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Connecting the N8076/N8076A Fire Truck strobe Simulator
Installing the N8076N8076A is very straightforward. 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 and cause 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 red 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 (black) wire should be connected to – DC and to solder point 2.
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, decoder or module and void the warranty.
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.
Track powering (without a decoder connection)
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. If the train is required to reverse, track polarity is reversed so the loco's motor turns in reverse. Also, what defines "forward and reverse" is dependent on which way the loco is facing when it's put on the track. Bottom line here is that track polarity is not fixed. Our Simulator needs fixed polarity.
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:
When connecting the LEDs, proper polarity must be observed. LEDs are “polarity sensitive” and will not function if connected backwards.
The N8076/N8076A 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 on-board current protection resistor so no external resistor is necessary. Additionally, the N8076/A allows for a 5th LED to be connected between solder points 6 & 4 and 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.
Adjusting LED brightness
The N8076/A 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 models, for the small scales such as N and Z, the LEDs are likely to appear over-bright due to their close proximity to each other and the size of the 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.
Placement of the LED on the model
For the best prototypical effect, it is recommended that the LED series pairs (which will strobe flash together) be placed in the opposite corners of the fire truck. For example: If LED 1 is placed in the left-front corner of the vehicle, then LED 2 should be placed in the right-rear. Then, place LED 3 in the right-front, and LED 4 in the left-rear. That way, the strobe effect will alternate diagonally across the vehicle giving a very balanced appearance. See Figure 5 below for a typical example of placement.
This completes connection of the N8076/N8076A module. It is recommended that a thorough re-inspection of all connections and module placement be performed prior to applying power. We hope you enjoy the added realism our module provides.
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