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Woodland Scenics Just Plug System

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  • Member since
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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Woodland Scenics Just Plug System
Posted by FRRYKid on Wednesday, December 05, 2018 12:41 AM

This is yet another one for my Forum friends. On a recommendation, I purchased a set of Woodland Scenics Just Plug lighting system for a industrial area on my new layout. I have the three lights that came in the set inserted in the plug that came with the kit. I have watched the video describing the system on Woodland Scenics site and I am still confused. I need to instal a few more sets to properly light the area in question. (A set of lights for a parking lot and probably a set of the exterior building lights to light some loading dock and personnel doors.) Where I am confused is what components I need to hook those three sets into the system, extend cabling to reach the control panel and how to power that system using AC power pack power rather than the separate plug in adaptor.

As usual, any assistance that can be provided would be most welcomed.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, December 05, 2018 2:41 AM

Hi FRRYKid,

First, let me qualify my post. I am working from the instruction sheets only. I have not actually used the system, so you can dismiss everything I say below if you want to.

If you just want a few more lights you can use one 'Port Sharing Device' in each of the four sockets in a Light Hub. Each Port Sharing Device can power up to four lights. If you were to plug four Port Sharing Devices into your Light Hub your could have 16 lights total.

If you want to power more than 16 lights, you will need at least one 'Expansion Hub' and additional Light Hubs depending on how many lights you want. One Expansion Hub can power up to four Light Hubs, which in turn could power up to 13 Port Sharing hubs so you could then have up to 50 lights in the system. Note that theoretically you could connect 16 Port Sharing Devices (64 lights) to the system, but the system only allows a maximum of 50 lights so if you want more than 50 lights you will have to set up a second system. The website doesn't specify how many systems you can power with a transformer. That will depend on the transformer. If you decide to use their power supplies you will need one for each 50 light system. To hook a Light Hub or an Expansion Hub up to the transformer you will need one #JP5760 Connecting Cable, and you may need additional expansion cables #JP5761 depending on how far apart the lights will be.

It all sounds pretty simple to me, except for one aspect. The Just Plug system costs will ad up rapidly if you are planning on doing a lot of lighting! You can do it yourself for a lot less and it isn't difficult. My 2 Cents

Dave

 

 

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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, December 05, 2018 9:44 AM

My choice was to go with Arduino UNOs for lighting control.  A single Arduino will control 20 ports rated at up to 5 volts at 40ma per port.  I’ve use 12 volt Grain of Wheat incandescent bulbs for my lighting since the 80s because I like the realisms of the bulbs operating at 70% reduced voltage (8½ volts) so I have continued using them.
 
Because of the higher voltage and current needed for the GOW bulbs I built up a high current driver (500ma per port at up to 24 volts DC) expansion board that plugs on to an Arduino UNO.
 
I have configured the program to randomly turn on and off all 20 ports.  The duration of on off pick is adjustable in the program.
 
The cost per port for driving 20 LEDs is roughly 25¢ (eBay/China) plus a 7 to 12 volt power source.  The cost per port for the high current expansion board is roughly 22½¢ plus the bulb power supply.
 
I always go berserk with my projects and because I’m going to be using a sack full of Arduino UNOs on my layout I built a couple of card shelves to hold them in my control panel.  The total cost for a 8 slot card shelf is about $25, figuring 20 ports per Arduino X 8 = about 15¢ per port for 160 outputs or about 65¢ per 500ma port plus the lighting source voltage power supply for all 160 ports.
 
I did a post on my blog on my Random Lighting Controllers.
 
 
This is an 8 slot card shelf that will hold 8 Arduino UNOs or MEGAs shown with a MEGA expansion board.
 
 
I built the 8 slot shelf to fit in the existing compartment in my control panel.
 
 
As with all of my projects this one is constantly being updated and or modified as I go.  It seems that I continually find a better way to do things.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
  • Member since
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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, December 05, 2018 11:02 AM

I run a simple 12 VDC bus for all my structure lighting.  It's cheap and can support both incandescents and LEDs with resistors.

I see the WS system as something for a Christmas Tree layout, but kind of pricey for a decent sized layout.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Posted by FRRYKid on Wednesday, December 05, 2018 12:42 PM

I am only doing a small industrial area with these lights. The only reason I got these lights was I wanted a specific prototype and the lights were suggested to meet the need. I am not planning to go completely crazy with lighting, at least not all at once. (The only other places where I am planning to put lighting is a couple of passenger stations and that can be done with regular lights.)

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, December 05, 2018 3:41 PM

Hi again FRRYKid:

(I edited this post to better answer your original question).

Here is what you will need to set up your system based on a maximum of 16 lights:

- Light Hub

- up to four Port Sharing Devices JP5681 (four lights per device).

- Auxiliary Switch(s) JP5725. Note that the switches plug into a separate socket than the lights do. It looks like the hubs are supplied with a jumper wire in that socket which will have to be removed in order to plug in the switch. The lights won't work without either the switch or the jumper wire in place.

- Lights ( doesn't matter which. They all draw the same power)

Cables:

- 1 JP5760 to connect the transformer to the Light Hub

- Additional cables depending on how far the lights and other components will be from the control panels and from each other. You can buy pre-made cables or you can buy  a spool of cable and a kit with the plugs with leads to connect to the wire.

There are two types of cables. One is a Connecting Cable JP5760 designed to hook Light Hubs to an Expansion Hub. You don't need any more of those cables if you are only doing 16 lights, i.e. no Expansion Hub needed, just the one for the transformer. The other cable is an Extension Cable JP5761. You may need one or more depending on whether or not the wires supplied with the various components are long enough by themselves. The lights come with a 24" cable, so if you want an light to be more than 24" from the Port Sharing Device you will need X number of Extension Cables to span the distance. Likewise with the distance between the Light Hub and the Port Sharing Devices. Note that the distance between components is not as the crow flies. The wires have to bend to go around obstacles and corners so you have to take that into account.

If you want more than 16 lights you will need to buy an Expansion Hub JP5702 and possibly additional Extension Cables, again depending on the distances involved.

If you want random lighting you will need a Sequencing Light Hub JP5680, but I suspect that for the type of factory and street lighting that you are doing you don't want them turning on and off randomly.

Another option is to just buy the street lights or other fancy lights and supply your own power. Their costs are reasonable when compared to similar items on the market.

I hope that helps better than my first post.

Dave

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, December 05, 2018 4:24 PM

hon30critter
Something you could do to save some money is to buy just the fancy lights like the street lights or vehicles and then build your own power system.

I did exactly what Dave is suggesting. I have a long bridge that I wanted street light poles on. I've used many of the Walthers street lights. They are designed with a brass ring and pin socket at the base. This was too bulky for my application on the thin-sectioned bridge.

 IMG_3238_fix_web by Edmund, on Flickr

The "Just Plug" light poles were just what I was looking for. Another plus is that they are LEDs. So far as I know, Walthers is still using grain-of-rice lamps in their HO lighting line. I have had some burn out.

I guess the W/S "Light Hub" is nice since it has a dimmer adjustment on it. Still, I use a 12 volt regulated power supply (A CCTV camera power supply works great) and choose the appropriate resistor for the brightness of the lamp I desire.

When the room lights are dimmed the street lights make a nice pool of light on the pavement:

 IMG_8897_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

Good Luck, Ed

 

 

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Posted by FRRYKid on Thursday, December 06, 2018 12:38 AM

hon30critter

- Light Hub

- up to four Port Sharing Devices JP5681 (four lights per device).

- Lights ( doesn't matter which. They all draw the same power)

Cables:

- 1 JP5760 to connect the transformer to the Light Hub

Two questions related to the above mentioned parts: One, the cable that comes with the lights is what plugs into the light hubs (aka Port Sharing Devices), correct? Two, the JP5760 has spade ends that would connect to the screws on a transformer or other electrical component screws (e.g. an Atlas Connector), correct?

hon30critter

 One is a Connecting Cable JP5760 designed to hook Light Hubs to an Expansion Hub.

Which kind of cable is a 5760 then: an expansion cable or the transformer cable?

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, December 06, 2018 2:55 AM

FRRYKid
the cable that comes with the lights is what plugs into the light hubs (aka Port Sharing Devices), correct?

Yes, but you may need Extension Cables #JP5761 If the lights will be more than 24" from the Port Sharing Device.

FRRYKid
the JP5760 has spade ends that would connect to the screws on a transformer or other electrical component screws (e.g. an Atlas Connector), correct?

No, it has male plugs on both ends. You have to cut the plug off of one end and then strip those wires to go around the transformer screws. You can put spade terminals on them if you wish, or just solder the bare wires together to make them solid. Then you can use a pair of needle nose pliers to bend the ends into a hook to go around the screws. I would suggest doing one or the other because the bare wires can break off if they are moved around. 

FRRYKid
Which kind of cable is a 5760 then: an expansion cable or the transformer cable?

They are actually used for both purposes, but you have to clip one plug off and bare the wires to connect it to a transformer.

Make sure you differentiate between 'Expansion Cables' which are used to connect the devices (Hubs) together and 'Extension Cables' which are used when the lights will be more than 24" from a Hub or Port Sharing Device. They can also be used when a Port Sharing Device needs to be further from the Light Hub.

There are two types of Extension Cables:

- The JP5761 Extension Cable has a male and a female plug. They can be used to hook up the Nano Lights, Stick On Lights, vehicles or the pre-lit structures which are supplied with male plugs. They can also be used when a Port Sharing Device is too far away from a Light Hub for the supplied cable to reach. The JP5671 Extension Cables can be 'daisy chained' to get as long a wire as you need (within reason).

- The JP5684 Extension Cable has a male plug and the other end has bare wires. They are used to hook up street lights or wall lights. They come with Splicer Plugs JP5686 that clip onto the bare wires on the Extension Cable and the bare wires on the street lights or the wall lights. You will need a JP5684 for every street light or wall light. (There are also Linker Plugs JP5685 which will do the same thing as the JP5684 but they have much shorter cables. I'd just go with the JP5684s to keep things simple.) By the way, the reason that the street lights and wall lights don't come with plugs attached is because you want to be able to pass the wires through small holes.

Make sure you identify which sockets on the Hub and Port Sharing Devices are for the lights and which sockets are for the Connection Cable and the remote switches if you are using switches.

Sorry if this is too long winded. My explanations always are.Embarrassed I actually spent a long time editing it to make it shorter than what I started with which would have filled the Walthers catalogue, almost.Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

Dave

 

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Posted by FRRYKid on Sunday, January 06, 2019 12:49 AM

Thought I might post pictures of the area with all the lighting installed with it both natural light and the Woodland Scenics lamps:

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 06, 2019 12:55 AM

Looks good. I'm glad you got it all figured out.

Dave

  • Member since
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  • From: Miles City, Montana
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Posted by FRRYKid on Sunday, January 06, 2019 10:22 AM

I did have to redo one port sharing wire as that set didn't come on when I first turned the lights on, but that was fairly easy to fix.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."

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