A to Z of coach lighting.

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hiffano
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Re: A to Z of coach lighting.

Postby hiffano » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:20 pm

Thanks for a very enlightening article. I had been wondering about using batteries and LED's for coach lighting but this definately trumps it.
however I am of course a bit shall we say "unpracticed" in electronics. Does anywhere offer to do this for a fee?

now, off to look for engine lighting...
Whoo, new job... big pay cut... but new job! yay

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Road Stone
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Re: A to Z of coach lighting.

Postby Road Stone » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:05 am

What a fantastic article.

Thanks for it and taking the time to pass on your experience.

Cheers, Jerry
I know Nothing!

Martin71
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Re: A to Z of coach lighting.

Postby Martin71 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:23 am

Hi

I meant to update this ages ago and as they say better late than never.

This will interest DC users as well as DCC users. Ok DCC first.

The new Flicker free 2 has being out for 6-7 months and is available through most Hobby shops such as Bromsgrove models DCC Supplies Trains and railways Gaugemaster etc.

It is essentially the same product with 1 major and a couple of minor differences.

1 You now have DCC control of the flicker free unit so it can be wired into 1 of you outputs on your decoder.

It now comes with instructions on a CD and some more components have being added, still at the same price.

Image

The key is the green wire, and I am sure some of the companies that copied the original flicker free will struggle on this one.

Image

Now for DC users the green wire allows you to have directional lights on your locos that dont flicker or go dull on low voltage.

About 1/3 down the page should explain.

http://www.dccconcepts.com/index_files/DCCflickerfree.htm

Finally a 4 function only TCS decoder added to the Hornby Observation car. The hardest part is getting in. Remove the NEM coupling. Have a look at the 6 plastic de-tens or tabs, located at each end and in the middle. Push them in towards the coach and start at the end that has the NEM coupling. Gently lever up and hold in place with a business card. Then do the opposite side. Move then to the middle repeat and finally the ends.

Tips
Gently is the key here.
Wash your hand before starting and
remove the NEM coupling before attempting it.

Lighting is on each function of the decoder and allocated as follows:

Tail light
Main viewing area
Bar area
and downlights

The results

Image

Bar area inside observation coach.

Image

Image

Enjoy

Cheers

Martin

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Brianetta
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Re: A to Z of coach lighting.

Postby Brianetta » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:55 pm

I bought a triple pack of Flicker Free 2s last week. They perform very poorly on a Hornby Select. When track power is applied to the inputs, the output voltage drops away to a level barely large enough to light the LEDs. When connected to a DC source, it's fine.

It does seem to work OK using the function outputs of a DCC decoder as its primary power input, but when it switches from track voltage to capacitor, it flickers. Something I assumed it wasn't supposed to do. Additionally, the new switch that the Flicker Free 2 provides doesn't seem to do anything at all.

Overall, I'm not too impressed, and I'd advise against shelling out for these if you have a Select. My home made capacitor storage lighting in my brake van works much more reliably, although it doesn't stay lit for nearly as long without input power.

I've sent a couple of emails to DCC Concepts, but haven't heard back from them yet.
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Martin71
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Re: A to Z of coach lighting.

Postby Martin71 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:10 pm

Hi

Very good point made there.

They perform very poorly on a Hornby Select.
Overall, I'm not too impressed, and I'd advise against shelling out for these if you have a Select.


The select is well known for its problems and I think its unfortunate that this has happened to you. I not going to start a Hornby bash but I know in the past when I have posted clear evidence ( documented and videoed tests on a certified oscilloscope) the forum owners have being asked to remove it with hours by the big H.
Other controllers were tested at the same time to give a comparison.

It does seem to work OK using the function outputs of a DCC decoder as its primary power input, but when it switches from track voltage to capacitor, it flickers.


How have you wired it up? The function output from the decoder is there to switch flicker free on and off only and the green wire is not a primary power input. The black and red wire are your inputs on AC/DC or DCC.

So if thats the case and as you said above....... it sounds like you have not followed the simple instructions on how to wire it up, gone off on a rant, slandered a product that has had to my knowledge plenty of satisfied customers including me.

Compared to you I'm only a novice, I have done maybe 200+ coaches with flicker free 1 and 2 and a couple of guards vans. Out of all that I have had maybe 5 or 6 ff units fail and some of that cane be put down to operator error....me.

So before complaining on a public forum make sure you have your facts right, the manufacturer cannot be held responsible for your poor wiring effort!

You have no idea when it comes to any sort of constructive criticism do you? Straight in with nothing good to say, "it didn't work for me so I pull yours apart mentality"

I've sent a couple of emails to DCC Concepts, but haven't heard back from them yet.


Hmmm maybe because we have had a couple of public holidays in the last week including today. Did you purchase form DCC Concepts or another supplier in the UK. If the latter I would expect that to be your first port of call.

Good on ya cobber.

Martin

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Brianetta
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Re: A to Z of coach lighting.

Postby Brianetta » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:41 am

Martin71 wrote:
It does seem to work OK using the function outputs of a DCC decoder as its primary power input, but when it switches from track voltage to capacitor, it flickers.


How have you wired it up? The function output from the decoder is there to switch flicker free on and off only and the green wire is not a primary power input. The black and red wire are your inputs on AC/DC or DCC.


I've wired the black inputs to the lights. One goes to blue, the other goes to yellow and white, protecting the yellow and white from each other using a couple of diodes. Basically, I'm using the decoder as a filter, because it just didn't work well from the track input. Yellow and white were chosen because one of them will always be at zero when I'm using DC. The green wire is connected to function 1 (green to green, dead easy). It never worked, either when the blacks were on the Select or the function output.
So if thats the case and as you said above....... it sounds like you have not followed the simple instructions on how to wire it up, gone off on a rant, slandered a product that has had to my knowledge plenty of satisfied customers including me.

I didn't "go off on a rant," I said I was unimpressed with the performance on a Select, and advised people with a Select not to shell out. You appear to hold strong opinions on the Select yourself. Be clear about which you're blaming - me or my controller.

Oh, and for the record, I hadn't realised that you are DCC Concepts until you posted this reply.

Compared to you I'm only a novice, I have done maybe 200+ coaches with flicker free 1 and 2 and a couple of guards vans. Out of all that I have had maybe 5 or 6 ff units fail and some of that cane be put down to operator error....me.

So before complaining on a public forum make sure you have your facts right, the manufacturer cannot be held responsible for your poor wiring effort!

You have no idea when it comes to any sort of constructive criticism do you? Straight in with nothing good to say, "it didn't work for me so I pull yours apart mentality"

I emailed you a link to a YouTube video, where the wiring isn't poor - it's as simple as you can get. Blacks to select, other black and red to volt meter. Perhaps you should have had a look at the emails I sent you before assuming anything about my effort.

I've sent a couple of emails to DCC Concepts, but haven't heard back from them yet.


Hmmm maybe because we have had a couple of public holidays in the last week including today. Did you purchase form DCC Concepts or another supplier in the UK. If the latter I would expect that to be your first port of call.


They'd be my first port of call if I was returning them, sure, but when I looked for advice it seemed logical to contact the inventor rather than the retailer. I'll bear in mind, in future, that you consider your retailers to be adept, and won't be sending any more mails to questions@dccconcepts.com despite its apparent relevance.
Hepton East (a very small OO shelf layout with DCC and Mercontrol)
PGP fingerprint: E66A 9D58 AA10 E967 41A6 474E E41D 10AE 082C F3ED

Martin71
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Re: A to Z of coach lighting.

Postby Martin71 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:37 pm

Let me make some very basic suggestions.

I've wired the black inputs to the lights. One goes to blue, the other goes to yellow and white, protecting the yellow and white from each other using a couple of diodes. Basically, I'm using the decoder as a filter, because it just didn't work well from the track input. Yellow and white were chosen because one of them will always be at zero when I'm using DC. The green wire is connected to function 1 (green to green, dead easy). It never worked, either when the blacks were on the Select or the function output.


Nobody else to my best of my knowledge does this and why filter when ff2 has a filter already built in. Look 10/10 for thinking outside the box but if you have a problem be 100% sure you are correct before you blame a product.

Wire it up as per manufacturers instructions and test it on another DCC NMRA approved controller besides the select. Eg Dynamis, NCE Lenz etc. I'm sure you will get the desired results you want.
I know plenty of modelers using ff2 with no problems at all, the only difference between them and you, they followed the manufacturers instructions and they dont have a select.

I didn't "go off on a rant," I said I was unimpressed with the performance on a Select, and advised people with a Select not to shell out. You appear to hold strong opinions on the Select yourself. Be clear about which you're blaming - me or my controller.


Again my opinion only as far as I am concerned you did go off on a rant, and yes I do hold strong opinions re select. Simple It is not NMRA complaint, thats a well know fact and I have tested it. I have seen the results and I know its problems.
Let me put it another way One of Germany's top model rail mags tested the select years ago, 2-3 page spread and the title was "Return to Sender" Would you like to read it?

Oh, and for the record, I hadn't realised that you are DCC Concepts until you posted this reply.

What? where did that come from, another poor assumption! No, my name is Martin hence Martin71. I do not work or own DCC Concepts. I do however buy his quality products.

I emailed you a link to a YouTube video, where the wiring isn't poor - it's as simple as you can get. Blacks to select, other black and red to volt meter. Perhaps you should have had a look at the emails I sent you before assuming anything about my effort.


No idea what your on about you emailed me nothing!

I cannot see the point in continuing this exercise any more the product works well on NMRA controllers, when wired correctly.

Martin

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End2end
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Re: A to Z of coach lighting.

Postby End2end » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:36 pm

Definatly a vote for a FULL NMRA compatible controller.
Very interesting and educational article although I got completely lost on the relay wiring lol.
Luckily DCC concepts have added the relays onboard to the FF2 (I think) so no more confusing wiring hopefully.
The FF2 is fairly new to me, only finding out about them in the last 2 weeks but I am seriously considering these lighting units for my coaches on DCC.
I would like to add them to my 4 wheel coaches so will be looking for a smaller, shorter version if it's available.
Thanks.
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alex3410
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Re: A to Z of coach lighting.

Postby alex3410 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:45 pm

thanks for digging this one up really interesting and brilliant read :D

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TimberSurf
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Re: A to Z of coach lighting.

Postby TimberSurf » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:14 pm

I designed what DCC concepts do, about 2 years ago, then of course, learned they had beaten me to it and brought it to market! lol :D
But nice to see a detailed description with pics of how to install!

@ Martin71 - you neglected a minor point that the uninitiated may not realise, the need to cut notch's out of the top of compartment dividers! Needed if divider meets the roof to get PCB strip and wires to fit.
@ end2end - you can just cut off what you don't want in length.
@ alex3410 - agreed!
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