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This video (see link below) is of an small N-scale diorama we made using a grade crossing gate & crossbuck manufactured by NJ International. The gate was modified by removing the 3 cast tabs which simulate lights and replacing them with 3 of our Nano red LEDs. The 2 images below show before and after modification. The Nano LED are so small (even in N-scale) that we painted the tops of the LEDs red so they would be noticeable when they weren't turned on.
There are 6 wires running down the length of the gate to control the 3 LEDs. A little Caboose Red and Reefer White touchup hides the wires pretty well.
The 2 LEDs in the crossbuck and the 3 we added on the gate were then wired to an N8038 Early-era Alternating Flasher Simulator. The N8038 provides a constant 5-volts as a source for LED power. To balance the intensity of our gate LEDs with those in the crossbuck, we had to use 3K-ohm resistors for the gate LEDs. This means those Nano LEDs on the gate are only drawing 1ma of current each and are still plenty bright! This Simulator accurately reproduces the effect of bulb-type lamps which fade in and out in brightness as the grade crossing operates.
Click anywhere on the image below to run the video of this effect.
Note: This video is not enhanced or retouched.
© 2008 Ngineering