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Connecting the N8065 Emergency Vehicle 5-strobe Simulator



Installing the N8065 is very straightforward. Its tiny size and thin construction will allow it to be placed in nearly any location in your project. Because the module has circuitry on both sides, care must be taken to be sure that the components or wires soldered will not make contact with any metal object causing a short circuit.

Included with the module are two 6” lengths of #32 insulated wire. If necessary, these can be used for power input wires. If used, we recommend the blue wire be used for the + DC connection. It would be connected to solder point 1 as shown in Fig. 1. This wire could also connect through a switch to the + DC connection for remote control of the lighting effect. The other (green) wire should be connected to – DC and to solder point 2.

Any well regulated DC power source can be used to power this module providing the voltage is at least 6VDC and doesn't exceed 18VDC. Our N3512 and N3518 Power supplies are ideal for this use. Also, due to the very low power consumption, this device can also be powered by a battery, such as a standard 9-volt.

Important note: A low-wattage iron with a pointed tip should be used for connection of wires. Too much heat or solder can easily damage the wires or module and void the warranty.


                                Figure 1

Also, all connecting wires should be pre-tinned before soldering them to the module. This will make connection quick and easy and ensure excessive heat is not applied to the solder points.


Using Track Power

While it is always preferable to use track power exclusively for things running on the track, there may be situations where it is necessary to tap into track power to drive various stationary devices. All of our Simulators require a clean DC voltage of known polarity for their power source. Track power is typically provided in one of two forms. DC voltage (analog), or DCC.

Analog track power has been around for more than 75 years. Simply put, a DC voltage is applied to the two tracks with one being +DC and the other, -DC. Increase the voltage and the electric motor in the locomotive spins faster making the train go faster. Unfortunately, stopping a train requires the track voltage to go to zero. If you were to tap into track voltage to power this simulator, every time the train stops, the lighthouse would go out. It is best to use a separate DC power source.

DCC track power is such that to devices requiring plain DC voltage, it looks like AC power. That is because voltage levels on each track go both + and – continuously. The DCC decoders in locomotives “descramble” the track signals and provide correct polarity so their motors can function normally. It is this process that will allow multiple locomotives to go in different directions on the same section of track, at the same time (a feature not available with analog track power). Once again, our Simulator needs fixed polarity and it needs to look like DC voltage.

Due to our Simulator's very small size, there is insufficient space to include additional circuitry and components necessary for proper power conditioning when direct track pickup is to be used. There are two solutions to this problem and both are inexpensive:

Discrete components

The Simulator can be powered from the track with the addition of two readily available components: a bridge rectifier (our N301S or N302S will work just fine), and a filter capacitor (10μf or larger and minimum 16-volt) will be required. Figure 2 below is schematic diagram of the connections required.

                                             Figure 2

This is the least expensive solution, but is has a minor drawback. The bridge rectifier (and capacitor, if needed) are not mounted on a circuit board so direct solder connection is required and you will need to ensure the pins on the rectifier and leads on the capacitor (depending on the type of capacitor) are organized so that they won't short out against anything.

N8101 DC Power Source

A more elegant, but very slightly more costly ($3.95) solution would be to use our N8101 DC Power Source. It has all of the components needed, includes a circuit board with solder points, is extremely tiny (1/2 the size of our Simulator), has the lowest possible voltage loss (important for analog operators). Click here for more information on the N8101. Figure 3 below is schematic diagram of the connections required.

                                               Figure 3

Connecting LEDs

The N8065 is configured to connect four (4) 20 ma red LEDs (2 series pairs) between solder points 3 & 4 and 5 & 4 (this covers Ngineering’s Micro & Nano red LEDs, as well as most red LEDs available). These LEDs will use the N8065’s on-board current protection resistor so no external resistor is necessary. Additionally, the N8065 allows for a 5th LED to be connected between solder points 6 & 4. This should be a 20 ma white LED with a device voltage of 3.3-3.6 (this covers Ngineering’s Micro & Nano white LEDs, as well as most white LEDs available).

Using wire appropriate for the size of the LEDs and their placement in your project, connect the LED anodes (A) and cathodes (C) together as shown in Figure 4 below. Note that LEDs 1 & 2 are a series pair (wired anode to cathode) and LEDs 3 & 4 are a second series pair. LED 5’s anode (A) is also connected to solder point 4, with its cathode (C) connected to solder point 6.


                                            Figure 4

Adjusting LED brightness

In its standard form, the N8065 is configured with an on-board resistor to provide full, 20mA brightness for all connected LEDs. While this should appear very prototypical for mid-sized to larger scale vehicle models, for the small scales such as N and Z scale, the LEDs are likely to appear over-bright due to their close proximity to each other and the overall size of the scale model. As a result we have included three (3) 1000-ohm (1KΩ) resistors in the package that can be used to decrease the intensity of the LEDs to a desired level for the scale of the model. We suggest trying one (1) resistor first to determine if brightness is sufficiently reduced to your liking. If additional reduction is needed, use additional resistors in series with the first (connected end-to-end). Figure 4 above shows that these resistors are to be connected between solder point 4 and the joined anode connections of LEDs 2, 4 & 5.

LED positioning on the model

For prototypical LED placement click here.


This completes connection of the N8065 module. It is recommended that a thorough re-inspection of all connections and module placement be performed prior to applying power to the locomotive. We hope you enjoy the added realism our module provides.


© 2008 Ngineering