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Author Topic: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights  (Read 4317 times)

Bob K

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Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« on: April 16, 2012, 10:29:19 AM »

Tips and suggestions please on wiring Graupner navigation lights into a completed model. 
Two pairs, P & S plus two white mast lamps.  3V bulbs, so in a 6V circuit have to be wired as two pairs each in series.  Problem is that they come with only short lengths of very fine insulated wire so wired splices on mast at least will be visible, plus I can't seem to find equivalent sized wire to extend with.  Maybe use fine gauge transformer coil wire? 

Wiring these on an already rigged mast, plus threading spliced wiring down through the bridge and superstructure looks challenging.  I also need a disconnect point for maintenance, which looks like a pair of servo type connectors are the smallest available?  Suggestions please.
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john s 2

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 12:33:49 PM »

Pesonally id change the bulbs to leds. Why? Well they last forever in a model boat. Nothing is more frustrating than having to change a built in bulb. Please remember that a fully charged battery gives over 6v  razing the likely hood of bulb failure. John.
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Bob K

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 01:32:42 PM »

The problem with LED's at 1/96 is they look like LED's, with huge brass pins, and requiring in-line resistors.

The lamps and running lights I am trying to fit are built into chromed latterns that look the part and are close to scale at this size.
   Approx full size
The running lights are similar but on lamp boards.  Bulbs are replaceable, and should last if run off Rx BEC supply.
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john s 2

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 02:07:16 PM »

Valid point Bob sorry i could not help. Fine wire does seem the best way to extend. To avoid using plugs etc i would suggest springs and plates. Mount a suitable taper spring on the boat and a plate on the superstructure  contact is made when top is fitted. A source of springs could be a battery box or torch cap. Have fun. John.
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Bob K

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 03:05:59 PM »

Thank you John, I liked your spring and plate idea.    O0
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skystar

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 03:25:33 PM »

wow, I searched for ages for posts on wiring those thin wires on graupner mini bulbs and now I find one on the very same forum as I posted, and not long previous.
Think I am going to use the method of running a copper wire up the side of the mast and soldering direct to it, then painting over, one concern is my paint doesn't seem to stick to metal all that well, looks ok to start with but comes off with the tiny bit of a  touch/'scratch'..
Although I wonder if I can solder the pins from a servo connector direct onto that wire to plug into it, I don't want to use the plastic block as I don't think the shape would look right on the mast.

I've been looking at how this guy does it:
Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=8904.0

Some things I don't understand, it appears to be a static model? as he wired the light switches to the base, but he also put in an electric motor?

He's managed to fit his Nav lights on a mast tube, with the wires going up inside, I get how to do that on a bigger setup, but on that tiny tube, what would the technique be?


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Tug-Kenny

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 09:13:42 PM »


On a solid wooden mast, it's possible to run a saw cut up the wood which is deep enough for two wires. This is then filled in with filler and sanded smooth.  I use a dremmel with a fine blade and it works OK

Hope this helps

ken

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emlra

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 02:12:31 PM »

simples!
Use a tubular brass mast,
clean and spray with etch primer.
clean primer from base tip of mast and a patch near a wire exit hole drilled near to where the feed point for the leds/bulbs are to be fitted.
Solder your red/green bulbs back to back with one of their wires, solder the negative wire direct to the mast very close to the exit point and trim off excess. this will form the common negative feed for any lamp on the mast to the base of the tube which then has soldered to it the -ve return to the battery,
The positive feeds come from the battery to an on/off switch, the other side of the switch then goes if neccessary to any resistors required, the other end of the resistors is soldered to the thinnest wire available,(enamel coated wire from speaker coils, motor windings or small transformers will do the job, I have a mate who mends/scraps Laptop confusers.......I have blagged several lengths of the loom that feeds from keyboard end to display...unloomed they are ideal....and free)
This wire then feeds back up the mast to the appropriate pair of blubs/diodes.
When all is assembled test and then paint desired colour.
 
(Hint different leds need different resistors so.....use white ones and paint the inside of the clear lamp mouldings with either glass paint of the transparent coloured varnishes from Himbrol etc. this way you would only need one feed wire up the mast!)
 
LEDs run cooler, need less amps to work and last almost indefinitely
 
Long winded but hope it helps!
 
Rex
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skystar

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2012, 10:23:53 PM »

Thanks very much, emira, I think I saw some pictures of it done like that but without explanation somewhere.

But can I ask, why do you say use the thinnest possible wire?

You also say use brass tube?  I do have some spare thin rods of brass wire, but when reading about wiring the suggestion was to use copper, so I didn't know if brass was ok to use.

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malcolmfrary

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2012, 10:31:21 PM »

Thin wire is easier to solder, and easier to hide. 
On the surface of a mast, when painted, it can look like a ships electrician has run a cable up the mast to power an electric light.  You don't need heavy wire for LEDs due to the small current they take.
Brass tube solders easily, cuts and files easily, and is usually lighter and more rigid than copper.  Its also almost as conductive, so is a very handy material for making electrically conductive masts.  Rod would be too heavy, also you cant get wire up the inside of a rod.  BTW, if you are using a TX with a telescopic aerial, thats chromed brass tube, apart from the top bit.
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emlra

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2012, 04:08:57 PM »

Thanks Malcolm, got it in one!
Brass is also a mixture of copper and I think zinc.
 
Rex
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skystar

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2012, 04:04:44 PM »

duh, damn I am still not done yet. House flooded actually, didn't affect my modelling too much but haven't been able to settle to do it.

Anyway, sorry if I sound dumb, but I have about 11 lights (mini bulbs) to come off a 2x AA battery box atm, how would you guys link them ?
I bought a terminal block, it was the smallest at the shop 3A rated but still looks big for that small size wire I'm advised to use, I'm thinking of maybe adding some solder on the end of the wire to make it thicker.
Or would you use a tag strip? or maybe just solder to a bare copper wire without worrying about covering?

My dad said to cut a place to solder direct to the main wire (as seen in model rail), which may work for him as he uses bigger equipment, but looks awkward to do with those very small wires, no?

I'm sure sure I could bodge it up but the project is a learning experience so I want to do it the best I can, so any advice would be appreciated, thanks.


I'll never forget the time me and my brother built a canvas canoe, we asked many locals who we thought might give advice but everyone was a blank, so we gave it a go, it floated ok but looked terrible wrinkled!, everyone who saw it was suddenly the expert on how we 'should' have done it.
I guess I'm slightly worried this will happen with regards my boat.

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malcolmfrary

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2012, 04:50:56 PM »

Solder them all to a thicker bit of wire, poke the thicker wire into the terminal block.  You have the option of creating a few such tag ends which could ease fault finding, should it ever be needed.
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skystar

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 05:07:21 PM »

ok thanks I'll do that.
I had some trouble soldering previously when making a ladder out of brass wire, as I tried to solder the next run the previous heated as well and came loose, I did it in the end and it looks ok but I thought for electrical connections particularly low current I would need do a better job. I got the impression that soldering joints very close to each other was not the thing to do.
So twist the whole bunch together, I was worried previously that it would be difficult to cover them like that but I guess a tiny bit of exposed next to the block wont matter.

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malcolmfrary

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 06:10:00 PM »

Tin the ends of the thin wires, tin the thick bit wrap the thin ends round the thick, apply heat until the solder melts, remove heat, done.
With something like a ladder, you need a jig - this can be as simple as just having a bit of fireclay (grown-up high temperature plasticene) to lay everything on and pressit down a bit to hold it there until the solder has cooled.  Again, pre-tinning helps a lot.
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Tombsy

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 09:32:54 PM »

The problem with LED's at 1/96 is they look like LED's, with huge brass pins, and requiring in-line resistors.

The lamps and running lights I am trying to fit are built into chromed latterns that look the part and are close to scale at this size.
   Approx full size
The running lights are similar but on lamp boards.  Bulbs are replaceable, and should last if run off Rx BEC supply.


Hi Bob I noticed your using the same style of lanterns I just finished working on. I separated the lantern from the sideboard, removed the bulb and drilled out the lantern base a little larger. A 1/2 watt surface mount led (the type mounted on a little circuit board) just fits inside. The hole for the wire will be bigger but it will be covered by the sideboard. It's not as scale looking as the bulb but it will work great for my retrieve/tow boat. They are so bright I think you could do laser eye surgery. :-)
The green stuff is a formable air cure rubber.



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Brian

skystar

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2012, 12:27:39 AM »

Tombsy I have lanterns like that also.
How did you get the bulb out?  the ones for my mast screw out easily, but those nav lights in your picture don't seem to turn, there was a hole in the bottom bigger than the bulb, I got the feeling it was just glued up there or something, I dunno, I didn't mess with it too much incase it broke.

Also I notice you painted yours black instead of the metal colour, I was intending to do that also with the none working lights, but when I bought the working lights and they came in that shiney fitting I thought maybe it was supposed be left to help reflect the light.
Not so?

Are female pins you've crimped on the end, can I ask what they plug into? have you got a box with pins they plug into.
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Tombsy

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Re: Wiring Graupner Navigation Lights
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2012, 12:59:59 AM »

The old bulb was lightly glued and popped out with a screwdriver. There was sort of a flange where the lantern meets the base that I drilled out to fit the led board. The lantern is reattached, the led held in, and the wires are reinforced all with the green air drying rubber stuff. For the colour of the sideboards I wasn't sure either but I Googled some Mississippi style towboats and found some black ones and went with that.
Hope that helps a bit. These are the same led's they use on R/C aerobatic planes.
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