Monday, March 16, 2015

V200: Lights

Since I already decided that I would rip out the analog insides of this Maerklin 3021 and put a decoder in I did not want to keep the original light package either. I do want to do the model justice and keep the outside appearance as it was manufactured in 1958, thus I'll refrain from drilling out the 3rd headlight which is merely suggested by a bit of silver paint, as much as that offends my prototype instincts.

Light-board Mark I
I built a new light-board from some strip board and DCC-friendly 14V miniature light bulbs. I used some stacked styrene bits and double-sided tape to mount the board inside the locomotive shell, carefully paying attention to leave enough room for the motor assembly right next to it.

Light-board Mk I mounted in the shell
I hooked up my workbench 12V power supply and ... was underwhelmed.

Yes, the lights look ok. In fact they are looking better than with the original light package, but if I'm going through all this trouble might as well choose something with less maintenance burden. I remembered that I still have a pack of 3mm warm-white LEDs in my supply cabinet, and built a light-board with two LEDs arranged in series, protected by a 1.5kOhm resistor. After taking the photo I glued the stack of styrene and double-sided tape to the light-board assembly and mounted it the same way as the first one.

Light-board Mark II
The light looks similar and this was a somewhat pointless exercise after all, but now the old lady has LED lights. Woot.

Time to wire up the lights with the decoder in the chassis and see how well this all works on the layout.

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