N scale waterfront structures

Sheldon has been back in touch – he’s added some N scale waterfront structures to his layout.

If you missed his earlier post and want to get up to speed, it’s here: Kato F3 engines n scale.

“Hi Alastair

How about a little up date.

The flag issue was corrected immediately…

New waterfront was a fun project. Of interest please note the two story out house at the beach.

Please keep up your good work…


model railroad plane

n scale waterfront structures

n scale waterfront structures

n scale waterfront structures

A big thanks to Sheldon for sharing his n scale waterfront structures. I’m always reminded of Brian’s layout whenever there is a water on a layout: HO scale water dock.

HO scale water dock

Now on to Steve:

“Hi Al,

You recently posted an idea I sent called “Night Light”. It contained a small circuit. Somehow, a connection in the diagram was lost in transit, and some text was misplaced. My apologies for that.

Here is the corrected post.

Here is a little circuit that some folk may want to use to automatically illuminate LED’s when the room lights are turned off ( ie night running).


The circuit is a simple transistor, which is held OFF in normal light. If the light goes dark, the transistor bias changes, so that the transistor turns ON. This is achieved by a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR).

led wiring diagram

By adjusting the output to 1.5volts, there is no need for any series resistor to the LED’s. If a higher output voltage is required (eg 12volts), then something like a 1000 ohm resistor would be required between the bank of LED’s, and the Neg.

I tested the circuit with two common transistors, attempting to achieve an output of 1.5 volts, to illuminate a bank of 5 x leds. I would expect that many more led’s could be connected (be aware that each led takes 10-20mA from the power supply). The table below shows the values discovered:

Transistor Pos R1 output

2N3055 5v 15000 ohms (15k) 1.5v

2N3055 12v 33000 ohms (33k) 1.5v

BC547 5v 10000 ohms (10k) 1.5v

BC547 12v 47000 ohms (47k) 1.5v

The values shown for R1 are approximate. R1 should be a potentiometer (or trimpot), so that the output can be adjusted more accurately (simply use a trimpot at least 2 times the values above). All parts are readily available from ebay etc, or electronics retailers. The 2N3055 is a power transistor, and the bc547 is a small typical size (500 mA). Both are around $AU 1.50.

Hoping this version is clearer.


Steve (Sydney)”

A big thanks to Sheldon and Steve.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you join in the fun, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More N scale layouts here if that’s your thing.

Got a model train question?

3 Responses to N scale waterfront structures

  1. Rich B. says:

    Electronic circuit mystery solved. Only thing I wonder is if a photo eye wouldn’t do same function with just 2 leads?

    N scale RR is done to perfection. Almost could care less about running trains as the makeup of entire project is more than enough for entertainment I’d say.

    R, regards

  2. Stephen Hill says:

    Amazing detail , especially considering that you’re working in N scale . Fantastic job! Really keen detail and realistic scenes , water is astounding , many envious readers today I’m sure , the water is hard to pin down , you have done a magnificent job .

  3. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice water scene, well done.

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