Model Building Lights

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NarrowGauge
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Model Building Lights

Postby NarrowGauge » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:39 am

I wanted to add some 4 foot fluorescent lights to the outside of a 1:24 scale building using one of those fluro simulators. The type that make the bulb or LED go flicker flicker until it actually starts (or if you want, never start).

Has anyone ever used white LED's to make a scaled down version of a 4 foot long fluorescent light?

If so how did you do it?

At 1:24, a 4 foot long tube would be 4 inches long and the LED's are only 5mm in diameter, even if I put it on it's side they are still less than 10mm. If I had several together I would imaging that you would get a series of bright stops rather that an overall glow.

Dose anyone know of a place that sells 50mm long LED's or can they come up with another suggestion to get the right effect?
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Postby Gerry Bullock » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:14 pm

Maybe this could be the answer Tess:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1557008/mini_light_tube/
Last edited by Gerry Bullock on Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Allright John » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:20 pm

Gerry Bullock wrote:Maybe this would be the answer Tess:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1557008/mini_light_tube/


Gosh

I am going to have to try that.

What a great idea

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Postby Gerry Bullock » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:23 pm

I suppose for a long tube one could always place an LED at each end. :wink:
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Postby Prof Klyzlr » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:59 pm

Dear Tess,

This may be worth a try...

1 - head to your nearest $2 shop, and pickup a cheap "fibre-optic" lamp, like this...

Image

1a - while you're there, pickup one of those cheapo gas BBQ lighters

Image

2 - rip the lamp apart,
(access via 2 screws underneath the base unit),

and seperate off one of the "threads"
(They are not actually glass fibre-optic at this price, just acrylic strands)

3 - locate your nearest Radio-control hobby shop, and obtain from them a length of rubber RC car fuel line

4 - head to Dick Smith or Jaycar, and pickup a high brightness "blue white" 3mm LED, and a 1000ohm (1k ohm) resistor

Similar to this

http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.as ... rm=KEYWORD

or

http://www.ledsales.com.au/catalog/inde ... cts_id=766


Now, the recipe!

1 - Using a LOW flame, use the BBQ lighter to heat each end of the acrylic strand, such that it forms a little "mushroom" shape.

2 - cut a length of the rubber fuel tube, maybe 25mm,
and force the 3mm LED "head first" into one end.

3 - Insert one "mushroomed" end of the fibre-optic into the other end of the tube. You'll notice that where the tube widens out to fit around the LED, forms a socket, which the mushroomed fibre will "pop" into.

You do NOT need to force the fibre hard up against the nose of the LED, NOR should you use ANY form of adhesive. Just let the fibre stay in place by friction and that mushroom-mechanical "socket".

4 - for the sake of the test, wrap one lead of the 1K resistor around 1 leg of the LED.

is resistor is critical to ensure you don't immediately blow the LED up with what we're about to do next!

5 - using a basic 9volt battery, touch one terminal to the FREE leg of the LED, and the other terminal to the FREE leg of the resistor. If the LED does not come on, turn the battery round so you swap which terminal is touching which lead, and retest.

If everything is working as expected, you should have
- a LED causing a "glowing" rubber tube
- with a fibre-optic strand hanging out the end,
- and a very definite bright pinpoint of light visible "end on" from the mushroomed "free end" of the fibre optic.

'That's cool, but how do we get out scale fluro tube?"

Well, we've learned that anywhere the fibre-optic is nicked, cut, or otherwise not "a whole tube", light becomes visible.

SO,

6 - using your X-acto knife, lightly drag it along a 25mm length of the fibre-optic. We are not trying to cut thru it, simply strategically reduce the fibre-optic at the location in question from a "O" cross section to a "D" cross section.

with care, you can get the "D" shape, with the result that the FLAT bit of the "D" will act like the mushroom end, and release "visible light".

How can I be sure that this will work?

Image

(Check the red truck's head and running lights, that's those fibre-optics...)

Image

(More fibre-optic truck lights)

Image

(Check the light above the bouncer standing in the doorway. That's another fibre-optic. Note the pool of red light in front of him on the landing, that's coming FROM said "door light"!)

Image

(You already know what that light in the top of the phonebooth is, and again notice that it throws soo much light at to create a pool of it on the ground, and on the figure...)


The key things to take away are
- use a HIGH brightness LED
- Mushroom both the "LED Source" and "visible" end of the fibre-optic
- Fibre need not be expensive, but DO NOT use glue on it! This will attack it, and affect it's ability to transmit light.
- rubber RC car fuel line makes a cheap easy and "pluggable" LED<>fibre-optic "coupler"

Hope this Helps...

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr
Last edited by Prof Klyzlr on Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Happy Modelling,
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Postby Arthur Inch » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:05 pm

Led strip lights.........

http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-C ... e=googleps


Tess, this link takes you to ebay, used this seller many times before, he supplies the strip as a kit, ie, copper track, led's, and limiter.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/LED-Strip-Lightin ... 3a5f2d1316
Last edited by Arthur Inch on Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Artizen » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:07 pm

I'm glad I read this at 11pm!!!!! I can use this idea for my layout in all sorts of ways.

Cool. :)
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Postby Craig » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:42 pm

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Postby Gerry Bullock » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:08 pm

Craig wrote:Try this...

http://www.microstru.com/Flourescents.html

Craig


Based on that price Craig I'll stick with a 2c LED and a straw. :wink:
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Postby NarrowGauge » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:19 pm

Gerry Bullock wrote:Maybe this could be the answer Tess:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1557008/mini_light_tube/


This seemed the simplest answer so I gave it a try.

Here is what it looks like with the light off
Image
then the light on in full daylight
Image

but here is what it looks like coming on in a short movie
http://s848.photobucket.com/albums/ab43 ... =Movie.mp4

and yes please try to ignore the wires coming down the front of the building they will be going into the building once installed correctly.
Tess



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http://trainsbytess.blogspot.com/

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Postby Prof Klyzlr » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:58 pm

Dear Tess,

Looks good. However, I'd consider putting a lightshade over to, so that it can only really shine _down_ over the door, not _out_ towards the viewers.

A prototype door light exists to light the stoop and the step just outside the doorway, allowing someone waiting at the door to be identified by someone inside.

A floodlight required to illuminate a large area outside the building would be a different type of light/lamp, not a "scale fluro".

Check back at the pics of "Brooklyn : 3AM", each LED had the lumens to do a pretty effective "floodlight" impression over the scale scene. However, the doorway, phonebooth, and vehicle marker lights simply "didn't look right" throwing huge wide beams of light everywhere. As such, a strategically limited "beam width" helped get a more-appropriate "shines in specific directions/areas" result.

Will we be seeing this at the Aust NG Convention at Ipswich over Easter 2011?

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr
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Postby Adrian » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:51 am

G'day Tess

That light looks good......what did you use for the actual tube ?

The prof said......
Looks good. However, I'd consider putting a lightshade over to, so that it can only really shine _down_ over the door, not _out_ towards the viewers.


Although correct in theory I have seen fluro' tubes, in the real world, with-out shades but I have also seen them with wire mesh covers to reduce vandalisem.

However it is your layout so do as you want as it all looks good to me.

Cheers
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