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LED Light testing How-to & Homemade testers
Posted by desertdrover On 03/19/2018 At 3:45:11 PM
There are many questions from Forum members on how do I test an LED. Here are four (4) How-to ways to accomplish this task. Depending on your needs or skills these are some pretty simple ways to get the job done. Starting 1: with a Digital Multimeter, 2: using 9 Volt battery with 1K Ohm resistor in-line homemade tester, 3: using two (2) double ďAĒ batteries, or 4: a nifty little gadget from Ngineering using a Nine (9) volt battery with a circuit board with installed resistors for testing LEDís.
Starting with the use of a Digital Multimeter, connect the Black test lead to the COM jack and the Red test lead to the Note that the polarity of the Red test lead is ď+Ē).
Set the meter Function switch to the range (see picture below) and connect the test leads across the diode/LED. If the LED does not light, switch your red and black leads on the LED. When the LED lights whatever black lead clip is on your LED leads will be your (-) Neg. Cathode lead and that is where your resistor will be placed when installing into your Locomotive, Rail Critter, Structures or any LED lighting situation.

Second method using a homemade 9 Volt battery with 1K Ohm resistor in-line homemade tester. Get a set of red and black wires on a 9 volt battery snap on clip, and place an LED holder, or red and black alligator clips, on the other end of the red and black wires. Place a 1K Ohm resistor in-line on the black wire. To test an LED, place the LED into the LED holder, or use your alligator clips, and again if it lights, note what lead the black wire goes to on the LED leads, and that is your (-) Neg. Cathode lead and where your resistor is attached.

Third method using a double ďAĒ battery case with two (2) double ďA batteries homemade tester. Attach a set of red and black alligator clips to the battery case red and black wires. (No resistor needed for this tester) Connect your LED to the tester clips and again, if it lights, note what lead the black wire goes to on the LED leads, and that is your (-) Neg. Cathode lead and where your resistor is attached for when you install it into your locomotive decoders White (Forward) or Yellow (Reverse) light leads.

The last LED tester is a device made by Ngineering, Part #N8021, for testing LEDís, nothing more than the same as your homemade second tester using a nine (9) volt battery and resistor. This device already has a resistor installed into a circuit board with nice convenient attachment clips for your LED leads. And same as all the other testers, the black lead shows your (-) Neg. Cathode lead and where your resistor gets attached prior to installation.

Also posed into the DCC, Computers and Electronics for Model Railroads
"Natural" Porch Posts
Posted by TC On 03/17/2018 At 11:14:13 PM
I'm looking for some creative ideas on how to model (in 1:87 scale) porch posts similar to the ones in this photo by Dorothea Lange (found at this Wiki link) taken by her in Gordonton, North Carolina. Anyone have thoughts on how to approach it?

Another Photo Run-By at the F&SM RR
Posted by halrey On 03/17/2018 At 6:36:57 PM
Well, I made another photo run-by at the F&SM RR two days ago. George has replaced some of the older buildings that had been built in a rush with some new structures. The restaurant with the pawn shop are a Downtown Deco kit, while the other 2 are scratch built. The fish company bldg. covers a turnout motor.
Always new improvements every time I stop by, got to love it!


Grandt Line Closing
Posted by GregW66 On 03/14/2018 At 12:55:38 PM
I got a tip on Facebook that Grandt Line is closing. Hoping to get the word out so someone might pick their line up.
Larena's Railroad Hotel
Posted by Adamantish On 03/12/2018 At 10:15:15 AM
Hi everyone. I intend to build this kit as my first craftsman kit. It doesn't look too complicated from a construction standpoint. I went to a local train show this past weekend looking for some kits under $20 and picked up this Muir Models kit. I have no idea how old it is. 1980? 1970? I did a quick box check before I bought it and all of the major wall pieces were still in a sealed bag. Somehow, I neglected to notice the instructions are missing. Oops. I don't suppose anyone has this kit in their collection, or maybe you've built it, and could share some photos of the instructions or completed kit? I think I can build it with or without the instruction but I'm sure they'd be helpful.

One of the reasons I think it's buildable without the instructions, all the walls, windows and door openings are pre-scribed. The biggest challenge will be figuring out where the small bundle of strip wood goes. I got all of the walls cut out yesterday.

I'm thinking about mocking up a dormer on the front left, and maybe 2 on the back. If this is a hotel it seems like it should have more usable space on the second floor.

I'll post more photos as I move it along.

Photos of my favorite builds
Posted by Graffen On 03/09/2018 At 2:44:33 PM
Some of my favorite builds in HO/HOn3.

Coach in HOn3

Combine in HOn3

Caboose in HOn3

Boxcar HOn3

Paper model scratchbuilt.

Miller & sons diorama.

Station close up.


20 t Shay in HO

Bi-level station

Gas station

Leadville building in HO

Modified Lindbergh tug in HO

Weathered brass C-19 in HOn3

FSM engine house for HOn3

Scratchbuilt paper model in HO

Roundhouse for HOn3

Sierra Hotel in HO

Detailed and weathered Swedish Sb locomotive in HO. (Tenshodo)

Drugstore in HO

Store in HO

Auhagen building

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 Posted By: Bob Taylor 
Great site!!!
Im modeling a freelance Sp layout
28x33 thats just about ready to landscape, so it's a long way from the standard shown on your site. But getting there is half the fun.
Cheers Bob t.
Signed: 4/23/2011 5:58:46 AM
Great, great, great. Great help for a U.S. model RR overseas.
Signed: 3/1/2011 12:03:26 PM
 Posted By: Dennis 
Great site!
Thanks for the willingness to share.
I am tracing my family tree and am searching for NAR employee list/staff.
I have a great uncle who was a chef with a railroad gang and in 1940 was somewhere between Rycroft,Arras, and Edmonton.
George McInnis. Don't know if his work took him to the Alaska Highway build, Canol road, or where.
Anyone have any clues for me to search for staff or employee lists?
Thanks again
Signed: 2/22/2011 12:04:17 AM
 Posted By: marioscd 
I have discovered this site/forum some days ago and now I'm not able to exit from it!!! It is absolutely amazing! Thanks to all the great model makers that shows fantastic pictures and suggestions.

Mario Scuderi
Signed: 2/8/2011 3:30:45 PM
 Posted By: Dawn Carol Goshorn 
I came across the site by accident and was THRILLED to see the RR models for the Shirleysburg area. My Dad grew up in the Shirleysburd/ My Union area as did his dad and his dad befor that. My great-grandfather worked for EBT and the only picture I ever saw of him was of that of him standing by an engine. I love the work (though I've always loved model trains). Thanks you guys for bringing this all back to life!
Dawn Goshorn
Signed: 1/16/2011 10:34:22 AM
 Posted By: Frank DeBonis 
Stumbled on this site and saw my January 1989 RMC cover shot of Phil Chiavetta's layout. Haven't thought about that for a long time. Thanks for the memories!
Signed: 1/8/2011 9:31:03 AM
 Posted By: UNCLE BOB 
Signed: 1/5/2011 9:10:22 PM
 Posted By: paul zeigler 
I look forward to making a contribution hopefully and learning a great deal in the process. A question: is there any information as to the steps to the installation of manual switch mechanisms? As a novice, I seem to be at aloss as to how to set them up. Paul
Signed: 12/13/2010 7:07:51 PM
 Posted By: Joe Giacchino 
i saw Dr. patti's layout and it is highly detailed and accurate. must have taken years to complete .
Signed: 12/1/2010 10:23:04 AM
 Posted By: Pennman 
Hi ya'all...
I have been reading the forums for quite some time, and am very impressed with everyone's entries here! So, I decided to join as a member. I will show you all what I am about, once I progress a little more on my current scratchbuild project.
Signed: 10/8/2010 10:31:17 AM
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