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BLI Paragon2 and Paragon3 locomotive light bulbs

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  • Member since
    June 2011
  • 6 posts
BLI Paragon2 and Paragon3 locomotive light bulbs
Posted by loubmac on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 10:35 AM

I’m upgrading the decoders in some of my Broadway Limited Imports Paragon2 and Paragon3 locomotives to SoundTraxx Blunami decoders.  The installations are being done by a third party because I’m no good at these things.  But now I need to program the new decoders (which I do enjoy doing).  My problem is that I need to know whether the light bulbs in the locos are incandescent or LED bulbs in order to properly program the lighting CV’s.  My assumption is that all Paragon2 and Paragon3 locos would have LED bulbs.  Does anyone know for sure?  I can’t seem to be able to find this information anywhere, and I imagine that some older locos might still have used incandescent bulbs.  Incidentally, I absolutely love using the Blunami app for programming and running my locos.

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: Ludington, MI
  • 1,781 posts
Posted by Water Level Route on Thursday, June 13, 2024 5:11 AM

Hi Loubmac.  I would guess that they are all LED's as well, but there could be exceptions.  I would program the decoders for LED bulbs first and see if they work.  You won't harm an incandescent, if it is one, this way, but could toast a LED the other way around.

Mike

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 24,210 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, June 13, 2024 7:10 AM

Water Level Route

Hi Loubmac.  I would guess that they are all LED's as well, but there could be exceptions.  I would program the decoders for LED bulbs first and see if they work.  You won't harm an incandescent, if it is one, this way, but could toast a LED the other way around.

I agree with Mike. I have Paragons and Paragon 2s. They all use LEDs, so I would presume that the 3s and 4s do as well.
 
Rich

Alton Junction

tsd
  • Member since
    September 2021
  • 55 posts
Posted by tsd on Friday, June 14, 2024 7:27 AM

All BlueLine and newer will have LED's. Only the orginal Paragon series, which used third party decoders had grain-of-wheat bulbs, and at that, only a few of those engines did, with the rest of those early ones using LED's as well.

  • Member since
    June 2011
  • 6 posts
Posted by loubmac on Saturday, June 15, 2024 10:20 PM

Thank you, everyone!  My oldest BLI locos are Paragon2, so now I can be confident that all my BLI locos are equipped with LED lighting.  When I first turned on my loco after receiving it from the decoder installer the headlight was extremely bright, and this set off alarm bells in my head.  I checkded the lighting CV setting and it was set to "incandescent".  It turns out that this is the default setting for the lighting outputs on the SoundTraxx Blunami decoder.  I find this a little curious since it seems most locos have been shipping with LED lighting for quite some time. 

 

The User Guide for the decoder states that when set to "LED" the following happens: "LED Compensation Mode alters the method of sending current to the LED to balance the LED and incandescent brightness levels."  It also notes that "Enabling LED Compensation Mode will not change the output voltage [emphasis original].  Resistors may still be necessary depending on the board format and drive voltage of the LED."

 

Enabling "LED" on my decoder cut the headlight brightness level from a shockingly bright white to a very pleasing level of brightness.  I'm hopeful that no actual damage was done to the LED while running it briefly in "incandescent" mode.  I presume the decoder installer (a professional) made sure that the necessary resistors were present.  It does leave me a little perplexed about why he wouldn't also have set the decoder outputs to "LED" mode.  But at least now I know what to do when I upgrade some additional Paragon2 and 3 locomotives to the Blunami decoder.  I really do like the Blunami for a variety of reasons -- too much to discuss for this particular thread.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 21,434 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, June 16, 2024 1:30 PM

If the LED was still working when you turned it off, it will still be working when you turn it on.  It's either a LED or a Darkness Emitting Diode, or DED.

If I pull the shell off an engine, I will always replace any incandescents I find with LEDs.  They last basically forever, and won't cause heat issues under the hood.  I get the "yellow glow" LEDs because that color better mimics Transition Era lighting and before.

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

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 23,330 posts
Posted by selector on Sunday, June 16, 2024 1:55 PM

I had my orignal Paragon (the '1' first version) with QSI die on me two years ago, found 'trainservicedepot' which restores or replaces the electronics on BLI engines exclusively, by agreement, and shipped it to him (Seneca Pearson? not sure of the spelling in his surname). He confirmed that it had an LED, which was the failure I couldn't repair myself.  The sound and motive drives were fine. 

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