Tagged With "Dim Headlights"

Topic

Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

JTrains ·
I've searched a bit to see if this topic has been discussed before, but it seems that it has not. So... ...even when you wire your PW switches to use auxiliary power, when you throw a switch you get a dimming of the lamps. This makes perfect sense, as the switch coil draws high amperage and thus the voltage will tend to drop (which dims the bulbs) unless/until the transformer can react to re-establish the original voltage again at the new, higher current draw. In a DC circuit you’d smooth...
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

stan2004 ·
Well, this being a discussion forum, some additional thoughts. I think DC is the way to go. I also appreciate the idea that fussing with a dozen plus switches (converting to LED, adding filtering, etc.) can be a hassle. So for the sake of discussion , we can contrive a requirement that the switches themselves are not to be modified. One tricky part about staying AC is how to sense the momentary solenoid current surge in a timely manner . AC sensors typically average the voltage or current...
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

RJR ·
Town & Country Hobbies, who usually has a booth between Charles Ro & Bachman at York, sells direct replacement bulbs for 022 switches, both bayonet or screw base types. When I built a layout for some grandkids, I replaced all switch and controller bulbs with LEDs so they wouldn't burn fingers.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

TrainLarry ·
What transformer are you using? A heavier capacity transformer dedicated to just the switches will not dim the bulbs. Larry
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

JTrains ·
I'm using a PW ZW-R and the situation occurs even with nothing else drawing current.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

JTrains ·
Discussions are indeed good. Let’s continue with this a bit more. When I said “switch in” a DC boost, my thinking was literally to switch it in: my control panel is built with DPDTs with the second pole unused. So my thought was to wire up the second pole with a static DC boost of a couple of volts and when the switch was physically actuated to bridge that over into circuit. This would mechanically remove the sensing part of the equation and keep all of the complexity back at the switch...
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

JTrains ·
Taking a step back for a second: does everyone have this dimming effect occur that has not taken some specific measures to alleviate it?
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

gunrunnerjohn ·
What is also needed is also heavier wire going to the switches, the voltage drop is just as likely to be drop in the power wiring to the switch as the transformer. Both elements figure into any voltage drop.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

JTrains ·
As a side note I use 14AWG for the switch feeders and 16AWG for the "star" connections that emanate from each one, so I would think there's plenty of ampacity in my configuration. Also I'm using a PW ZW-R with everything else turned off and still seeing the effect.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

stan2004 ·
But doesn't the switch itself "automatically" disable the solenoid when it successfully toggles position? In other words, the solenoid current stops flowing by itself irrespective of the controller. So if the boost is slaved to the controller switch, it seems the boost might still be present after the turnout changes position and the lamps would momentarily brighten until you release the controller switch. Unless you can exactly time the lever switch closure interval.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

JTrains ·
Oh, well heck - you're absolutely right. What I proposed succeeded in creating the inverse of the problem I was trying to solve! Which, thinking about it, is also the effect found in the PW transformer "whistle boost" circuit in that engines often speed up when the whistle is engaged on a non-motor-driven whistle.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

RoyBoy ·
All this is a lot more work than just ignoring the momentary dimming of the lights, like every other operator has done for the last 100 years - unless OCD is a factor.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

RJR ·
Amen, RoyBoy.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

stan2004 ·
Well, this is a discussion forum so maybe it's only me but I appreciate the exchange of ALL ideas as a part-and-parcel aspect of the hobby. For example, I've always meant to look further into the use of audio amplifiers as a low-cost source of clean AC track power. The invention of the "triac" AC transformer controller and its chopped-ugly sinewave might have been the worst "invention" for our hobby! From the home-theater amplifiers available today, you get hundreds of Watts of clean...
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

JTrains ·
Indeed Stan - as this is, after all, the "Electrical Forum" and I thought someone might have a really simple AC solution that I'd overlooked. As RoyBoy suggests I'll probably just continue to suspend disbelief - as we do with the third rail, the random scale-ness of cars, the gateman who stands 20+ scale feet tall, etc. The fun, at least for me, is in the discussion of ideas as much as the solving of the problem. Unfortunately my Frankenstein guitar amp (or a derivative of it) won't cut the...
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

shawn ·
John, that’s what I thought you saidl
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

gunrunnerjohn ·
Why would you select tubes for this job? A solid state amplifier will be far more efficient, and cheaper to boot. Did I mention it will be a lot smaller as well? A really high power tube amp for 60hz is going to require some huge transformers!
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

stan2004 ·
Maybe the light emitted by the tube filaments could boost switch bulb brightness.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

gunrunnerjohn ·
I forgot about the Photon Effect Stan, I'll have to keep that in mind.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

JTrains ·
Obviously, it's 'cause tubes rock and you just can't get that vintage tone for your layout using SS! Seriously, I'm not going to build a tube amp to somehow power my train - but I might just build another tube guitar amp. Winters are long in Chicago.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

gunrunnerjohn ·
Use an LED and a capacitor and diode to drive the lamp.
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

stan2004 ·
How many switches on your layout? And to be clear, you're referring all the lamps dimming when one switch is thrown? If the aux power wiring to multiple switches is a daisy-chain, then it seems switches closer to the transformer will see less drop and might actually get brighter if some kind of boost method is used! Is conversion to LED a viable option? Note that this would likely require more than swapping out the existing filament bulb for a basic LED equivalent. The LED must have some...
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

JTrains ·
Thanks for the thoughts. With my current "concrete floor empire" I have about a dozen switches - and they are all illuminated with incandescent lamps (although the switch panel uses LEDs). So the transformer sees about a 1A load in steady-state. The switches are powered in a semi-daisy chain configuration with a couple of low-gauge feeders which then branch out so the effect is by-my-eyes about equal among all of the switches. As you point out just converting to drop-in LED lamps might not...
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Re: Smoothing the Light Dim/Ripple When Throwing O22 Switches

gunrunnerjohn ·
If you added local buffering with the capacitor for each LED, the lights would be steady.
Topic

Atlas O SW8/9 dim headlights

geysergazer ·
Help, help, good people! Directional headlight outputs are from the Dallee sound/reverse board. The headlights are very dim at the track voltage necessary for low speed operation but the brightness does vary with track voltage. Anyone have an idea as to how I can get decent headlight brightness? A simple LED with a resistor in series? I don't want to have to do too much experimentation because getting at the rear headlight involves the non-trivial exercise of removing the cab and then the...
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Re: Atlas O SW8/9 dim headlights

gunrunnerjohn ·
I'd go with an LED with a resistor and diode. 330 ohm is probably a good value for conventional running.
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Re: Atlas O SW8/9 dim headlights

geysergazer ·
Thanks, John. I was thinking 330-447 ohm. Had forgotten about the need for a diode. The stock incandescents are tiny so I need to look at that as well.
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