illuminated writing on factory chmneys

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tuxychuff
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illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby tuxychuff » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:50 am

Does anyone know how light up (neon?) writing down factory chimneys could be created in a model, complete with individual connections to each letter for animation?
Sort of like this:
chimney_writing.gif
chimney_writing.gif (37 KiB) Viewed 2053 times

There's also one in 'A close shave' but I cant find any decent pictures.

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Bufferstop
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:10 am

It would be easier done on the end of an office block. For a chimney you would need to divide it up into cells with a covering of brick designs printed on coloured transparent film. The same sequencer, electronic or electro-mechanical would do both. You might find a suitable sequencer in a set of Christmas lights. Sometime in the 60's there was a city centre model, with sequenced lights on the cinema name and traffic lights. Along with an underground train shuttling in and out all working from an old cocoa tin covered in sticky back plastic. The tin was rotated by an old Meccano motor and springy contacts connected via slots cut in the plastic to complete the circuits.
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tuxychuff
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby tuxychuff » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:21 pm

The idea was to have letters there all the time just having then light up (or not).
here's a better picture:
tower_writing2.gif
tower_writing2.gif (135.61 KiB) Viewed 2018 times

I was going to use an arduino for fully programable sequencing. :D

the problem is how do I make tiny letters light up?

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Flashbang
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby Flashbang » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:28 pm

Hi
It would be very hard to get the individual lettering lit and then scroll/flash etc.
I belive even the smallest LEDs would probably be too large?

There are a few ready made signs produced by Express Models but nothing in the range you're referring to! http://www.expressmodels.co.uk/acatalog/ANIMATED_NEON_SIGNS.html
There is this company who produce lit model railway signs in the USA and supply many Neon style signs, but again nothing that resembles your requirement. But worth a look never the less. http://www.microstru.com/index.html
The other thing to investigate is EL wire EL wire search link
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tuxychuff
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby tuxychuff » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:54 pm

Flashbang wrote:Hi
It would be very hard to get the individual lettering lit and then scroll/flash etc.

Only if I can't get individual wires to the lights!
I believe even the smallest LEDs would probably be too large?

I think 1.8mm ones would work when combined with clear plastic lettering. Fridge lettering would be a possiblity if I could get some incredibly small letters :?
The other thing to investigate is EL wire

Good but bending into intricate shapes might be difficult. Also the need for an AC supply would make control harder.

I think I need some tiny, translucent plastic letters....

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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby tuxychuff » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:46 pm

What did he use for lettering?

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Bufferstop
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:52 pm

If you could source transparent plastic letters it might be possible to join one or more optic fibres to the back of each letter. A useful supply of fibre is discarded illuminating Christmas trees, or if you ever see one, the plume from a "UFO" table lamp. Fibres might just flex enough to pass down the chimney. Another approach might be to form the letters as bundles of short pieces of fibre (that's the first challenge) with a light source behind each bundle. This idea comes courtesy of an old photocopier the complete optical system of which was a nine inch wide by about one tenth of an inch thick block of fibres. Creating the letters is going to be your major challenge.
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tuxychuff
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby tuxychuff » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:37 pm

Bufferstop wrote:Creating the letters is going to be your major challenge.

    Agreed.

If I could get hold of some thick(ish) clear plastic, how could it be cut into letters.
Unless I can get a tiny jigsaw (anyone) I'm stumped. :?

D0260
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby D0260 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:35 pm

For a 'Tiny jigsaw' read ' piercing saw' or piercing saw blades which are like very very fine fretsaw blades- Tap it into Ebay to see what they are.

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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby brit-in-bama » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:21 pm

hi tuxychuff
I tried to do something similar many years ago (late eighties), with not too much success, the main problem seamed to be using clear plastic (Acrylic, perspex,) or glass, as the light (where ever fed from) does not illuminate the letters, except from the cut sides, the front of the letter remained dark but the area around the letter lit up the surrounding back-wall, it in no way resembled a neon light, I tried this using a white tube but the pigment seemed to be too dense and only half the “I“(2 inches long) showed any illumination then faded out, but by using 1200 wet and dry paper to scuff (dull-down) the outside of the clear tube it looked like a fluorescent tube, and I did notice that if you shine a light down the end of a clear acrylic rod, any scratch or mark on the outside seems to act as an “emitter”, so a “row of bulbs effect’ could be produced from a single led at one end,especially if the rod was painted black in between the "nodes" shall we call them, the problem is that because you are trying to use a clear medium to both "conduct" and "emit" the light, there is nothing inside the medium to reflect the light out to the viewer, this is how fiber-optics work, they contain the light inside the cable (or sheet) by reflecting the light back inside the core instead of emitting it out sideways as light, I also had a limited success illuminating the port-holes on a small model ship by using the clear front cover of a cd case by cutting it into strips gluing it inside the hull, then “carefully” using a small drill (1mm) drilled into but not through the clear plastic, though the light was green (the only led’s I had from a defunct printer, painted black so they only shone into the edge of the clear plastic) it did look quite good at night, but very dim in daylight, when I move and start modeling again (sometime this year) I will re-investigate model lighting again, as I am sure it has moved in leaps and bounds since my simplistic days 25 years ago
hope this is of use,
keith

tuxychuff
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby tuxychuff » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:28 pm

Could be useful, but I've already got a system for sequencing and the biggest challenge at the moment is what do I make lettering from?

Based on the tower at my local friendly sewage pumping station the tower will be 70cm high, octagonal, with a base diameter of 13cm and a top diameter of 2cm.

I still think small fridge lettering would be good if I could get any...

D0260
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby D0260 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:59 pm

You might try looking at electroluminescent panels which can be cut and shaped to suit with either a green or bluey green light- sometimes were used on older model TV channel displays ( when TV's had 8 channels or so)

Here's a typical Ebay panel... http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/EL-Lamp-electroluminescent-panel-led-you-out-fr-dark-/230558173993?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35ae568b29

peroni
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby peroni » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:59 am

You might take a look at this sight here, they make animated signs for model railroads, also they have Experimenter kits so that you can make your own sighs, they have all their signs showing in animated gif format so that you can see what they look like.
Just left click on the sign and it will show the animation.

http://www.microstru.com/Animated-signs.html


Miller Engineering’s line of animated LIGHT WORKS neon signs are created
from the same thin (.010”) Electroluminescence material as our non-animated
signs, with all the benefits and more. These incredible signs offer state of the
art lighting technology that has never before been available to the modeler.
Each kit is pre-programmed with 46 different chase patterns, allowing the user
to choose which pattern they want. Once a pattern is chosen, it is stored in
memory and is remembered each time the sign is turned on again. Chase
patterns can be changed over and over again.


Like our non-animated signs, LIGHT WORKS animated signs come in two
types: Vertical signs that are designed to be used on the sides of buildings and
Horizontal signs that are for the roof tops of buildings. All vertical signs are
available in left and right versions. Signs are suitable for all scales. The
smallest signs may even be used as window signs on larger scales. Our
animated signs draw 180 ma. All kits come with a 3AAA battery holder

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Flashbang
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby Flashbang » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:51 am

Hmm thats one of the links I posted almost at the beginning of the topic (4th reply down)!
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Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

locoworks
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Re: illuminated writing on factory chmneys

Postby locoworks » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:25 pm

could you model the chimney as a series of clear discs all witgh an LED in each one and a black piece of card between each layer?? this way you could wrap the chimney in brick paper and cut the letters out leaving the light to exit through the letter shaped holes? i don't suppose it would give a good 3 dimensional look, but small clear or translucent letters could be fitted over the holes in the paper to give depth. i suppose you do the same with a plastic chimney and drill small holes in it to represent individual bulbs and possition them to spell the word and fit clear 'rivet' shapes into the holes to make the bulb stick proud, or put a clear letter over the holes to give the impression of a 3 dimensional letter lit with individual bulbs inside rather than a 'neon'??


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