Lighting powered by DCC

Basic electrical and electronics, such as DC/Analog control.
swinden dalesman
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:07 pm

Lighting powered by DCC

Postby swinden dalesman » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:38 pm

Thinking ahead here really but it is all part of the planning process as it was.....

Whilst i was doing a bit of mocking up today my girlfriend cherped up & said that the station & the signal box would look great lit up once fitted to the railway. I thought this was a good idea & this got me thinking.
Although i'm not new to railway modeling, electronics has never been my strong point & DCC is a new ball game i am playing so it is uncharted territory. What i would like to know is how i power lighting etc with a feed from the rails using the power of DCC. Do i need anything special to do this, do the lighting/bulbs have to be DCC ready & what kind of gubbins do you recommend to get me started. I want something plain & simple without a mass of wire etc.



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Re: Lighting powered by DCC

Postby Flashbang » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:16 pm

While DCC power can be used for lighting LEDs I prefer to keep the DCC for running the locos.
Another factor will be what DCC system is being used? e.g. If for example its a Select or Bachmann EZ Command the DCC output, current wise, is very low compared to many other systems. Therefore there wont be much current for lighting with three or four locos running on a 1.0Amp PSU.

Personally I would use a totally separate power supply to feed all lighting. A 12 volt dc PSU feeding into a pair of wires that run around the layout and onto these are connected all the LED lighting. If 12 volt LEDs are not used, then each LED will need a series wired resistor. A 1K0 OHM 1/4watt resistor per LED will normally be fine.

If you must use the DCC, again a series resistor would be wired into each LED - Using a 1K0 1/4watt resistor should be ok for most LEDs. I would also recommend adding a diode (1N4001 etc) in inverse parallel across the LED to improve its longevity on DCC.
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