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The Haunted Hamlet Layout | Part 4

| October 27, 2016 More

MTL Haunted Hamlet Part 4In this Haunted Hamlet update (as we’re more terrified than ever of our deadline!), we get all our electrical business sorted. As much as I’d like to say I’m an electrical whiz, this was actually my first time tackling LEDs that weren’t plug-and-play, and I found the learning curve a little tricky. Math was never a strong suit with me but after seeing some fun looking LED light fixtures, I knew had to jump in and try.

I won’t talk you through the entire process but briefly, on a recommendation I went with a series-parallel combination circuit using a 12VDC, .5A wall wart as my LED power supply. I’m still running the track power through a handheld throttle, which uses its own 9VDC battery. I made serious use of an online tool, the LED series/parallel array wizard, which does lots of the calculations for you (whew!) and I then made a few alterations based on input from experienced LED users and my own ideas.

In total, I’m using 24 LEDs broken down into 8 individual series strings. The two 8-position dual row barrier strips act as the parallel portion of the circuit, with all the series resistors soldered inline on the negative side. I most likely could have organized these strings in a more compact fashion but overall I’m happy with the results. A last minute “why not?” addition came when I saw a remote LED on/off/dimmer switch. Sure, since I knew nothing about LEDs, let’s add that too! This was truly a “LEDs for Dummies” title in the making, and now that it’s all wired together I’m hoping my math was correct. I’ve tested with half the lights and things look great, later today, the final light installs will happen and I’m keeping fingers crossed.

To try to tidy things up I fed all the wires through channels I cut in to the foam base to a single point that feeds under the layout. Even on a layout this small, the wires could become spaghetti-like in a hurry otherwise. The other hole cut in the base was for the LED remote control’s sensor.

The large 4-position dual row barrier strip is for power to the track. The extra set of feeders is in case there’s a problem with one set of track feeders. There won’t be, but as long as I was soldering, what the heck, why not?

We’re now all set under the layout with my first step in to the world of working with LEDs, now I can (finally) get to the fun stuff for me, topside on the Haunted Hamlet, right after a couple of hours of sleep.

Article Links

Micro-Trains Line Haunted Hamlet Buildings
Haunted Hamlet Buildings

LED Remote Control

LED Online Calculator
LED Series/Parallel Array Wizard

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