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Ok Gang.... Here's one for ya'


Need to light a few smaller structures and am thinking that light about the size and brightness of a christmas light. Now my question... can you hook them into a low voltage system easily and have them work??? I'm guessing that there is going to have to be some sort of modification to get them to work but I'm not much of a electronics guy so easy will have to come into play./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif


Any help or other ideas will be welcome......:D
 

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I was thinking of using those solar lawn lights and some how stringing some wire from the solar charging unit to each of the buildings, the only problem is, the circuitries only allows the lights to come on at night /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif
 

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Yes, but it isn't an elegant solution. There should be a way to by pass that circuit.
 

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Remove the sensor. They are usually high resistance when it is dark and low resistance when it is light so taking it out would make it "dark" all the time (highest resistance).
 

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I sorta like having the option of having the lights turn on automatically.
 
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for the buildings i use the bulbs of the chrismas lightchains.


two ways, that i tried out:


1) just like the cheap chains, connecting plus on minus one after the other and plugging in the 230 volt household outlets. (works for 50 or more bulbs)


2) connecting paralell, plus on plus. hooked to a H0 - Lima transformer.


I prefer the second option, because i can regulate the brightness of the lights.  And with paralell connection it is easyer, to find burnt out bulbs. (being a real scavenger, who does not throw away anything, i allways have enough sparebulbs)


for different light colours (oil-lamps, glowing fire) i use clear white bulbs and paint them with ordinary felt markers.


korm
 

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so, in option 1) you are stringing lights in series? (The negative terminal of the first light leads to the positive of the next and so on)
I don't remember my basic electrical rules, but 20 12 volt bulbs would require 240 volts.
What are the voltages on the bulbs you are hooking up to 230 volt household current?
How are you hooking them up?
In the U.S. we have alternating currents and 230 is two legs of 120 volt, meaning that on a 3 pole connector 2 of the poles are 120 each while the third is neutral.
are you only using one lege of the 230? Or are you in a country that has different wiring?
 

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I have used Christmas lights for all my buildings. I hope you didn't miss the slaes of left over lights last week. I prefer the short 20 light strings for clip-on to wire figures for the front lawn. A string of lights barely costs a $1. First, determine how a string is wired. Short strings of 20 are usually in series; that means each light is connected to the previous and the electricity runs through each to get to the next. This means 120 volts is divided-up by the 20 lights and means each bulb used is 6 volts. You can then cut them up in groups depending upon what voltage you wish to feed. Every 2 lights can be 12 volts. Every 3 lights can be 18 volts. I use groups of 4 which makes 24 volts; however I feed 20 volts from the back of my Bridgewerks transformer. Less voltage means they burn less and provide a warm yellow color. Less voltage means these lights should last a long time.

Some other long lights strings may be wired in groups of 3 circuits, or a 100 light string may have bulbs which are 1.2 volts. In this case you may cut a string of 10 to get 12 volts. Most of these lights are AC but they may also work on DC.

Please Note: I am NOT an electrician or electrical engineer.
 

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Posted By rkapuaala on 01/07/2008 1:36 AM
I sorta like having the option of having the lights turn on automatically.



You are HARD to please!  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/unsure.gif


First you complain that they only work at night, /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif


Then you don't like my UNELEGANT solution to simply cover the sensor :cool:


Then you complain that removing the circuit altogether would keep the lights from coming on automatically./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif


Okay, ELEGANT solution.../Providers/HtmlEditorProviders/Fck/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/lightbulb.gif


Get a large liquid crystal display and mount it a few inches above the light sensor,  Attach a computer to the display and write a program that will create a dark spot in the display at the correct location to cast a shadow on the sensor and have the spot track with the sun given: 1) the distance the LCD display is from the sensor, 2) the time of day, 3) the season of the year, 4) the angle the assembly is to the ground and 5) the latitude of the whole shebang.  Then provide an internet connection to the computer so that you can log-on to the computer from anywhere in the world to control (via HTTPS) whether the liquid crystal display is energized or not, so that you can turn on the controlled lights by energizing the display to cause the spot to eclipse the sun, or shut them off by turning off the spot to let the sun shine on the light sensor./Providers/HtmlEditorProviders/Fck/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/lightbulb.gif


WIll THAT meet yer needs? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif


(tee hee hee hee!) /Providers/HtmlEditorProviders/Fck/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/wink_smile.gif
 

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I'm thinking more in line with by passing the ciruit with a 3 position switch. In the middle position the path to the lights from the circuit would open./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif


In one position from the center the ciruit would be by passed completely and the path from the batteries to the lights would be open. In the other position from center, everything would be closed. No power coming from the circuit, or the batteries.
Not as snazzy as your Charles, but it meets my other requirements:
1. Must not cost me more than 3 bucks a unit
2. Doesn't take me hours to do.
/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crying.gif


Thanks for bouncing ideas off n me though,,, got my mind working on the issue /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/doze.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #14
JimC,


That is what I have as well running the malibu light I have in the larger structures on my layout however the ones I'm currently working on lighting are much smaller and a malibu light would be too large to install inside. That's why I was hoping to use something like a couple of christmas lights and connect them to the malibu system. That way they would be on the timer with everything else and since I have a 500 watt transformer and timer on the system there shouldn't be any problem adding a bunch on smaller light sets to it.... My only question is will it work or is there something else I will need to do to protect the lights from getting too much power and blowing out constantly?
 

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rkapuaala: Oh, okay... just a simple 3-position switch, "Off"/"On"/"Automatic", huh?/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif


Nah!  That's too simple!  Totally lacking in wizzbang appeal./Providers/HtmlEditorProviders/Fck/FCKeditor/editor/images/smiley/msn/broken_heart.gif  And you'd probably void the waranty on the unit by breaking it open to solder onto the circuit board./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif


:rolleyes:


 
 

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Scott,


I used a set of "stick and peel" lights for porch lights and the building flood.  It will hook up directly to the Malibu wiring.  Also, Radio Shack has some 12v 20ma bulbs that can be used with the Malibu transformers.


See the pic below and a night pic from the link [in my previous post] to see the effect of the "stick and Peel" lights. 





 


Nothing extra needs to be done to the bulbs for protection.  Mine have burnt every night 365per, for almost four years.  Another alternative is to place a orange or yellow plastic cup over the 4W Malibu bulb. 


Scott, are these new buildings you are talking about the ones you got at Marty's?/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif


JimC.
 

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I use a "malibu" style garden light transformer that turns on when it gets dark without a mechanical timer. I put four white Christmas tree bulbs in series in each building. They last for years.
 

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I have been buying  xmas lights  during  after X mas sales  for the last  3 years.   Got quite a collection but no  buildings to put them on/in yet.


 
 
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so, in option 1) you are stringing lights in series? (The negative terminal of the first light leads to the positive of the next and so on) 

yes, that is, how they come.
i only change the cable lengths as needed and put the bulbs all in one row. (if i got more, than i need, i put the rest below the layout)
as you see below, they come with two blocks of bulbs, seperated after the first bulb 

but i prefer the second option, connecting plus on plus. and hooking them on a spare speedcontroler-transformer. to dim or brighten them as i am pleased.


I don't remember my basic electrical rules, but 20 12 volt bulbs would require 240 volts. 
What are the voltages on the bulbs you are hooking up to 230 volt household current?


i haven't got the slitest idea, how many watt and volt these bulbs are made for.

How are you hooking them up? 

using the original (green) plug.

In the U.S. we have alternating currents and 230 is two legs of 120 volt, meaning that on a 3 pole connector 2 of the poles are 120 each while the third is neutral. 
are you only using one lege of the 230? Or are you in a country that has different wiring?

here we got the european system one plus and one minus =230V. three plus and one minus =380V
we get here every kind of  electric artikles and plugs. adapters and transformers are a must.
in my house i installed everything with an additional third cable, that i connected for grounding to the well. german stile (the white plug on the right)
 

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Scott,
The "stick and peel" lights are found here as "grain of wheat" bulbs.www.westportmodelworks.com/other_items.htm  Don't forget the bulbs that are available at Radio Shack.

Hope this helps.
JimC.

Scott, you have a private message.
 
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