Here’s a great little project primarily for our North American HO scale modellers that Kim sent in this week, but it could be adapted for any layout set in any part of the world if you so wished… How to make an End of Train Device (EDT) or FRED as they’re often known which stands for Flashing Rear End Device.
What you need
- 3mm or 5mm Flashing LED depending on your scale (about £1 for 5 on ebay)
- Popsicle/lollipop stick or drink stirrer (Or white plastic strip of suitable thickness would probably be better)
- Small 3v battery box
- An old 2 way computer micro connector
- Reflective Tape (Red)
And Here’s How You Do It… (Kim’s instructions)
You know where I get these idea’s? I sit and run my train! Then the mind wander’s and wham, an idea lol.
This end train flashing light is one of those idea’s. And you be surprised how easy it was to figure. No wiring will show. And you can grab the light and just pull it off when you need and can plug it back in just as easy. This one’s a little crude right now but won’t be for long.
I will tell you whats it is made of and how:
- I took a lollipop or popsicle stick (drink stirrers will do just as well), cut a couple of short sections and glued together to make the box.
- I drilled a hole for the flashing Led to fit through. There is a lip on the led close to the led’s which stops it pushing all the way through.
- Gently clean around the hole just anough to push the led level with the box.
- Paint the box white, push the led in and paint the led where the leads are, not the leads only the red plastic. Then let it dry.
- I took a short length of the red reflective tape and cut to size of the box as you can see in the photos.
I find my box a little big and plan to make it smaller, and use a better material instead of wood, but as this is just a test unit, it’s fine for now.
- Okay now look where you want to place the unit and mark or remember where the led leads are touching the car.
- Take a tiny pin you sew with or needle same size as the led’s lead’s. (A little advice. Dont heat the pin to make the hole. You will end up with black melted plastic and also a way bigger hole’s than you wanted to!) Us some elbow grease with a pair of pliers and slowly push threw the car body.
- To connect the LED to the batteries, I used a old computer connector as seen in the pics and just plugged the lead’s from the End Of Train Device into it. I just pushed the leads through the body and into the connected.
- Attach a 12 volt resistor to the plug wire to protect the led and bring it down to 1.5 volt for the led if you intend to power the LED from the track, or if you prefer, connect the wires from your connector to suitable battery box that will sit inside your wagon or freight car.
I have not installed the tiny micro touch switch on mine yet. And will end up takeing power from the track to run the flasher later. But in all it give’s you an idea on how you can do it anyway. And most of all, save money, and so enjoy what your hand’s made!
My joy Justin, is just shareing my idea’s. Hope you like this!”
Fantastic tutorial Kim. Thank you very much for sending it in. I can see lots of uses for these plus, lots of other applications for flashing LED’s on layouts.