC, I bet I could set up the cars with two different color lights, wire them in opposite directions, and then the lights on the car would be one color when it is going forwards and a different color when it is in reverse.
 
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