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Passenger Car Lighting

Dan models HO and asks readers:

“I have a Rivarossi collector passenger car non lighted and it looks like a Athearn pleasure dome passenger car. I would like to add internal lighting. Please advice . I have the lights for a Walthers pleasure dome car. I do not know the next step. Please advice thanks guys.”

2 Responses to Passenger Car Lighting

  • phil johnsonsays:

    you’re going to need metal wheels or track wipers to transfer power from rails to lights. A capacitor will reduce flickering

  • W Rusty Lanesays:

    I just got through lighting a LIfe Like Railway Expressway coach. I made my wheel wipers out of some scrap copper plating I had salvaged from several computer tear downs. I used a strip of 9 LED´s cut from a 5 meter string I got from China off e-Bay. I used a 3300 mfd capacitor at 25 VDC and soldered leads to it and to the LED strip. Then I used a 1000v dc full wave bridge rectifier I got from China off e-Bay and soldered the leads + and – to the + and – of the LED strip on the other end. This full wave bridge rectifier is an SMD case and is the same width as the LED strip which makes them handy to use to ensure the coach lights in both directions. You then connect the + and – from the wheel wipers to the ~ and ~ of the input to the full wave bridge rectifier. Make sure to use + and – leads from the capacitor to the + and – contact points on the LED strip. Pull off the backing of the LED strip and stick to the inside roof and hide the cap in an unseen spot on the coach or disguise it using your imagination. Reassemble and you´re good to go. Just make sure you drill holes in the bottom close to where your wires will go through the bottom and leave enough slack in the hook up to allow the wheels to pivot with the wires attached to the wheel wipers. I´ve got 3 Rivarossi Southern Crescent Lrd. more to do. Oh yeah, make sure you use metal axles with one wheel insulated and mount them both in the same direction on one set of trucks and reverse on the other set of trucks. After I reassembled it I realized (after my wife saw it in the dark and said it looked fakey) that I had ordered the wrong LED strips which were bright white. So I took it apart and painted each one of the 9 LED´s with some yellow acrylic paint and reassembled and now it looks perfect. Hope this helps. Happy railroading!

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