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combine lighting

Started by Terry Toenges, February 02, 2007, 02:59:23 PM

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Terry Toenges

The downside to the new board - I had a couple of threads bookmarked that had all the info I needed about adding track powered lighting to my Big Hauler combine when I got around to it.  Now they are gone and I am getting ready to buy what I need to do it.
Can someone help me out here please?
Do I need different wheelsets?
I guess I can use the LGB wipers or is there something else I can use?
If I switch to  LEDs, do I need any additional components like resistors or capacitors for flicker free lighting?
What voltage LEDs should I use?
I'm no electrical whiz.

Feel like a Mogul.


LGB pickups will slide into the provided sockets.
LGB or any other ball-bearing wheelset with pickup tabs will work.
Capacitor might help, but if you're using dcc, might not be a good idea.
Wire both trucks together.
LED's will require a dropping resistor (current limiting) and you can go through the entire calculation process and get the same result as anywhere from a 220 ohm to a 1K ohm.
I use 500 ohm.


Terry Toenges

Feel like a Mogul.



I really am a newbie even tho I have been an observer for months.  I was going to go to track powered lighting but decided on keeping the 9V batteries in my cars and using LEDs after following the threads on the old forum.  Check out  They have a warm white LED with a 35 degree cone of light (most are 20).  They also sell little plastic lenses that difuse the light and make mounting easier.  And they have a resistor sizing "wizard".  I put 2 lights in the combine and 3 in the coaches.  I'm real pleased with the results and batteries last a long time.  Cost was less than $5 per car. 


My personal opinion, don't do track powered lighting on a coach. They are always flickering and if you stop at a station or something they turn off, which would never have been done on the prototype. I stay, stick with 9volt batteries and have a couple extra laying on the workbench just in case.

Boulder Creek and Western Railroad (G scale 1:20.3)

Terry Toenges

I'm just running my LS around an oval. No stops and starts. I don't want to have to go around flipping switches. When I turn on the master power supply, the trains start running.
I decided to keep my Christmas layout up all year which is LS, O-27, On30, and HO ovals around the Christmas trees.
I not going to build a fancy layout in one scale. I'll just concentrate on doing a little work to each of the cars and locos and maybe add a wing to the oval.
For the Annie, I traded the coal load, straight stack and round lights for wood load, diamond stack and box light. I also removed all the excess valve gear. I like it so much better now.
Does anyone know if the rear dome on the Annie is removable? I was able to give the front one a little twist and it came off. I can't seem to get the rear one off. I want to find the fluted domes.
Feel like a Mogul.

Paul W.

I wanted to say I enjoyed the pictures of your layout as they progressed towards the holidays.
Happy Steamin'


Terry Toenges

Feel like a Mogul.



traindude - what part numbers from superbrightleds did you use?  I tried a couple of so-called super bright leds from a local hobby shop for car lighting and they were pretty lame.  I ended up using 80ma incandescents with "shades" fashioned out of yellow cellophane that makes for a nice "glow".

Regards pickups - the LBG wheels are spendy but are in my mind worth the money.   I also read something about the aggregate drag from non-ball bearing wheels and the difference in the types of pickups and I believe it after seeing the difference between converting a car using LBG wheels versus the pickup wheels that came with a brand xxxxx car I just bought.


I'm not traindude- but I'm the one who mentioned  The lights I ordered were RL5-WW7035.  The lens don't have a part number on my invoice, they are listed as LED lens mount-clear.  Hope this helps.  CONC


Did you need to buy a resistor for these led bulbs, or do they have a built in resistor already?  Did you wire the three leds in series to the nine volt battery?  If wired in series, does the coach burn less bright than the combine?  Was the led diffuser a seperate item?  Sorry about all the questions,  Im a bit new, and not to pleased with the wheel wipers on the new combine and coach I purchased.  Looks like Ill have to buy the nine volt battery boxes also.


Hope this isn't way too long.  Because of the resistors the combine w/ 2 lights and the coach w/ 3 lights have the same brightness- but the battery in the combine will last longer.  On the LED page of click on "buy now".  You will find the warm white 7035 LED a short way down- scroll to near the bottom and you will find the clear lenses.  Under "LED info" you will find the resistor wizard.  (click on the one for series/parallel).  The figures to fill in are 9 for voltage source, 3.2 forward voltage, 20 for MA current.  Tell it the number of lights you want- 2 or 3 are enough.  You will find you need one 150 ohm 1/4 watt resistor for 2 of these LEDs.  3 lights require another resistor or two and more soldering.  The LEDs don't come with resistors- you have to do the wiring.  The wizard provides a wiring diagram.  I unscrewed the car from the bottom, then unscrewed the roof.  I used plastic cement to melt the connections of the longitudinal plastic thing the color of the upper windows- and discarded it.  I cut the wires to the existing lights and removed the lights.  I cut a piece of thin white styrene for each light, about an inch wide and a little longer than the width of the upper ceiling, so it will spring into place.  The styrene should have a 1/4" hole drilled in the center for the lens.  Do your wiring.  When the wiring is done, insert the LED into the lens already mounted in the styrene and bend the styrene to put it against the ceiling above the roof windows - it will bow down slightly in the center.  To test my wiring before putting all of those screws back in, I used a 9V battery and a 9V battery snap connector with leads.  Touch the leads to the contacts on the car.  About half my cars had red wires for positive and about half red negative.  Check this before you do your wiring.  I don't know if it would make a difference- but I didn't want to have to do the wiring over if it did.  SuperbrightLEDs doesn't sell resistors- you have to get them from another source and you will need a small amount of 26 or 28 gauge wire.  Someone on the old forum said it took them about 1/2 hour per car to change to LEDs- takes me about 3 times that.  Good luck.  CONC


Thank you for the detailed reply,  Im curious how long the coach will remain lit on one nine volt battery?  Sounds like a better idea than track power to me, even though I have an automated setup indoors.  Just a display.

Ron Schunk

Just got done converting two cars to track power. Information located at:

Cost < 10.00 not including wipers.