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Monday, September 14, 2020

№ 9 ~ Guiding Light

 Adding Headlights

The prototype didn't have headlights but on models the headlights are a great way to determine if the car is communicating with the DCC command station without having to run the car out of the carhouse. And since this model has a headlight casting on it, I might as well add headlights.

I should have done this before I painted the car. But the decoder has all these features for directional headlights, so I might as well use them.

Tiny LEDs. I picked up these 1.8mm/2mm LEDs online. I had to trim the leads very short to get it to fit on the car. The body of the LED is painted black so that only the "bulb" lit up.

Black Blob. Soldering the wires to the short leads proved to be tricky. I burnt one LED attempting this. But using a needle nose pliers as a heat sink helped. Then I slathered the whole thing with Liquid Electrical Tape to prevent shorting.  Yes sir! "Slathered"!

Routing the wires from the LEDs down through holes drilled in the floor, superglued along the bottom of the floor, then routed up inside the car to where the decoder will be.

A blop of Micro Kristal Klear for the headlight lens.

"Happiness can be found
even in the darkest of times,
if one only remembers to
turn on the light."

Albus Dumbledore

Yes sir! Remember to turn on the light!



  1. Inspiring as always! The car looks great. Are you going to add passengers? Do your cars have powerpacks on their decoders? I have many ideas for my cars, however right now I only have motorized truck for testing purposes running... I am still busy with trackwork and paving. I think I should do another post :)

    1. Thank you Soran! Once I have the TCS Keep Alive decoder installed properly then I'll see what I can do about an interior. The decoder in this small model is Huge! I like your track plan, that should make for some nice scenes. When I was building the track on my layout many years ago I only had a plastic four wheel trolley to test the track with. Keep up the good work!