Discussion in 'The Academy' started by kf4jqd, Nov 3, 2001.

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  1. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Jan 14, 2001
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    I have been working on this project in which I want to share. I made 8 signal lights for about $5.00! Here are the supplies you will need.

    1.A Dremel tool or something simular.
    2.Cutting disk for the Dremel.
    4.Oregon Supply signal heads.
    5.Heat shrink tubing.
    6.30 watt soldering iron.
    8.Hobby knife
    9.2mm LED's (Colors you pick)
    10.Barrier power stips (Radio Shack)
    11.3/32" baarass tubing
    12.Needlenose pliers
    13.Balsm wood
    14.Super glue
    15.Magnetic wire (Radio Shack # 278-1345)
    16.Package of 1K (1000 Ohm) resistors
    17.Multi colored telephone cable

    The first thing to do is get you LED's in an order that you want in the signal head. Lightly, push the signal head into the balsmwood. This will hold everything in place for glueing and soldering.

    Place alittle dot of glue on the LED. Make sure all the short leads on the LED are on the same side.

    Now, take your Dremel tool and gently grind a hole into the tubing. Clean off any spears with your hobby knife.

    If you use fast drying glue. It's time to solder. Bend over the top short wire. (cathode or negative wire). Solder it to the buttom. If you use more than 2 LED's repeat the last steps. Cut off the access top wire after you solder it. Don't cut the buttom wire!

    The longer wire, anode or postive, top one. Cut off about 3 feet of the red magnetic wire. That's if it is a red LED. Cut about 3/8" from the base of the LED. Use the sandpaper to remove the enamale from the magentic wire. Now tin the magentic wire with your solder. This makes it easier to solder the wire to the anode. Wrap the wire around the anode and solder. Cut a peice of heat shrink tubing to cover the solder joint.
    Repeat the steps for the other LED. Use green for a green LED. Use red if it is a yellow LED.

    After the soldering is done. Fed the wires through the hole you've grinded. Place the signal head next to the pole. Bend down the cathode that is left. Use the Dremel or sandpaper and rough up alittle space under the head. Now solder the cathode to the markings. Glue the head also. The pole is now your ground. Use the "clear" magnetic wire and clean the enamale off. Also grind and little off the buttom of the pole. Tin the magnetic wire and pole. Now solder them together.

    Cut alittle heat shink tubing and put it over the buttom solder joint of the pole. This helps to keep the wire from breaking. And balances it in the hole of the layout.

    In my electronic text books it is said to have the resistor placed on the anode of LED's. However in Physics it is the opposit! I reconmind you soldering it to the cathode. You only have to use one resistor! Also solder a black wire from the telephone cable to the other end of the resistor. Also cut off red and green peices from the cable. Solder them to their correct magnetic wires colors. If you have yellow. Use that wire also. Once you are done. Place heatshrink tubing over the solder joints. This encludes the ground with the resistor.

    Now you can paint the pole to the color you want. After it's dry, you can place it on your layout. I use Radio Shack's barrier power strips to connect the signal. This is where the power is applied. This project continues if you read,"Having trouble reading your signallites" in "The-Gauge".

    Some Notes:
    USE those resistors!
    I didn't use bi-color LED's. These could propose a problem. There are 2 different kinds. One has on 2 sets of leads other other is 3. The 3 has a common cathode. I beleve the same rulse apply as if you are using sigle LED's. The 2 lead one, all you do is reverse polarity.

    Good luck,
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