Atlas Bumpers, what to do with the hole?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by skirun14, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. skirun14

    skirun14 New Member

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    I have a pair of the Atlas bumpers and would like to use them on my layout. My problem is that im not sure what to do about the hole thats in them. The hole is about 3/16 inch small. My first thought was a red LED and have it light up, but the angle at which you can see the light is very small. Anyone else have any ideas? Its HO scale by the way.

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  2. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

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    I knew that if I waited a while, someone would ask this question for me.
  3. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

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  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    While I must confess to having them on my N scale layout, they are not models of any prototype I know...I can't even find any close ones. On that note, your idea is as good as any, Atlas even had them with bulbs wired right off the track for awhile. My plan is to install red/green bi-color LEDs in them so that I can see the track polarity of a given spur at any time.
  5. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    Oringinaly the hole did contain a light. it was a lightbuld, not an LED. I'm not really sure why it was there, maybe for night operations?
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Lights are the simplest form of animation, I suspect that someone envisioned a yard full of red bulbs as quite a sight on the drawing board. I'll be using 3mm LEDs on mine, I figure 5mm LEDs would be right for HO, going by the ones I have in that scale.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    We have a few in one of the club fiddle yards (I think) that uses power routing turnouts. If the bumper is lit, your turnouts are aligned correctly for take-off... err... departure! ;) :D

    Andrew
  8. skirun14

    skirun14 New Member

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    Well it looks like im off to radio shack then to find some bulbs. thanks for all your help. I like those walthers bumpers, but theyre out of stock for awhile.
  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Pretty much the same here...the added benefit of using bi-color LEDs is that you can see if you track power is set to bring them in or take them out at a glance. The reversal of polarity shows up red or green at the flip of a switch with no fancy circuitry.
  10. MopacNut

    MopacNut New Member

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    I have a bunch of those in my staging yard. I ended up putting them in without taking the time to add the lights, but I considered adding the lights even though I use DCC because I have shutoff switches to kill the power to each yard track. With the lights, I could confirm that I've turned the power to that track "ON" before trying to move the loco.
  11. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

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    I always just filled them in with clay and painted them over.
  12. skirun14

    skirun14 New Member

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    the putty idea is also pretty good, never thought of that. i thought itd be funny if i put a tree in the hole.

    how do you guys have the LED's hooked up, cause i soldered it directly to the track, but then it blew the LED. The voltage is too high, plus the LED isnt always the same brightness. It goes up the faster i move the train. I dont use DCC since its only a 4x8 layout. Maybe thats the problem? Let me know how you hooked yours up
  13. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

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    LEDs need current limiting resistors in series with them, or they let the smoke out, as you found out. Their brightness will vary with the track voltage. You have to size the resistor for maximum track voltage, BTW. There are ways around the varying brightness bit, but some minimal electronic circuitry is required, and the LED would switch from on to off at some point as the throttle, and hence the voltage, is decreased.
  14. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    :oops: OOoops:oops: ...forgot that part...you need more I'll send you some. Yes, I use a 1k 1/4 watt resistor, just like I do with the LEDs in my locos. And yes, they do go off at about 3 volts...not a perfect setup but cheap.
  15. skirun14

    skirun14 New Member

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    its always fun to learn from mistakes, especially when it involves smoking electronics. I got the LED's online pretty cheap though so no worries. although im back to radio shack now for some resistors. who knew that a bumper would create this mess. lol
  16. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

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    Wire the led and resistor for use on the AC side of the power pack, then it will be lit constantly and won't dim when the throttle is turned down, or supply power to it from another pack.