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Author Previous Topic: looking for builder of Fast Track turnout Topic Next Topic: Chuck Diljaks Wyoming Valley Railroad  


Posted - 10/24/2020 :  8:41:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit railmus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A friend of mine asked me this.
"I am thinking of controlling the room lighting for my layout. I have three banks of lights(120v ac LEDs). I want to simulate day night operation just by brightness(not color changing)
I'm thinking of an arduino matched with a Crydom MCPC control module. I need to know if this is workable or am I using the wrong parts? Any help is appreciated. Mike B."

Country: Canada | Posts: 2007

Section Hand

Posted - 10/25/2020 :  2:32:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I just looked up what you're considering using. SSR's are basically on/off devices, like any relay. In my humble opinion, they would not work too well for dimming LEDs unless you strobed them at different rates for different light levels. That might work but I would worry about the life cycle of the SSRs as well as the LEDs possibly flashing at, or a harmonic of, the cycle rate, which might end up being visible to the eye. I have track lighting installed for my layout lighting and I am using standard light dimmers because I don't mind turning a knob or two now and then. I get that you probably want to automate that operation but the MCPC modules are serious overkill for this application. Their minimum current rating is 25 Amps, which is far more than what you will need for three banks of LEDs.

I have 7 tracks of three LED bulbs each and at 60 W lighting, but with only 10 W power used for each bulb, I could run all seven off one dimmer.

I visited a layout here in town a few years back and he used a DCC decoder to run a small motor and bell crank arrangement to move the sliders on some slide dimmers. That was before LED bulbs but it worked without having to manually move the dimmers. Just another thought.


The V & T lives in my garage (soon)

Country: USA | Posts: 92 Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic: looking for builder of Fast Track turnout Topic Next Topic: Chuck Diljaks Wyoming Valley Railroad  
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