Here is my ‘Tip of the Day’… or perhaps I should say ‘Tip of the NIGHT’.
Lighting your layout, especially for “night running” of trains brings a whole new dimension of excitement and joy to your modeling. Most people like the idea, but the comments I hear frequently are “I don’t know how”, or “it’s just too much trouble or work”, or “I don’t want to end up with a ‘rats nest’ of wiring to sort out”, or “I’m just too old and stiff to be crawling around under the layout”, etc…
Here is a simple way to solve ALL those concerns. Using LED’s for lighting, you only have to drill ONE (1) small hole for approximately every 400 sq feet of layout space full of lighting opportunities. Connect two wires from your power source through this hole to a simple “above board buss” line using 1/4 inch flat copper tape. This tape is readily available at most craft stores that sell Stained Glass materials. It is self-adhesive – just peel and stick – it will stick securely to just about anything, even rough grained plywood. It is ABSOLUTLY flat and can be covered instantly with buildings, scenery, etc.
Now just solder your LED lighting to the bus, set the structure in place and you’re done!
The copper tape is designed to accept solder readily and a small low wattage iron is all that is needed. Need to move a building somewhere else? A 10 second clip or un-solder and re-solder and you’re done.
Need to run branch lines down several different streets? Simple – the just lay another line of copper tape at a right angle and a quick drop of solder will connect the two pieces of copper tape electrically together.
Attached are photos of several LED lit structures on my layout using this system along with a short video of fun with “night running”
A huge thank you to Mark – it’s an excellent ‘how to’ – it’s no wonder Mark is in the Hall of Fame. You get in there by sharing stuff like this…
And don’t forget all the Hall of Fame members have contributed to the Beginner’s Guide ebook too.
That’s all this time folks. Please do keep ’em coming.
PS Latest ebay cheat here. Some nice deals about at the moment.