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TCS WOW Marker Lights using Common Anode LED & Fiber Optic Tubing

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  • Member since
    February 2020
  • 2 posts
TCS WOW Marker Lights using Common Anode LED & Fiber Optic Tubing
Posted by Dixie NKP on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 6:25 PM
WOW TCS Decoders & Marker Lights
I have installed several TCS WOW decoders in both Steam & Diesel applications in the last year.  Recently I have been using the purple and green wires to feed markers using red & white common anode LED’s and fiber optics thru the blisters on the shells of Stewart and Athearn F3 & 7’s.  Melt the end of the fiber optic cord to form a lens and shove it into the hollowed out blister in the shell.  There are a couple of steps you have to go through to make them work directional, i.e. red going in reverse and white going forward as in the first section of a train.  First make your wiring and fiber optic connections.  Remember which wire color you put on which side of the LED, long center leg being common, of the two left over, the shorter one is white and the other red.  Assemble the shell and begin programming using either Decoder Pro or main line programming using Audio Assist and Programming Options (8888) andr Light Mode Active (88) programming.   Whatever method you use: 1. You have to tell the decoder what color wire has what kind of light attached to it: mars, constant bright, constant dim, ditch, etc.  2. You have to tell the decoder in which direction of travel to turn the light on (do not leave it on both).  I use red on the rear of an AA consist moving forward, and white on the front engine of an AA consist moving forward.   Pressing the reverse direction button reverses the color of the lights.  3. Next you have to go to the Function Table in using Decoder Pro and tell the decoder what wire is on what function button.  Do not use Function 1, 2, 3 or 5 or 6.  There is a bug with 5 & 6 that TCS is correcting.  The lights will not stay on when power to the locomotive is cycled if you use 5 & 6.  Using 1, 2 or 3 is not good as these function buttons do other things you should not be interfere with while function 2 is on/off and will not stay latched for Digitrax Command Throttles.  Once these things are done, set the locomotive on the layout track and go to Light Mode Active programming (88) and press the function number button once for each wire.  Press F6 once for the green wire and press F7 once for the violet wire if that is where you put them according to the function table in Decoder Pro.  TCS tells me you can put them both on one function button; I have never done this – putting them on separate buttons makes my head work better.  If your engine setting powered up on the track has the headlight on going forward and off in reverse; you will only see one color of light until you reverse the direction of travel of the locomotive.    Play with this a while to be sure it is what you want. 
If you want to do this with CV’s and are using the Green and Violet wires set CV 51 = 0, CV 52 = 16 for an engine going forward.  If you have a second engine behind the first programmed in reverse as you would do for a F3 or 7 not running elephant style reverse the 0 to 16 and the 16 to 0.  This puts a white light on the forward engine and a red light on the trailing engine.
George
  • Member since
    December 2015
  • 6,368 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, February 13, 2020 10:45 AM

Welcome to the forum

Long blocks of text are hard for some of us to read.

How do attach your fiberoptic to the led?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    February 2020
  • 2 posts
Posted by Dixie NKP on Monday, February 17, 2020 9:06 AM

Use a 1/16 by 1/2" shrink wrap tubing to trap two fiber optic 0.20 strands.  Use a soldering iron to shrink the tubing being careful not to overheat.  Build up the diameter of the fiber optic & shrink wrap with 3/32 to 1/8.  When the assembly reaches the approximate size or your LED use another piece of tubing around 3/4" long to trap the LED and Fiber Optic cord, one in front of the other.  Test the assembly before placing in the locomotive.  Fix the LED/Fiber Optic assembly to the roof of your locomotive with excess FO (2") protruding thru your shell openings you have made for the marker lights.  After the shell is back on cut these excess lengths off about 1/8+" from the shell.  Heat with a match until they blister forming a lens.  Shove the hot blister into the shell with a stainless steel flat tool while hot to fix it to the lens opening.  If it does not stick, carefully use some ACC.  The hole in your shell should be made with at least two drill sizes.  Start by scoring the center of the bump on the shell with an Exato knife so your drill will stay centered. Use the first smaller drill to drill thru.  Use the next size to get up to where your FO will just go thru the hole.  Counter sink by hand using a 1/16 sharp drill to form a nest for the hot blister.  Do not ream all the way thru.  

Enjoy George

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