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Phil:

I made reflectors for my Williams engines. Basically, I glued aluminum foil onto a paper plate then cut out small rectangles that would fit inside the nose of the shell. Poke a hole in the middle of the reflector and push it down over the bulb then bend the top forward.

I’ve kept the homemade reflectors in my Willians engines even after converting them to series wiring. By converting to series, not only will the headlight burn brighter but, the engine will run much more smoothly. If you are interested in series wiring your Williams, do a search here on the forum or go to Bachmann’s website. There have been numerous threads over the years detailing the easy process to series wire a Williams.

Curt

I am not a fan of LEDs but in this case its the best option. The incandescent bulb is set back from a light pipe and runs on track voltage. A round head LED can replace the lens and even without a regulator will have a more constant light over a range of track voltages. Best setup is an LED connected to a low voltage regulator, say 5 volts.

Pete

I'm not sure why you're not a fan of LED's Pete, they can be any color temperature you want.  Most folks object because of the color, but that's really not an issue with the LED, just with the selection of the LED.  I have LED's that looks more incandescent than incandescent bulbs, they're just a whole lot brighter out front with the focused beam.

For truly constant light output, a simple constant current source using the CL2 is a good choice.  For a single LED, the cap can be a much smaller value, 47uf or larger.  The 22uh choke is only needed if you run MTH DCS engines.

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John:

I’ll agree with the earlier recommendations for Evan Designs. That’s where I’ve bought the LED’s for my GP9’s and 38’s. Evan gives you the option between a white LED and more of an incandescent version.

No need to drill. You just attach the LED behind the headlight lens. I use electrical  tape but, two of my friends fashion brackets using styrene and hot glue those in such a manner to properly position the LED.

I only use an LED behind the lens on the front of an engine but, the process to add one to the rear would be the same.

Curt

While you can certainly go for the "canned" solution, many times the "roll your own" will yield a better result for less money.  For one or two examples, it's not much, but if you're doing a ton of LED lighting, buying the canned solution can add up.  It's actually very easy to use LED's, and once you learn the basic ground rules, you can assemble simple LED lighting solutions for ten or fifteen cents.

@juniata guy posted:

John:

I’ll agree with the earlier recommendations for Evan Designs. That’s where I’ve bought the LED’s for my GP9’s and 38’s. Evan gives you the option between a white LED and more of an incandescent version.

No need to drill. You just attach the LED behind the headlight lens. I use electrical  tape but, two of my friends fashion brackets using styrene and hot glue those in such a manner to properly position the LED.

I only use an LED behind the lens on the front of an engine but, the process to add one to the rear would be the same.

Curt

Thanks Curt.

Is the incandescent version the Warm White?

Also, is 3mm sufficient or would 5mm make more sense?

Universal Solid LEDs for transformers

John

While you can certainly go for the "canned" solution, many times the "roll your own" will yield a better result for less money.  For one or two examples, it's not much, but if you're doing a ton of LED lighting, buying the canned solution can add up.  It's actually very easy to use LED's, and once you learn the basic ground rules, you can assemble simple LED lighting solutions for ten or fifteen cents.

Thanks John,

I think for this one application the Evans Designs makes sense.  I have a set of MTH Railking 027 passenger cars I want to light, paint, and populate sometime this year.  I think I will go the route you have so generously described many times on the forum with the rolls of LED lights and all.

John

Last edited by Craftech

John:

You’re welcome!

I wanted to add the note Evan Design includes with these stresses you should not use hot glue on the LED itself. I wanted to mention that since an earlier post noted two of my friends use hot glue. They use the hot glue to hold the styrene “bracket” in place, not the LED itself. Just wanted to clarify before anyone “cooks” an LED in hot glue.

Curt

@Craftech posted:

Thanks Curt.

Is the incandescent version the Warm White?

Also, is 3mm sufficient or would 5mm make more sense?

Universal Solid LEDs for transformers

John

You push out the existing lens and measure the opening. Usually 3 mm is the correct size. It may be smaller than that is which case 3mm is just under .120”. If you have a set of number drills measure the LED and use a drill that is close but barely undersize. That way you won’t need any glue.

Pete

FWIW, I've used hot glue on hundreds of LED's, and I've never lost one in the process.  I use low temperature hot glue, and it's in the 200F-250F range.

GRJ:

Given my somewhat checkered history of actually reading and following instructions, it’s ironic the instructions from Evan Design is one of the few I’ve actually paid attention to. 😉

That said; I trust your experience with the hot glue. God knows it would be easier than the electricians tape I’ve been using. 👍

Curt

I'm not sure why you're not a fan of LED's Pete, they can be any color temperature you want.  Most folks object because of the color, but that's really not an issue with the LED, just with the selection of the LED.  I have LED's that looks more incandescent than incandescent bulbs, they're just a whole lot brighter out front with the focused beam.

For truly constant light output, a simple constant current source using the CL2 is a good choice.  For a single LED, the cap can be a much smaller value, 47uf or larger.  The 22uh choke is only needed if you run MTH DCS engines.

Thanks Greg.  Always on point with a simple solution for the do it yourself person.

@juniata guy posted:

GRJ:

Given my somewhat checkered history of actually reading and following instructions, it’s ironic the instructions from Evan Design is one of the few I’ve actually paid attention to. 😉

That said; I trust your experience with the hot glue. God knows it would be easier than the electricians tape I’ve been using. 👍

Curt

Truth in advertising, I just checked the actual temperature of the hot glue tip and the glue coming out.  The highest reading I got was 248F, that was actually the glue as it came out, the tip was only 210F, I guess inside it's a bit hotter.  Soldering temperature for an LED is 260F for ten seconds as a rule, so hot glue isn't a big deal if you don't use the super high powered guns.  I use the small $10 hot glue guns, they work great for the stuff I'm doing.

For scenery and sticking large pieces of construction foam together, I use my big hot glue gun, I'm pretty sure that glue gets hotter.

@juniata guy posted:

John:

I’ll agree with the earlier recommendations for Evan Designs. That’s where I’ve bought the LED’s for my GP9’s and 38’s. Evan gives you the option between a white LED and more of an incandescent version.

No need to drill. You just attach the LED behind the headlight lens. I use electrical  tape but, two of my friends fashion brackets using styrene and hot glue those in such a manner to properly position the LED.

I only use an LED behind the lens on the front of an engine but, the process to add one to the rear would be the same.

Curt

I got two 3mm warm white for the headlights and two 1.8mm red ones for behind the ditch lights.

Exactly where did you attach them on the GP38.  Did you remove the incandescent lamps and attach the LEDs to the socket?

Thanks,

John

@Craftech posted:

I got two 3mm warm white for the headlights and two 1.8mm red ones for behind the ditch lights.

Exactly where did you attach them on the GP38.  Did you remove the incandescent lamps and attach the LEDs to the socket?

Thanks,

John

John; I left the incandescent bulb in the long hood end and removed it on the cab end. After splicing the LED into the ground and hot wires on the cab end, I taped the LED behind the GP38 headlight lens. You may need to play with this a bit to get balanced illumination from both of the small lenses.  You could also use a lower temperature hot glue gun and glue the LED in place behind the headlight lens as Gunrunner does.

I never messed with the class lights but, would be interested in seeing how those look when you’re done.

Curt

@juniata guy posted:

John; I left the incandescent bulb in the long hood end and removed it on the cab end. After splicing the LED into the ground and hot wires on the cab end, I taped the LED behind the GP38 headlight lens. You may need to play with this a bit to get balanced illumination from both of the small lenses.  You could also use a lower temperature hot glue gun and glue the LED in place behind the headlight lens as Gunrunner does.

I never messed with the class lights but, would be interested in seeing how those look when you’re done.

Curt

Actually I meant electrically.  Did you splice into the two wires going to the existing incandescent socket or somewhere else?

John

@BOB WALKER posted:

Williams loco lights are universally incandescent. Like many forum members, I am a fan of LED's and when I convert to wireless, always switch to LED lighting.  Also, the series motor wiring configuration is a useful arrangement and has worked out well for me many times.

I think you misunderstood.  I am pretty sure the rear incandescent light was only on in reverse.  Now that I wired up the led's in place of the incandescent the rear headlight is lit in both forward and reverse.  Can you confirm?

Thanks,

John

@BOB WALKER posted:

All of my LED light installations were part of a wireless loco control system conversion. Every wireless product I have used had wiring arrangements for direction control of the front and rear lights, so with proper wiring, I would not encounter this problem.

OK,

I suppose I could reinstall the original sockets and bulbs to check, but do you know if the rear headlight on your original was on in both directions?

Thanks,

John

@BOB WALKER posted:

Good question. I unboxed a  Williams GP-9 I am saving for a new product conversion and ran it in conventional mode on both AC and DC. Both front and rear lights are on in all three electronic Eunit modes, FWD-NEUTRAL-REV, with both AC and DC power. Never previously gave this much thought. Hope this helps.

OK Thanks Bob.  I guess I didn't pay it enough thought before I removed the Incandescent sockets.

Regards,

John

i just made a headlight  for an OGRR-er from clear resin. It worked great in his engine. However, in order to get a brighter beam without changing the bulb you change the focal length of the lens.  To do that you need a much thicker lens that could not fit in most engines.

So, I was thinking of printing a miniature Fresnel lens. Thinner cross-section but brighter as much thicker lens with a larger focal point.

But way too many projects ahead of this one.

@AlanRail posted:

i just made a headlight  for an OGRR-er from clear resin. It worked great in his engine. However, in order to get a brighter beam without changing the bulb you change the focal length of the lens.  To do that you need a much thicker lens that could not fit in most engines.

So, I was thinking of printing a miniature Fresnel lens. Thinner cross-section but brighter as much thicker lens with a larger focal point.

But way too many projects ahead of this one.

Why not just use a 5mm LED instead of a 3mm LED?

John

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