many times I have seen at Ebay 1:87 trucks with lights. They look amazing, with front, rear and side lights. Unfortunately they are designed to be connected to a 16 V transformer.
In the other hand, I have also seen "Faller Car system" vehicles lighted. Obvioulsy these models have rechargeable batteries to run the motor and lights.
Then I would like to have one of these Car System, with internal Accu batteries, but without motor. Anyone experienced in electronics? Would it be very difficult to do that in a 1:87 truck or 1/87 bus?
First a battery cell is 1.5 volts. Many different small batteries are available for watches, cameras, etc. You want one that is 1.5 volts.
I would use a led, which operates at 1.5 volts and draws a very small amount of amperage. Use one white or clear led and fiberoptics to direct the light to the various areas you want light.
I picture a very simple circuit of battery, switch, bulb (led) and back to the battery..
Holes would have to be drilled in the model for the fiberoptics to be used. If you wanted various colors, the end of the fiberoptic would have to be dyed at the bulb end. Various sizes of fiberoptic cable are available.
Probably the biggest problem would be finding an off/on switch small enough. You could make a simple slide switch out of a metal rod and a couple of pieces of metal tubing.
Use LEDs and fiber optics (use a flat blade on a soldering iron to make a rounded end on the "bulb" end of the fiber optic strand). You could power "white", yellow and red LEDs for the appropriate lights, depending on how crazed you want to be. You might need to use a couple of watch batteries to provide the necessary voltage and current.
I believe the micro-switches used on PC boards will handle enough current to use for switching the lights on and off.
Building a better 1:87 scale world: one model at a time.
I've been doing a little experimenting with fibre optic filaments recently and here are the results. public.fotki.com/stryper50/1/misc/fibreoptic3.html Several notes: fibre optic material is rather fragile, it will not take a sharp bend. The light emitted gets brighter, the closer you place the filament to a 90° angle to the light source. If you hold the end of the filament to a flame, it mushrooms and gives a larger lit surface at the viewing end. I still have the issues of light source (I simply used a flashlight), battery/power source for light and switching. More as time allows.
Many of the amazing lighted vehicles, especially on that giant tourist attraction in Germany, use a special "chip" for turning on lights, etc. Similar to the chips used in the Model Railroad DCC system. Codes are sent over the track in the DCC systems and the chip in the locomotive or railcar picks it up and turns the lights on and off. The ones in cars use the same principle but radio waves to carry the codes to the receiving chip.
Faller Car System vehicles are especially adaptable to this extra chip and lighting system as they already have battery power on board.
This information in addition to the many methods discussed in this thread. This is the most flexible system; and, the most expensive too.
Different chips are available for busses, trucks or autos.
Last Edit: Jul 23, 2012 5:00:34 GMT 1 by swampdaddy
I was wondering the same thing after watching some videos of Miniature wonderland. The cars on the faller car system are set up like you said swampdaddy, but I was wondering what they do for the many static cars with lights. I.e. are they hardwired or battery. The car system vehicles drive themselves to a charging station to recharge the onboard batteries, but the non-moving cars obviously can't. Then I was wondering about fiber-optic versus micro LED. Everything Ive seen on Miniwonderland says they use SMD LED's and I've never seen mention of fiber optic. That would mean an LED at each light location. Anyway I want to try it out but was wondering if anyone here had yet....