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Cheap, cheerful and very effective coach lighting

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I am just back from a stay in Brandenburg where good friend Günther and I have been experimenting with a simple and very effective coach lighting circuit. This design of circuit, I must emphasize, is not our own work, it is  based on research from the internet, especially YouTube where there are numerous articles of this nature. Günther and I like this particular version, it is quick and simple to build and very cheap! We have only tested it on our analogue DC layouts - but it should be universal.  If you are only moderately skilled with a soldering iron, this system is easy to produce - and above all very cheap! The attached photo shows the components - the 100 Ohm resistor is crucial for charging the capacitor, the value of the other larger resistor is down to the user´s wishes - bright or dimmed lighting. Right now I am working on reducing the overall size of the package by glueing the bridge rectifier on to the side of the capacitor. The bridge rectifier has four solder points - those labelled + and - are the outputs and it is crucial to get them right! The polarity of the input tags which will be connected to the power pick-ups of the vehicle and thus to the track is unimportant. The starting point is the reduction of length of the ´legs´of the components to suit and then the 100 Ohm resistor is soldered between the + of the rectifier and plus-side of the capacitor. The - tag of the rectifier is soldered directly to the minus leg of the capacitor. Almost finished! The larger resistor is soldered to the minus leg of the capacitor, from it goes a lead direct to the LED strip. The other lead to the LED strip is soldered directly to the plus leg of the capacitor. And that is it. The package is a bit bulky, but it fits most TT scale coaching stock. It has a very pleasing ´keep alive´ function which ensures that the lights never flicker, and, indeed, stay on for a short while after the power has been turned off. So far I have built the lighting system into a BTTB double-deck twin-set where there is ample room at the coach ends for the package. More experiments will follow!


Edited by rekoboy
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