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Prototypic dwarf signals in HO

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  • Prototypic dwarf signals in HO

    I need a half-dozen dwarf signals for locations like entering single track from double against the direction of traffic, yard exits etc. Post-WWII the B&M generally used SA-style single head dwarfs. There's a cast metal kit (originally Century's), but I had been looking at NJ International's 129x dwarfs and today I bought a pair (1295s). The problem is, their LEDs are single color, and I want red/green. The factory LED doesn't come out with just a little tugging, so I'm asking if anyone knows how to take them apart without destroying them?

    If not, I'll post my results in a few days [:-propeller]
    James


  • #2
    James, If you have craftsman in your blood, make your own dwarf signals from styrene; [:-idea] http://www.nyx.net/~jpurbric/railroads/dwarfs/

    Unless you drill out the single color LED and then replace it with a red/green, there isn't much you can do at this point. NJ International does list there dwarf signals as single colors. They come as Red, Green or Amber.






    Louis L&R Western Railroad
    Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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    • #3
      Interesting, Louis: John Purbrick is an old friend from my TMRC days. That method will certainly work, I was just hoping I could substitute money for time on this sub-project, so I'd have more time for the signal controls...

      [edit] And no criticism of NJI; I knew I was buying single-color LEDs, the packaging was clear enough.
      James

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      • #4
        Closure on this; last night I dunked an NJI #1295 "Dwarf Signal - SA Type" in acetone:



        The paint came off in less than 30 seconds, revealing a nice 2-part investment cast brass head. A little gentle prying and pulling on the LED with needlenose pliers re-kitted it. This morning's project is to ID the LED package used and see if I can get a bi-color to replace the original. This may take a while as none of the first two Google pages on "led package type" show this, though I've seen it sold.
        James

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        • #5
          James,

          Try here: http://www.digikey.com/product-searc...0&keywords=led

          It shows top results of an LED search on Digi Keys website. Another one to try is Jameco and Mouser.

          Bernd
          New York, Vermont & Northern Rwy. - Route of the Black Diamonds

          Main thread to all that's happening on the NY,V & N Rwy. The New York, Vermont -and- Northern Rwy. - Railroad Line Forums (railroad-line.com)

          New York, Vermont -and- Northern Rwy HOn30 Quarry Line https://railroad-line.com/node/31167

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          • #6
            More closure: I got red/green 1.8 mm LEDs that fit in the lens opening and housing here:

            http://www.led-switch.com/1.8mm%20LED.htm



            30 ga. Kynar wire soldered to the stubs of the cut-off leads. I'd have needed magnification to do this even when I was 18. But now I feel confident about making street lamps using Microlumina or Ngineering surface mount kits.
            James

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            • #7
              Nice.

              For We Who are Ignorant: What's "Kynar" wire, and where does one find this?

              Thanks.

              Pete

              in Michigan

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              • #8
                It's a trade name for this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvinylidene_fluoride I don't know if you've ever done wire wrap (I've both configured computers and wired parts of my layout with it), but it's standard for that. It's a thin, tough insulation that stands up to being threaded through rough openings in brass tube fairly well.
                James

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                • #9
                  This is what an NJI #1296 red/green 2-light dwarf looks like after an acetone soak and a little wiggling.



                  In B&M interlockings, these were equivalent to the bottom two searchlight heads on a 3-head mast home signal. For my application, I'll try filing another of the 1.8 mm red/green LEDs down to fit in place of the green (upper). I'll leave the red (lower) LED soldered in place.
                  James

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                  • #10
                    Interested in these signals but I don't work on my trains in the summer to much other stuff to do!! really like the con concept


                    Mark from ohio

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                    • #11
                      James, they look nice. I've been following your posts on your signaling and am envious as you can use the single lens signal. Being a pennsy guy I'll be using PRR position lights. Fortunately Oregon Rail Supply makes great looking PRR signals, but I need the PRR drawfs. I believe the only people who make them are Integrated Signal Systems, but from what I hear, they are pricy! Does anyone know of anyone else who makes them? Or better yet, and info out there on anyone trying to scratch build them.
                      Mark

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                      • #12
                        Mark, this ISS catalog says the assembled PRR dwarf is $21.75 but the castings are only $3.25.

                        http://beta2.integratedsignalsystems...010Catalog.pdf

                        Elsewhere on the site he says he's got a 3-4 month backlog.
                        James

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                        • #13
                          I never saw the catalog. Thanks for that link James!
                          Mark

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                          • #14
                            After burning up a number of 1.8 mm red/green LEDs, I pondered a bit. My relay-based signaling scheme http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=45342 wants bi-color LEDs but I can simplify the aspect logic by limiting the single head dwarfs to red/yellow (Stop/Call On) and not making any promises about occupancy as you enter signaled track. You phoned the towerman to get the switch thrown in the first place, didn't you?

                            I can't get 1.8 mm LEDs in red/yellow, but www.led-switch.com offers 3 mm (T-1) in modelers' quantities. So I tried building a couple of styrene dwarfs per John Purbrick's directions that Louis linked to:



                            The left signal (base installed) was built per John's directions. The right only has one layer of .020 styrene on the housing. Aside from me thinking it looks better, applying the 2nd layer of styrene was problematic: If I got solvent cement on the bent part of the 1st, it broke. I had 5 failures to 1 success, but if I make another attempt, I'll try tube model airplane cement for the 2nd piece.
                            James

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                            • #15
                              Both are nice looking signal heads, and yes, I agree yours looks more streamline. Keep at it and I'm sure you'll get that nice signal head you look for.


                              Louis L&R Western Railroad
                              Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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