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Coach Lighting The Easy Way...
#1
I don't know if you guys have seen or heard of this product, but Hornby have recently released what they describe as 'Mag Lights' (I know its also a brand of torches Confused )

Anyway basically what the product does is to give you an easy way to illuminate the interiors of the Hornby 4 or 6 wheeled coaches.  While this is a great thing for HO/OO modellers like me, the convenient thing is those coaches are about the same size as the normal Tomy coaches so should be ideally compatible with those as well!

The kit consists of a small strip of LED's connected to a small circuit board that contains a magnetic reed switch which is also connected to a small holder for a button cell battery (CR2016 I think by the size/thickness of it).  You also get a plastic brick that has a magnet embedded in the bottom of it.

Basically you fit the LED's to the roof of the carriage and then place the circuit/battery at one end of the carriage.  Then when you pass the magnet over the part of the coach with the circuit board it will turn the LED's on or off.

You may think the button cell would be too puny, but it is claimed that the battery can power the LED's for around 100 hours of lighting, which in the scheme of things would last quite a long time unless you leave them on by mistake.  I suppose it could also be possible to replace the button cell holder with a dual AAA or similar holder instead if you wanted longer.

Anyway here's some shots of the product parts and a small video showing how they turn on/off, enjoy!

[Image: IMG-20211126-161108.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20211126-161253.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20211126-161337.jpg]



Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#2
That is cool. I like the idea of the magnet turning them on and off. Wonder how close the magnet has to get to that Reed Switch to activate it. At $19us a bit steep to run in several Plarails. Wonder if any magnet will work then they could sell the set without a magnet for a little less and sell the magnets separately. Thanks Nigels
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#3
I know what you are saying about the cost, but it is a unique type of product and frankly I don't think removing the magnet would make that much difference to the cost, they are probably only pennies.  Over here they are £12,99 currently, and longer term are likely to drop in price a bit, but still quite expensive if you got a big rake of coaches.
Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#4
It is a great idea though, especially for those who have no experience with wiring and soldering who wish they had some coaches with lights. I think if I had some I would work out a bracket or something where I didn't have to permanently stick the LED strip inside the Coach. That way it could be transferred to other Coaches when the need arises. Still would like to know how close or far away the magnet has to be to turn the lights on and off....hmmm...wonder if there is a Reviewer with a video on it.

Ha....I just got it...Maglight.....short for, Magnet Light....Ha  Shy
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#5
The magnet doesn't have to be that close, I reckon if for example you had a tunnel if you mounted one of those powerful little magnets on the entrance/exit you could use those to turn the lights on as they go into and come out of the tunnel...  To a degree it all depends on where you mount the small circuit board.
Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#6
I guess that however close the magnet needs to be, its better than having to manually use a switch on each coach to turn off and on.
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#7
Well it means you don't have to cut the chassis/bodywork either which means they can be converted back if you want to sell them on.  Also look at the other opportunities, while you have it apart you could add some glazing to the windows for PlaRail carriages that don't have it (most in my experience), maybe even add some interior detail or some people or whatever.  The world is your oyster and think how impressive it would look on your youtube channel if you did have lit carriages that others can't buy lol!
Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#8
On a similar though different theme, I came across these the other day. 20 LEDs on a 2m long copper wire powered by two button cells. All the rage for Xmas table decor in my local pub. Available in a range of colours for less than £2 per piece. Also a range of different lengths starting from 1m with 10 LEDs.

[Image: image.png]
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#9
If you could find some way to turn them on/off easily they could possibly be fitted inside coaches as well I guess, if not they would be fine inside buildings and stuff on a layout Smile
Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#10
There's a little black on/off switch on the battery pack, next to where the wire comes out.

[Image: image.png]
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#11
Thanks Dr Chris, I hadn't seen those that use the button cell batteries. Found some very cheap at Amazon and noticed they had Cyber Monday sale for the button battery's 10 for $5 so I grabbed a couple of those too. The wire lights I have now are way to long, 20 feet and even though they have a remote and different lighting settings they use a big battery pack that takes 3 AA's.   I bought a couple 6 packs of the button cell wire lights that are only 7 feet long much closer to what I have in my mind. Just over $9  for each 6 pack and comes with 12 Button batterys too. So for $28 I got 12 7 foot lighting packs with 44 button cells. woohoo Shy
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#12
(11-30-2021, 10:09 AM)chrisjo Wrote: There's a little black on/off switch on the battery pack, next to where the wire comes out.

I meant more to turn them on and off without having to open up the carriage or having the switch/battery on the outside.  I suppose you could drill a small hole in the bottom of the carriage so you could get access to the switch with a pen tip or something...  Worth investigating as a cheaper option.  I'll have to look into the magnetic reed switches, I bet some enterprising little man from the far east probably sells those little control boards that come with the Hornby lights Smile
Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#13
Hmmm...hope we kind find that fellow...it just occurred to me  that...it would be neat to add some kind of animation on say a station (llights) or switch point that a train, with a magnet attached would turn on or off some action when passing by. Big Grin
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#14
As it happens I did a bit of mooching around Amazon last night, found some sellers with normal magnetic reed switches and magnets.  Thinking about it if you bust out the switch from those sets of lights you're getting and wired the two poles of the reed switch in place of the switch all you'd need to do is figure out a place to put the magnet where it keeps the reed switch closed. 

A typical reed switch is 'open' (i.e. off), when you put a magnet near it the switch closes (i.e. on), although you can get some who work in the opposite manner.  I should imagine the way the hornby board works is to use the activation of the reed to turn an electronic switch on or off each time the magnet activates it.  As we don't have that board we'd need to keep the switch in a closed postition all the time you want the lights on.  The way I'd approach it would be to fit a small piece of metal inside the body of the coach along with the reed switch and then you could probably place a suitable small magnet on the outside of the coach.  That should then stay in place due to the attraction to the metal plate and in turn keep the reed turned on while its in place.  Sensibly you'd put the reed on the bottom of the inside of the coach and stick the magnet underneath the coach.  If you get some of those powerful little Neodymium magnets they should be more than up to the job.

As for a light going on when a train approaches, you could if you got a two pole reed switch have it display say a red LED by default when there is no magnet near it and then when a magnet comes close switch it to the other pole and turn off the red LED and turn on a green LED for example (think here stop lights on a layout).
Happily collecting things all my life... Big Grin
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#15
[Image: very-excited-smiley-emoticon.gif]

Good news....at least for me...both of the wire LED light strings can be cut to fit without fail or re-wiring.

The 7 foot long Button Battery pack as well as the 20 foot long AA pack, Remote Controlled one. Perfect for adding somewhere that looks better with a perfect fit without much trouble or modification.

[Image: IMG-1118.jpg]

[Image: IMG-1121.jpg]
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