Railroad Line Forums - Greg Shinnie’s LED Goose Neck Lamp Tutorial
Railroad Line Forums
Save Password

Forgot Password?
  Home   Forums   Events Calendar   Sponsors   Support the RRLine   Guestbook   FAQ     Register
Active Topics | Active Polls | Resources | Members | Online Users | Live Chat | Avatar Legend | Search | Statistics
Photo Album | File Lister | File Library
[ Active Members: 0 | Anonymous Members: 0 | Guests: 66 ]  [ Total: 66 ]  [ Newest Member: RayH ]
 All Forums
 General Forums
 The Classroom
 Greg Shinnie’s LED Goose Neck Lamp Tutorial
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Topic Locked | 
Author Previous Topic: 3D Models to... Topic Next Topic: Walthers SW-1 Switcher conversion  


Premium Member

Posted - 01/12/2012 :  5:16:41 PM  Show Profile
Administrator's Note: This tutorial on how to build a goose neck lamp using LED's first appeared in Greg's (Ensign's)construction thread for Full Steam Ahead's "Blue Ridge Coal Co." That thread can be found at this link and is still open for comments/questions. http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=34882&whichpage=5

Okay as I mentioned earlier,I must start the lighting now of this tipple before I can start the roof.I believe, that a structure without lighting effects, is really a lost opportunity to add another layer of realism to your model.
So, as you should know by now,I do this with all of my structures.(I need all the help I can get)
I begin tonight with the steps needed to make up the several goose neck lights in the lighting of this kit, that I will use.
Also Due to the number of photo's needed to explain things,I will only tackle one aspect at a time.
The first thing we will use in the making of these goose neck lamps are these shades & escutcheons.

All of the parts that make up these lights, I purchased from www.ngineering.com or are also available from www.microlumina.com
I have no affiliation with either of these companies.
Now you must drill a hole into these parts using a #77 drill bit.
I place the lampshade on my finger tip and carefully drill a hole into it.

Don't worry, no fingers were hurt in the filming of this project.
After I had the shades done, I did the escutcheons.
For these I wrap a piece of masking tape around my finger tip, to help hold these little guys.

Now because these parts are small I keep them in a plastic snap shut case until ready to use them.

Next we will make up the goosenecks, using this stainless steel .018 tubing.
[shown here in the photo below.)

The first thing I do to this tubing is place it in a pin vise, one that allows you to pass the length of tubing right through it.
Like you see in this photo below.

You want to hold this tubing in a secure position while you flare the end of the tubing.
I do this using a thumb tac, I push the pointed end of the tac into the tubing and swirl it around.

You don't need a big flare, so just a gentle motion will do.
This flaring of the tube will hold the shade we drilled at the start, and keep it from slipping off.
Here is a photo showing how little of a flare you actually need.

After the tubing has been flared we are going to use this jig.Which you can purchase from either of the nice dealers mentioned earlier.
This jig will allow us to bend this tubing into a goose neck shape.

You begin by inserting the flared end we just made in between the first 2 pins in the jig. You also want to make certain that the flared end of the tube is touching the black line I have drawn on this jig.This line is equal to the bottom of the first pin.

You then start bending the tube around the second pin.Making certain that you are keeping everthing flat & even. Don't bend up.

You bend the tubing until you just clear the third pin hole, and then you pop that pin in place

You then bend the tubing back against the third pin, until you just clear the fourth pin hole.
You can then pop in the fourth & fifth pins in.

You now have a goose neck, just remove the last 2 pins you placed in and it will pop right out.

You then cut this from the rest of the tubing. Making certain you leave enough to work with.
The cutters crush the tubes ends, so you must use a dremil tool to clean up the ends again to allow the wires we still must feed in to pass through them.

We are now ready to install the shade & escutcheon too the goose neck. You will use a little tiny amount of 5 minute epoxy to secure the shade in place over your flaring.

You then slip the escutcheon on to the neck. you will glue this into place once it's on the building.

These will be painted once installed and we still have the LED's to hook up and feed the wires into this lamp. Which we will discuss next time.Here is how our first light looks again on the tipple.

I will now show you the micro super incandescent LED's we will be working with to complete the goose neck lights.

These things are tiny.

The package that these come in explains on the back everything you will need to know, to work with them.

You notice the triangle in the drawing of the back of the LED. This tells us that the pointed end of the triangle, is pointing at the - Cathode the + Anode is on the opposite side.Now the reason for the black carrier strip that these little LED's are in. It's due to the fact that the LED"s are static electrically sensitive devices.I personally have not had any problems with them being damaged by my handling of them.So I will not get into that aspect of LED's.
The other component we use in the making of these lights, is the #38 Magnet wire.

This wire is so fine, almost like a strand of hair.This fine wire will feed through our tubing that we made the goose neck out of.
But before we do that, we have a bunch of other steps to do.
The very first tool you are going to need is a soldering iron, that will get to 750-850 deg.F.
We need to do something called pre tinning of this wire.This #38 wire has a heat sensitive coating on it. So by using the soldering iron with some hot solder on the tip we remove this coating and tin the wires with solder.
This is the solder I am using for this task.

Now using scissors I cut four 6 inch lengths of the green & the red magnet wire.
I lay out a piece of masking tape on my bench and stick the wires to that.

I hold my soldering iron in a small clamp, that allows my hands to be free.

We heat the iron up, and we add a little solder on to the tip, so that we have a little bubble of hot solder sitting on the tip.

We then take a piece of the magnet wire that we have stuck on the tape.
And we dip the end of the wire into the hot solder.This process should only take a second no longer.

After we have done this it should come out looking like this.

This is how a perfectly tinned wire looks.(above)
If it stays in too long or your iron is not hot enough, it could come out looking like this.(below)

I do this to all of them on one end of the wire only, and stick back down on the tape.So we don't lose them.

Now that we have the wire ready we can start to solder the wire to the LED"s.
For this we need another soldering iron, These LED's are very heat sensitive. Too much heat and you will cook them and that is not what we want.The Maximum temperature/duration guidelines for soldering LED's is essentially 260 deg.C(500deg.F) for 2or3 seconds.
I use this 12 watt miniature soldering iron ( available from both dealers mentioned earlier)
Because it operates at temperatures closer to the guidelines for the LED's

Now I only open and remove one LED at a time.
I deposit it into this plastic lid with a piece of styrene glued into it.

Here it is laying upside down, displaying the little green triangle. Can you remember which side is the negative cathode on and which is the positive anode?

I flip the LED over so the positive anode is on the right side.

I then use this tool the NT301.

This tool is a must have for this kind of work.
It allows you to pick up & hold the LED in place while it also holds the magnet wire.

You basically want to grasp the LED touching the yellow plastic portion only. With part of the LED protruding from the clip the + anode end.

You then take your red wire and slip it between the other clip.And position it so it sit flat on the solder pad of the LED.You also want to overhang any extra tinned wire.

I touch this pad about to be soldered with a speck of solder paste.
And then add a bit of solder to the tip of the iron and touch it to the pad.Thus soldering the magnet wire to the pad.
I release the LED from the clip, spin it around and repeat this process using the green wire for the - cathode.

You want the smallest amount of solder on the pads. In this photo below, I did the right side with more solder then you would normally need. Remember we want this LED to sit snugly into the bottom of the shade.So the more on your solder pad the more it will stick out.

You then can test your work using this battery tester, that you can purchase from those fine dealers.

You are now ready to install the LED into the goose neck light. Twist the wires together in your fingers and then cut off the ends to make them even.Then you feed the wires into the shade end first. I use tweezers to grab the wire and feed it into the tubing.And when I see the wires poke out from the other end, I grab them using the same tweezers.This can be the most frustrating part of this entire job.

I then tin the ends of the wires and give it another test.

Finally I am ready to install & paint this light fixture.

And now the Magic can begin!

I hope this all made sense to you.
I plan on using 4 of these goose neck lights on this tipple alone.
I will show you how I deal with all of the wires on the inside next time.
And perhaps finish off those railings before someone hurts themselves.

It's time to finish off these lights we have been working on.
So as I mentioned before, my plan was to have 4 of these lights used on the tipple.
After I finished installing the lights into the tipple,it was time to hook them all up.
I wired the lights in series,which works out like this.You have 2 wires coming from each LED, a red one which is positive & a green one which is negative.
2 wires from each light 4 lights in total gives us 8 wires in total.
Now starting with any light you want, take the green wire and attach it to the next closest lights red wire.
Remember the ends of all of these wires have been tinned.
So when you gently twist them together you already have bare wire on bare wire.
You can then add some soldering paste where these bare wires touch, and solder them together with the soldering iron.
You now take the green wire from the second light and attach it too the red wire on the third light.
And repeat the soldering steps again.You now take the green wire from the third light and attach it to the red wire on the fourth and final light.
This should now leave you with a single red wire on the first light and a green single wire on the fourth light.
We now are going to hook those 2 wires on to this N8105 LED power distribution Jr. circuit board.(shown below)

This board will allow you to run up too 8 LED's 4 on the A side & 4 more on the B side.
You will also need an 18 volt power supply.I have a plug in 18 volt adapter which can also be purchased from either dealer.
There are many different ways you can wire this board up depending on your needs.I only need to attach those last 2 wires from the lights.
I hook up my power supply lines first and feed those wires down through the tipple elevator.
The solder pads I hook my wires up too, are layed out like this.The oval shaped pads you see are the + anode and the rectangular one beside it is the - cathode. So you will solder the remaining green wire to that pad. And the remaining red wire gets soldered to the oval pad.You can see this in the next photo.

I then dip my connections into a product called Liquid tape to cover over the exposed solder joints in the wires.It's the black clump you see in the next photo.

I am now ready to plug in the adapter to see how the lights look.

That completes the lights for this structure.

Country: USA | Posts: 32316


Premium Member

Posted - 01/17/2012 :  10:24:22 AM  Show Profile
ADDENDUM: (as added by Greg in this original thread)

I have been thinking of the wire feeding problem. It had taken me as long as 20 minutes to complete the task, and I agree that is too long.

So this got me thinking how I could do this faster.

And I came up with this while falling asleep last night. I do all of my best problem solving just before I fall asleep at night. Anyways, this is how I solved this problem.

Instead of twisting the 2 wires together and trying to feed them into this tubing at the same time. I found it's so much easier to twist the 2 wires together so one of them sticks out past the other by an inch or so.
See photo below.

It is also best not to feed wires into this tubing that have been tinned on the ends. You can tin them after you have them in place.

Another tip that helps me now get speedier results has to do with the feeding in of the wire. Grasp the wires using tweezers very close to where they are entering the tube. Less than a 1/16 of an inch and push the wire into the tube. You will find that this single wire goes in like a breeze.

Now when you get to the spot where the 2 wires are twisted together carefully feed the second wire into the opening and keep feeding the wire with the tweezers, while gently pulling on the single wire that has emerged.

Again, once you have the first single wire through, you still have to feed in the 2 wires using tweezers and little pushes.

I was able to feed these wires into the tube in less then a minute. A big improvement!

This stuff is so new to us I am certain we will all becoming up with many new ideas on working with these LED's.


Country: USA | Posts: 32316 Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic: 3D Models to... Topic Next Topic: Walthers SW-1 Switcher conversion  
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Topic Locked | 
Jump To:
Railroad Line Forums © 2000-2020 Railroad Line Co. Go To Top Of Page
Steam was generated in 0.2 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000