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Hornby Class 56 (Ringfield) - Lighting Upgrades

Upgrading a Ringfield motor Hornby Class 56 with a modern spec DCC lighting system.





Built between '76 - '84, the Class 56 is a heavy freight locomotive.  They are now only operated by GBRF and Colas however my model is in EWS livery and will be staying that way.


The model, with it's ringfield motor, has a huge amount of space inside which makes working with it very easy - I hope.  It was originally fitted with filament bulb lights which I removed many years ago when originally fitting a decoder.  Hopefully this mean I will be able to reuse the existing plastic lenses which means I can use the #1206 LEDs I acquired for my OFF & RA indicators project previously posted.




What do I want to achieve?


I want to bring this model to modern standards with LED lighting in the cabs and as head/tail lights.


I want the ability to separately control marker, head & tail lights as well as DCC controlled cab lights.


I want to complete this project without buying any more components or equipment (apart from some solder, I'm running quite low!)


I want to run the marker, head & tail lights from a LokPilot FX.  The cab lights will, for now, be left unconnected pending the fitting of a sound decoder in the future.


Fitting & Wiring a speaker ready for a future sound install.





With one of the cab units out, it should be fairly simple to pop an LED onto the roof before slipping it back in.  It could do with a lick of paint to make it look more like a 1970's locomotive and less like a space ships cockpit.  Looking at pictures from Google, the cab is more of a 'light grey' than 'space-age metal'.



As it turns out, I have no grey paint so in the spirit of having nothing left in the modelling budget, space age metal it is.  I will however add a few details in black on the desk and paint in a door at the back of the cab.


After looking at the light pipes, I have decided to use the original light pipe with one #1206 LED for the tail lights, one #1206 LED for each marker light and a 2mm Tower type LED for the headlight - this fits perfectly and is easier than squeezing the smaller led in the right place above the tail light pipe.


The surface mount #1206 LEDs were secured with PVA before being surrounded by 'White Tack' to prevent light bleed.  The 2mm Tower LED was a perfect fit for the headlight hole so the Hornby lens was dispensed with.  The Cab light LEDs are the same small LEDs as the marker & tail lights and is just resting in the top of the cab.



I then simply used electrical tape to secure the wires past the motor, now I can begin construction of a 'circuit board' with a small piece of stripboard.



With one end now wired up, I have to say that the fine wires on the #1206 LEDs are very fiddly to solder when you have 8 to do!  On that note, with half of the LEDs wired in and no solder left; it is time to call it a day until I can grab some more solder to start work on the other end.



With the solder, speaker & decoder here it's just time to wire it all together.  I've mounted the speaker, a base reflex from Roads & Rails, onto the top weight with just a thin film of PVA glue, this should make it easy to remove if I ever want to change the speaker.


Then it is just a case of setting up the 'Decoder Lock' in DecoderPro and get some function mapping done.  I love the logical interface for programming ESU decoders which is why I chose to use the LokPilot FX.  Function 23 gives me a 'hazard warning light effect', no idea if this ever existed in this form on a 56 but it gives me a change to play with the decoder settings.




Final Outcome


Marker & Headlight:


Tail Lights: (Showing a little bit of light bleed, I will use a cocktail stick to push the white-tack higher up towards the cab)



Marker Only:



Cab lights will remain inoperable until I fit a sound decoder, I have also left the motor un-wired for now after removing the Bachmann decoder.  In the future, I will look to re-motor the loco by adapting a more modern Hornby motor bogie.

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