Voltage Regulation of lights:

**Note that this article was written using a linear regular which wastes a lot of power.  Your best bet is to replace the incandescent lights with LED and use the appropriate resistor.**

Aristocraft used 14v lights in their Heavyweights and run them directly off track power.  The problem with this is if you want to run a Digital Controlled with a constant track voltage that typically operate at 18-24v, the lights would be overdriven and burn out too quickly. 

You basically have 3 options:


This page has been updated to remove the old linear regular install photos and will replace with example LED install.


Diner car table LED illumination:

The Diner car table LEDs only light up at higher voltages (16-24v). (This is an issue as the stock overhead lights are 14v, so under normal conditions in order to get the table LEDs to illuminate, you have to overdrive the overhead lights.)

If you attempt to drive the original overhead lights (or LEDs) with a voltage regulator then you will need to install a jumper wire from one end of the car to the other so you can get full track power to the dining table lights and still have the more limited voltage to your LEDs or 14v lights.  (You can replace original incandescent bulbs with LEDs and not use a voltage regulator)


To remove the roof, Take the end of the car off as noted below:

Then unscrew the four screws holding the roof on.  These can be found in the area you just gained access to by removing the car end.  (These two screws can also be accessed with the end of the car on by using a long screw driver through the holes in the bottom of the car.)  Next you will likely need to pry the tab (that is connected to the roof and is inside the car) holding the center of the roof on with some sort of long screw driver.  (I wrapped a small flat-blade screwdriver onto the end of a long screwdriver with electrical tape.)  While bending the tab back, carefully pry the roof off. (This can sometimes be difficult.) 

Once off, de-solder the single power lead along the roof top that goes to the table lights and curl it back. 

Then solder another long wire lead to the connector and run the new wire along the roof top to the other end.  This wire lead will be used to tap into the track power connection and bypass the voltage regulator altogether.  Put the roof back on.

Here are pictures testing the table lights by jumping the connectors.

Repeat the process noted above to install the voltage regulation package with the exception of the extra lead wire that needs to be connected to the track power connector. 

If you want to install a voltage regulator on the Observation car you can install in the back under the roof.



Return to Garden Railroad Modification page.


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