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I'm not an electrician

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  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
I'm not an electrician
Posted by ikar01 on Friday, April 14, 2017 5:18 PM

I've started building one of my 1/350th NX-01 Enterprise kits, this time I'd like to light it up.

I have a light kit I picked up some years ago, but after connecting it to a 9 volt battery I have come to the conclusion that the lights are too bright and the bussard lights spin too fast.

Is there aq way to dim the lights and slow the nacelle lights?  I have never attempted something like this before and not sure what to do or where to go for some parts if necessary.

Then I have to come up with a good way to display the kit without the power source being visable.

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Friday, April 14, 2017 5:30 PM

You need to add some resistors in the circuit. You can look up Ohm's Law to figure the resistor wattage and resistance needed, or do what I do and go trial and error. The only thing you may damage is the resistors.

Too bad Radio Shack is out of business, they would have been a good place to start.

Do the Bussard Collectors spin by means of a motor or flashing circuitry? Flasher is what I'm thinking.

ON THE BENCH

1/25 Monogram 57 Chevy Bel Air
1/144 Trumpeter Kawanishi H6K5-L Mavis

Completing a kit is like cutting the head off a Hydra. Two more replace it in the stash.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, April 14, 2017 5:32 PM

Yes, there should be a switch you can find that will adjust the flow of current to address both issues. But, not being an electrician myself, I don't know the name of the switch type. And my last electronics class was in 1980...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, April 14, 2017 6:28 PM

All right, being an electrician, here's what I can recommend:

One way to go would be to put a diode in the circuit. A silicon diode lowers the voltage by 0,6-0,7V, so adding more diodes in series (you know, daisychain) you umultiply the voltage drop - like if you put three diodes in series, you drop 3x0,7V=about 2,1V. But if the electrnics of the kit are decent, that won't alter the brightness or frequency of the pulsing. It will happen if the electronics are designed carelessly or cheap - a quick fix, you know. In such case it might be possible to tweak those a little to decrease the brightness or to lower the pulse speed - should be a matter of exchanging 1-2 electronic parts.

Hope it helps, have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Friday, April 14, 2017 6:46 PM

The whole purpose of a resistor in series is for voltage drop, where a resistor in parallel causes a current drop.

I would need to see you schematic to really see what you would need.

A series of diodes could do it but unnecessary and more costly.

ON THE BENCH

1/25 Monogram 57 Chevy Bel Air
1/144 Trumpeter Kawanishi H6K5-L Mavis

Completing a kit is like cutting the head off a Hydra. Two more replace it in the stash.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by ecotec83 on Friday, April 14, 2017 6:49 PM

Not an expert but the switch a few other members mentioned I believe is a rheostat

(dimmer switch). It is used to increase or decrease resistance on a circuit.

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Friday, April 14, 2017 7:04 PM

A rheostat would absolutely work for you. Just install it on the positive side of the power source and that would allow you to vary the supply voltage. 

ON THE BENCH

1/25 Monogram 57 Chevy Bel Air
1/144 Trumpeter Kawanishi H6K5-L Mavis

Completing a kit is like cutting the head off a Hydra. Two more replace it in the stash.

  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Friday, April 14, 2017 8:57 PM

Yes the lights go around by flashing.  It's a shame they have to stay in sequence, it looks better on T.V. with random patterns.

Radio shack would have been nice.  There's a surplus store loaded with all sorts of electronic supplies on the other side of town but I'm not sure of the quality of their stuff.  Some of it's ex military and who knows what it's been through.

Maybe Home Depot, Lowes, or Ace Hardware might have what I need.  I'll have to check when I get a chance.

 

Thanks for the help always open to suggestions.  I have a feeling this is not going to be a fun project.

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Friday, April 14, 2017 9:14 PM

As to a base, you can make or get a box (wood or otherwise), big enough to support the model safely, mount the switch on the back side with the battery inside.  Run some tubing, your choice of brass, copper, or alum., painted or plain.   Mount the model and box to the tubing and the wiring inside of it.  Clean and hidden.  Might be able to find a small reostat on the bay or amazon, or another electronics store.  Might even ask at a computer repair outfit.

The ones at HD or Lowes are probably going to be more the size of a light switch for house wiring.  If you come up with a small one can be put under the box since once you set it you probably won't change it again, but still easy access.

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Friday, April 14, 2017 9:36 PM

I'm a retired electrical engineer.  Years ago, I bought a "lighting kit" for one of those models.  I got a bag full of a pound of loose components and an incompetently written " instuction sheet".  I sent the whole thing back for a refund.

I had no inclination to delve into it further.  I figured, how often am I going to watch "der blinken lights" anyhow?

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, April 15, 2017 3:53 PM

Ok, first thing--have you tried reducing the voltage?  In other words using a couple AA batteries instead?   You probably need to find a battery box, but, to test, you can (often) hold the batteries together.

If a couple AA end to end work, that's 3VDC (1.5V+1.5V).  If that's not enough, you might need 4 cells (which will want a battery box to hold) to give you 6 volts.  To get the volts to multiply, you go + to - on one battery to the next.  If you connect + to + the voltage does not increase, but the amps available to "do" work will increase.

Once you get the ideal voltage worked out--3 or 6 volts, consider going to a C or D battery.  LEDs are not very energy hungry, but a deeper "well" is its own reward.  The battery box then sets in the base (where the increased weight can be handy).

I really like to use the supporting pylon as a condutor, even when inside another tube, as only needing the one wire threaded is simpler.I've alos used an RCA connector as a mointing point, too.

Now, if you are keen, and since there's no longer a Rado Shack on every corner, you might want to google "motion detector switch kit."  RS used to stockpile little teaching kits for simple electrial circuits (photocells, rheostats, IR detectors, etc.) which were hugely handy for having all the parts (and instructions) to make one on the fly.

Becasue few things are as cool as models that "come to life" just becasue you are nearby.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, April 15, 2017 5:00 PM

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    April, 2006
Posted by armyrn on Saturday, April 15, 2017 5:50 PM

Google tenna controls. He is electrical engineer  his products come with a circuit board that slows or speed up the lights.  He backs his products for 5 years and when you call her answer  either emails  or phone calls. In end you will have what you want.

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