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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm finishing up the plastic work and detailing of my caboose overhauls and would like to add lighted markers with Ozark's markers and 12 volt bulbs (total of 3 cabeese).

The plan was initially to just use generic 9 volt batteries for power. But it would be nice to have a simple rechargeable system so I wouldn't have to keep taking the roof on and off just to change out batteries.

I looked online at several sites (including RC cars and planes) but couldn't really find much useful info, which sort of surprised me.

What I'd like to do is this:

Use a rechargeable battery, an on off switch, and a recharging jack that could plug into a recharger. 12 volts would be nice since that's the bulb volts, but if a 9 volt is more readily available that would work too. Lots of room in the cabeese so space shouldn't be an issue.

Any suggestions or tips? How about online links to suppliers, or a general list of parts that might be available locally at say Radio Shack or similar store?
 

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Maybe a cheap R/C car 9.6v battery and one of their chargers?

My long caboose has 8 AA cells hiding in a holder between the toolboxes underneath.
 

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I made my USA trains caboose into a rechargable operation. I took a small R/C rechargable battery I had laying around (and wall charger). I cut of the plastic connections, wired up a double pole switch (off is charging, on no charge) and bought at radio shack a small set of jacks. I just drilled two holes in the bottom of the caboose, and soldered it up. I've only had to charge it a few times as the LED's draw very little current. Hope this helps
Craig
 

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I use the 9.6v RC car battery packs, wire in a switch and charging jack and off it goes...
 

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For batteries, try www.batteryspace.com I have been using 850 mAhr LiPO ones since they are very small and fit in the rest room area on the new plastic Accucraft coaches.
 

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Matt... I've been using 3 volt red blinking LED's for my FRED's for many years and power them with 2 AA Costco alkalines. A SPST inline switch controls the power. Running every day with the flasher on while running, the batteries last for about a year. I've done the same with LED markers on some of my cabooses and they work great. However, some of the regular LED's require an inline resistor to control the current. They've been very successful. Again, using 2 AA Costco alkalines in a 2 battery holder with a SPST switch. I usually mount the battery holder underneath the car/caboose.

Rechargeables certainly could be used in a locomotive although I power my locomotive markers directly from my main R/C battery. Most of my R/C battery power is 12 or 14.4 volt so I use 14 volt grain of wheat/rice green for the front of the locomotive.
 

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Matt,
If you can get away from the 12v bulbs and use leds, then like Stan said a regular battery set up with an on/off switch will last a long time. No need for the more complicated wiring. With a caboose there probably is enough room for C or D cells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good suggestions. Thanks all.

I love LEDs, and have used them all over the HO layout. But I don't think an LED that mostly emits light in one direction would work for multi lens marker lights.
 

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Aristo has LEDs in theirs. I've never had one apart to see how.
 

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I put LEDs in my ozark caboose markers and they look really good. An old railroader told me that markers were just that, markers, not spot lights. They were only supposed to light up not emit a beam.
I have two on my caboose and a standard 9 volt battery lasted me all last year.
Terry
 

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LEDs in my caboose marker lanterns were too bright and did not look realistic. I found some 6 volt, 40 ma, grain-of-wheat (GOW) bulbs in an electronics shop and wired them up to a battery pack in my CNR van. The result was realistic and the batteries lasted all summer. In the winter the batteries were recharged and good for another year.





Most hobby shops that sell HO trains would have GOW bulbs.

Eventually I may remove the truss rods and hang a battery box under the van behind the tool box covers. Radio Shack sell a four, AA cell box with a small switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Paul. Pretty simple.

Do you remember when I was asking about repainting and detailing some USA cabeese? You provided some good tips and help showing your CN caboose. Below is a photo of one that just got repainted and here's a link to more photos and info:

 
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