Night Running & Lights?

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BClemens
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by BClemens » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:41 am

You know that red cab lighting would be good because red does not effect your night vision. Looking back and forth from the cab implements and gauges to the track will make for an amount of night blindness until your eyes adjust. Red lighting eliminates that. Make your cab a 'red light' district...
BC

rkcarguy
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:02 pm

^^^^
This is true. I have 2 of those 4" long red LED light bars with a piece of aluminum angle as a "shade" across the roof(inside) above the helm of my old boat for night use. The factory incandescent light was terrible for night vision and also made a whole bunch of glare on the inside if the windshield.
If you mounted those up inside the back cab corners aiming down they will light up things pretty good and not mess up your night vision.

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Karl_Losely
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by Karl_Losely » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:02 pm

Don't use red cab lighting if your water glass has a red background though. You will have a harder time seeing the water level.

Wolfgang
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by Wolfgang » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:17 pm

For a headlight I use a 3 watt warm light LED with a custom turned aluminum reflector. My son did the arithmetic for a parabolic reflector and printed a table of Y and Z coordinates with which we turned via 'armstrong CNC' with .010" steps, said reflector. This reflector is about 1" dia. and perhaps 1/2" long, with the LED behind it shining through a hole. Not Perfect by any means but it works very well indeed.

After turning the reflector face we blued it and then, using coarse sanding paper, sanded off the steps until the blue was almost removed. Then polished with progressively finer paper until all blue was gone. Followed by a final very fine polish and waxing.

I was fortunate that the little turbo-genrator on the loco (described elsewhere in this blog)had sufficient power to light up the headlight and cab light without a resistor for the headlight. A 3 Watt LED is REALLY bright when it is pitch black outside. w

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DianneB
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by DianneB » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:26 am

What kind of "3 watt warm light LED" did you use? Was it an automotive bulb?

rkcarguy
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:26 am

I've had good luck plunging a ball mill into a part to get a quick reflector if you have access to one. They can even be clamped into a tool holder like a boring bar and done on the lathe.
There are 12V 20 watt G4 oven light bulbs that are rated to 350* C, or go with LED's if you are running your lights from a turbo generator.

Wolfgang
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by Wolfgang » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:20 pm

DianneB wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:26 am
What kind of "3 watt warm light LED" did you use? Was it an automotive bulb?
It is not an automotive bulb; my turbo-generator does not produce 12v.

I need to dig out the info you ask for; I also have some pics of the construction I can post when I find them.:-)) w

rkcarguy
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:36 pm

LED's make a lot of light for the wattage, hard to beat. Some of the ones I bought for my signals are the 10mm 80mw and they are too bright to look at with the eye. The ones I've been using are 2.0, 2.4, and 3 volts depending on color, and have to use resistors to run them on 12v.

Wolfgang
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by Wolfgang » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:39 pm

DianneB wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:26 am
What kind of "3 watt warm light LED" did you use? Was it an automotive bulb?
The LED is from DIGIKEY, part # 516 1975 5 ND. Description: Warm Light 120 deg SMD 3 Watt LED. w

Wolfgang
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by Wolfgang » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:30 pm

Here are some pics of the headlight and its construction.
Pic 1 is headlight on loco. The mounting bracket is 304 stainless steel to reduce heat conduction.
Pic2 is a front quarter view clearly showing the LED.
Pic 3 is an elevation view showing the parts and assembly. The heavy block on top clamps the LED to the reflector (on the bottom) and acts as additional heat sink.
Attachments
IMG_9634.jpg
IMG_9626.jpg
IMG_9624.jpg

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tsph6500
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by tsph6500 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:45 am

One aspect of locomotive illumination that has not yet been discussed in this thread is the hazard for oncoming traffic from trains with overly bright headlights. It should be considered that your megawatt lighting blinds others causing an annoyance at least and a danger at worst for the other engineers.

There is no reason for this as you are not driving a car on a dark mountain road, it is a train on rails. Live steam tracks rarely have washouts, boulders or fallen trees across the tracks WHILE we are running. The most likely hazard is hitting the train in front but we all run a red marker on the rear and flag our trains when stopped, right? The general rule is "run within line of sight, adjust your speed to the visibility".

I have seen this problem and been a victim of night vision blindness on ground tracks and highlines but never when I run full-sized locos.

We have had engineers cut their night running short because of trains with "laser beam" headlights blinding them and your fun should never interfere with anyone else's fun.

Thank you for your consideration.
Best regards,
Jim Leggett

Montreal Live Steamers
www.montreallivesteamers.org

A Founding Member of the Tinkerbell Scale Society - Northern Division
I'm an A.R.S.E. (Association of Railroad Steam Engineers)
Toad Swamp & Punk Hollow Railroad - Head Tycoon
The Juvenile Traction Company - CEO & Apprentice Machinist 3rd Class
White Mountain Central RR - Engineer

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DianneB
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Re: Night Running & Lights?

Post by DianneB » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:04 am

Thanks for all the suggestions folks!

We have only a simple track and don't run opposing movements but, if "overly bright" were a concern. I would have no reservations about adding a "low beam" switch but I don't expect to have THAT bright a light!

Wolfgang: I may have to turn a reflector to fit my American. The headlamp is 2.5" in diameter but I will need to select a LED before designing the reflector. The challenge will be keeping the focus narrow so I don't light up the countryside LOL!

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