skaako

Custom LED Train Lighting

7 posts in this topic

Hi Guys,

I got a bit carried away with my latest lighting setup and thought I would share my progress. I started off just wanting front and rear white/red lights but... well video's speak louder than words..

I have an ESP8266 onboard programmed with the Arduino IDE. The motor is controlled with a RC brushed motor ESC and the LED's (6 in total) are all programmable so they only need 1 output pin for all 6.

It is communicating by MQTT and at the moment I am using Home Assistant just as a test controller but the plan is to use it with 4DBrix's nControl software as the features become available. A benefit of using Home Assistant lets me control it from my phone or PC. It will work across the web as well but I don't really have the need to control my trains from outside the house. Not yet anyway... :laugh:  

I'll get some video's about the build up when I can :classic:

Mike

 

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The cab lights are super cool! I'm interested in the technical details of this. How did you fit the LEDs? What size LEDs are you using? What's your power supply? 

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9 hours ago, McWaffel said:

The cab lights are super cool! I'm interested in the technical details of this. How did you fit the LEDs? What size LEDs are you using? What's your power supply? 

Thanks :classic:  I'll make another video of the internal details and how it is setup. Getting the LED's right was probably the most difficult part but am quite happy with the result. The LED's are individual 5050 programmable RGB LED's each on their own board daisy chained together. I had looked into using 3mm White/Red LED's but I couldn't find a supplier in NZ. I might look at using them in future but the 5050 programmables are more brighter and can be any colour you like. Also you only need 1 data pin to control the lights and the power is fed directly to the lighting so there is really no current limitation.

For the power supply I have a battery pack made of 2 18650 cells onboard. I think they are 2600mAh each and have built in protection.

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1 hour ago, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

I've never seen the flashing lights, but I've to admit that they are awesome! :wub:

Thanks :classic:  I was playing around with different styles to see how they would turn out. I was trying to copy the action of how ditch lights alternate when a train approaches a station or a level crossing. I ended up reading about how in a study they found that trains appeared to be closer to pedestrians or drivers with alternating lights. In the last style on the video (Fade Each) I was trying out something similar to how a Mars light looks. I think I like this one the best out of them. It would look really cool on the Sante Fe engine.

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I meant: "I've never seen the flashing lights on a Lego MOC" ...and you've done a great work!

See a working locomotive approach a station with this kind of flashing lights is very professional! :thumbup:

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On 3/13/2017 at 7:36 PM, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

I meant: "I've never seen the flashing lights on a Lego MOC" ...and you've done a great work!

See a working locomotive approach a station with this kind of flashing lights is very professional! :thumbup:

Sorry about that :blush:  and thanks again for the comments :classic:  Using the Programmable LED's makes this quite a simple task for wiring. Using conventional LED's you would need 6 channels for the headlights (1 each for the white LED's and 1 per pair of red LED's) 2 channels for the cab lights. Then.. if you wanted the dimming you would need the white LED's and the cab lighting on analog outputs.

Now I need to finish lighting up my station so I can create the whole scene :laugh:

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