Model Boat Mayhem - Forum

Technical, Techniques, Hints, and Tips => The "Black Arts!" ( Electrics & Electronics ) => Topic started by: Dan.Lord on August 14, 2007, 03:40:16 PM

Title: Adding lights
Post by: Dan.Lord on August 14, 2007, 03:40:16 PM
Hi not really being one for electronics, I've never really bothered to add lights etc, however I've decided to build another Calypso, & want to add some nav lights etc, to enhance her a tad.
Question : When using LED's, do you need to add resistors to each LED, or can you wire them straight to a battery, without any resistors ? As you can tell my knowledge of such difficult electronic under takings is basicly non existant.
All help appreciated. Dan.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: rp6705 on August 14, 2007, 03:54:01 PM
Hi

When connecting LED,S the  preffered method is to connect a 470ohm resistor to each LED if running straight off a battery.

Russ
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: rp6705 on August 14, 2007, 03:57:36 PM
Sorry forgot to say always connect LED,S in series not in parallel.

Cheers
Russ
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Bunkerbarge on August 14, 2007, 04:04:42 PM
...and don't forget the long tail is the +ve!!
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Dan.Lord on August 14, 2007, 04:33:19 PM
Thanks chaps, more questions, does it matter what side you connect the 47ohm jobby onto +ve or -nus, also is series like one continous loop +ve to +ve etc ?? cheers Dan.
PS. Bunker, U boat almost done main deck gun & rigging to go ......
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: gribeauval on August 14, 2007, 04:44:12 PM
Read this link for a simple explanation about wiring led's ;)

http://www.theledlight.com/ledcircuits.html (http://www.theledlight.com/ledcircuits.html)


Mike
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Colin Bishop on August 14, 2007, 04:56:03 PM
Quote
Sorry forgot to say always connect LED,S in series not in parallel.

Is that correct? Sounds like you are daisy chaining them. I've used a system where you run a couple of wires round the inside of the boat and simply mount the LEDs (and resistors) across the wires wherever you need them.

In fact, instead of buying LEDs and resistors I now get 12v LEDs which have resistors built in and can be connected direct to the power supply. They work pretty well on 6v with not much loss of brightness. You can also get 5v LEDs with inbuilt resistors but you'd have to have a 5v or less power supply for those. Both types seem to cost around 30p each from Squires, Maplins etc. Saves a lot of fiddly soldering.

Maplins here: http://www.maplin.co.uk/Search.aspx?criteria=led&source=15&SD=Y
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Ghost in the shell on August 14, 2007, 05:39:26 PM
colin, parrallel wiring, v series, which is actually better, ALL my models have all the positive wires grouped and all the negative wires grouped, then run two wires to the battery via a switch on the live?  I plan on LED wiring my yacht, and will be probably undertaking this at epic
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Colin Bishop on August 14, 2007, 06:00:47 PM
Gribeauval's link explains the wiring options very well. I've printed it out for future reference. However, if you buy the regulated 12v or 5v types the internal resistor will be the appropriate value for the quoted voltage.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Dan.Lord on August 14, 2007, 07:49:03 PM
Read this link for a simple explanation about wiring led's ;)

http://www.theledlight.com/ledcircuits.html (http://www.theledlight.com/ledcircuits.html)


Mike
Hi Mike most excellent link very easy to understand, even for a dummy like myself. this has been most helpful. cheers to you all. Dan.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: red181 on August 17, 2007, 12:06:17 AM
I have 5 led's on the fireboat, all wired as per Ghost's explanation, all bought from Mapiln's. There are a numvber of different led's available, depending on wh
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: red181 on August 17, 2007, 12:15:47 AM
(oops!) It does not matter which leg the resistor is, but an led will only work at the exact voltage, hence requirement for resistor. The maplin led's are varying voltages, depending on colour, and it must be the "forward" voltage as per their catalogue.The bulbs are no more than a pound, and the resistors are pennies, the maplin staff are always very helpful and will work out the correct bulbs and resisitors if you tell them your supply voltage
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Colin Bishop on August 17, 2007, 09:33:37 AM
Quote
but an led will only work at the exact voltage

I don't think it's all that critical and the 12v ones work OK on 6v anyway - just a bit dimmer.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Welsh_Druid on August 17, 2007, 10:00:43 AM
I am curious to know why all the posters are using LEDs and not "grain of wheat/rice" bulbs.  I know that LEDs have a longer life, but for the length of time that the lights are used on models, is this significant ?

Possibly the current consumption ?  But I have 18 GofW bulbs on my latest model and the total consumption is only 1.27 amps - easily handled by the 12v 7amhr battery in conjunction with the 1.66amps(Max) of the motor.

I find that the spread of light is far better than the LEDs which I have on another model which is why I have used them this time.

Don B.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: tigertiger on August 17, 2007, 10:08:01 AM
I am curious to know why all the posters are using LEDs and not "grain of wheat/rice" bulbs.  I know that LEDs have a longer life, but for the length of time that the lights are used on models, is this significent ?

Possibly the current consumption ?  But I have 18 GofW bulbs on my latest model and the total consumption is only 1.27 amps - easily handled by the 12v 7amhr battery in conjunction with the 1.66amps(Max) of the motor.

I find that the spread of light is far better than the LEDs which I have on another model which is why I have used them this time.

Don B.

I looked at GoW and even ordered some. The ones I got were 3v and painted red and green. When lit they just looked like dirty white, the paint rubbed off and a couple blew real quick. So I did not go the way of GoW.

I used LED as the thoght of having to rewire made me blow a fuse.

The led have a very good spread of light if you frost the surface with sandpaper, alothough I can now buy frosted from the store.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Welsh_Druid on August 17, 2007, 10:23:15 AM
Hi Tiger

I don't think you would call these dim ? O0

They are 12volt though - all wired in parallel
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Tug-Kenny on August 17, 2007, 10:29:59 AM


Can't hear the party music     :D

Wow, thats bright and very festive.

I use LED's and find the white is not pure white, so I arranged them to shine on the inside of the cabin roof, which is white plastic. This helps to disperse the glow.

My reason for choosing them against the wire bulbs was one of amps, but it looks as if the difference is small anyway.

Nice looking boat, Mr Druid


Cheers...Ken


Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: DaveB on August 17, 2007, 06:02:23 PM
I agree with Welsh Druid i prefer the grain of wheat on 12v. i did one boat with LED's and unless its almost pitch black they were not very bright. I sometimes sail at Iden lock near Rye at dusk and the grain of wheat look superb at distance
DaveB
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: bigH on August 17, 2007, 07:30:13 PM
   Hi DAN, with ref; your Calypso is there any chance of you posting a picture on the forum?  I have just been given one and it needs some VTLC would like to see how it should look.   bigH
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Ghost in the shell on August 17, 2007, 07:44:00 PM
druid those look fantastic!

these are Gemini and Celestia

perhaps this thread ought to become a gallery of lit up ships. that way anyone wanting to add lights will have a rough idea of where to put them.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Stavros on August 17, 2007, 09:35:15 PM
Don what you trying to do blind us,didnt know it was so dark under the bridge Stavros
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: gribeauval on August 17, 2007, 10:24:27 PM
Hey Stavros, this is for blinding people!!! 8)  AND they are all led's ;)

Mike
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Ghost in the shell on August 17, 2007, 10:26:12 PM
thats bright gib. what life boat is that?
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: gribeauval on August 17, 2007, 10:29:27 PM
1/12th scale 37' Oakley,  RNLB The Will And Fanny Kirby   in her Flamborough (North Landing) days.

Mike
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: flybobby on August 18, 2007, 03:55:45 PM
My second freelance SAR vessel nears completion, and I have to admit that I may have gone a little OTT with the lighting this time around, but hell I like it!!

(http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f201/flybobby/PICT1566.jpg)

(http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f201/flybobby/PICT1559.jpg)

(http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f201/flybobby/PICT1563.jpg)

(http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f201/flybobby/PICT1564.jpg)

(http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f201/flybobby/PICT1565.jpg)

I have used a mixture of LEDS and grain of wheat.  My crowning glory was the monitors in the bridge! O0
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: gribeauval on August 18, 2007, 04:27:05 PM
Nice looking boat flybobby, I have to agree that lit monitors/radarscopes add atmosphere to boats.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: flybobby on August 18, 2007, 04:37:30 PM
Thankyou, I have done myself proud with this one, scratch built with no plans, just my imagination!! 8)
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Ghost in the shell on August 18, 2007, 05:10:51 PM
Thankyou, I have done myself proud with this one, scratch built with no plans, just my imagination!! 8)

sometimes that is the best way! 
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Bryan Young on August 31, 2007, 06:33:20 PM
OK. Me being awkward again. But Why on earth do you want lights on a boat that is sailing during the day? If (I repeat "if") you are intent on building a scale model of a particular boat, or ship, then unless it is a Greek or Liberian tramp you should not (by law) have your nav. lights on. This seems to be a common problem with model makers. They go to the "n'th" degree with some of the detailing then go berserk with stuff that should not be there. OK if you are sailing at night, but not on a bright sunny day. Turn them off! Many serving and ex seafarers build model ships...those not of the nautical persuasion should listen to them if only fo reasons of veracity. Sorry for the rant, but this is a subject that really gets up my (rather large) nose. BY.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Colin Bishop on August 31, 2007, 06:46:35 PM
Not on a bright sunny day Bryan but I have been in foggy conditions at the entrance to Southampton Water at noon and all the surrounding ships and yachts had their lights on. Also I've noticed that the Channel ferries frequently have their nav lights on during the day even in normal conditions.

Personally, on a dull day, I think it's nice to see models with thier lights on and showing up clearly, technically correct or not.

Colin
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Bryan Young on August 31, 2007, 07:07:26 PM
Not on a bright sunny day Bryan but I have been in foggy conditions at the entrance to Southampton Water at noon and all the surrounding ships and yachts had their lights on. Also I've noticed that the Channel ferries frequently have their nav lights on during the day even in normal conditions.

Personally, on a dull day, I think it's nice to see models with thier lights on and showing up clearly, technically correct or not.

Colin
Read the rules/law...a bit of fun is OK but it should not be assumed that it is normal/usual. Not being a pedant, but a lot of modellers seem to think it is usual to keep the lights on. Wrong.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Ghost in the shell on August 31, 2007, 07:28:26 PM
depending on how bright the lights actually are, sometimes sailing on a dull day with the models lights on is actually beneficial as it aids visual location of the model, especially if it is a smaller one like a Graupner Neptun or Pollux, or for that matter a Lindberg trawler that on the water is just 10 inches long.

I frequentlly sail off westport lake right out to the far shore, and yes I too have momenterily lost sight of my model in the gloom.

As for sailing a real boat in fog, putting your navigation lights on makes sence, after all you do drive with fog lights on in fog dont you?

Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: ministeve on August 31, 2007, 07:28:43 PM
i must admit i too have done it wrong my tugs are wired with the nav lights and radar to come on with receiver as a visual verification that the tug is on sorry but I'm not in the know but Jo public thinks it looks good and when i finally sink it i should be able to see it under the water ;D

p.s but thanks for the correction b.y i never noticed the lights not on in the river will be looking now though thanks
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Tug-Kenny on August 31, 2007, 10:21:26 PM

My lights stayed on during my unfortunate sinking. We could see them through the murky depths.  O0

However, when the water penetrated the Receiver it decided to shut them off.  ::)

I rather like the lights. It was a challenge to wire them and a joy to see.


Cheers...Ken
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: malcolmfrary on September 03, 2007, 10:24:32 PM
G-O-W bulbs vs LEDs.
It all depends. 
If you have a large boat with a big battery, the consumtion of bulbs will be acceptable, and the extra brightness will be more visible in daylight.  I know there is no real need, apart from showing that you do have lights.
If it is a small model, such as my Lindbrg tug at about 13" long, LEDs were handy as the power supply is a PP9, which lasts about 2 years.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Colin Bishop on September 03, 2007, 10:34:13 PM
If you run GoW bulbs at lower than their rated voltage they will be less likely to fail. Having said that, I'd make provision for future replacement if you possibly can. Not easy up the mast I know!
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Langsford on September 03, 2007, 11:27:41 PM
Now you have got me worried!!What is the difference between "grain of wheat" and LED?
I have just completed my mast with "grain of wheat" bulbs but I have no idea which wires are positive and which are negative. Does this matter? I cannot look at the length of "tails" as someone mentioned as they are well buried within the mast construction. My intention was to connect them directly to the battery without any resistors. Please help.
John
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Colin Bishop on September 04, 2007, 12:02:46 AM
Grain of Wheat are just very small ordinary bulbs and don't need connecting any special way round. As long as you run them at the rated voltage or below it is unlikely you will have any problems although, like all bulbs, they will fail eventually but probably not within the lifetime of the model. So no real need to worry unless you are unlucky enough to have a dud one in which case you will have probably found out by now. If you run them below the rated voltage it is even less likely that they will burn out.

LEDs are Light Emitting Diodes which use quite a lot less current than incandescent bulbs. They need to be connected properly, usually with a resistor attached, but will then last almost forever in a modelling application. In practice the reduced current is only likely to be an advantage if you are using a small battery and a lot of lights.

Some people like GoWs some LEDs. In most models, for practical purposes it doesn't really matter which you use.

Colin
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: malcolmfrary on September 04, 2007, 12:06:57 AM
Grain of wheat, rice, whatever, are filament bulbs, and for making things that sit there and glow, do take a lot of current.  They do have the advantage that it doesn't matter which way round they are connected.
LEDs are diodes that have the magic property of glowing a very pure colour at a low current, but they dont liight up their surroundings like a bulb.  Unless you get the super high output ones that do burn almost as much juice as an equivalent bulb.
The safe way to check an installed one when you dont know which wire is which is to use a knackered* 3volt dry battery (e.g. 2 elderly aaa's) as a test supply, and see which way round gives a glow.  The voltage is less than the max reverse, so no damage there, and the poor current delivery will not bust them in the forward direction.
*technical expression
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Bunkerbarge on September 04, 2007, 07:20:43 AM
If you run GoW bulbs at lower than their rated voltage they will be less likely to fail. Having said that, I'd make provision for future replacement if you possibly can. Not easy up the mast I know!

For my coaster I am using 12v GOW lamps but only putting 7.2v through them.  A number of them are sealed in for life so when they fail they are never going to be replaced so the longer I can prolong thier life the better.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Bunkerbarge on September 04, 2007, 07:25:40 AM
Then there is also fibre optics to consider!!  I have "released" some from the ship and having a play but the bigest issue seems to be the inability of it to go around very sharp corners though.  Very interesting concept however and having one central light source is obviously very easy to maintain.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: malcolmfrary on September 04, 2007, 11:36:14 AM
Fibre optics are great for distributing pinpoints of light - the optic will transmit all of the light that you can get in, the big problem is getting it in at the other end in the first place.
The ends can be"lensed" by heating and tamping the hot end to re-form the shape.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Ghost in the shell on September 04, 2007, 11:47:01 AM
at 7.2v not 12v, they will probably outlast the model or you! :)
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Colin Bishop on September 04, 2007, 12:13:53 PM
Malcolm's idea for using optic fibre is a useful one. I used it in my Granada freighter model back in the late 70's. The fibre was run up inside the masts and brought back to a centrally mounted torch bulb which also illuminated the interior of the model. If the bulb went then no problem. You can just see the foremast steaming light above the rails on the crosstrees in this pic. I'ts very small and in those days this was the only practical way to do it. The GoW bulbs were not as good as you can get now and LEDs weren't available.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Bunkerbarge on September 04, 2007, 12:38:08 PM
at 7.2v not 12v, they will probably outlast the model or you! :)

If they outlast me I won't really care if they outlast the model!!
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Ghost in the shell on October 04, 2007, 04:10:29 PM
well on saturday its a night time event for the PMBC, always good and I can't believe its come round already!
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Ghost in the shell on October 10, 2007, 11:38:14 AM
one for Reade, the little helogen deck lights, do you do them illumionmated?
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Guy Bagley on October 10, 2007, 12:58:40 PM
i have the halogen deck lights from cap maquettes ( available in the Uk from bow wave models) - the clear glass lenses are loose so you can drill through the bases , pass through the power leads and then fit a lamp or LED, - they look fantastic...
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Ghost in the shell on October 10, 2007, 11:43:22 PM
Thanks Guy, at some point I may want to add some high power deck spots to Southampton in place of the dummy ones, also the mast on Gemini is scheduled to be re-done with a handful of lights on it to shine down onto the deck.


ya got a link?
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: tolnedra on October 11, 2007, 09:23:42 AM
Hi Ghost

Bow Wave Models, now run by Sandy Fisher, since the untimely death of her husband Peter a couple of years ago.

Mail order to; 13 Ludlow Close, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 6BZ
Web site: www.bow-wave-models.co.uk

Hope this helps,

Danny
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: Ghost in the shell on October 11, 2007, 12:54:25 PM
thanks tol :)
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: BarryM on October 11, 2007, 01:28:30 PM
Just a point but while deck floodlights on (say) an offshore support craft may be very bright, navlight bulbs on real ships are usually only about 40 - 60 watt, Some models I've seen appear to have 1000 watt nav lights.

For those into offshore transport barges, many of these use gas-powered navlights with mantles such as any caravaner in the past would have been familiar with. In a previous life I was responsible for a fleet of offshore barges and, as there was no uniformity of gas mantle type fitted,  I accumulated a variety of British and Continental mantles and an encyclopedic knowledge of their origin and availability that would have qualified as a specialist subject on Mastermind.
Title: Re: Adding lights
Post by: BJ on March 12, 2008, 11:15:23 AM
I do not know you people have seen this before but it may be of interest for some. :-\

http://www.rc-cam.com/led_info.htm