Tuesday 27 December 2022

Light Experiments

Having received the 3D printed porcelain isolators next step in making working lights for the Nystrup Gravel involved good old fashioned manual modelling. My goal was to fabricate some typical 1950's outdoor lamps with a simple reflective screen.

My prototype version of a lamp testfitted on a wooden pole with election poster.

The starting point of my lampmaking was a LYM20 3 V H0 spotlight bought from ebay. The spotlights come 5 pieces to a pack and complete with resistors to enable operating from a 9-18 V power source. The spotligt is made from metal and fitted with a small LED and thin wires. The spotlight is movable on its bracket and can be adjusted as needed. Made for H0 the lamp is too small for my 1/19 scale layout, but I figured that with an appropriately sized reflective screen it would look realistic mounted on a pole or a building.

After a few test cuttings I produced a more or less circular piece of plasticcard with a diameter of 17 mm. for the lamp's reflector (corresponding to a reflector diameter of 30 cm i 1:1 scale). A 5 mm hole was punched in the center and a narrow slice was cut away to allow the reflector to be glued together in a flat cone shape. I used AC glue to obtain a good bond as I feared standard plastic glue would damage the thin plasticcard. When dry the reflector was cleaned up with a sanding stick and glued to the spotlight. 

Main ingredients in lamp making: LYM20 spotlight and plasticcard.

Light shines on a poster from my prototype lamp. The light level is enough to provide adequate light for work and shunting in the area around the pole.

I mounted the lamp on a wooden pole by drilling a hole through the pole and inserting the spotlight's mounting stub into the hole. The wires were connected with a 3.7 V battery and testing could begin. The light was of a good colour and the light level sufficient to provide a good light level for work around the pole. I think two lamps will provide adequate light for work on the Nystrup Gravel loading ramp.

Now I'm ready for the production run of 3-5 lamps for the layout's lighting plan.

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