00 Gauge Colour Light Signals query

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STEVIEBOY1

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Good afternoon.

I have a query about colour light signals, my 00 Gauge railway is analogue, rather than digital & I use an H&M Old Duette Controller that I have acquired and a more modern H&M 2000 controller.

I have an older hornby colour light signal that works well, plus I recently bought two gaugemaster 2 aspect colour light signals, I think these 2 are LEDs rather than normal bulbs and also included a wired in resistor and double pole switches. All of these work well and are bright when turned on.

A friend of mine just gave me some very old ECKON Colour signal lights than he has not used, they have a price of £ 1.76 on the box so would not be LEDs. However they do include a resistor and on the instructions - diagram, it shows the Resistor must be placed in the live, + lead, before any switches and bulbs etc. They say this should be on a 12 volt output, which I am sure my controllers are.

However when I just rigged up a quick test circuit and tried these lamps out, they did all work, but were really dim, compared with my other lights. I did try it without the resistor and it was nice and bright, similar to my other signal lights. The instructions clearly say that the Resistor supplied must be used and do not operated the bulbs direct from a 12 volt power supply. I am wondering why they included the resistor on these older lamps. They also say that using an unresisted on 12 volts will distort the signal head, which I don't really understand.

Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas that would enable me to use these lamps in an Un-Dim way?

Many thanks.
 
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John Webb

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I would agree with pdeaves that the old Eckon signals use a series resistor, although they are bulbs not LEDS, to minimise heat generation in the signal head. The resistor also extends the life of the lamp by under-running it, so you don't have to change the bulb frequently.

The old Hornby signals are bulbs as well. Both these and modern LED versions tend to be too bright in my opinion anyway and all could do with either running on a lower voltage or a higher series resistor. I'd be inclined to bring these signals down to the brightness of the old Eckon rather than increasing the brightness of the latter!

Big problem with model colour light signals is that they don't replicate the optics of the full-size lamps, so the wide-angle light of the models is very unprototypical anyway.
 

pdeaves

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Big problem with model colour light signals is that they don't replicate the optics of the full-size lamps, so the wide-angle light of the models is very unprototypical anyway.
I was at a model exhibition recently where a layout had an illuminated semaphore signal. The real thing would have been an oil lamp behind the spectacle plate giving a yellowish light. The model was white and so intense that, looking at it from the side, it looked like staring at a laser. Way ruined what could have been a good effect.
 

Cowley

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I was at a model exhibition recently where a layout had an illuminated semaphore signal. The real thing would have been an oil lamp behind the spectacle plate giving a yellowish light. The model was white and so intense that, looking at it from the side, it looked like staring at a laser. Way ruined what could have been a good effect.
My friend bought a lovely set of little N gauge station lamps the other day, and again they’re too bright. We’ve since wired them up to an old Farish 12v DC controller which we’ve turned down slightly and they look absolutely perfect on about two thirds power.
He also bought a working upper quadrant signal from Dapol which has as you say rather a bright light behind the spectacle.
Unfortunately I don’t think this can be turned down easily due to it all being wired together Z
I was thinking we could tone the red and green glasses down though.
 

John Webb

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My friend bought a lovely set of little N gauge station lamps the other day, and again they’re too bright. We’ve since wired them up to an old Farish 12v DC controller which we’ve turned down slightly and they look absolutely perfect on about two thirds power.
He also bought a working upper quadrant signal from Dapol which has as you say rather a bright light behind the spectacle.
Unfortunately I don’t think this can be turned down easily due to it all being wired together Z
I was thinking we could tone the red and green glasses down though.
You might do better to tone the LED down with a translucent yellow coat of some sort. I have to say the brightness of the LEDs has quite put me off buying the Dapol products. I've had better luck with a small LED on a signal made from Model Signal Engineering parts and with a 12kohm resistor, but very fiddly to put together.
 

d9009alycidon

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I had many colour light signals, both LED and grain of wheat bulb on my last layout, after experimentation I used a transformer with a 9V output and with some additional resistance provided a nice intensity of light. These transformers can be salvaged form various old low voltage electrical appliances or bought relatively cheaply from ebay
 

STEVIEBOY1

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My friend bought a lovely set of little N gauge station lamps the other day, and again they’re too bright. We’ve since wired them up to an old Farish 12v DC controller which we’ve turned down slightly and they look absolutely perfect on about two thirds power.
.

That is a very good suggestion, I may go down that route. Tks.
 
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