We've kind of ignored the conventional operators with many of the passenger car LED lighting solutions. That being said, I though I'd take a crack at a practical application of flicker-free LED lighting for conventional operators. The difference between this module and my previous designs is this module is designed to operate from 5VAC right through 18VAC on the tracks. The module uses the available 5V LED strips vs the 12V strips used for the command only modules, the 5V LED strips are available from a variety of sources.
The module seen below is an initial prototype, I've already identified some improvements for the "final" module.
Here's a brief video to illustrate the operation. Note that after disconnecting the power, we get 10+ seconds of normal illumination before you can see any noticeable change in the lighting. The strip I'm using here is a 5V LED strip sized for a 21" passenger car, obviously shorter strips for smaller cars will give you longer hold-up times for the lighting.
In a couple of days I'll have the enhanced PCB's to build up my improved module, DHL says on Friday. For improvemewnts I doubled the input capacitance to the regulator module and changed to a full-wave bridge rectifier to allow lower track voltages to function properly. This will allow the lighting module to operate down to about 5VAC on the tracks, at the lower limit of most train transformers. A bonus is this module is also right at home at full 18 volt track voltages and will operate exactly the same way as it does at low track voltages with no overheating or adverse effects on operation.
This improved design also puts all the components on one side allowing easier mounting and a slightly lower footprint.
The overall size of this module will be 0.8" wide x 1.2" long x 1.0" tall. This makes it compact enough to fit in most passenger cars out of sight. This is also an all thru-hole design to allow for kit builds. Note that the illustrated TO-220 regulator in the lower right will actually be a small vertical switching power supply module with the same footprint as the 5V regulator. I just don't have a 3D representation for the switching module.
More to come in a few days.