Black Moon LTD
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    King George, Virginia
    Posts
    18

    Default Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    My Father is building a 1/8 scale live steam locomotive and it needs a headlight.

    I am coming here to the CandlePowerFourms as you are the EXPERTS!!!

    Here is a photo of the prototype with her tender.



    Note how small the headlamp housing is compared to the locomotive.

    I need about the light output of an automobile low beam headlamp with an even throw.

    The prototype had a steam powered dynamo but I don't think our manufacturing skills are up to building a scale generator so the headlamp will need to be ran off of batteries that we might be able to hide in the tender or the first car in the train as I don't think there will be a cool enough spot on the engine for the batteries.

    The front of the engine right behind the headlight is the front of the smoke box, so it will be a hot surface.... I will try to see if we can insulate it but I am concerned about heat dissipation for the headlamp.....

    I would like to have a 12V battery as it would serve double duty as a engine starting draft fan power supply.

    I would like to get eight hours or more of run time from the headlight.

    I don't have the scale drawing for the headlamp housing yet but I should get it in under two weeks. I am guessing that the headlamp will be 1 to 1.5" in diameter.

    What do you think my options are????? I am guessing that an LED will have to be my source as a halogen bulb would consume too much power for the light output. I am assuming there is not a small enough HID lamp on the market.


    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    SW, PA
    Posts
    1,583

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    Get a warm tinted XR-E/XP-E, make a small brass heatsink for it, get a small diameter buck driver that has a low mode. You could buy a commercial reflector for it, say, from McGizmo, or just machine an aluminum cone to direct the light front-ward.
    I love my HDS/Ra Clicky... My only wish would be a 5th(accessible thru a 2click press) mode, and a 2AA tube.

  3. #3
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    King George, Virginia
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    Thanks for the quick replay but I am new to LEDs so could you answer a few questions and proved a few URLs to the products you recommend?

    What is a warm tinted XR-E/XP-E?



    What is "a small diameter buck driver that has a low mode."?



    Where can I find a "commercial reflector for it, say, from McGizmo,"


    We might "just machine an aluminum cone to direct the light front-ward." which would be easy for my father, but I do not have access to any machine shop tools....yet...

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    An led may not be the best solution in this case, owing to the heat from the smokebox.
    A halogen lamp is probably a better bet, 5 watts should be enough, and that could be powered for many hours from a relatively small lead acid battery.
    AFAIK old steam locomotives used 6 volt incandescent lamps of suprisingly high power, up to 108 watts.
    If you wish an accurate simulation of this, machine a suitable housing and use an MES flashlight bulb, mounted base down.http://bulbcollector.com/gateway/Vin...jpg&img=16&tt=
    Shows the types used.
    Last edited by broadgage; 07-14-2010 at 09:15 AM. Reason: to add link

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    SW, PA
    Posts
    1,583

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    White LED's are not actually white. They are a blue LED die that has had a layer of phosphor placed on it, which changes the wave-length of the light to filter out so much blue, and create white light. LED's are produced in batches, and, try as they might, manufacturers are unable to create batches of LED's that have the same exact efficiency, color temperature, forward voltage (the voltage required to make the LED light up), etc.

    So, when a manufacturer produces each batch, they test each LED and determine their efficiency, color temperature, etc.

    Color temperature is rated in degree Kelvins. There are three main types of tints available: cold, neutral and warm. Cold white LED's are usually those that are above 5000*K(elvin), or an ice-white to bluish output. These are generally the most efficient, because they have to filter the blue wavelengths of light the least. Around 5000-3700*K is considered neutral white. These would appear to be a purer, "creamier" white output. They are less efficient than cold-white LED's because they have to filter the blue wavelengths more. They also tend to have a higher CRI rating (the ability to easily distinguish between colors, on a scale of 0-100), at around 75CRI. Cold White LED's have a lower CRI at around 70 or so, because they don't produce a whole lot of red light.
    Warm LED's have a lower color temperature, at under 3700*K. These produce the most red light, so they have a higher CRI rating (Cree, for example is usually around 80CRI). They are generally the least efficient white LED's, in terms of lumens per watt. Warm LED's appear to be similar to an incandescent bulb, in color temperature, and are generally preferred in the outdoors, because colors seem the most natural.

    Now, this isn't to say that there aren't extremely in-efficient cold white LED's, or extremely efficient warm or neutral white LED's. These are just rare occurrences.

    XR-E's and XP-E's are types of LED's available from Cree. They are generally pretty efficient, come in a variety of tints and bins, are easy to work with and generally inexpensive.

    A driver is a computer chip that regulate voltage and current. LED's have a Forward voltage or around 3.5v. A BOOST driver brings voltage up from a lower voltage, to the forward voltage of the LED. A BUCK driver brings the voltage down.
    You say you'll want to work with a 12v battery, and will most likely only use the one LED, so you'll need a buck driver to limit the voltage and current to the LED.

    Drivers also come in a variety of drive currents. About how much light you were looking for will determine the drive current you'll need. For a small model train, you don't need a huge amount of light, so anything that limits the current to less than 100mA or so would probably do just fine. I din't know how much space you'd have to work with, so you'll want to look for one with a small diameter. There are plenty of ones that come in at under 17mm in diameter.

    The LED will definitely need a heat-sink. Basically just something that has some thermal mass to keep the LED from frying from the heat it generates. In such a small application, with such a low drive current, you may not even really need one.

    McGizmo is a custom light manufacturer here on the forum. He's well respected. He doesn't just do lights, he makes switches, reflectors, etc.
    I love my HDS/Ra Clicky... My only wish would be a 5th(accessible thru a 2click press) mode, and a 2AA tube.

  6. #6
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    King George, Virginia
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    this engine will be ride-able. it is 7.5" gauge, meaning that is the distance between the rails, so it is not necessarily a small train.


    My father is 81 years old, and I would like to have as much light as possible available if he runs it at night, and there is one tunnel on the club's track so the light output of one low beam automotive headlamp is where I am looking to go.


    THANKS for all the input so far.



    would a MR16 halagon lamp work? they look like about hte right size....... maybee.....
    Last edited by KiteSquid; 07-14-2010 at 10:09 AM.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    SW, PA
    Posts
    1,583

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    They might work, but would be rather inefficient.

    I'm sorry, I didn't realize this would be a ride-able scale model... My mistake.

    In that case, you'll want way more light. A halogen MR-16 would be the easiest, cheapest option, but if you wanted to look at more complex, try a SST50 mod. You'll need a massive heat-sink, and a good quality driver (Tryhttp://www.taskled.com/ , they're expensive, but they work very well).

    Truthfully, I think going LED in this application would be needlessly expensive and complex. It would probably be best to go for something incandescent based.
    I love my HDS/Ra Clicky... My only wish would be a 5th(accessible thru a 2click press) mode, and a 2AA tube.

  8. #8
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    King George, Virginia
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    So what is the diffrence between a P7 and a SST-50?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    SST-50 gives more lights, but powered high(-er) current and very hot.

    Have you seen Lux-RC models? It's a quite impressive and brilliant designed and maded.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,040

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    wow.... a rotary wing flashlight!

    what will they think of next??

    pretty cool, but what the heck do you do with it? People aren't crashing their RC 'copters enough in the daytime, so they are going to fly them in the dark?

    intrigued, but definitely not buying one...

    Steve K.

  11. #11
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    King George, Virginia
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by RusDyr View Post
    SST-50 gives more lights, but powered high(-er) current and very hot.

    Have you seen Lux-RC models? It's a quite impressive and brilliant designed and maded.

    Interesitng stuff there.... I have a use for one of their lights for a different project.


    We will be machining our our housing so it looks similar to the housing on the full size locomotive.

    I guess I need to find a non-orange peel reflector, glass lens, P7 LED, driver that will take power from a 12V motorcycle battery, high temperature wiring (stranded copper with Teflon insulation for 400 degrees F but higher would be better if someone has an idea....) as it will be near to a boiler.... etc....

    Can somebody point me to a supplier that would carry all the parts I need, or do I need to buy parts from multiple sources. I am new at building LED lights. I have purchased a few flashlights from DX...

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Flushing, NY
    Posts
    5,886

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by KiteSquid View Post
    I guess I need to find a non-orange peel reflector, glass lens, P7 LED, driver that will take power from a 12V motorcycle battery, high temperature wiring (stranded copper with Teflon insulation for 400 degrees F but higher would be better if someone has an idea....) as it will be near to a boiler.... etc....

    Can somebody point me to a supplier that would carry all the parts I need, or do I need to buy parts from multiple sources. I am new at building LED lights. I have purchased a few flashlights from DX...
    I can supply you with a driver to run a P7 from a car battery. I've been making these for a product which does exactly that. My driver supplies about 2 amps, which should give about 600 lumens from a P7. An SST-90 running at the same current would give about the same, but with a sufficient heat sink you can drive the SST-90 at much higher currents than a P7, potentially giving over 2000 lumens. I can modify my driver for higher currents if necessary.

    Provided you insulate the LED housing from the locomotive's boiler heat shouldn't be an issue. The driver also needs to be put in a cool place because electronics don't deal well with heat. Also, you'll have some air flow which should help with cooling the LED somewhat ( how fast will this locomotive go? ).

    Cool project. I've seriously been into trains for as long as I could remember. If possible, please share some pictures once everything is built!

  13. #13
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    King George, Virginia
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    To get an idea of the scale of the locomotive we are building there is a video at Youtoube with a locomotive with a simmular size.

    click HERE to go there


    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    I can supply you with a driver to run a P7 from a car battery. I've been making these for a product which does exactly that. My driver supplies about 2 amps, which should give about 600 lumens from a P7. An SST-90 running at the same current would give about the same, but with a sufficient heat sink you can drive the SST-90 at much higher currents than a P7, potentially giving over 2000 lumens. I can modify my driver for higher currents if necessary.!
    Do you have an online store??? where can I purchase them, if the project manager (my brother) OKs the total cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    Provided you insulate the LED housing from the locomotive's boiler heat shouldn't be an issue. The driver also needs to be put in a cool place because electronics don't deal well with heat.
    It will either be hidden in the tender or in the first car of the train, with the battery.

    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    Also, you'll have some air flow which should help with cooling the LED somewhat ( how fast will this locomotive go? ).

    Cool project. I've seriously been into trains for as long as I could remember. If possible, please share some pictures once everything is built!
    The locomotive should run at about 3 MPH with passengers....for safety.....

    Max speed without passengers should be about 12 MPH, which is 96 scale MPH!!!!!!!! but that would stress a LOT of components and a broken side-rod would take a leg off!!!!!!!! so we will probably keep it at under 5 mph.


    I was thinking and if the output of the LED headlight was adjustable with a trim pot, that would probably be best, as we don't know how much light we will really need, until we are actually running the locomotive.... too much might be as bad a not enough.
    Last edited by KiteSquid; 07-19-2010 at 11:38 PM.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    I'd have to agree. This is an historic piece, and the best solution would be a regular old non halogen incandescent light source. Such as what's used in, say locomotive headlights! New locos have sealed beams, typically, but there are styles which use a mogul based bulb. There's also the lamps used in traffic signals. It would seem power shouldn't be an issue, heck, if it really came down to it, a small genset would make all the power you'd need!

    Quote Originally Posted by broadgage View Post
    An led may not be the best solution in this case, owing to the heat from the smokebox.
    A halogen lamp is probably a better bet, 5 watts should be enough, and that could be powered for many hours from a relatively small lead acid battery.
    AFAIK old steam locomotives used 6 volt incandescent lamps of suprisingly high power, up to 108 watts.
    If you wish an accurate simulation of this, machine a suitable housing and use an MES flashlight bulb, mounted base down.http://bulbcollector.com/gateway/Vin...jpg&img=16&tt=
    Shows the types used.
    “Long live impudence. It was my guardian angel in this world.” — Albert Einstein

  15. #15

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    i,d go with 75w mr16, will give you plenty of light.
    imo, steam trains and leds don't go together.

    btw, will it have functional steam engine, or electric motor??



    edit.
    otoh not only you need a bulb, but a housing that will somewhat resemble old orginal unit, i'd look in auto parts sites, you might find complete unit that would fit you needs.
    Last edited by alpg88; 07-20-2010 at 10:37 AM.

  16. #16
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    King George, Virginia
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    i,d go with 75w mr16, will give you plenty of light.
    imo, steam trains and leds don't go together.

    btw, will it have functional steam engine, or electric motor??



    edit.
    otoh not only you need a bulb, but a housing that will somewhat resemble old orginal unit, i'd look in auto parts sites, you might find complete unit that would fit you needs.
    it will be a functioning live steam locomotive...

    If we were to use hallogen I think we might have to use a MR11 as the lamp dimater need to be aobut 1.5"

    We will be machining the headlamp housing, but currently we don't have a Union Pacific approved drawing for the headlight. it was not included on the CD of scanned drawings we purchased from the UP historical society HERE

    One reason for wanting a LOT of light is my father who will be operating it most of the time is 81 years old. he worked for the UP in Cheyenne in many positions including Hostler which is were he operated the 4466 and he was the fireman on the Big Boy 4004.

    I want to have too much light available for eight hours, but to be dimmable and to be able to operate the draft fan to aid in starting the fire quicker with the same battery to save space and weight.
    Last edited by KiteSquid; 07-20-2010 at 01:35 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by KiteSquid View Post
    it will be a functioning live steam locomotive...

    If we were to use hallogen I think we might have to use a MR11 as the lamp dimater need to be aobut 1.5"

    We will be machining the headlamp housing, but currently we don't have a Union Pacific approved drawing for the headlight. it was not included on the CD of scanned drawings we purchased from the UP historical society HERE

    One reason for wanting a LOT of light is my father who will be operating it most of the time is 81 years old. he worked for the UP in Cheyenne in many positions including Hostler which is were he operated the 4466 and he was the fireman on the Big Boy 4004.

    I want to have too much light available for eight hours, but to be dimmable and to be able to operate the draft fan to aid in starting the fire quicker with the same battery to save space and weight.
    wow live steam engine, that is super cool.

    i've never seen working steam locomotive, in person, seen planty on static display, but not moving.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Flushing, NY
    Posts
    5,886

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by KiteSquid View Post
    To get an idea of the scale of the locomotive we are building there is a video at Youtoube with a locomotive with a simmular size.

    click HERE to go there
    Thanks for the link! Very cool, and those locomotives are obviously developing a nice amount of power to lug that load along.

    Do you have an online store??? where can I purchase them, if the project manager (my brother) OKs the total cost.
    No online store. I mostly deal directly with businesses. Occasionally I also deal with others like yourself who have requirements similar to what I'm making. In this case there is a slight modification of the driver circuit for higher currents, and also some dimming circuitry. Please PM me so we can discuss details.

    It will either be hidden in the tender or in the first car of the train, with the battery.
    Excellent-that's a perfect spot for it.

    The locomotive should run at about 3 MPH with passengers....for safety.....

    Max speed without passengers should be about 12 MPH, which is 96 scale MPH!!!!!!!! but that would stress a LOT of components and a broken side-rod would take a leg off!!!!!!!! so we will probably keep it at under 5 mph.
    12 mph is pretty fast for something like this. I asked about speed mainly to determine if we could depend upon airflow to help cooling. In this case, at 3 mph with passenger, probably not. However, if the headlight housing is large enough, and made of a fairly conductive metal ( i.e. aluminum or copper ), then we should be OK. In any case, if things are getting too hot, you would just turn down the trimpot somewhat.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Ontario, CA
    Posts
    224

    Nana Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuryakin View Post
    I'd have to agree. This is an historic piece, and the best solution would be a regular old non halogen incandescent light source. Such as what's used in, say locomotive headlights! New locos have sealed beams, typically, but there are styles which use a mogul based bulb.
    Talk about specialized bases - couldn't see what type of loco from the picture, but the UP store was only selling 2 kinds of plans, and since that loco definitely wasn't a Big Boy I'd guess it was an 0-6-0 switcher. You might be able to adapt a Mogul bulb, but those are meant for 2-6-0 road locomotives.
    Flashaholic's taunt for someone who lost the "Luxeon lottery" by a wide margin - "NYAH, NYAH".

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    746

    Default Re: Live Steam Locomotive Headlight

    Whats the diameter and length of where the light has to be incorporated?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •