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New to the O Gauge forum. I have recently purchased 2 Legacy engines which are now pulling my passengers cars with 14V 1445 bulbs which are now way to bright running constant 18v. I have looked all over on line trying to find led 18v replacement bulbs bayonet base in warm white clear small head bulbs. I need quite a few of them so price is important as well. Thank you for your help. Dave

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If you're trying to be thrifty LED replacements won't help.  They're more expensive than traditional lamps.

But you can stick with traditional bulbs and save money.   You'll need No. 1447 (18 V) instead of 1445 (14 V) and your excessive brightness problem and the potentially damaging heat due to excessive voltage, associated with it, will go away.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

If you're trying to be thrifty LED replacements won't help.  They're more expensive than traditional lamps.

But you can stick with traditional bulbs and save money.   You'll need No. 1447 (18 V) instead of 1445 (14 V) and your excessive brightness problem and the potentially damaging heat due to excessive voltage, associated with it, will go away.

Mike

Hey Mike, thanks for the input. I was also trying to reduce voltage draw as well & that was one of my thoughts. I have 5 sets of passenger cars, but the first set is 9 Lionel Aluminum cars. I do like the looks of the strips but think price may make them prohibitive. I have some 1447's on hand & will try a car or two. Thank you for your feedback.

@laz1957 posted:

This might help you from Town & Country Hobbies.

https://stores.towncountryhobbies.com/leds/

Thank you for your feedback. I did try Town & Country LED's & had a problem with 2 of the bulbs, 1 did not work at all the 2nd the glass globe twisted off. I glued the globe back on to fixture & all is well. I received a feedback notice but did not fill out. Instead I reached out to them about the bulbs. He said to send a email as to the problem & it would be resolved. I told him since I fixed the one that I would like one bulb  for the one that never worked which he said he would be happy to do. I don't know why he couldn't look it up then as I had the order number for the 18 bulbs. I sent the email & another phone call, never heard from him again. I would rather find someone else.

Here's one of the PE set cars with LED lighting, note the even lighting across the whole car.  This is why I do the LED strips if I'm going to the trouble of opening the cars up anyway.

Lionel PE Set Car LED Lighting

Thank you  for your help & feedback. It is great to see so many willing to help a fellow train person out. I do like the looks of the strips but concerned with cost, however not knowing the cost is something I should find out to consider this option. I also was a little concerned about possibly hurting the value of the old Lionel Aluminum cars. This way it is just a matter of changing the bulbs to back to stock. I appreciate your thoughts on this matter & if you want to contact me or me to contact you for a price on strips, just let me know the proper procedure. Looking forward to hearing from you. Sorry it took a little time to get back to everyone but with Holidays fast approaching & work it is a little hectic.

@DCS213 posted:

Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate the comparison attachment. The left side is definitely much nicer & brighter. Is that the Warm White or bright white & if I may ask where did you get your bulbs? Thanks for your help.

I got them from Town and Country Hobbies. You don’t have a choice in the brightness. The only benefit is less current draw. Too bright for me. As others have posted, try the LED strips along with the the kit from GRJ available from Hennings Trains. A super product at a very affordable price. Adjustable brightness. All my cars will have his product.

@romiller49 posted:

I got them from Town and Country Hobbies. You don’t have a choice in the brightness. The only benefit is less current draw. Too bright for me. As others have posted, try the LED strips along with the the kit from GRJ available from Hennings Trains. A super product at a very affordable price. Adjustable brightness. All my cars will have his product.

Agree, GRJs kit is the best.

Ray

Hello DCS213,

I don't have the electronics knowledge that GRJ or Stan2004 have, but I can tell you that I've purchased and installed GRJ's kits and installation was pretty easy. Stan2004 has assisted me with other kinds of advice on model railroading electronics. I don't think that you can go wrong with either.

Ron

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Well, if you're willing to do a little soldering, how about doing full LED lighting for a couple bucks a car?

You can get all the parts for a lighting module for a couple bucks and buy one or more 5 meter reels of LED strips for less than $5/ea.

GRJ's Original DIY Constant Current PAX Car Lighting Module Files

What is the maximum current these modules can support without getting too hot?  Thanks!

I am a little confused as far as what I am ordering & where. First set of passenger cars to do is 9 aluminum Lionel passenger cars 14" long inside roof length. I looked at two of the places mentioned but 1 sight was 2019 prices ,so I'm thinking prices may be much higher & more importantly if available. Digikey did not list the kits, looked like I have to look up the individual components. Where & what do I order for roll of lighting. I need 9 cars X 14" cars = 126 inches however not knowing the cutoff points not sure of length I need, unless I can cut them off anywhere. Your help as to what to order where is greatly appreciated. I never knew my question about lighting passenger cars would create so much interest & replies.

DCS213,  I've been upgrading passenger cars and cabooses with GRJs LED lighting module and 5 meter rolls of Warm White LED strip lights from eBay.  They are about $5 as GRJ said. Probably would do 16 cars at 18 LEDs per car.  You can get the modules directly from him.   Then all you need is a little wire and some soldering.    

My passenger cars had two mini Christmas tree lights in them. They drew about 220 mAs.     I put 15 to 18 LED strips in my passenger cars, could have used 12 just as easily.   After the upgrade the cars drew about 50 mAs.  

A caboose I upgraded had two small globe bulbs in it.  It drew 310 mAs.  I used 9 LEDs in that.  I measured 30mAs after the upgrade.  

Quite a savings in Amps, better lighting, and no flicker.  

Hope that helps.

Ward

DCS213,

  All you need is the 3528 LED strips, they come in 5 meter rolls.  Every three lights there is a place to cut the strips off at, that measure about 2 inches.  Then you’ll need GUNRUNNERJOHNs modules.  2 modules per pack.  You’ll need 5 packs.  Below is the 3528 strips from Amazon.  Hope this helps.  This is an easy project.

https://www.amazon.com/Flexibl...670766081&sr=8-9

@Bill Sherry posted:

GRJ's kits are the way to go.  Look at all the advantages - Low current draw, flicker free, choose what LED's you want - bright white or soft white, save even more and assemble your own using his board. I just finished building these and they came out to around $3.00 per unit less the led strip.

PB050256

After building those, you probably understand why I have them factory assembled!

The max current it will output is around 45 milliamps, that's more than enough to light a 21" car brighter than I ever want them.  I will not overheat at that level with 18V input.

In the cars I installed 18 LEDS, I found them plenty bright at 20 mAs.   On my heavyweight cars I painted the LEDs with Tamyia X-26 Clear Orange paint to give them a yellower look. In those cars I set the module at 25 mAs.

@Ward H posted:

Wow Bill, I counted 58 boards.  Huge savings when you're doing that many cars.   I thought about it but I couldn't get enough cost savings for the few cars I'm doing.  Plus these boards are a little bigger than the ones directly from GRJ. The smaller size made it easier for me to hide them in the MTH RK 12" cars I'm doing.

There has to be some advantage to my factory boards, I went for small size!

The max current it will output is around 45 milliamps, that's more than enough to light a 21" car brighter than I ever want them.  I will not overheat at that level with 18V input.

Thank you very much.  I have been pondering minimizing the number of center rollers per consist so interconnecting LED boards between cars.  As discussed with you some time ago this would significantly reduce track generated noise.  I Run conventional so it could also help slightly with "block bridging".

Think it might be in order to wire up a few cars to determine light output desired.  Plan on using 5V LED boards.  At that point measure resistance across trim pot.  Then adjust components so I could power (3) 18 inch cars.  The consists I have are 15 and 18 inch cars.  Plan on using a pair of 1000uF caps to reduce flicker.  (Cheaper than a 2000uF).  Please let know if that makes sense to you.   Thanks.

Thank you very much.  I have been pondering minimizing the number of center rollers per consist so interconnecting LED boards between cars.  As discussed with you some time ago this would significantly reduce track generated noise.  I Run conventional so it could also help slightly with "block bridging".

Think it might be in order to wire up a few cars to determine light output desired.  Plan on using 5V LED boards.  At that point measure resistance across trim pot.  Then adjust components so I could power (3) 18 inch cars.  The consists I have are 15 and 18 inch cars.  Plan on using a pair of 1000uF caps to reduce flicker.  (Cheaper than a 2000uF).  Please let know if that makes sense to you.   Thanks.

You could also just run track voltage on the tether and then you can put a module in each car.

It's also quite possible to build a module with more current output, I just didn't do that.

You could put a AC-DC buck converter in one car, set it's voltage to say 6 volts, and then use a resistor in each car to set the brightness.  If you want more bulk capacitance, you add it to the filter caps on the buck converter module.

You could also just run track voltage on the tether and then you can put a module in each car.

It's also quite possible to build a module with more current output, I just didn't do that.

You could put a AC-DC buck converter in one car, set it's voltage to say 6 volts, and then use a resistor in each car to set the brightness.  If you want more bulk capacitance, you add it to the filter caps on the buck converter module.

Thank you once again for your help with this.  I love the idea of a converter.  I posted and then went to make lunch.  I started to think maybe it would make more sense to just put a rechargeable battery in the Baggage Car.  I gotta say it is amazing how little power LED lights draw.  The converter is even better though.  Now I can take all the rollers off all the cars.

Thank you once again for your help with this.  I love the idea of a converter.  I posted and then went to make lunch.  I started to think maybe it would make more sense to just put a rechargeable battery in the Baggage Car.  I gotta say it is amazing how little power LED lights draw.  The converter is even better though.  Now I can take all the rollers off all the cars.

Are you really "game" to chuck the rollers and tether power between cars?!

passenger car 2-wire tether

This is so prototypical!  Whether you "disguise" the 2-wire tether as, say, steam-brake lines between cars, or as electrical distribution as used in Circus Trains (from the generator car) or in modern Amtrak HEP electrical car-to-car cabling.

It's not just the roller noise, but also the drag from the center-rail rollers and to a lesser extent the electrical wipers on the outer-rail connection.  But you also save engine motive power though 99.9% of folk don't care about engine power draw.

I'd go with a voltage controlled distribution.  Having power centralized also allow "tricks" such as perhaps controlling passenger car lighting remotely.  So you can turn power on/off with a single wireless control rather than fussing with flipping on/off switches one at a time on every powered car is a long passenger consist.

I don't believe (somebody show me otherwise!) there has been an OGR topic on a centralized battery-rechargeable passenger car tethering system which provides flicker-tolerance, brightness control, and so on.

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  • passenger car 2-wire tether
Last edited by stan2004
@stan2004 posted:

Are you really "game" to chuck the rollers and tether power between cars?!

passenger car 2-wire tether

This is so prototypical!  Whether you "disguise" the 2-wire tether as, say, steam-brake lines between cars, or as electrical distribution as used in Circus Trains (from the generator car) or in modern Amtrak HEP electrical car-to-car cabling.

It's not just the roller noise, but also the drag from the center-rail rollers and to a lesser extent the electrical wipers on the outer-rail connection.  But you also save engine motive power though 99.9% of folk don't care about engine power draw.

I'd go with a voltage controlled distribution.  Having power centralized also allow "tricks" such as perhaps controlling passenger car lighting remotely.  So you can turn power on/off with a single wireless control rather than fussing with flipping on/off switches one at a time on every powered car is a long passenger consist.

I don't believe (somebody show me otherwise!) there has been an OGR topic on a centralized battery-rechargeable passenger car tethering system which provides flicker-tolerance, brightness control, and so on.

Kinda of scary but we think alike.  Prior to 3R I was into R/C planes and Helis, those type of connectors are used on small batteries.  The way you mounted the white receptacle, is what I was thinking, and agree they represent the interconnecting hoses from prototype cars.

I had originally discussed this with GRJ to cut rolling resistance, but from actual experience he told me that the noise reduction was more of a factor than rolling resistance.

I also like the idea of remote controlled on off lighting.

Thanks for the picture and the reassurance I'm not the only guy that see advantages to this approach.

BTW if I was to go battery over converter for lighting, than I start to wonder if I should just go Dead Rail and use a battery for the Locos.  But then the 3rd rail really disappears.

@Ward H posted:

DCS213,  I've been upgrading passenger cars and cabooses with GRJs LED lighting module and 5 meter rolls of Warm White LED strip lights from eBay.  They are about $5 as GRJ said. Probably would do 16 cars at 18 LEDs per car.  You can get the modules directly from him.   Then all you need is a little wire and some soldering.    

My passenger cars had two mini Christmas tree lights in them. They drew about 220 mAs.     I put 15 to 18 LED strips in my passenger cars, could have used 12 just as easily.   After the upgrade the cars drew about 50 mAs.  

A caboose I upgraded had two small globe bulbs in it.  It drew 310 mAs.  I used 9 LEDs in that.  I measured 30mAs after the upgrade.  

Quite a savings in Amps, better lighting, and no flicker.  

Hope that helps.

Ward

Hi Ward, thank you for the feedback. I was wondering if you could give me the ebay site where you purchased your rolls of 5 LEDs. Someone had mentioned Amazon for led strips but I am not a member of Amazon but do a fair amount with ebay.  Thank you for all your help. Everybody has been so helpful & has gone out of their way.  When you said I can get the modules from him, did you mean the ebay website or gunrunner john.

@laz1957 posted:

DCS213,

  All you need is the 3528 LED strips, they come in 5 meter rolls.  Every three lights there is a place to cut the strips off at, that measure about 2 inches.  Then you’ll need GUNRUNNERJOHNs modules.  2 modules per pack.  You’ll need 5 packs.  Below is the 3528 strips from Amazon.  Hope this helps.  This is an easy project.

https://www.amazon.com/Flexibl...670766081&sr=8-9

Thank you for the information. Ward had mentioned that the LEDs are available on Ebay which I am very familiar with. I am not a Amazon member. I would buy the modules thru gunrunner john if he sells them as he is the one who got the ball rolling, if he sells them. If not I will get them thru Ebay or Rod said he would sell me 10 or so at a inexpensive price. I am overwhelmed at the helpful people on this forum. Thank you all.

@DCS213 posted:

Thank you  for your help & feedback. It is great to see so many willing to help a fellow train person out. I do like the looks of the strips but concerned with cost, however not knowing the cost is something I should find out to consider this option. I also was a little concerned about possibly hurting the value of the old Lionel Aluminum cars. This way it is just a matter of changing the bulbs to back to stock. I appreciate your thoughts on this matter & if you want to contact me or me to contact you for a price on strips, just let me know the proper procedure. Looking forward to hearing from you. Sorry it took a little time to get back to everyone but with Holidays fast approaching & work it is a little hectic.

Hi John, Do you sell the actual kits to make these modules up or the completed modules. You were the one who got me into this strip idea so I think it is only fair to give you the business. I mean that in a positive way. LOL If not Rod said he would do 10 or so to get me started. I only want to be fair & not step on any toes with everyone being so helpful. Thanks for your help.

@DCS213 posted:

Hi John, Do you sell the actual kits to make these modules up or the completed modules. You were the one who got me into this strip idea so I think it is only fair to give you the business. I mean that in a positive way. LOL If not Rod said he would do 10 or so to get me started. I only want to be fair & not step on any toes with everyone being so helpful. Thanks for your help.

I don't sell the kits, my contribution was the circuit design and the board layout.  I provide the commercial spread, but they're obviously more expensive.

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