Regular contributor Kim is back with another one of his great little tutorials. This time he’s been looking at converting non-working level crossing signals to working ones by fitting his own flashing LED’s. Here’s how he did it…
First you take the non-working signal and pop out the red lenses from the lights. Now carefully drill a hole for your LEDs in places where want the LED’s to go. Use a hand drill and a small drill bit or a dremel if you have one available. Use a small piece of black electrical tape stuck to the signal head to act as a grip on the drill bit if necessary. This will stop it slipping and ensure the hole ends up exactly where it’s supposed to.
Carefuly drill out the hole to make a tiny bit bigger than the LED you’re using. Be careful not to touch or damage the lens covers when you do it. If necessary, touch up the signal head with black paint to enhance it a little. Now slip in the 3mm red flashing LEDs, one on each side and line up the negative and positive leads to each other.
Now bend the positive post to cross the other positive post. Trim off the leads so there’s just enough positive lead to touch the other. Bend the post close to the diode itself. Then repeat for the netgative. Okay you have the positive crossing the other positive as in photo as well as the negative.
Now you have both led’s installed and each post is bent to touch positive to positive and negative to negative. Take a piece of phone wire and slip the positive wire under the positive lead’s and solder it very quickly so as not to melt the LED or damage the component. Take the negative and do the same.
Keep the wires in line so they will trail neatly down the post of the signal. Now if you noticed at the bottom of the signal post there is a tiny slit. I pushed the positive wire and negative into that slit to keep everything neat and tidy.
Where you slip the signal into the slot of the crossing, make another tiny slit and push the signal post back into place and hey-presto, your done.
Now when you apply low voltage power to the wires they will start to flash. These are 1 second flash diodes and wont work at the same time, and if they do it wont be a sec before they will work separately. And if they do flash in sync, just turn off the power then back on again and that will throw them off sequence. If your a stickler for detail you can always look up a suitable circuit on google that would make them flash just perfectly, but for me, this solution is fine.
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You can hook them to work with your other model railway signal’s to go trigger when they do. Or can let them run all the time as a static working signal. It’s so easy to do and works great. Im also making yellow warning flashing street lights to which I’ll send through separately. I even made a green/yellow/red stop light with flashing diodes. I sent in this photo to show the slit I make and how it is wired.
Parts List For This Project:
- 2 x 3mm red, 1 second flash led’s 5 volts each
- Red and black or any color phone wire or better that real small flexible rubber wire.
- black paint and silver or aluminium to paint the head and pole.
- Save the snipped off led post’s to make tiny bikes (I’ll show you those shortly).
- Any non working cheap made crossing signals will do.
Any question’s, please feel free to ask me via the comments below. Oh after done you can paint the wires silver to hide them as the post is silver too. Okay my friends, I’ll be back soon with more model railway fun lol!
Kim has also successfully converted many non-working color light signals to working ones. Find out how he does that here.