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5mm YeloGlo White LED - - - Too Bright

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Posted by RR_Mel on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 8:37 PM

I used to do the size reducing thing in a 4 volt drill for the Utah marker lights but found it much easier to use a short piece of .8mm fiber optics.  It slips in the marker and is easily glued to a 3mm LED.  I use Crafters Glass Stain for color.  The glass stain is available in a lot of colors, I stock red, yellow and green stains.

I now use Cal-Scale 190-280 markers for my Cab Forwards and cabooses now.  They are solid brass and need to be drilled open for illumination.







This is one of my AC-9 kitbashes with working markers using fiber optics.



 

Mel



 
My Model Railroad   
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I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 8:00 PM

Overmod
Some here might suggest easy ways of cutting the best angle of cone in plastic inexpensively.

I had to reduce the size of a bunch of 3mm LEDs so that the tip of the LEDs would fit into the core of an HO scale Utah Pacific caboose marker light. All I did was chuck the LEDs into a variable speed drill and then I used a file to shape the tip of the LED as the drill spun it. I'm sure that a drill bit or a #11 blade could be used to create the hollow center pattern in a 3mm or 5mm LED using the same method.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 1:36 PM

I see illustrations of a variant of these lights that make the 'inverted cone' a void molded into the plastic of the molded LED envelope.  This suggests that with some careful clamping, a modeler might use something like a typical pointed fine twist drill to form the 'cone' and the little 'window' of non refraction at its center.  If necessary this could then be filled with material of different refractive index if desired, or coated, and the light going to 'the periphery' blocked and absorbed with good black (or 'ultrablack' nonreflective) material...

Some here might suggest easy ways of cutting the best angle of cone in plastic inexpensively.

Be interesting what this might do with a Yelo-Glo LED...

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 1:19 PM

hornblower

Rich

The Christmas light LED's I like do not use a frosted or translucent lens to diffuse the light.  Instead, the top of the clear lens has an inverted cone molded into it.  Light from the base of the LED hits the surface of this cone and is reflected out the sides of the LED lens.  However, the tip of the cone does not reflect light nearly as well so a narrow beam of light still escapes out the top of the LED making it perfect to simulate a sealed beam headlight. 

I will have to look at those. This past holiday season, we replaced our incandescent bulb stringed tree with a pre-lit tree lit with LEDs.

Rich

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Posted by hornblower on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 1:08 PM

Rich

The Christmas light LED's I like do not use a frosted or translucent lens to diffuse the light.  Instead, the top of the clear lens has an inverted cone molded into it.  Light from the base of the LED hits the surface of this cone and is reflected out the sides of the LED lens.  However, the tip of the cone does not reflect light nearly as well so a narrow beam of light still escapes out the top of the LED making it perfect to simulate a sealed beam headlight.

Hornblower

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, April 4, 2021 7:26 AM

I have always used difffused LED light for open surface viewing such as control panel mounted LEDs, trackside signals, etc. The light can be viewed from all angles. In other words, a diffused LED spreads out the light beam due to the opaque lens.

On the other hand, a non-diffused clear lens LED has a narrower beam width and is best used for hidden beams such as locomotive head lights, Mars lights, ditch lights, etc. In other words, LEDs with non-diffused clear lens have a narrower beam width, and the light beam is sharper.

Rich

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, April 1, 2021 5:32 PM

Hi Hornblower,

I'm sorry, I should have searched a little more carefully. I understand what the 'diffused' LEDs look like. I believe that these are closer to what you want. Unfortunately they are quite a bit more expensive if you want them prewired:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/5pcs-5mm-Pre-Wired-Straw-Hat-LED-Bulb-3V-6V-9V-220V-White-Green-Blue-Red-Yellow/333134165956?var=542156721661&hash=item4d9057f7c4:g:l5YAAOSwwFlcmvd~

If you don't care about them being prewired:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/100P-x-5mm-warm-white-straw-hat-LED-straw-Water-Clear-160-180-degree-light/171380048122?hash=item27e70c00fa:g:Yw0AAOSwd4tTunY-

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hornblower on Thursday, April 1, 2021 3:08 PM

Dave

Those are indeed good prices on pre-wired LED's.  However, these are not the "diffused light" inverted cone LED's you find inside Christmas lights.  The body of the LED is molded with an inverted cone in the top of the LED (not round or flat but more like a funnel).  The idea is that most of the light traveling up from the LED element is reflected out the sides of the LED.  The tip of the cone does not reflect much so you still get a narrow and bright light coming straight out the top of the LED.  The effect looks quite like an incandescent sealed beam headlight as you can see in the photos below.  The headlight is at full strength while I tried to get the Mars light at partial illumination to illustrate how narrow the beam of light coming out of the top of the LED can be.  The 45 degrees from head on shot also shows the Testors Clear Parts Cement lenses (sorry its a bit blurry). 

  

  

I bought several 100 LED strings of Christmas lights for $6 per string which works out to 6 cents per LED (I don't charge myself for labor).

Hornblower

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, April 1, 2021 11:06 AM

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hornblower on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 2:12 PM

richhotrain
I am a bit surprised that you are able to fit a Christmas light inside the shell based upon the size of most Christmas lights.

 

You have to disassemble each Christmas light in the string to get to the bare 3mm LED's.  First, remove each Christmas light from its socket in the string.  Depending on the brand, you may or may not have to break the clear plastic dome away from the opaque plastic base (some are just a friction fit).  You then straighten the bent over LED wires and slide the LED out of the base.  You now have a diffused light (inverted cone) 3mm LED.  

I don't like having wires connecting my Loco body shells to the chassis, so I mount my LED headlights in a manner similar to the original Athearn Blue Box headlight.  I cement a piece of sheet styrene to the front end of the F unit chassis with a slight tilt back to clear the nose of the body shell.  I then place the shell on the chassis and use a thin tip marker or sharp awl to mark the headlight/Mars light centers on the piece of styrene.  Next, I remove the body shell, drill out the LED mounting holes, and press fit the LED's into the styrene support.  I temporarily reinstall the shell to verify the LED's are centered and as close to the inside of the headlight openings as possible.  At this point, I remove the shell once more to glue the LED's in place and complete the DCC wiring.  A little flat black paint on the rear and sides of the LED's keeps light from bleeding into the cab.  Finally, I use Testors Clear Parts Cement to create headlight lenses in the body shell.  Once dry, I reinstall the shell and place the loco on my layout.  The inverted cone of the LED looks all the world like a bulb within a sealed reflector lamp mounted behind a separate glass lens.  These warm white LED's also produce the warm yellowish glow of an incandescent headlight and will actually light about 100 scale feet of track ahead of the loco without looking too bright.  Additionally, having the LED's set back inside the shell and no light pipe means that the headlights/Mars lights are not visible to the side of the loco.  You need to be somewhere in front of the loco to see the lighting effect.

Although the inverted cone is designed to make as much light as possible shine out the sides of the LED, you still get a strong bright light emitted from the tip of the cone out the very top of the LED.  

I have not been able to use this technique on many other diesel types as few have the large headlights found on the EMD E and F series locos.  These headlights look so good that I am considering replacing the factory headlight (too white, too bright and too visible from the side of the loco) in the one Intermountain F7 I own.  

Hornblower

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 7:06 AM

hornblower

I have been using 3mm warm white LED's I pulled out of strings of Christmas lights as direct view headlights/Mars lights behind a lens made from Testors Clear Parts Cement in several HO scale EMD F unit diesels and have been extremely happy with the results.  

Very interesting approach to the lighting issue. I am a bit surprised that you are able to fit a Christmas light inside the shell based upon the size of most Christmas lights.

Rich

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Posted by hornblower on Monday, March 29, 2021 4:13 PM

I have been using 3mm warm white LED's I pulled out of strings of Christmas lights as direct view headlights/Mars lights behind a lens made from Testors Clear Parts Cement in several HO scale EMD F unit diesels and have been extremely happy with the results.  First, the inverted cones molded into the tops of the LED's look more like sealed beam headlights than any other lamp/LED I have ever tried, even when off!  Second, these LED's give a off a slightly yellow glow that is just bright enough to actually illuminate the track in front of the loco for about 100 scale feet.  They're not too picky either, working with resisters anywhere from 470 ohms through 1K ohms.  As I have installed DIY stay alive circuits in most of these locos, it is amusing to watch how long the headlights/Mars lights stay on long after the layout has been shut off.

Hornblower

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 9:19 AM

I have had a situation where on a passenger diesel (like an E-unit) the lower main headlight seems OK, but the strobe/Mars light effect in the upper headlight seems too bright (or just annoying). I've used transparent yellow paint to tone down the LED a bit. It makes the color more yellow-white than it was, but it does take the harsh "edge" off the brightness. 

BTW if these engines are DCC, there are some (many now?) decoders that allow you to adjust the maximum and minumum light brightness via CVs.

Stix
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 8:18 AM

 Instead of 3 resistors on each one (presumably 4.7K since that's the standard value), you can get a single 15K resistor. Or 18K or 22K.

                                    --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 1:50 AM

Overmod
Is there some way to use half-silvered film or a small piece of glass filter to mask this from view when the light is off?

I recall posts on the forums where modelers used MV Products to hide the body of the LEDs. They removed just enough of the silvering from the center of the back of the lens to allow the light to come through.

http://www.mvproducts.com/Model-Lenses.html

This thread shows how doctorwayne used the lenses. Scroll down a bit to get to his posts:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/p/278005/3185554.aspx#3185554

Dave

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 7:47 PM

Overmod
 
richhotrain
rrinker

My P2K Geeps, my Trainline FA, a couple of my Stewart switchers - they came with an LED that was redily visible throught he headlight lens that was orange when off

I see that tiny orange speck on my Miniatronics YeloGlo White LED when off. 

Is there some way to use half-silvered film or a small piece of glass filter to mask this from view when the light is off? 

I am going to switch out the YeloGlo White LEDs and replace them with Golden White LEDs.

Rich 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 7:13 PM

richhotrain
rrinker

My P2K Geeps, my Trainline FA, a couple of my Stewart switchers - they came with an LED that was redily visible throught he headlight lens that was orange when off

I see that tiny orange speck on my Miniatronics YeloGlo White LED when off.

Is there some way to use half-silvered film or a small piece of glass filter to mask this from view when the light is off?

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 6:37 PM

richhotrain

Here you go. Two identical Proto 2000 PA locomotives.

The one on the left has a 5mm Golden White Mars light and a 3mm Golden White Headlight.

The one on the right has a 5mm YeloGlo White Mars light and a 3mm YeloGlo White Headlight.

All of the LEDs have 1K ohm resistors attached.

Rich

P1020752.jpg

 

Randy, no comment?

Rich

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Posted by RR_Mel on Monday, March 22, 2021 11:09 AM

richhotrain

 

 
rrinker

I have a bunch of loco that the headlights are the Miniatronics YeloGlow, with a 1K resistor, and they aren't excessively bright. Some are 5mm, some are 3mm. 

 

 

I am not very good with a camera. In fact, I am awful. But, I will try to photgraph one of my Minatronics YeloGlo LEDs with a 1K resistor. Other forum members are reporting the same brightness problem on both this thread and elsewhere on the forum. I cannot understand how your Minatronics YeloGlo LEDs with a 1K resistor installed are not too bright. Why would your LEDs be different than others?

 

Rich

 

I’m not very good at photography either but working on it.  This I my Kitbash Lounge car with 10 wide angle Warm White Super Bright LEDs, 9 using 9.1KΩ resistors and one over the Bar area with a 4.7KΩ resistor.

                        Click on the photo to enlarge.

The newer Super Bright LEDs are very bright and I end up running them at very low current as you can see on my Mel Meters.

I use a 2KΩ 20 turn trim pot in all of my passenger cars to individually set the brightness for each car through the end door.



I daisy chain my passenger cars and use a rechargeable 4 volt Lithium battery with a track powered charger in the Baggage car to power the lighting.



I use quick disconnect micro connector between cars, the only time I remove a car is for maintenance so the connectors between cars are not a problem for me.
 

Mel


 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 22, 2021 10:52 AM

Here you go. Two identical Proto 2000 PA locomotives.

The one on the left has a 5mm Golden White Mars light and a 3mm Golden White Headlight.

The one on the right has a 5mm YeloGlo White Mars light and a 3mm YeloGlo White Headlight.

All of the LEDs have 1K ohm resistors attached.

Rich

P1020752.jpg

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 22, 2021 10:41 AM

I don't use light pipes on mine, so that could well be the difference.

I'm going to go down to the layout and see if I can take some good quality photos.

Stay tuned.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, March 22, 2021 9:57 AM

 Hmm, well, so much for that theory, they are likely identical, what I have and what you have. The only difference is probably that the 5mm ones I used are in lesser quality models with not so awesome light pipes which attentuate a good bt of the light. If I could dig one out (LED, not the loco) I could power it on my workbench and see how bright it looks with just the bare LED.

 The Stewart switchers, which have 3mm versions - the light pipe lenses used for those headlights would probably qualify as optically clear, looking through one looks the same as just looking through air. The Walthers Trainline FA headlight lense, where there is a 5mm YeloGlo, well, you see light through it, you can;t read or see any detail. Same with the Atlas/Kato RS-3s - I do cut down the light pipes quite a bit, since the originals both reach to the center of the loco where a single bulb lit both headlights, but still there is a couple of inches of light pipe from the LED to the actual headlight, so all you see is the glow. I do lightly polish the cut end of the light pipe to help lkight transfer, but any interface between materials, liek the case of the LED and the light pipe plastic, is going to cause a significant loss of light output. The end of the light pipe and LED are covered in black shrink tubne, so no light escapes into the loco to shine through the shell. The extreme brightness of the 5mm YeloGlo may actually be a benefit in installs like that, but when it's in direct view or through a quality clear lens, way too bright.

                                  --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 22, 2021 8:53 AM

richhotrain
 

Mine were purchased more recently than 9 years ago, but I am not sure when exactly. 

I checked a spreadsheet that I maintain for purchases.

The 5mm YeloGlo White LEDs from Miniatronics were purchased in May 2012, so nearly 9 years ago.

The 3mm YeloGlo White LEDs from Miniatronics were purchased in March 2017, so 4 years ago.

It is the 5mm YeloGlo White LEDs from Miniatronics that are super bright.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 22, 2021 8:41 AM

rrinker

They could be different because the newest ones I bought are all at least 9 years old, most of the installed ones are even older - at least one of the Stewart switchers (those are 3mm ones, not 5mm) based on when and where I took the pictures showing how I bent the leads to match the stock LED was taken 13 years ago.  Miniatronics just repackages stuff, they don;t make LEDs, switches, or much else of what they sell. So over the years, their LED supplier could easily have changed.                 

Mine were purchased more recently than 9 years ago, but I am not sure when exactly. 

I did not realize that Miniatronics does not manufacture its own LEDs or incandescent bulbs or toggle switches. They do seem to be better quality parts than what I have purchased elsewhere.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, March 22, 2021 7:50 AM

 Sounds liek they are still made the same then. That's part of why I went with them in the Stewart switchers, since the LED is very visible through the lens they use for the headlight. With a Yelo-Gloe LED in there, it looks like a shint reflector with a small yellow light bulb in the middle when off - if you look close enough the 'light bulb' is square but it sure beats seeing orange.

 They could be different because the newest ones I bought are all at least 9 years old, most of the installed ones are even older - at least one of the Stewart switchers (those are 3mm ones, not 5mm) based on when and where I took the pictures showing how I bent the leads to match the stock LED was taken 13 years ago.  Miniatronics just repackages stuff, they don;t make LEDs, switches, or much else of what they sell. So over the years, their LED supplier could easily have changed.

                                --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 22, 2021 7:29 AM

rrinker

My P2K Geeps, my Trainline FA, a couple of my Stewart switchers - they came with an LED that was redily visible throught he headlight lens that was orange when off

I see that tiny orange spec on my Miniatronics YeloGlo White LED when off. On my Golden White LEDs, the entire "shell" that covers the LED is orange or, maybe better stated, an orangey-amber color.

Rich       

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, March 22, 2021 7:20 AM

rrinker

I have a bunch of loco that the headlights are the Miniatronics YeloGlow, with a 1K resistor, and they aren't excessively bright. Some are 5mm, some are 3mm. 

I am not very good with a camera. In fact, I am awful. But, I will try to photgraph one of my Minatronics YeloGlo LEDs with a 1K resistor. Other forum members are reporting the same brightness problem on both this thread and elsewhere on the forum. I cannot understand how your Minatronics YeloGlo LEDs with a 1K resistor installed are not too bright. Why would your LEDs be different than others?

Rich

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, March 21, 2021 11:28 PM

FWIW, when I did the interior lighting for my McKeen Motor Car I used 30K resistors, one for each of the 16 or so interior lamps. The LEDs glowed just like a very early incandescent bulb, which was the effect I wanted. In fact, I could have gone with a higher value resitor because when all the lights in the room are out, the interior lamps are still a bit too bright.

As others have said, you can't hurt the LEDs by trying higher value resistors.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, March 21, 2021 12:18 PM

 I have a bunch of loco that the headlights are the Miniatronics YeloGlow, with a 1K resistor, and they aren't excessively bright. Some are 5mm, some are 3mm. My P2K Geeps, my Trainline FA, a couple of my Stewart switchers - they came with an LED that was redily visible throught he headlight lens that was orange when off, so they got swapped. I did change the resistor on that - but they came with 470 ohm and I desoldered those and put in 1K.

                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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