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Author Topic: Fibre Optic cable  (Read 2930 times)

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Offline Pengi

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Fibre Optic cable
« on: February 09, 2013, 08:36:17 AM »
I know very little about this but want to create the dull flourescent tube effect that you get in multistorey car parks.

I was wondering if a fibre optic cable (foc) could be used to give the effect of light tubes.
What I don't know is:

How do you affix the foc to a LED - and can it be fitted to a SMD?

Can you join foc's together to give a lattice?

Would it work if I painted the end black and so just had the dull effect of light in the cable (and painted parts of the cable black to simulate separate tubes

What diameter of foc would you recommend (what is the smallest) and how flexible are they
Just one Pendolino, give it to me, a beautiful train, from Italy

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 09:18:00 AM »
Fibre optics are designed for minimal leakage be it light or data, which is transmitted in at one end and received at the other end with minimum loss, it is not designed to radiate as per your idea I'm afraid.  Also jointing fibres is a specialist job and requires the correct equipment.
The only thing I could suggest is one of those cheap xmas decorations that have 'fibre optics' in them as those I have seen seem to leak light like crazy, also by gently abrading the surface you may be able to encourage further leakage, each length would require its own light source and you would have to find your own sort of Heath Robison rig up to attach the two items together.

Offline Pengi

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 10:14:59 AM »
Thanks, that is very helpful

Back to the drawing board!

Anyone know the best place to get material to diffuse lights? I've looked at gel sheets but it is not quite rigid enough
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Offline AndyGif

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 10:15:29 AM »
What you really want is side glow fibre optic cable like in this link
www.starscape.co.uk/optical-fibre.html#MCSG
Theres a couple of items on ebay for bundles of small dia stuff but its in the USA.

Offline Tom@Crewe

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 10:27:43 AM »
Maybe you could try EL wire a long length taped up at intervals to replicate a run of tubes or several shorter lengths. I am sure they could cut t required length and colour if you contact sellers. it cheap enough to get a kit and experiment. I also think there are different diameters too so shop around.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Flash-Flexible-Neon-Light-Glow-El-Strip-Tube-Wire-Party-Light-Kit-Battery-Case-/300827853706?pt=Adult_Fancy_Dress_UK&var=&hash=item460abcc38a

or

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-El-Wire-Set-5-x-10cm-EL-Wire-Mini-1xAAA-Driver-Splitter-/150988521444?pt=UK_Women_s_fancy_Dress&var=&hash=item68cf3845fa


This is a length I had and I have taped it at the bottom of the picture to show a run of tubes, my kit is powered from my USB port, but you will see other ways to supply them.





« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 10:29:18 AM by Tom@Crewe »

Offline Pengi

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 10:56:36 AM »
Thanks - these are great ideas. I like the look of the sparkle foc cable - I am thinking it might have other uses too.

EL-wire looks very interesting and, depending on the thickness of it, I'm thinking about neon signs
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Offline Tom@Crewe

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 11:04:16 AM »
Just found this new to me too. Angel Hair el wire 1.3mm diameter

http://www.elwirecraft.co.uk/el-products/el-wire-categories/

Offline RChook

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 11:08:35 AM »
Great info !

depending on the thickness of it,

I wondered the same, did a quick google and this is the first site I found with diameter info
http://www.elwirecraft.co.uk/el-products/el-wire-categories/

Their thinest is 1.3mm
Cheapest is 2.3mm

Edit Ah ha! Snap > Tom@Crewe :) :)
I must learn to type quicker :)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 11:12:03 AM by RChook »

Offline Sprintex

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 12:59:19 PM »
Their thinnest is 1.3mm


Problem is that's still 8" thick in N gauge, far too big to be neon or fluorescent tubes unfortunately.

Best option so far is the cheap fibre optic lamp suggested by Lawrence, something similar to THIS but probably best to look for one in a shop so you can see just how big the filaments are? We have one that has filaments one third of a mm in diameter - 2" in N gauge (don't get ideas, Clare would notice if I pinched a couple ;D ). If you lightly sand the surface it diffuses the light enough, I used this technique to make a flashing amber beacon for my Class 04 shunter  ;) You'd need quite a bright LED to get enough bleed to look like a fluorescent tube I'd think, not impossible though :thumbsup:


Paul
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 01:05:24 PM by Sprintex »

Offline Tom@Crewe

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 01:31:34 PM »
Yes 1.3 x 148 = 192.4mm / 7.5ins   But! you will find that is the diameter of the clear coating the actual illumination part is about a third of the diameter.

So that gives a scale diameter roughly of 64mm / 2.5ins for the tube and the 192.4 clear coating becomes the light fitting / diffuser and takes it a lot closer to scale

Offline greenlaneman

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 05:00:16 PM »
Bought some 0.01 thick Plastruct fibre optic from Hindleys (12 odd quid inc. VAT and P&P for 10 m. Plastruct part number 92501) to try out various ideas.
You can group all of your fibre cables into one bundle, tie together, dip ends into epoxy glue and when dry, cut ends flush with knife, polish with fine wet and dry followed by toothpaste on a glass sheet and push into short length of Plastruct or Evergreen tube with LED sealed in other end of tube, Voila!
You can paint the outside of the tube with black paint to reduce light breakout.
According to the blurb that can with the fibre optic, if you carefully heat it it will expand to about twice original size. Do not use naked flame as the fibre will burn!
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Online edwin_m

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 05:50:44 PM »
You can use black shrink wrap to link a LED (a legged one not SMD) to one or several fibre optics.  This holds it mechanically without glue and also deals with most of the light leakage. 

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 12:04:05 AM »
I have seen a suggestion that you can create a " bulb " by putting the tip of the fibre in a flame .

Worth a try?

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Re: Fibre Optic cable
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2013, 07:44:43 PM »
I use my 11w soldering iron to produce the bulb effect, works very well. 

If you want sideways light spill, similar to a fluorescent tube, gently scrape a sharp scalpel for about 1" along the length of a piece of fibre, this allows the light to leak out and if you then blank off the end so no light can escape down the tube it has to come out of the scraped area.

 

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