Blk69

need help with adding lights to my trains

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Looking for a little bit of help.  I would like to add some lights to my trains.  I want to add more then TLG PF two led light set. Also want to add some red LED's for end of train devices.  Hoping someone can help with the following

1) Why doesn't my local lego store carry the PF light kit by itself (know you can't help with this but frustrating).  Have to wait till I need something over $35 for free shipping.  Want to get a set to see how they work before fabricating my own.

2) TLG offers two PF extension cables.  They are dirt cheap (one's $3 other $4).  I was hoping to cut one of these cables in half and use the plugs to tap the power from my I/R receiver. Which cable will work for me, I just need to get the +- of the 9 VDV.  

3) I want to add lighting to all the cars of my high speed passenger train 60051.  I am planning adding light to the ceiling of the cars to better light each (glue them to bricks).  LED's will be strip type (have experience with these).  Will look a lot like the aftermarket fancy LED lighting kits offered.  Anyone know what type of glue will be best to stick to Lego?

If I have caused anyone unnecessary heartburn about future cutting TLG power cords and gluing bricks, my apologizes.  Know this can be a sensitive subject for some.  I will use old and defective bricks/parts whenever possible.

 

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Use double sided tape rather than glue, it makes less mess. And easier if you are using stop LEDs. You can also push regular 3mm LEDs into technic brick holes which make good train lights.

You can cut the power cables for power, but check polarity, especially if for LEDs. You will need an  h bridge if you use the remote to control brightness and go negative polarity.

Edited by MAB

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In general, Lego Brand Retail Stores seem happy when they can stock any individual Power Functions elements!  My local store, like the Lego website, has been out of stock on the IR receiver but has the other train-making pieces - train motor, AAA battery box, and speed controller as well as the Medium motor to power fairground sets.  If you go visit your local Lego Brand Retail Store and ask about getting the PF lights, you may get a free shipping code for shop.lego.com so you can order without having to get to $35 for the free shipping. When in doubt, please ask - the Brick Specialists usually try to be helpful whenever possible, at least in my experience!

As for using glue, I'd instead go with MAB's suggestion of double-sided tape, whether plastic- or foam-backed is up to you.  Best of luck in lighting up your train! - weeble

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15 hours ago, Blk69 said:

2) TLG offers two PF extension cables.  They are dirt cheap (one's $3 other $4).  I was hoping to cut one of these cables in half and use the plugs to tap the power from my I/R receiver. Which cable will work for me, I just need to get the +- of the 9 VDV.  
 

You can use the outer two wires to have GND and +9VDC:
http://www.internetoflego.com/lego-train-automation-wifi-controlled-nodemcu-esp8266/lego-pf-cable-pinout-picture/

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I'd suggest taking a look at Brickstuff lights. I've used them on every project I've done with lighting, and have never been disappointed. In my opinion, they're way better than Lego's lights for a number of reasons. The lights, wires, and connectors are much smaller and can fit in so many more places than the Lego ones can and will take up much less space inside the train. Hope this helps!

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8 hours ago, CaL said:

As you are not afraid of cutting & gluing LEGO parts, you should take a very close look at the FX-Brick:  https://www.fxbricks.com/resources/sounds/

 

It is really amazing, what you can do with it!!!

This was a very interesting website.  Can see some real possibilities here.  When TLG goes to Blue Tooth Control, having a micro process on the engine would be ideal.  Could access train direction, speed control, and accessories via a smart phone.  This is very close to what they are doing now in the model railroad hobby (I have been resisting, still run my O scale trains conventionally).  

19 hours ago, MAB said:

Use double sided tape rather than glue, it makes less mess. And easier if you are using stop LEDs. You can also push regular 3mm LEDs into technic brick holes which make good train lights.

You can cut the power cables for power, but check polarity, especially if for LEDs. You will need an  h bridge if you use the remote to control brightness and go negative polarity.

Like the idea of using tape.  Was not planning on dimming the lighting ( not using a channel to control the lights).  Basically I'm thinking would be easiest to just tap the battery box cable before the I/O receiver, when the train is on, so are lights (full brightness).  Did not consider dimming the lights, is this something you are doing and if so what do you think?  Is it worth it.

 

12 hours ago, weeble1688 said:

In general, Lego Brand Retail Stores seem happy when they can stock any individual Power Functions elements!  My local store, like the Lego website, has been out of stock on the IR receiver but has the other train-making pieces - train motor, AAA battery box, and speed controller as well as the Medium motor to power fairground sets.  If you go visit your local Lego Brand Retail Store and ask about getting the PF lights, you may get a free shipping code for shop.lego.com so you can order without having to get to $35 for the free shipping. When in doubt, please ask - the Brick Specialists usually try to be helpful whenever possible, at least in my experience!

As for using glue, I'd instead go with MAB's suggestion of double-sided tape, whether plastic- or foam-backed is up to you.  Best of luck in lighting up your train! - weeble

I am fortunate to have a decent Lego store (its small but well stocked) within driving distance.  I contacted them and they said they didn't carry just the lights, didn't ask about the free shipping code.  Will give that a try.

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4 hours ago, freestorm said:

This is the info I was looking for.   Thank you for the diagram.  Do both cables 8871 and 8886 have the same pin out? I think so, but some of the reviews reference some cables not having as many conductors as others.  Not sure what they were referring to as they were also referencing accessing older 9V motors.

3 hours ago, CrispyBassist said:

I'd suggest taking a look at Brickstuff lights. I've used them on every project I've done with lighting, and have never been disappointed. In my opinion, they're way better than Lego's lights for a number of reasons. The lights, wires, and connectors are much smaller and can fit in so many more places than the Lego ones can and will take up much less space inside the train. Hope this helps!

These look like really nice kits.  What kits have you purchased?  

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8 hours ago, Blk69 said:

These look like really nice kits.  What kits have you purchased?  

I don't usually order the kits, mainly just packs of lights, connecting wires, and the PF adapter as I need them for projects. 

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On 25/02/2018 at 3:48 AM, Blk69 said:

Was not planning on dimming the lighting ( not using a channel to control the lights).  Basically I'm thinking would be easiest to just tap the battery box cable before the I/O receiver, when the train is on, so are lights (full brightness).  Did not consider dimming the lights, is this something you are doing and if so what do you think?  Is it worth it.

2

Yes. I did it for my son's train. He loves being able to turn off his bedroom lights, then control the lights in his trains, he can turn on the carriages, cab and the front/rear lights separately. But we no longer use the IR, we use a custom built arduino solution instead as this allows him to change the colours too.

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A low-cost option is to use micro LEDs secured to the ceilings of the carriages via transparent bricks.  I lit 6 Horizon Express carriages with parts costing c.£5 this way: c.£2.50 for the bricks (excl. delivery) and c.£2.50 for the string of micro LEDs (the only non-Lego part; this cost excludes the two AA batteries in the power pack).  No glue required.  The quality of the lighting effect produced is obviously dependent on the quality of the micro LEDs used (I got some which claimed to meet the CE standard).

Edited by DameVeraLynn

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