Model Boat Mayhem

Technical, Techniques, Hints, and Tips => The "Black Arts!" ( Electrics & Electronics ) => Topic started by: STEVO on June 16, 2010, 11:41:37 PM

Title: Fibre optics
Post by: STEVO on June 16, 2010, 11:41:37 PM
Hi all,would any one have any experience using fibre optic lighting in tugs?

Many thanks. :-))
Title: Re: Fibre optics
Post by: Guy Bagley on June 17, 2010, 09:32:51 AM
i use fibre optic lighting alot in models, never done a tug however with them- but plenty of  other vessels and alot in architectural modelling.....

what do you need to know ?

very efficient method of getting lighting to  different locations, you can use less light sources and still have multiple points of light output,
  - its flexible  so can be fed up masts and similar, - can be powered  by LED ( no heat low power consumption) - the better your lightsource the better the end result from the fibres optics....

 but remember its limitiations though- fibre optics prefer to emit the light from the end ( they're omni directional) rather than a diffused light for interior  lighting they tend to be very focussed spots of light output, so maybe not ideal for all applications( eg wheelhouse interior lighting ?)
having said that the light output can be diffused i sometimes drill into a small block of acrylic/ perspex and feed the fibre optic into that and use the acrylic to diffuse the light output, - you can also use superglue ( the low bloom  gell type) create a blob on the end and the activate it , once cured this produces a diffused light sourceo n the end of the fibre itself too......

you can use fibre optics in different ways, if you strip back the light reflective coating and  'scrape' the outer surface of the fibre itself you can create a 'low tech' side emitting fibre light source- the light output is not so bright or intense but its fine if you want to backlight instrument panels on the bridge of your vessel for example...

they have their uses, - i use them from time to time, - sometimes LED's  are better suited to your application, sometimes good old grain of wheat lamps are the preffered choice.....

it all depends of the effect you wnat to create with them.....! 

any questions just ask

Title: Re: Fibre optics
Post by: STEVO on June 17, 2010, 09:56:15 AM
Thank you so much,a lot of work that i will be doing will be in the larger areas such as the wheel house ect,how ever it being such an old model that I'm working on it has very small navy lights and this is what i wanted fibre optics for so as they can be fed up the mast and such,the glue that you mention is an interesting aspect as well.Just having big trouble finding figures at the scale 1/75th.

Regards Stevo.
Title: Re: Fibre optics
Post by: malcolmfrary on June 17, 2010, 10:55:30 AM
Just to add to Guy's info - fibre optics don't like sharp bends - the light escapes at the corner.  You can deliberately let light out along the length by filing a small nick.  In one monumental model railway project I got involved in, it was noted that you could get more light into the fibre if that end was flat, with a conical profile.  This was achieved by heating the end and tamping it on a flat surface.  To get the max light out of the other end, just heating to a blob worked well.  This was pretty much pre-superglue, and LEDs were not that common back then.  The input ends are best commoned into a short length of drinking straw which can be a push fit over the LED/bulb, and painted black.
1:75 figures are near enough 00 scale, 1:72 are slightly larger people, H0, 1:87, pass muster as smaller people.  I, and probably everybody else, are to the same scale as our neighbours, but we are rarely the same size.
Title: Re: Fibre optics
Post by: Circlip on June 17, 2010, 12:53:36 PM
and LEDs were not that common back then.

  And not only that, Fibre optics as we know them weren't either. To expand on what Guy and Malcolm has said, pre FO, you used Acrylic rod and bar as a light guide by cutting flats and grooves and polishing the faces to get bright spots or planes of matt light by reflection and refraction.

  Pre LEDs we had to generate eye catching illuminated areas on Hi-Fi equipment by these methods and don't forget, by using bits of Acrylic bars etc. you can still use the cold light source of a LED and mask the clear areas where you don't want the light to escape.

  Another quick dodge for polishing Acrylics. When you've cut it to shape and got rid of the scars with files and a rudimentary "Polish" with Wet and Dry (Used wet) dipping it in Methyl Methacrylate (Check with an Acrylic supplier) will "Solvent Polish" the item. If you're careful, just the Vapour will do it.

  Polished angled faces act as "Mirrors" , Matt faces act as emitters.

 Regards  Ian
Title: Re: Fibre optics
Post by: boatmadman on June 17, 2010, 01:42:48 PM
I have used them in the wheelhouse of my current build, here:

Towards the bottom of the page.

Title: Re: Fibre optics
Post by: jenno on June 17, 2010, 07:30:05 PM
This is what i fitted inside my Smit Japan,sorry the photo's are not the best,Total of 56 lights just on the console.

Title: Re: Fibre optics
Post by: STEVO on June 18, 2010, 10:47:29 PM
Thanks for the comments,very helpful,how long did it take for the wheel house as i am thinking of taking one on on a Smit London.