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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The new Aristocraft E-8's are apparently wired for DCC but what will happen to the lights of Aristocraft coaches if lit with constant DCC voltage?

I think the Aristocraft coaches use 18 volt light bulbs and the DCC voltage is higher than that. I don't want to replace the bulbs with LED's.
 

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This isn't much help I'm sure but, a good option may be to replace them if you can't reduce the DCC/MTS voltage to the track. I assume you are meaning the Aristo Streamliners too. I don't have any of those so I don't know what kind of lights they use but if they are the same as the Heavyweights they can be easily changed with a higher voltage bulb. Even if you can get the roof off you can use a properly sized rubber hose (like vacuum hose available at local auto part stores.) to reach in from one side and remove and add bulbs.

Not exactly what you were looking for but maybe another option to consider.


Raymond
 

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I used a 100 Ohm 10 watt resistor in my Streamliners to reduce the voltage when on a DCC powered track. I removed the end plate and inserted the resistor in one of the leads. The resistor runs slightly warm to the touch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As I thought a bit further the problem would also probably apply to the loco lights and smoke unit as well.

I guess I'll have to give it some more thought.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Hi Greg,

I installed one of the MRC AD322 decoders into a LGB 20551 White Pass diesel and the loco lights worked very well and very brightly...

for almost a minute - before the 5 volt bulbs burned out. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/shocked.gif

I would guess that the Aristo lights might last a bit longer but how much longer I would not want to guess.

Jerry



Posted By Greg Elmassian on 08/19/2008 10:01 PM
Yep, they will eventually burn out at DCC voltages of 20v or above... don't ask me how I know!
Regards, Greg
 
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The bulbs in the heavyweights and streamliners are equivalent to #53 bulbs. They are 14 volt bulbs and will burn very bright, but not very long on DCC track voltage.

For a heavyweight, simply rewire them as series-parallel. They will get 10 or 11 volts each and will last nearly forever. They will be plenty bright for operation in dim light or full darkness.


see my tips pages on these cars for more details

http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips2/hw_tips.html

http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips3/streamliner_tips.html#lighting
 

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I worry about how the lights are attached to the bare bus wires inside the HW cars, when the hot glue comes loose, they can (and have) flopped around and shorted. Melted roof can result.

I also don't like the dispersion of light, would prefer more and smaller lights... but I'm going led light strips so these problems will be solved, as well as a lot lower current.

Regards, Greg
 

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I have not had a problem so far with my Aristo long steel caboose lights on DCC. I'm using it as a test so when I do run the HW with lights I may or may not need to add resistor or go to LED. Later RJD
 

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I have run the streamline cars with dcc at 18.6 volts with the only problem being that they draw just over 1/4 amp each .....

I too think that if you are running more then 1 or 2 cars that going to LED lights is best and just converted my first car......

my main worry is that with 13 lighted cars I use almost 4 amps to just run the lights and in going to LED the current has droped to like .01 amps per car ....
 

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Try the USAT streamliners, measured about an amp and a half once!

You could put together a train where the cars drew more than the locos!

Regards, Greg
 

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I have two of those full size usa cars ....

I will have to pull one out and see

at a amp and a half per car and the loco draw it will be a short train to stay under 8 amps ......

thanks for the heads up
 

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Will be working on mine tomorrow, finally got my RPO car and will check amp draw, I could have made a mistake in my memory.... but there's a heck of a lot of lights in those things!

In any case, the current builds up quick in a long train...

Regards, Greg
 

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Aristo-Craft may have changed the situation (of coach lights) for future Aristo coaches.

I just returned from the MWLSTS with a couple of Aristo Doodlebug/Heavyweight sets and one of the first things I noticed is that they (both) have a totally new lighting system.

The new Doodlebug and coach (just off the ship from China) have about a dozen lights per car. I don't yet know if they are lights or LED's but I think they are lights.

Whatever they are they are much smaller than the old light bulbs and are mounted on a center lighting strip.

The effect of the lighting is great - they look VERY nice in a dark room.

I don't know what the current draw is or if there is a voltage regulator yet.

Jerry
 

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Jerry, as I asked on your "doodlebug" thread, can you pull the roof off the coach and take a picture, I think it's only 2 or 4 screws and it lifts off.

Thanks, Greg
 

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Hi Greg,

I really hate to disassemble anything. All too often screws come out with plastic attached.

On the other hand I have now looked close enough to tell that there are 14 lights and they definitely are LED's (not filament). That suggests that there is probably a voltage limiting circuit.

For anyone that may have had similar thoughts of adding another motor block, Lewis confirmed that the Doodlebug has a FA-1 motor block but he also pointed out that it is recessed and it would be pretty difficult to add a 2nd motor block to the Doodlebug.

A very nice feature is that the Doodlebug has a MU connector at the rear (most likely for battery power) but for my purposes I will probably use it to connect the Doodlebug to the Heavyweight track contacts to double the track contacts from 8 wheels to 16 wheels (track contacts).

The Doodlebug/Coach run very well on my track with minimum flickering but for outside use, with 16 track contacts, it should be able to run on VERY dirty track. The set is rated for a minimum of 8' diameter curves.

One other thing I found interesting is that the LED's are what I would call orange - in both the Doodlebug and the Heavyweight (Santa Fe versions) but when running, the coach clerestory(?) light seems to be amber in the Doodlebug and white (clear) in the Heavyweight. This is probably a result of the seats in the Santa Fe Doodlebug being brown and the seats in the Santa Fe Heavyweight being blue resulting in a different reflected light color. At first I was not sure how I felt about the different colors but now it is insignificant to me. I did look at the 2nd Santa Fe set and the seat colors match the colors of the 1st set.

Eventually (no promises about how soon) I will check the Doodlebug and coach for amperage drain. I suspect that with a single motor and LED lights it will be very low.

There IS NOT a plug-in interface for any decoders but I am sure that someone will soon be installing decoders into the Doodlebugs. Since the Doodlebugs are not actually brand new someone has probably already been doing it. I will probably end up putting a MRC decoder in them some day just because the MRC decoders were so cheap and my installation will do nothing more than to put the decoder between the track pickups and the Doodlebug wires that would normally have gone to the track pickups.

Both the Doodlebug and Heavyweights have two axle trucks so they look balanced. My comments only refer to the Santa Fe version. I saw the B&O and D&RGW versions but never took a close look at them. I think Lewis came up with a real winner with these sets. Heck, where else can you find a "train" for about $200?

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 10/04/2008 10:30 PM
Will be working on mine tomorrow, finally got my RPO car and will check amp draw, I could have made a mistake in my memory.... but there's a heck of a lot of lights in those things!

In any case, the current builds up quick in a long train...

Regards, Greg
 
 
 
 
 
wondering what you saw ???
 
also I am guessing you are going to run a votage regulator circuit and leds in parallel off of that ? are you going to add a cap to keep the light from flickering as the car runs ?
 
on my car I am running the leds in series ......... I did this becouse I found that they draw less power and with 6 in line I can just run a full wave bridge a dioide and a big cap to have flicker free lights and only draw 10 milliamps
 
the drawback of course is that if one led goes the whole car goes dark .........
 

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Boy, that post looks awful, there is something wrong with the quoting function. You know you can click the html preview below and clean it up, but what a pain.

RPO car, 63', 11 lamps inside, exactly .5 amps at 18v. (I run 23v so the bulbs will burn out pretty quickly).

So the 80' cars should have about 25% more, so maybe .6 - .7 amps per car.... maybe I measured them at a higher voltage before.

Anyway at over 1/2 amp per car, 6 cars is probably almost 4 amps, more than the loco in most cases.

Tested diode strings today, 3 leds every 2 inches, took two 12v strips and put in series, plenty bright and much less current. Will post pictures soon of comparision.

You want a resistor to limit inrush to cap to store charge. FW bridge to resistor, and cap and then on to lights.

The leds come in an endless strip that runs up to 12v.

http://www.theledlight.com/flexible-ledstrips.html

Regards, Greg
 
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