I have had very little time for any hobby activities in the past few weeks, due to having to spend all my time completing a professional writing project to meet a tight deadline. I did, however, find the time to do the battery test on the layout suggested by Keith Norgrove. With no electrical equipment of any sort plugged in, I attached the leads for the two LEDs which serve as panel indicators to a 9v PPG3 battery. The yellow LED, which serves as a ‘Power ON’ indicator, glowed brightly, as it should, but the red LED which serves as an indicator that a switch for one of the uncoupling magnets has been turned on also glowed dimly when no electro-magnet was selected, as it did before. This LED then glowed bright red, as it is designed to do, when one of the DPDT switches for the uncoupling magnets was turned on. So the mystery of the dim glow in this LED, due to some stray (but very low) voltage somehow being connected across it, remains.
I didn’t have time to start poking around with the multi-tester, and I have in fact taken an executive decision to leave it at that, and not to investigate this mystery any further. The dim glow from the LED when the circuit is disconnected is hardly visible, especially now that the layout’s ceiling-mounted light fitting has been re-installed in the layout’s new location (see below), and floods the layout with bright ‘sunshine’. If the panel-mounted LED were to fail at some date in the future, then I would investigate further before replacing it, but for the time being I am prepared to live with it.
Getting the layout lighting sorted out was the only significant event that has occurred in the past few weeks.
My wife thinks this lighting rig is ‘ugly’, but my answer to that is that you’re supposed to be looking at the layout, not at the ceiling.
This light fitting has served the layout in its several homes for some 35 years, and now that it is fitted with four modern LED bulbs that are rated at only 13.5 watts each, but flood the layout with more than 6,000 lumens of light, the scene is constantly bathed in bright sunshine. These new bulbs are a big improvement on another well-known make of LED bulb that I previously tried out. If you have followed this thread, you may recall that I complained that those other bulbs seemed to give the layout a yellowish cast (especially in photographs), and they failed after only a very short time.
The bulbs now in use clearly give a much more even spectrum of light and I can thoroughly recommend them. They are ‘Tungsram’ 13.5 Watt (Warm white) LED bulbs, with a colour temperature of 2,700K, and each bulb delivers 1,521 lumens. According to the manufacturer, they should work for 10,000 hours, and should withstand being switched on and off 50,000 times. I bought them from Waitrose. They are made in Hungary, so I took the precaution of buying some spare bulbs (even though I don’t expect to have to replace them for some time to come). If you think you could use some of these bulbs yourself, you’d better buy them before the end of the year. The complete 'Horlicks' the government is making of Brexit is likely to lead to major logistical problems in the New Year, which could seriously impede the import of goods from the EU.
These are a few photos taken after the layout lights were installed in the new railway room, showing the bright sunshine in which Burford perpetually basks.
I still haven’t had time to put the mill chimney back in place, and to paper over the gap in the backscene to restore the ‘smoke’ that issues from the chimney.
The government is expected to confirm in the next few minutes that we shall all be going back into lock-down for a month [if not longer], which means in practice that I shall be unable to do any further work on the layout itself for at least the next five weeks. However, this comes as no surprise, and I had already taken the precaution of keeping back several buildings that can be worked on away from the layout, if I end up being ‘exiled’ 90 miles away from the layout for a month or more.