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Mk1 Coach Lighting - Colour

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Good evening all


First post - but I have searched the forums first !

I'm messing around with fitting lights & flush glazing to a Lima mk1 SK as a prototype (I have a LOT of Lima Mk1s) to see if it can be made good enough to sit alongside Bachmann mk1s


I have a bulk pack of 3mm warm white LEDs en route from China but decided to mock up the circuit using some 2500mcd 5mm water-clear amber LEDs which i had a large number of (I do amateur electronics and bought 500 of these as they were heavily discounted, a few years ago)


The result was surprisingly pleasant, I had expected this to look terrible and was only doing it to check a veroboard with soldered components would fit under the roof of the carriage. This is powered by a 3v coin cell for test purposes although the final build will have axle spring pickups, a bridge rectifier and 2000 microfarads of capacitor storage as anti-flicker.


So.. ah yes, I was going to ask a question.

What colour should the interior lighting of a 1950s mk1 carriage be? I am guessing they had incandescent rather than fluorescent lights and I know the LED hadnt even been invented. Looking on the web at pics of models shows a variety from rich yellow through to bright white, prototype images seem hard to come by showing this sort of detail


Or.. does this look too rich a tone of yellow? (I will be painting the roof interior to get rid of the light-leaks along the edges)



Thanks in advance for any replies


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Mk1's were built with Tungsten lighting, except a few later ones built from new with fluorescents. Starting with the toilet end there are five bulbs in this vestibule, one in each door way and one in near the corridor, one in each toilet. These are all 20w bulbs. middle section - one in each door way - end vestibule - one in each doorway. The seating sections were lit from large ceiling roses with 60w bulbs. Above each table were extra lights contained in a metal box. These has 2 x 20w bulbs in each. The lights where reasonably bright and I'd use warm white LED's.


The fluorescent fitted coaches where the same in the vestibules as conventional tungsten fitted examples. The seating sections had numerous 4ft tubes, each running off its own inverted. They operate from 18 - 40 something volts. Lighting colours were a bit paler in these.


A few of us in our club have fitted out the most used coaches at Butterley with LED bulbs replacements, hence the detail on what bulbs etc.

An interesting find was that each bulb is fused with another on the opposite end of the coach, meaning if a fuse blows you don't loose all lights in one end. A lot more wiring but a clever BR idea.







Some pictures of the lights. We've ripped out the fluorescents and stuck 2 x 12v LED strips in wired in series to get 24v. Its the same brightness as before. The old tungstens have also been replaced with LED's

We tested the TSO done with the LED strips. Its on standard coach batteries (12 x 2v cells) and after a full charge we gave up testing at 40hrs continuous use!

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Now thats comprehensive - thank you


So my most realistic option would be to use a wider vero strip over the interior - with 3mm LEDs along the corridor running on half-power & a 3mm or 5mm on more current over each compartment, I guess.


Power consumption may be the biggest issue with this plan (the capacitor has to be small enough to hide in the toilet but provide enough smoothing to run the lights over pointwork & dead sections and also station stops when on DC power). I will wire it up and see how it works.....


PS: Love the LED upgrade to the carriage. I've done something similar to my old (1:1 scale) Volvo....

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So I had another experimental wiring session, this time setting up a board to light one bay and the end doors with a fully prototypical setup of lights (with many thanks due to Sam Moss for his excellent insights)


For the record: 10 strips wide is the widest Veroboard that can be fitted above the interior mouldings of a Lima Mk1 SK without the need to modify either the mouldings or the roof


I lit the centre of the end vestibule, one light above each vestibule door, one in the centre of the first compartment and one in the corridor outside the compartment door - and again powered it from an external battery , this time 6v, via 180 ohm resistance.




Pics below show the results, and above, the alignment required to achieve this with 3mm LEDs, which would need to be replicated the length of the carriage.






Its definitely do-able however the light-for-current equation would make this a problematic train - this is 100ma just for one bay and a door. The full carriage would require 23 LEDs representing well over half an amp. Such a drain would make effective capacitive anti-flicker impossible.


I think I'm going to simplify things a bit for my next board....
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Don't forget 2 things with compartment stock:


1, the ceiling light was dimmable via a switch.

2. above each seat was a switchable wall light.


So the lighting throughout the coach would vary, dependant upon the passengers' needs. All visible from the outside.



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