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Author Topic: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches  (Read 9770 times)

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Offline Zwilnik

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Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« on: March 30, 2011, 11:50:07 AM »
My Dapol light bars arrived today from Hattons (5 each) and having had an interesting time adding them to my 3 Dapol Collett coaches, I thought I'd note down a few tips in case anyone else is doing the same..

1) The instructions for removing the roof of the coaches note to unclip the wires from the coach ends rather than the roof. This is spot on. However, make sure you put them in a small box to one side and note which side of the end corridor they came from (there are 2 left and 2 right ones). Also, don't drop them on the carpet if yours is like mine and has a black speckle pattern that perfectly camouflages them. (if you do, a magnet on a stick is your friend).

2) The roof comes off fairly easily once the detail wires are removed. A little bit of squeezing pressure and get a fingernail under an edge. Keep the roof the right way around to the body, the clips only match up one way.

3) The light bars are meant to clip into runners in the roof, but they only did so with one of my coaches and that was fairly loose. A small amount of clear tape over a section about 2/3rds along from the wire that doesn't have any LEDs on it, holds it easily though.

4) The connecting wire is long enough to make it easy to put the strip in without too much fiddling, but it does mean you have to carefully fold it away as you clip the roof back on.

5) when re-attatching the detail wire clips to the roof, clip them in to the carriage end first, then pull them over into the roof socket. Try it the other way around if you want to find out why ;) I'd test the lights work before putting the clips back in though, just in case.

Offline Zwilnik

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 06:00:40 PM »
They're done as plug and play for the Dapol coaches so have a little 3 pin socket connector on them (although only 2 pins are wired). In theory you could stick them in Farish coaches but you'd have to add pickups to the bogies to make it work and change the wheels to split axle.

Essentially each bogie supplies one wire. So the axles have to isolated (usually one wheel is connected to the axle with a plastic bush so it's not electrically connected) you then have a pickup on the axle or the electrically 'active' wheel and either run a wire through the centre of the bogie connection to the lights or as I've seen in the Minitrix coaches I've got, the bogie connection itself is a metal pole through which the current runs.

The Dapol ones seem to have a plastic axle and pickups on each side of the bogie on the wheels. The advantage there is that each bogie supplies both positive and negative, so the lights won't flicker when one bogie goes over insulfrog points.

If you're a DCC user, these light bars stay on with track power. On DC, they only glow when the train's running of course.

Offline ste234

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 07:09:44 PM »
If any one finds a way to dim the white/blue ones down I'm open to suggestions! I have a 156 with them and 3 Mk3's fully lit, you would think there is football field lighting inside each coach!
Ste
:A1Tornado: :Carriage: :Carriage:

Offline Zwilnik

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 07:17:27 PM »
If any one finds a way to dim the white/blue ones down I'm open to suggestions! I have a 156 with them and 3 Mk3's fully lit, you would think there is football field lighting inside each coach!
Ste

IIRC there's a few paints you can get that are suitable for painting lighting gels with (it doesn't burn under the heat of the lights, although surface mount LEDs are pretty cool). So you could simply paint the LEDs with a transparent paint to colourise them or dim them down. That or slap a resistor on the circuit to knock the current down a bit.

Offline ste234

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 07:24:10 PM »
I'm not sure the resistor would still work with DCC (which I forgot to mention, sorry!)
Also you say about the heat, the LED's themselves seem to run cool but there is some component that does get quite hot!!
:A1Tornado: :Carriage: :Carriage:

Offline Zwilnik

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 07:34:34 PM »
I'm not sure the resistor would still work with DCC (which I forgot to mention, sorry!)
Also you say about the heat, the LED's themselves seem to run cool but there is some component that does get quite hot!!

yeah, if you do a small blob of paint/varnish on the LEDs themselves, it should be able to cope with the heat from the surrounding components. Possibly try running a test with a blob of paint on a lump of plastic dropped in the coach near the LEDs to see if it looks like it's getting near melting/burning during normal use before trying it on the LEDs.

Offline ste234

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2011, 07:35:23 PM »
Thanks, I will have a look into it!  :)
:A1Tornado: :Carriage: :Carriage:

Offline Spamcan

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2011, 02:12:45 PM »
Hello

Thank you for providiing this information. I didnt know you could do this. I contacted Hattons and they were very good at helping get the right coaches with these lights.

I purchased 2 LNER Teaks and the lighting bars to try out. When I get them I will follow your instructions on how to put the lights in. I take it the are pre fitted with a chip thats why the lights stay on. Which f key do you press to switch them off?

I will let you know how I go.

Frank

Offline ste234

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2011, 02:53:16 PM »
Ahh, there is no Chip in the coaches, they run simply off the track voltage, DC or DCC, they are always on with DCC, and with DC they follow to suit the track voltage.
The only way to turn them off on DCC is to isolate the track
:A1Tornado: :Carriage: :Carriage:

Offline REFaust

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2011, 03:16:07 PM »
I'm not sure the resistor would still work with DCC (which I forgot to mention, sorry!)
Also you say about the heat, the LED's themselves seem to run cool but there is some component that does get quite hot!!

yeah, if you do a small blob of paint/varnish on the LEDs themselves, it should be able to cope with the heat from the surrounding components. Possibly try running a test with a blob of paint on a lump of plastic dropped in the coach near the LEDs to see if it looks like it's getting near melting/burning during normal use before trying it on the LEDs.

An alternative could be to cut a strip of lighting gel nd3, 6 or 9 and slip it behind the windows of the coach. These are neutral density gels (ie no colour shift) and are used simply to reduce light intensity, each one cutting progressively more light. If anyone wants to try it and can't get hold of the gel, I'd be happy to pop a piece in the post for them to try it out,

R E Faust

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Offline GWR-Kris

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 02:37:08 PM »
has anyone ever made there own version of these lightbars. at 6 each thats a bit expensive for what they are.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 02:55:06 PM »
has anyone ever made there own version of these lightbars. at 6 each thats a bit expensive for what they are.


See here http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=4143.msg46976#msg46976  ;)

Offline macwales

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2012, 07:43:08 PM »
i

I have now fited 20 of these light bars and here are my suggestions for fitting them.

However I think that using a controller on DC with feedback damaged 5 x Dapol lightbars beyond redemption. I have had no problems with using a non feedback controller.

The light bars are easier fitted to Dapol coaches that to DMUs.

For coaches:

1  Remove Coach roof using thumb nail or tiny flat blade to prise it off coach body at one end and gently lift clear. I try fitting the light bar into the roof housing at this stage. Most will not stay put so if this happens I prepare two tiny pieces of blutac for later use.
2  Note which way round the roof was fitted - some will only correctly fit one way.
3.  The light bar white plug fits into the coach body white socket which is soldered on behind the gold pins for the DCC chip blanking device. When fitted it is a very tight fit.
3  I have found the socket as orientated when supplied very fiddly in receiving the plug so I now very gently bend the socket upwards taking great care not to break the soldered joints. I bend it up about 20 to 30 degrees in stages after examining the joints at each stage. I have damaged the joints on one coach but I successfully re-soldered them.
4  Identify which way up the light bar plug will fit in to the socket. Look at the pins and align with the holes.
5  Press the plug into the socket while holding the socket steady. Push all the way in.
6  Test the light bar is working on a test track. (I have had a few that did not work.)
7  Fit the bar into the housing using blutac to secure if needed.
8  Fold wire loops between plug and light bar into coach body space.
9  Replace roof by aligning pins carefully with the corresponding coach body fittings, pushing wire loops inside clear of roof and pressing roof home.
10  Test

DMUs

The procedure I use is as above but great care has to be taken with the coach tunnel connector so that the hair wire is not bent, damaged or lost.
On reassembly of roof ensure that the hair wire is correctly located in the slot on the top of the post in the coach body end and that the roof post is correctly fitted in the tunnel connector hole. This is very fiddly.

Cheers

Mac

Offline Caz

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2012, 07:55:02 PM »
has anyone ever made there own version of these lightbars. at 6 each thats a bit expensive for what they are.


If you look at my fitting Tail Lights to coaches it also includes (about half way down) homemade light bars with details of where to buy the correct type of plug to fit the socket in the Dapol coaches.  See, http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=4022.0

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: Adding Dapol light bars to coaches
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2012, 08:14:31 PM »
has anyone ever made there own version of these lightbars. at 6 each thats a bit expensive for what they are.

Yep.. Piece of LED lighting strip (or even cheaper still two lengths of nickel silver wire and make an LED ladder) resistor, rectifier, optionally a capacitor and resistor to reducer flicker.

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