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Athearn HO F59PHI LEDs Suggestions?

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  • Member since
    February, 2018
  • 58 posts
Athearn HO F59PHI LEDs Suggestions?
Posted by nemesys on Thursday, January 10, 2019 4:05 PM

I have 1 burned out ditch light and I would like to replace them with LED but I'm kind of new to this and have no idea which size would fit well into the ditch light openings. Anybody knows?

Thanks in advance!

Tags: F59PHI , HO , led
  • Member since
    May, 2010
  • 3,615 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, January 10, 2019 8:40 PM

Not a lot I can give you, I did an LED conversion, but it was an older RTR without the light board, so I used LEDs, and resistors, and kept the loco on DC.  I'm pretty sure I used the 3mm LEDs, I plan on redoing this again, but converting it to DCC, and using surface mount LEDs, probably the peco size.

If yours has the light board, and the DCC plug, you'll have to do the same, as the Athearn light board doesn't support LEDs without resistors, the board only supports the stock incandecent bulbs.

If your going to go DCC, I'd remove the board anyway, hardwire the decoder, and the LEDs.

I'm lazy, electrical challanged, and like to keep things simple, so I use the peco size, surface mount LEDs from Evans Design.  They come pre-wired with the resistor built in, just connect one wire to the each side, positive and negative.  They use very fine magnetic wire, easy to hide.

You can also do a search, and you'll probably find some install videos out there.

Just a start.  I'm sure more electrical savy memvers will chime in.

Mike.

  • Member since
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  • 58 posts
Posted by nemesys on Friday, January 11, 2019 12:54 AM

mbinsewi

Not a lot I can give you, I did an LED conversion, but it was an older RTR without the light board, so I used LEDs, and resistors, and kept the loco on DC.  I'm pretty sure I used the 3mm LEDs, I plan on redoing this again, but converting it to DCC, and using surface mount LEDs, probably the peco size.

If yours has the light board, and the DCC plug, you'll have to do the same, as the Athearn light board doesn't support LEDs without resistors, the board only supports the stock incandecent bulbs.

If your going to go DCC, I'd remove the board anyway, hardwire the decoder, and the LEDs.

I'm lazy, electrical challanged, and like to keep things simple, so I use the peco size, surface mount LEDs from Evans Design.  They come pre-wired with the resistor built in, just connect one wire to the each side, positive and negative.  They use very fine magnetic wire, easy to hide.

You can also do a search, and you'll probably find some install videos out there.

Just a start.  I'm sure more electrical savy memvers will chime in.

Mike.

 

Thanks Mike, that's a start with the 3mm. I have a Soundtraxx decoder which supports LEDs without the need of resistors so that's not a problem.

I will look for 3mm LEDs. Thank you!

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, January 11, 2019 4:44 AM

nemesys
I will look for 3mm LEDs. Thank you!

Hi nemesys,

3 mm LEDs will not work for your ditch lights unless you mount them inside the locomotive and use fiber optic cable to feed the ditch light lens. That will be a very difficult thing to do.

What you want are the 'peco' LEDs that Mike referred to, also called '0402' or '0603' LEDs. This is a Canadian listing but you will be able to find identical items on the US eBay site:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/10-x-0603-0402-Pre-soldered-Micro-Litz-Wired-Leads-White-SMD-Led-200mm-Long-DIY/192706427066?hash=item2cde32b8ba:g:W4cAAOSwq6Nb2BDC:rk:6:pf:0

The '0402' LEDs are smaller than the '0603's and will likely be easier to fit into the ditch light housings. You might have to remove the ditch lights in order to get the old bulbs out. If you need to make a new lens, canopy cement will form a nice, clear lens for you.

http://www.supergluecorp.com/?q=zap/zap-glues/formula-560-canopy-glue

Note that the solder joints on the LED leads are fragile. Handle them very gently. Try to bend them as few times as possible.

Dave

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, January 11, 2019 7:25 AM

Hi nemesys,  I had to go remove the shell so I could see what I did on mine.  I used the 3mm for a headlight, and I did not install ditch lights.  Mine is an older version, before the RTR DCC Ready.

You have yours all ready set up for DCC, so use the Peco size leds.  I use these:

https://www.modeltrainsoftware.com/products/chip-nano-pico-leds

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, the ones I get are set for 7-19 volts,  no resistors required, one wire to the "plus" side of the board, and the other to the "neg." side, and you have lights.

The down side of this easy method, is you have no control over them.  When track power is on, so are the ditch lights.  Hit F0 to turn off your headlight, and the ditch lights stay on.

Now, if you want control of the lights, other than just on and off, forward or reverse, you'll need to wire them through the decoder to take advantage of the functions that may be available on your decoder., such as diming, flashing, etc.

Mike.

  • Member since
    February, 2018
  • 58 posts
Posted by nemesys on Friday, January 11, 2019 11:16 AM
Thank you, guys! That looks exactly like what I need. And thanks for the tips! I'll try to post a video once I'm done.
  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, January 11, 2019 4:33 PM

mbinsewi
the ones I get are set for 7-19 volts,  no resistors required,

nemesys:

Note that the 0402 or 0603 LEDs that I referrenced do require resistors. 1000 ohms 1/8 watt are good.

Dave

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