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 HO scale school light globes.

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Ensign Posted - 11/29/2014 : 1:00:04 PM
Hi everyone, I was contacted this summer by a gentleman named Bill Gill.
Bill had seen my interest in lighting here on the forums, and wondered if I had any interest or ideas on how to make these old style school light fixtures.
They were used in stores as well, and even in factories, but for some reason or another became known as school lights.
Anyways...to make a long story shorter, Bill had got in touch with forum member here, Ed Traxler (eTraxx) who was able to draw up a design for these globes using computer software.
And even better, he could then, have them 3D printed for us.
Ed then sent them too Bill, and then Bill sent me 5 of these globes to see how they would look lit using LED's.
This is how they looked when they arrived.

Upon my first inspection of these globes, I thought they looked amazing! Very tiny, but amazing.
I started by carefully removing one of the globes using a single edge razor.
Here is a better look at a single globe, with it's perfect school light shape.

Now to see how these globes are going to look lit up, I needed to drill a hole into the globe.
I used a 1/16th inch bit to do so.
Drilling down from the top of the globe, down into the globe.
Just enough to allow a Nano LED to fit inside of it.

This is how the hole looked when completed.

I then used the .018 OD Stainless tubing from Ngineering and HO scale Baby Moon hub caps also from Ngineering to make up the rest of this school light.
The hub cap would make a perfect sized cover for the top of the globe.

As well I used the Nano super incandescent LED's to light it.

So I carefully fed my magnet wires into the tubing and shade cover, leaving just the nano LED sticking out a little from the hub cap.
I then carefully glued the globe onto the hub cap cover, and hooked it up to my tester.
At first I was thinking that these globes would need to be painted white, but after seeing how they looked lit up, I was really happy with the look.

So I want to thank Bill Gill and Ed Traxler for putting their heads together, and coming up with these very cool globes, that everyone will find very useful when it comes to interior lighting.
Way to go Bill & Ed!!!

Greg Shinnie
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
slimjerkins Posted - 03/15/2016 : 3:32:20 PM
Hey Bill - I see you're catching up to old posts too? Thanks for stopping by the booth at the Amherst show. It was nice talking to you. I see that link that Ed posted is long gone.

One of these days I'll update my website and list everything I have in the store. Having a "regular" job makes having a second job tiring.

The thing I like best about the soldering iron that I sell is the tip. The benchtop, variable temp / interchangeable tip Weller iron that I use for most general soldering doesn't have a tip nearly as small as the one that fits on the little Antex 12 watt iron. I always use the Antex for soldering wires to LEDs. Only complaint I have of it is that the handle gets hot after a long session.

-slim (Bill)
Bill Gill Posted - 03/07/2016 : 08:12:36 AM
Bill, I was referencing the article and photos - linking to it from my forum and wondered if you ever put in those five lights? Ed Traxler

Ed, Embarrassingly, not yet. There are a number of things needed to be done that I keep procrastinating about. One is making the store ceiling easily removable, yet not leak light up into the second floor. Right now the temporary ceiling is lightsafe, but it's a very tight fit. After taking that photo I almost mangled the thin stainless tubes suspending the two globes. That gave me pause to consider how to not wreck five lights when accessing the store to add more details. Also need to decide if going to just put a battery on the unfinished second floor or snake the wiring down the store chimney to a power supply under the layout. Electrical stuff is not my strength, but I have grand thoughts of using an Arduino to control the lights in the Main St stores - nothing animated or elaborate, just being able to turn on or off different combinations of lights for different effects and photo ops.

About your question on a soldering iron for nano LEDs: I chatted with Bill Sartore of Microlumina at the Amherst Train Show back in January (without realizing who he was until a day or so later, duh) on the same topic. He uses and offers a 12w iron for that kind of work,
The Radio Shack version probably is fine for that as well.
Neil M Posted - 03/07/2016 : 05:54:58 AM
Those lights look excellent! Very realistic and evocative
eTraxx Posted - 03/06/2016 : 9:58:36 PM
Originally posted by Bill Gill

<snip>The final installation will mount two lights in each aisle and a fifth light centered at the rear of the store. The five lights will provide all the interior ilumination and they will be lit even in the daytime because the store is otherwise dimly iluminated only through two front windows.<snip>

I was referencing the article and photos - linking to it from my forum and wondered if you ever put in those five lights?
eTraxx Posted - 04/14/2015 : 06:30:13 AM
I set up a forum topic for these globes so discussion, suggestions, tips and tricks can be tossed around.

HO Scale School House Light Globes

Talk about things like what soldering iron might best be used for soldering the leads to these Nano LEDS for example.

I was at Radio Shack the other day and they have a 12W Mini Soldering Iron that looks to me like what might work .. someone who KNOWS something about such things might tell us that NO .. this won't work because .. or maybe .. "Oh .. that would be great". I donno. Topic for discussion.

UP Fan Posted - 04/13/2015 : 10:59:15 PM
I ordered a set of the globes. I can think of several structures coming up that would cry out for this kind of lighting; Bar Mills Sweaty Betty's" for one. Now I just have to psyche myself up to work with those nano LEDs from Ngineering.
Philip Posted - 04/11/2015 : 8:05:06 PM
Sweet lamps! Those are in the local L & N depot, hanging from a chain

Bill Gill Posted - 04/10/2015 : 10:31:16 PM
Exactly, Joe! That light fixture is so common it is pretty much invisible in 1:1 scale, but heretofore unseen in model sizes. Neat photo, thanks for posting it. Bet you start noticing these all over now.
jatravia Posted - 04/10/2015 : 9:37:37 PM
I was in Barnes and Noble picking up a gift for someone ... and a copy of the April RMC ... and was standing in the check out queue when I looked up and saw ...

I never gave those light fixtures a second thought before.

Joe <><
closetguy Posted - 04/09/2015 : 11:18:34 PM
another phenomenal detail.
Mike M
eTraxx Posted - 04/08/2015 : 9:56:13 PM
The LEDs are T1206 SMD LED off of eBay - http://goo.gl/Wr16LE

I orderd 20 and have 19 (by the way .. if you are playing around and turn up the voltage without the resistor you can ACTUALLY here one pop!) - They come with resistors which is cool.

So .. anyhoo .. my plan is to bundle light globes w/LEDs .. since they come from China it takes a month.

anyhoo .. these are surface mount LEDs which means the light is on one side which means if used you would have to turn the light so that is facing out. No biggie.

I had to set the camera to Shutter priority and 1/500 shutter speed to get the pics.

One thing is I kinda outsmarted myself. I made the globes hollow .. and wax was trapped inside. I had to poke small pieces of cotton and swirl them around inside with alcohol to get it out.
fwms Posted - 04/08/2015 : 08:46:10 AM

Ed, as soon as you have the O scale lights perfected, I will be purchasing them from you. Let me know how you like the mini bulbs from China, and what outfit you ordered them from>>>>

Me too...
BurleyJim Posted - 04/07/2015 : 10:39:58 PM
Bill Gill Posted - 04/07/2015 : 9:20:05 PM
Originally posted by jbvb

By the standard of February 2015, no storm in January was 'raging', but it does make a good narrative for a new level of excellence in interior lighting.

jbvb, we compress distances and volumes on our layouts to present the essence of our scenes...a little narrative compression... ;)

Greg, I was going to say something inane like 'It takes a forum to light a village', but this really was a neat collaboration with you and Ed.
Ensign Posted - 04/07/2015 : 8:45:07 PM
Bill, that store looks FANTASTIC!! Just another example of excellent modeling from the Gill workshop.
My parents taught me the meaning of life long ago, we are all put on this earth, to help one another.
It's just that simple.

Greg Shinnie

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