Budget LED Wiring For Your Model Railroad
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Budget LED Wiring For Your Model Railroad

August 17, 2019

if you want to light up your model
railroad and you’re on a budget you’re gonna want to watch this in a previous
video I showed you how to use an Arduino Nano to light up your model railroad now
I’m going to show you what wires you could use on there and the LEDs that you
could use on there I have some other videos that are related to this as far
as soldering SMD LEDs and taking apart a wall wart which is a big part of this
video right here so let’s get started with it right now in another video I
tore apart a wall wart we got these wires from there it’s called magnet wire
and you got two coils inside the one coil it is like hair thin which is no
good for what we need on here but this other coil of wire is approximately 24
gauge wire and it’s nice and strong the only thing is you have to scrape off the
insulation on here now I did the video on it about tearing apart the AC wall
warts you may have different size wires on your wall wart coils based on the
voltage of the wall wart so keep that in mind you can find very inexpensive wall
warts at your local thrift store I got mine for about 50 cents apiece now what
I’m using here is the magnet wire on there for the SMD LEDs and here’s one
that I already made up and I scratched off the ends of it but let me show you
how we work this here what I want to do is measure out about it 12 inches of it I just set it up over here and cut off
just a little bit over 12 inches about 12 and a half inches and what we have to
do is scrape the edges of it to get the insulation off of it now this is it’s
kind of hard to get off and I’d do it two different ways I use the exacto
blade and you got to turn this thing over to get both sides of it and try to
get as many angles on it as you can like this turn it just a little bit that way
and then turn it back this way and then these finger nail files Dollar Tree you
get a whole stack of them for a dollar and you could what I do is just turn it
in there hold the hold two of them together and just use the the sandpaper
on there to clean it off a little and this usually does the trick on there and
then you do the other side the same way scrape it off with the exacto blade now they do make magnet wire where you
don’t have to scrape off the insulation and I’m going to show you that in a
little bit here that I bought some it comes from the manufacturers Remington
and I showed you on a previous video we saw during a 30 gauge wire to the SMD
LEDs I just purchased some 24 gauge wire and it’s about seven dollars for a
hundred foot of it and you can get it in you know different foot footage rolls
that I got about a hundred foot of it for seven dollars and I’ll show you that
next but the coating on the wire is actually flux when it melts it’s
actually flux so when you put the iron up up against it it melts turns in the
flux and then you could solder your wires together okay so let’s get the
meter over here okay that’s this one here so what I do
is I just take the meter on both ends of this to make sure we’ll put it on the
audible let’s see we got we got a continuity on there but not very good we
could maybe just send right here yeah descend right here maybe we could
do a little bit more work on it so just come over here with the sandpaper and
just hit it a couple more times until okay that’s good right there so that’s
what we do with the wire we do both of them and then we twist them together now
we got the two wires ready we’ll all we need to do is just twist them together a
little bit now I’ve seen people do this in a drill but you don’t want them you
don’t want to get it too tight I mean you could do it in a drill but it’s
going to make it really tight so I just come down and I just twist it together
like this and that’s all you need just to hold the two wires together okay and there we go I got two more of these and
I’ll show you what I did so far with these other ones I made up four of them
and I got the SMD LEDs on there and then on the other end what I did was tested
them and the wire that I used for these other ones that I have these ones right
here i soldered wire on the end of them i
soldered wire on the end of these right here and this is heat shrink on this is
black and yellow heat shrink because the insulation from the black wire won’t go
over that but i use the insulation from the black wire on here just slid it over
top of the negative lead so whenever we go to hook this up I know which lead is
negative and if I have to cut this shorter we’ll just strip it down a
little bit and scrape it like we did the other one and then just take the
insulation and move it down to where we we need it but this is what we’re going
to be using on the building’s we’re going to be using the SMD LEDs on here
now these are warm I think these are warm white that I showed you in another
video and all these things that I’m showing you here I did in another video
at one point or another now I’m putting them into use in the buildings and this
this type right here is going to be the kind that I use for the arc welder it’s
a it’s a real small one and actually it’s it’s coated so what I did was I cut
the coating off of it but that’s another video right there but this one here
we’re gonna make up about 12 of these so that’s what we have so far we have to
work on a little bit more of the wiring and let me show you the Remington wire
that is already is ready to solder now here’s a spool of the remington wire
that I was telling you about it’s 26 gauge and you can see it’s red it comes
in assorted colors and it’s magnet wire and like I said before all you have to
do is heat this up and the insulation that
is coding this is actually flux so you don’t need flux when you’re soldering it
to your SMD LEDs and it comes in different gauges I showed you on a
previous video I use some 30 gauge but I but this 26 gauge here it’s a little bit
heavier I got this at Amazon and I think you can order directly from Remington –
I’m not quite sure but I got it through Amazon when I get it through Amazon I
get it a lot quicker these LEDs right here are from something
that I got at Michaels there was a long string of a series of LEDs and they had
a little box where you could put a battery in there and they flash and do
all kind of things you buy these after Christmas and you can get them for a
couple of bucks these are the LEDs that I used on my welding sketch that I have
right back here that anyway on here I soldered a little bit heavier wire on it
because this is kind of flimsy wire on it it’s maybe 28 gauge or so so I put 22
gauge wire on the bottom of it I soldered on it and then I like I said
before I put the shrink wrap on it and you can get this at spools of this I
have six different colors of it I got it at Adafruit you can get it anywhere I
think they have them at Amazon also it’s a good thing to have this is solid wire
you could also get stranded wire but I preferred solid wire for this because
you could easily put this and this is why I did it because you could push
these into the breadboard real easily if you recall the SMD LEDs come in a little
tape like this right here and all you do is just remove the cover on there and be
careful with it because if should there’s some LEDs in the carpet
someplace that you know bounced off of here and went down there now I never
found that anyway be careful with it you just take them off one by one just peel
this thing back whenever you need a LED and just drop it onto your your
bitch but you get a hundred of them for six bucks and I bought another package
of them this one is warm white and this just is plain white so I could vary the
the colors on there and you could also take some acrylic paint and put a light
coating on there to change the color if you need to change the color on these
things and I’ll show you how to do that in it later on here’s the packaging of
those like teardrop it are called rice lights they’re originally $7.99 but I
got them at Michael’s after Christmas not this past Christmas but the year
before for about a couple of bucks they’re very inexpensive after Christmas
and if you’re intimidated by SMD lights I got these at Walgreens after Christmas
I finally got them about two dollars a box
so for 50 LEDs two bucks for 50 LEDs and I already disassembled one of them you
know it’s the Christmas tree lights and all you do is just all you do is remove the LEDs from the
string it’s a little work and you’ll notice on about every four or five of
them there will be a little resistor on each one of the LEDs but you could use
these anywhere and I’ve used these in projects already and so I have about 200
clear LEDs that cost me two four six eight eight dollars and then these these
right here were two dollars I got two packages I used one package already and
here’s the other one and the inside here there’s a little battery pack that you
could also use that for lighting up something that’s remote if you just want
to do it every once in a while you put some batteries in it turn the switch on
you got five volts for you lighting if you’re intimidated by the SMD lights you
can get these after Christmas or you can get a whole package of assorted colors
for about seven bucks on Amazon and I have the link down in the description
I’ve used those to you know get them in a nice little thing and I think there’s
200 LEDs in there of assorted colors you got clear red blue green yellow now I
showed you in a previous video that we’re using the Nano on a circuit board
and I’m using a DF player mini on it but you don’t have to do that if you don’t
want to sound associated with your building lights but you could do it with
a nano and you can get about three of the nanos I got three of these nanos for
about eleven bucks on Amazon or if you prefer something larger a legume you get
two uno and I got this I think it was about ten bucks on Amazon for the a
Lagoo uno and it just like the Arduino Uno but less expensive but I’ve had
pretty good luck with everything from a Lagoo these nanos are from a Lagoo also
so take a look into that that’s a very inexpensive way to light up you
or model railroad with the wall wart wire or if you prefer not to work so
hard you can get this from Remington and you don’t have to scratch off all the
insulation on the wall wart wire but anyway you could put it on a circuit
board like this you could use these connectors or if you don’t want to you
could solder the wires directly on here you put your resistors on here but on
future ones I’m going to use all sip resistors on or instead of using the
regular resistors on there for the LEDs as usual everything that I talked about
in my videos if there’s a link or anything else you could find that in the
description and sometimes if it’s a video you’ll see it in the info boxes up
there so until the next time we’ll see Ya


  • Reply john roelle January 12, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Nice Tom! Keep up the good work!

  • Reply MidnightMoon-Chad January 12, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks for the tips on the wire. Great video.

  • Reply Larry Fowell January 12, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    on the nano from elegoo, I found you needed a driver downloaded from them to get them to work on the sketch Once you get that they work great

  • Reply Carp Andrei January 12, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    The wire guage scales up with the current output. The bigger the output current, the thicker the wire.

    Another tip with the regular magnet wires: I use a wider soldering tip (like a Hakko D24, for example), melt a big blob of SnPb rossin core soldering alloy and then slowly insert the tip of the magnet wire into the blob. This usually destroys the enamel insulation layer. To get the job done I usually set the soldering tip temperature to 300 degrees Celsius.
    Anyway, I'd like to thank you for a great video. Always a pleasure to watch your videos!

  • Reply M&M Rails January 13, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Geez Tom! You’ll be landing planes once all those 1,000 LED lights are installed. “This is flight 207, I’m having a hard time seeing the runway. I’m thinking of landing by a bridge next to a… welder? Is that guy welding?”

  • Reply Frank Whittle January 15, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Try e/bay Tom for mixed LED's £2.69 for 500 approx $3 and free postage from China. Might cost more to USA due to trade war.

  • Reply Joe G January 16, 2019 at 12:24 am

    That Remington wire with the flux on it is a great idea

  • Reply Toronto Transit Vlogs January 20, 2019 at 12:04 am

    Have you ever heard of adafruit

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