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Author Topic: How to conceal the wires from running lights  (Read 3893 times)

Tug Captain

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How to conceal the wires from running lights
« on: December 22, 2016, 05:52:55 PM »

Hi,


Have started to work on the mast for the MMM Portgarth. The MMM plan show a mast with a 10 mm diameter but that looks pretty "stocky" when I try one out. When checking photos etc it looks that a 7 mm mast will be more true to the original.


HOWEVER: Depending of how many different lights signals you want to be able to show it seems that the number of lights (on the mast) can go from two up to ??   I have chosen to be able to show three white forwards and a yellow and white aft plus a top 360 degree top light (at anchor)
Thats 8 LED diods. Of course I prefer the wires to be inside the mast but just is that to be done??? Do I have to get a 10 mm mast just to handle the bulk of wires?? The mast is made of brass - is that conductive enough so I can have all lights positive wire soldered to the mast and thus only require wires to the negative connections?? That would at least reduce the bulk of wires to be run inside the mast.


Any suggestions are more than welcome -I'm stuck at this moment and do not know how to proceed. I do not want all the wires from these 8 LEDS to be run outside the mast - that would not be very true to the original I feel...


and by the way - it is Christmas time so HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!


Claes
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Stavros

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 06:03:10 PM »

Use some of the led wire from component shop this is ultra thin as fro 8 leds there will be 16 wires




Dave
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Cornishman

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 06:31:46 PM »

I normally connect all the negatives to the brass mast, then you have only 8 wires to get down the hollow mast.
This is easily done using very fine wires colour coded according to which ones are required to come on together.
Then connect one black negative wire to the bottom of the mast.
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microgyros

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 06:47:52 PM »



 ...Depending of how many different lights signals you want to be able to show it seems that the number of lights (on the mast) can go from two up to ??   I have chosen to be able to show three white forwards and a yellow and white aft plus a top 360 degree top light (at anchor)
Thats 8 LED diods.
Enamelled copper wire, recovered from a transformer, can be as thin as a human hair. In Ebay's submarine section there is paint-on solder.


All lights showing on the same signal could be wired in series for the same current. It doesn't matter if the combined led voltage approaches or exceeds the battery level because there are many ways to wire in leds other than individual resistors.
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Mark T

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2016, 09:10:22 PM »

Send david48 a PM as he wired 11 leds through a 2mm tube - yep you read that right. I'm certain that he can help you
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Chris57

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2016, 11:24:27 PM »

Hi, I solved the problem of a hollow mast by getting small diameter quadrant section from local diy store, then after cutting into four lengths, planed off the right angle on each, so that when glued together, to make a rod, it has a square hole down the middle.
Then just have to shape and thread with finest wire, to LEDs.


Chris B
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Umi_Ryuzuki

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 12:05:59 AM »

I built up the mast in brass, grounded the base, and ran the leads like the actual tug.
There were three leads and the ground. Running lights, Towing lamps, and Work lamps

 O0

RAAArtyGunner

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2016, 12:23:25 AM »


Gotta agree that is far more realistic. :-)) :-)) waterproof connectors etc.

In actual service, how do you get at any wiring, not just lighting, that is inaccessible in a "mast" etc. {:-{ {:-{
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Tug Captain

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2016, 09:22:34 AM »

Many Thanks for timely and constructive replies/suggestions. Very impressed..  And the fun bit: the questions came from Sweden and the replies from all over Britain, the US west coast and even from Oz.  :-))


here is a follow up question: have never used LEDs before so: Can I cut off or bend the legs of the diode to suit the mounting of the diode on the mast?? And when soldering: is the diode very sensitive for heat???


Regards
Claes
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roycv

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2016, 09:53:09 AM »

Hi, why not wire up the lights in parallel?  Especially if they are all going to be on together. 
The brass mast is a common and then you need one power wire up the mast.  If using leds of varying colour which need a different voltage then sub miniature resistors can be used close to the led to allow for this.
If using filament lights then no problem\
Merry Christmas to all,
Roy
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malcolmfrary

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2016, 09:57:12 AM »

Bending the legs too near to the body of the LED is usually a bad idea - use pointy pliers to grip the leg as close as possible, bend the wire against the pliers.  This avoids the possibility of the bending leg straining the plastic of the LED.
When soldering to LED legs, pre tin the wire to make sure that any heating of the LED leg is as brief as possible, use a very hot iron with a fine tip and the thinnest core solder that you can get.  Wrap the tinned wire on the bit of leg to be soldered to, and it is possible to do the actual soldering and get the heat source away before the LED even starts to warm up.  I like to make sure that the surface of the iron has a fresh layer of wet solder on it to maximize the heat transfer area, again, to shorten the contact time. 
Most soldering failures are due to insufficient temperature during the operation or movement after the iron is removed but before the solder has cooled enough.


Filament lamps in parallel might well need heavier wire, they tend to be thirstier on current than LEDs for the same light output.
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david48

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2016, 02:31:48 PM »


I used 2 mm tube as supplied in the kit , for the wire I striped out a hard drive motor from a computer to get the wire from the coils  this has very good enamel insulation ,,with care I threaded the wire so if you are using 6 mm tube you will have oceans of room , I used micro LEDs soldered the -neg  to the mast and ran al l the +back to a pcb  testing every one as I went ,Iwhen it was all finished I used insulating varnish   put in the tube with a syringe . I terminated them on to a bank of DIP switches so I can set any combination of lights manually ,but can switch the chosen combination from the TX.
As Mark says PM me if you want any help .
David
Seasons greetings one and All
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markrider

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2016, 11:18:26 PM »

I built up the mast in brass, grounded the base, and ran the leads like the actual tug.
There were three leads and the ground. Running lights, Towing lamps, and Work lamps

 O0


Hi looks great did you make the flood lights or buy them



Mark
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Umi_Ryuzuki

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2016, 11:35:54 PM »


Hi looks great did you make the flood lights or buy them



Mark

I make them, in three sizes.
The small and medium are cast in clear resin, the larger is a resin cast housing with LED and clear lens.

 :-))

I typically run two or three circuits to the mast to allow for switching lamps from
running lamps to running and towing lamps, and then Deck lamps if mounted on the mast.
Up to four, if you want to run the anchor lamp, but who runs their boat at anchor?  %)

Tug Captain

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2016, 02:12:54 PM »

Update and a follow-up question:


The update: have installed three mast LEDs. As per the instructions that came with the lights kit the resistor can handle three LEDs on 12 V and two LEDs on 6V.  So the three mast lights have the negative "leg" soldered to the mast and the positive legs are coupled in series with a single wire. Works like a charm.


The question: two more lights are to be installed on the mast and as they are only two they have to be coupled to 6V (as per the instructions).  Can I use the mast for the negative connection and use a single cable for the positive even as the mast already is used as negative point for the 12V three lights already installed?? Hope you understand the question. It might be a dumb one but better to ask rather than blow the whole setup.


It might be so that I should get another resitor that can handle two LEDs on 12 V but I have never used LED lights before so I do not know what kind of resistor to use.


Best
Claes
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barriew

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2016, 05:44:36 PM »


The question: two more lights are to be installed on the mast and as they are only two they have to be coupled to 6V (as per the instructions).  Can I use the mast for the negative connection and use a single cable for the positive even as the mast already is used as negative point for the 12V three lights already installed?? Hope you understand the question. It might be a dumb one but better to ask rather than blow the whole setup.



The answer is YES you can use the mast as a common negative.
Barrie
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Tug Captain

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2016, 09:04:50 PM »

Thanks Barrie! I'll proceed then as planned.


Claes
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Tug Captain

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2017, 12:57:34 PM »

happy new year to all!


As mentioned above I made the installation with the negative lead in the mast and have three LEDs connected with a single positive wire. Everything work as planned untill I decided to change one of the LEDs to a yellow one.  Soldered the negative leg to the mast and the positive to the wire. When trying the new installation only the yellow LED lighted up -  the two white ones were "dead".


However, when I disconnected the yellow LED from the positive whire the two white ones lighted up!? Just to make sure I connected the yellow to the wire again and: the yellow lighted up, the whites were "dead".


What could be the reason for this?  Any suggestions welcome. As you surely will understand this is my very first try with LEDs and it seems to be quite a lot to learn...
Claes
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grendel

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2017, 01:53:51 PM »

different colour led's run on slightly different voltages, so it could be the yellow one is taking all the power from the white ones, I believe they need to have slightly different resistances to make them all work.
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Tug Captain

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2017, 02:19:00 PM »

Ok understood - makes sense.


But having different resitors for different LED colors will make wiring more complicated. I want the two whites and the single yellow to be switched on/off from one switch - not one for the whites ones and a separate switch for the yellow.. I guess I will have to have a separate positive wire and resistor just for the yellow LED. 
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Capt Podge

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2017, 02:28:40 PM »

Hi Claes, it's also worth experimenting off the model - see reply no. 276 on page 12 of this link

www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,52330.275.html

A piece of spare brass tube can also be utilised as an "experimental" mast, before committing to the actual model.

Regards,

Ray.
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NFMike

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2017, 02:48:48 PM »

I guess I will have to have a separate positive wire and resistor just for the yellow LED. 
Yes, that should work.
There is an alternative. As said by grendel different colours need different voltages, but they generally need similar currents - usually about 20mA.
So you could wire the three in series with a single resistor (of the right value) to achieve the current/brightness you want. You'd then still only need one wire up the mast, but maybe more/trickier wiring around the actual lights.

cos918

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2017, 04:10:33 PM »

Hello
I am building the main mast for my ferry .It has 7 lamps and 4 flood lights so that 11 leds . I have run 22 wires down the inside of the mast . each led has its own resistor then the supply  to say the flood lights get put together. The wire on the led O/D 0.3mm I/D is 0.18mm very fine .


John


 http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201482969362?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151750122686?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Tug Captain

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Re: How to conceal the wires from running lights
« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2017, 04:48:49 PM »

it's amazing what  input from knowledgeable modellers, trial and error hours in the hobby room and a glass of of good red wine can achive in the dark hours of winter...


The mast is now functioning as planned. will be primed and maybe painted later tonite. many thanks for all the positive help.


John - are you by any chance building on of the Deans Marine ferry kits?  Maybe you can drop me a line at claes.wahlund@telia.com with some more comments etc??  And I appreciate the link to the ebay shop for very thin wires. The wires I've used look like hawser ropes in comparison


Think it is time to end this thread - the original question has more or less been answered. And I have noted there is a lot more to learn abt using LEDs..
Claes
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