Friday, November 15, 2013

More LED lighting

After psyching myself up I removed the 240 volt lighting from the rest of the layout. There is an exception to this though, the lower Up staging yard remains fitted with some T5 fluorescent fittings that plug into each other end to end. One of the main reasons for removing the high voltage lighting is that when I installed it I used some figure 8 240 volt wire forgetting that I already had some figure 8 wire of the same colour with low voltage for point motors. I labelled the high voltage wiring with red labels printed with 240 volts about every 300mm but I had always felt uncomfortable.

Now with the old lighting removed I had to replace it with LEDs, easy enough you say but, I now had to run the 12 volt DC wiring for the LEDs right around most of the layout to get to the lower level with the grade that climbs from Bylong No 2 tunnel to Cox's Gap loop past the long cliff face. The real problem wasn't the length of the run it was the junk in storage under my layout, the whole layout is full underneath so access was the problem. Like I said though I had psyched myself up earlier this week and gritted my teeth and got to it. Like a lot of these jobs it went OK and wasn't as fearsome as thought.

Since I had problems with the LED strips above Kerrabee sticking to the painted surface on the inside of the fascia in the first installation I decided on a different method. This time I painted the inside fascia area (bare pine timber) with Selleys Kwik Grip, a water based contact cement. I left it to go clear and touch dry then removed the adhesive protective strip from the back of the LED strips and pressed them in place. So far I have had to press on the strips in one or two places and they seem to be holding well.

When I built the upper Down staging yard I made it in two pieces for easy removal in case we ever moved. So prior to gluing the LED strips in place I had cut them at the staging yard baseboard join and attached the 12 volt DC power to the two strips at the other end of the staging yard, more wiring!

When I turned on the power I was very happy with the result. The previous fluorescent lighting did not match the room lighting at all and was much brighter so that there was a distinct change in lighting conditions when coming out from under the upper staging yard at Cox's Gap. The difference now was still there but only just and I will continue the use of the same light green foliage past the Cox's Gap signal box which will I hope tend to mask the change. If you look at the following photo you will see what I mean.

 Here is a view along the cliff, you can see the lighting change at the signal box but it isn't as obvious to the naked eye, digital cameras seems to have the ability to capture more lighting information than our eyes.
Here are some photos taken to check the colour rendition of the new lighting. I didn't make any colour balance or brightness and contrast adjustments, they look good to me.

Finally, I have made some headway on getting the upper level of the tear drop ready for scenery. I cut some templates from corrugated cardboard which I then used as a template for 6mm MDF versions. Here is a view of the MDF in place ready for scenery.

I have been pondering if I should paint the underside of the MDF with the same blue as the top part of the back scene sky but if I do that then I will have to paint the top of the MDF and the sides to prevent warping. Still thinking about that but veering towards not painting as my paint is getting low, I have more back scenes to do and the paint brand is no longer available. I could get the paint matched so not sure at this stage. Another aspect is that the back scene sky has a slight purplish tinge with the LED lighting compared to the room lighting and I am not sure if more blue on the underside of the MDF will add to the purplish effect, reduce it or make no difference.

Just one more area to do, the grade up to Bylong under Wollar. Unfortunately the Wollar baseboards are also in two pieces and then there is the drawbridge lift up section at the door. So a bit more complicated than one long run of the LED strips.


Iain Robinson said...

A good move, divesting the layout of that Hi-voltage run, but I understand how you must have had to psych yourself up for the job. Now you can bask in the low-voltage LED glow of a job well done :-) I would, if it were me, paint the undersides as they will reflect light onto the layout and give an ambient background luminence, albeit a slightly blue one.
The rockfaces are looking great.

Ray P said...


Yes, I sort of knew I should do it. One of the things with a largish layout is that there can be so much to do and not all of it is that enjoyable.

If you want to see really good rock faces then have a look on my blog list at South Coast Rail. If you scroll down his posts then do try to ignore his recent aberrant foray into Victorian Railways. There is a friendly inter -state rivalry between us in New South Wales and those 'Mexicans' south of the border. ;-)

I have a lot more foliage to add to get the right effect. I might do some more when I move further along past the Cox's Gap signal box.


Iain Robinson said...

Yes, I see what you mean, those rock faces and the scenery...superb. But your front three quarter view of loco and train next to the rock really does it for me. The loco looks so purposeful and the rock faces look like igneous overlaid on to sedimentary, something we see a lot round here in Snowdonia. Interesting, the use of "Mexicans"...very non PC, but us (ex) racing cyclists call leisure riders "gringo's"...OK, I will write a letter of apology and resign now :-)

Ray P said...


The rock faces are meant to be sedimentary sandstone although we certainly have a lot of igneous rock along the Great Dividing Range.
Regarding the non PC comment, we in Oz have some interesting slang terms for each other but all meant in jest.
New Wales residents are either called Mexicans by Queenslanders or cockroaches, mostly the second - now that isn't that nice and I don't know the derivation but I first noticed it to do with the inter-state NSW/QLD State of Origin Rugby League football competition some time back.
Victoria gets Mexicans as the border between NSW and VIC is mostly the Murray River (Rio Grande).
South Australians are called Crow Eaters as the state emblem is a Magpie (like a crow).
Western Australians are called Sand Gropers as WA is mostly desert.

Have a read of the following Oz slang dictionary link for a bit of fun.


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