Wire resistor to model train lights problem

Gary has been in touch with a wire resistor to model train lights problem:

He had a problem with his LED’s that I post here, but…

“Gentlemen…..Please accept my apology for posting that request for help with the LEDs and Resistors.

I originally ask for help because when I set up an LED bulb with two resistors in series (combined ohm of 1.5 ohms) in order to dim the green LED for my signals it appeared to get brighter or so I thought.

BUT when I redid the test to provide the attached pictures, it worked fine and the bulb was dimmer with a combined a 1K ohm resistor with a .5K ohm resistor in SERIES.

I could not reproduce what I reported as my original problem that the LED got brighter.

I do not know what I did or what I saw that made it look brighter for me to report the original problem; so please accept my apology.

As you can see, putting the resistors in SERIES works well to reduce the voltage and dim the LED.

Everything was done with the same Battery, LED and RESISTORS.

Picture 1 – LED1 – LED just attached to 3 volt battery

Picture 2 – LED2 – LED with 1K ohm resistor

Picture 3 – LED3 – LED with attached !k & .5K ohm in SERIES


wire resistor to model train lights

wire resistor to model train lights

wire resistor to model train lights

Now on to Rich (whose last post is here).

“Hi Al.

I know its been a while since my last post. From time to time life gets in the way of our hobby.

Through what I have learned on your web site [ I read all your posts. ] I believe I have done well on my side cliff coloration blend.

Still working on many other areas of my lay out and loving every time I get the chance to work on it.

Thanks again Al for all your posts.

Hope you like the latest pics from my train room.

Happy Modeling

Rich from N.J.”

n scale railroad bridge

n scale layout

n scale layout

n scale rock face

And now on to Dave. He had a problem with his couplings a short while ago if you want to pick up the thread.

“Hi Al, just a short video showing the new couplings that were recommended to me with a magnet uncoupler to be installed.

Also I have made a few changes to the layout, giving an extra siding and a bigger curve on the track helping to have smother running round these areas where problems were occurring.

Unfortunately in doing so I must have damaged some of my wiring which lead to the layout shorting out.. all part of the learning curve ? Then again , problems we could do without.



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

That’s all for today, folks. Can anyone help Gary with his wire resistor to model train lights issue?

Thanks to Rich, Dave and Gary.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

16 Responses to Wire resistor to model train lights problem

  1. Eric Rayner says:

    Rich, love your river and falls with the rail bridges. Got a lot of space to cover yet. Good luck.

  2. Gary Manganiello says:

    Rich…. I love those bridges……..I want to add a single trestle bridge to my layout.

    Gary M

  3. Rube Simon says:

    Rich, we know you really just sent us photos of real places near where you live, right? (Joke! Incredible work!)


    I’m glad that I’m not the only one to have had shorting problems. One must be careful under there.
    With the help of a friend I now have a whole new buss system and I’m back to normal operating sessions.
    As my layout grew I lost sight of keeping my wiring organized. BIG mistake !

  5. Brian V says:

    Rich… nice job on the bridges and water. Curious, what is your actual table size. Like the layout plan

  6. Erick says:

    I love the cross passenger station. Look good

  7. Bob from Towson says:

    Rich, I know that your pics are of real water and mud areas right??!! You are sooooo talented. As we say in Baltimore “way to go hon”

  8. Robert says:

    I know better because I studied electricity in high school, but when it comes to resistors you do not want them in series but instead you should just figure out the ohm resistance you need and add that resistor. Learn Ohm’s law. This law can drive people crazy. It is E=IR. Learn the magic triangle. Draw a triangle with one side on the bottom horizontal. Divide it I half horizontally. Put the E in that triangle. E stands for electromotive force or voltage. The bottom rhombus is divided into two with a vertical line from the center of the middle line and the center of the bottom or base. Put the I in the left lower corner and the R in the lower right corner, The I stands for amperage which is like the flow in a river, and the R is resistance which in electricity is measured in ohms, just like the guy’s name who figured this stuff out. If the river narrows the flow will need to go faster. Play with it, with time you will figure it out. If the flow is too much the river will get hotter. The river and the wire are the same thing.

  9. NJ Mark says:

    Rich, your work is really great! I really like the station with the 3 platforms. Where did you get it? Cheers! NJ Mark

  10. Al Luppo says:

    Must be fun setting the R/R scheduling. Passenger & Freight trains must have a by-pass turn out for passing. Your layout has the potential to erect an upper level that would be the express line and/or the long run. Nice setup. Good luck

  11. George W Boeckling says:

    Use a pot to find the brightest you like measured the value then buy the nearest stander value. LED’s of different color have different values for the same brightness. Or you can buy clear color paint and dip white LED’s to make any color you want. I use bright white dip them in orange to give a yellow glow for head lights in engines. Thin the paint if color to heavy. Have fun save money.

  12. James says:

    rich, looking good….. that river/creek is awesome

  13. Dennis Finegan says:

    I was worried that the short hadn’t been found and there wouldn’t be any running trains, but you came through for us. Good work. You’ll love the Kadees.

  14. Robert says:

    Hallo Robert
    Nice lessen you are teaching here. How do I know the amps, I. g. of a led?

  15. Helmut Eppich says:

    Dave’s railroad visuals are great, as usual. The charm and professionalism of his layout grows on you. Always a treat to see what track and stock alterations he’s up to.

  16. Thanks al re Kadees suggestions ….and luckily without too much hair pulling out I found the short ..Dangerous dave ….off on holiday now

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