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I tried connecting an evans design universal LED to an ngineering mars light simulator (specifically the N8031), but no light is coming from the LED. I assumed it would work if I connected the simulator between the evans design circuit and the LED, but apparently I was wrong.  This image shows how I connected the simulator. image1 [9)

The wires between the circuits are cut because I thought it would work if I reversed the polarity, but I was wrong. Any advice for what I should do differently would be greatly appreciated.

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Original Post

I’ve never tried wiring in a mars unit but did you try the board on the other side? 

I'm pretty sure I soldered everything to the right side. The instructions have a diagram which makes it clear which side to use.

what are you using for power supply? Did you test the LED first'..? SOmething don't sound right........

The LED did work before I connected everything. The power source I'm using is a railking z1000. I have a small DC transformer that I might use to temporarily bypass the evans design circuit and test the ngineering board to see if I damaged it while soldering everything. 

@Danr posted:

The N8031 has a resistor built in so it will function at 7-19 volts (track voltage).  Check the instructions for your mars light board to see what kind of lamp it is supposed to use.

That could be the issue. I'm pretty sure the evans design circuit also has a resistor, so the combination of the two could be keeping the LED from working. I'm going to test it with a DC power source.

BTW, the N8031 requires SMOOTH DC at from 6 to 18 VDC, so the Evan's module without any filter cap and probably too much current limiting isn't suitable for the job.  Also, the N8031 does NOT!!! run from track power, that will immediately smoke it! 

I use a separate little regulated power supply, I typically use from 8-12 VDC for that MARS simulator.

BTW, the N8031 requires SMOOTH DC at from 6 to 18 VDC, so the Evan's module without any filter cap and probably too much current limiting isn't suitable for the job.  Also, the N8031 does NOT!!! run from track power, that will immediately smoke it! 

I use a separate little regulated power supply, I typically use from 8-12 VDC for that MARS simulator.

What should I use for a separate regulated power supply? I was hoping to use this with an ERR cruise commander, but now I'm not sure if that's possible. I connected this board to an HO scale transformer and the LED lit up, but seemed to flash way too quickly, so I'm guessing this board is damaged.

Try it with a proper supply.  The HO transformer doesn't have a filtered DC.  The MARS board has a microprocessor, it REQUIRES well filtered DC.  There is also a very small regulator, that allows it to run from 6-18 volts DC, but it has to be filtered and not just a rectified AC waveform.  I use a P/S of my own creation for running these.

By hooking it up to ( I'm using is a railking z1000.) That is AC, I think you smoked the unit and the bulb.... You need regulated DC as GRJ has explained...  We live and we learn... don't get discouraged'...😷

The bulb still seems to work, but yeah I think the board is broken. I have another one that I haven't touched yet, but now I'm too worried to do anything with it. 

Last edited by Blackjack4935

The bulb still seems to work, but yeah I think the board is broken. I have another one that I haven't touched yet, but now I'm too worried to do anything with it. 

If you have a nine volt battery on hand, that is all you need to test the device and the LED.  Don't us any other power supplies:  Even if you hook up the leads out of sequence, no damage will happen to the device.....  Take your time... try different wiring connections.... 👍

If you have a nine volt battery on hand, that is all you need to test the device and the LED.  Don't us any other power supplies:  Even if you hook up the leads out of sequence, no damage will happen to the device.....  Take your time... try different wiring connections.... 👍

Just tried that. It worked perfectly! Looks like the board is fine after all. Now I just have to figure out how to configure it so it works in my locomotive.

It's a williams FM trainmaster that I installed ERR cruise and railsounds in.

You shouldn't have any trouble installing the board/mars/lgt. Find a lead that is only putting out 10 volts DC max...There may be a plug on  the cruise or sound board that will allow correct hook up... I've installed ERR sound but no cruise.. As long as the lead puts out converted DC from the AC,  you should be fine.  If you have a multi meter you can check what voltage is going out of the leads...

Good luck'.... Check in with your results... 😉👍🏻👀😁

The N8101 seems pretty limiting, and I think even the lighting outputs would over power it's 11.3 max voltage spec.  You can assemble three low-cost components to make a suitable filtered power source for this part.  This will work powered from the TMCC lighting outputs or from track power.

Thank you for the schematic. I'll definitely give this a try. It will probably take a while for all the components to get here though.

So... I ended up running into another problem. I assembled the circuit and tested it with a small, incandescent bulb. I attached two wires to the board and connected them to the track and slowly increased power. The bulb lit up, but the wires started sparking where they contacted the rails, and then the LM78L12 voltage regulator started smoking. I checked the circuit multiple times before testing it, but I either missed something or I'm misinterpreting the schematic. Does anyone see a mistake in the attached pictures (besides sloppy soldering)?

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You do realize that the PCB you're using has the entire row of copper, so for one, the diode is connected to the same copper strip on both ends.  That's for starters, I have no idea what you're doing with the regulator, but it's also shorted in the same way!

I had a feeling that would be an issue... Not sure why I ignored it. I'll try it again with new components. Hopefully I'll get it right this time!

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