I now have a little collection of n scale locomotives, and all of them “need” lights in order to look cool. Here’s a list of what is in play.

  • Minitrix E7 (has an LED light)
  • Minitrix U28C (had an in-can-decent light but I removed it)
  • Bachmann GP40 (has an LED light– front and back!)
  • Bachmann E9 (has an in-can-decent light that works good)
  • Bachmann Dash 8 (had a horrible LED installation that I removed)
  • Bachmann E7 (had non-working in-can-decent–waiting for parts)

Well that’s it. I installed the LED lighting in the GP40 and the Minitrix E7 and they work well.

I’m “chuffed” as they say in my homeland (or what I call my homeland ever since I got the DNA results).

I’m leaving the inky-dink light in the E9.

I had an LED that worked for a bit in the U-boat (I’m getting pretty salty in railroad language, eh!) but it failed due to a premature ground that occurred, somehow, when the wire I was using had it’s insulation wear away and the metal wire touched the metal frame of the locomotive. More research will follow…

The problem with the U-boat is that, while it had a light, it didn’t look like the light on any real train (I almost said “prototype”–get me!) in creation. In the history of railroading. Except for that one guy who put the weird light on old 1234 on the old Fat Duck and Elmer Railway in 1945…

(crickets chirping)

Here is my U-boat with a different shell. I like the whole “multiple shell” idea and think it should have become a part of mainstream model railroading.

Yeah. Me. I have that opinion.

Here is what’s wrong with the lighting on this. See those two TINY, TINY, OH SO TINY holes between the “eyebrows” where the numbers go? That isn’t going to look prototypical if you just put a light bulb behind it. That sort of thing may have passed muster in 1972 but nowadays it’s a non-starter.

Here’s a “project.” A Bachmann Dash 8 that is my fore-a into moderncy.

What? I can’t make up words now? Everybody else can do it.

Hip Hop Dan. From now on I’m Bubba D featuring Hip Hop Dan.

I’ll start rapping later. Seriously. You’ll be a-maze-d (see what I did there?).

The Bachmann loco has been disassembled. Here is the bizarre circuit board that was inside it, for lighting.

Sheesh. The LED’s were AMBER. I kid you not. The result was nutty.

Look at those tiny holes. LOOK AT ‘EM!

Actually, the holes are hard to see. They’re there, but practically invisible. Nowhere for light to emerge.

This problem of The Light and the Tiny Holes is an ancient dilemma. To solve it, I will attempt to use optical fiber.

Fiber optic cable.

This will allow me to put the light right where I want it. Supposedly.

We’ll see…

1 Reply to “Lights”

  1. I always loved lights on engines and cars. Also smoke from some likely toxic liquid in capsules that you squeezed down the stack . It worked well, but probably messed up a bunch of nuerons.
    Can’t wait to see pics of your lights in the dark.

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