MadMan's lighting questions

LEDs, fiber optics, etc - everything needed to "Make it Glow"
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MadManMUC
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MadMan's lighting questions

Post by MadManMUC » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:15 pm

Hello gents!

It's been a while, and I had to step away from my Reliant build for a few weeks, but I'm getting back into it now, and I've come to realise that I need to start planning out my lighting before I go too far with the build itself.

Now, keep in mind: I've never lit a model. I've never programmed a circuit. I've never even touched a soldering iron in my life.

So, needless to say, I'm going to have a looooot of questions, so be patient with me please! Going forward, any lighting questions I have, I'll contain in this thread.

THE IDEA

The general idea is for me to get a custom stand made (or, if I'm brave enough, make it myself from custom-cut wood ... I've never done woodworking, either. :mrgreen: ), on which there will be a series of six switches. As it currently stands — according to my research — rocker switches will be the way to go for me. So, with that in mind, here's what I'm thinking for each switch:
  • 1. Main power (to the whole model)
  • Off
  • On

    2. Internal lights
  • Off
  • On

    3. Flood lights (all of the Raytheon lighting)
  • Off
  • On

    4. Formation and anti-collision lights
  • Off
  • On

    5. Propulsion
  • Off
  • Station-keeping (thrusters only on)
  • Impulse (thrusters + impulse engines + impulse crystal on)
  • Warp (thrusters/impulse engines/impulse crystal off, warp engines on)

    6. Photon torpedoes (I may split this up to two separate buttons, rather than a single rocker switch)
  • Off
  • Forward
  • Aft
I understand that's a lot of switches, but I really do want this level of granular control over the final lighting.

I've decided that I'm going to use Arduino to program everthing, and I want to use a wall adapter as a power source. I'm sufficiently adept with JavaScript and old-school ActionScript that it doesn't look all that unfamiliar to me (yay, for having spent part of my career as a web designer!).

So, the first round of questions:
  • 1) Should I go with a 9V or 12V wall adapter?
    2) Can I run this many switches off one circuit board and, if so, which Arduino board should I go for?
    3) In my research, I've seen that multi-position rocker switches have the middle position as the off position. For example, a 3-position switch would be on-off-on. Are there switches that are off-on-on? If not, can they be re-wired to reflect that sequence?
    4) Is there such a thing as a 4-position rocker switch?
I think that's it for the moment. Looking forward to everyone's feedback!
DANGER. SPACE DOORS ARE CLOSED.

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Re: MadMan's lighting questions

Post by RogueWolf » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:22 pm

Sounds like an awesome project! I however know nothing about lighting so we'll have to wait for some of the other guys to chime in with their advice.
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Re: MadMan's lighting questions

Post by MadManMUC » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:14 pm

Bumpity-bump ... anyone? :-|
DANGER. SPACE DOORS ARE CLOSED.

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Re: MadMan's lighting questions

Post by mophius » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:19 pm

Sorry MadMan, I am a total newb to lighting too.
FO and LED basics is about all I can do, not really going to have room in most 1/2500 scale ships for a control board. I don't work with any larger ships.
There is no dark side of the moon really, matter of fact its all dark.

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Re: MadMan's lighting questions

Post by RogueWolf » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:04 pm

trekriffic has done quite a few lighting builds, you should send him a PM, he may not check this forum area.
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Re: MadMan's lighting questions

Post by el gato » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:37 am

Wouldn't hurt to contact Steam as well. He's lit quite a few models. There is also 4eyedDuncan and Harristotle, but they haven't logged into AST since last summer :(
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Re: MadMan's lighting questions

Post by slawton » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:51 am

I have not lit any models yet, but I do understand electronics. You may not like the answers because most are "depends". On to the questions:

1) Should I go with a 9V or 12V wall adapter? Depends. How many LEDs do you intend to light? How do you intend to wire them? One thing to consider, typical wall units are unregulated power supplies. That is, they are 9V/12V if the circuit connected to them is expected to use a certain amount of power. So it might be higher than the stated voltage if not using enough power or lower if using too much. You could end up pushing too much current through your LEDs causing them to have a shortened lifespan or too little current, leaving them dim or off.

2) Can I run this many switches off one circuit board and, if so, which Arduino board should I go for? I have no experience with the Arduino, but I'm questioning the necessity. It sounds like you are manually turning on/off the lighting instead of programming a sequence, etc. Are you blinking, fading, etc.? If so, you may want the Arduino, but if it is just on/off, you don't need it -- just wire it up to the switches.

3) In my research, I've seen that multi-position rocker switches have the middle position as the off position. For example, a 3-position switch would be on-off-on. Are there switches that are off-on-on? If not, can they be re-wired to reflect that sequence? I don't believe they are built that way. I assume this is for your photon forward & aft. Do you want a switch to turn on forward only and aft only. Or forward and forward plus aft? There may be other ways to do this (add'l slider switch, etc.).

4) Is there such a thing as a 4-position rocker switch? I think a rotary switch might solve this problem.

To get a better idea, probably would need more specifics:
  • Main power (to the whole model): ? LEDs, All of everything below?
    Internal lights: ? LEDs
    Flood lights (all of the Raytheon lighting): ? LEDs
    Formation and anti-collision lights: ? LEDs, Blinking?
    Thrusters: 1(?) LEDs
    Impulse: 1(?) LEDs
    Warp: ? LEDs
    Forward Photon torpedoes: 1(?) LEDs
    Aft Photon torpedoes: 1(?) LEDs
    Any fading in/out, pulsating, etc. effects?
I'm a modeler, not a doctor...

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Re: MadMan's lighting questions

Post by KevinHoggard » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:22 pm

New to these forums, but have lighted a few ships.

Remember with all those switches, you will be running power for each of them, you may not have the room for all those wires. You can get away with having 1 ground wire and link them all together in the base, but you will be looking at 6 power wires in the model.

Typically I have gone with the following;
Switch #1 - All internal lighting
Switch #2 - Navigation and Strobes / Deflector Dish / Spotlights / Crystals / Impulse Engines
Switch #3 - Warp Engines
Sometimes a momentary switch for either Warp Bussard spinning or Photons

I only use 12V power sources plugging into the wall, but that is my prefrence

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Re: MadMan's lighting questions

Post by Xen » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:22 pm

try posting in the 1/2500 section andlinking back here. it's the most popular for folks and they many tend not to wander outside the scales area.

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Re: MadMan's lighting questions

Post by Tshark » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:54 pm

I am doing my first Arduino build on a 1/650 TOS Enterprise. I highly recommend the Adafruit Trinket Pro board. It has enough I/O pins for the switches you are proposing and it is 99% compatible with the Arduino IDE program.

The power supply will depend on the number of LEDs you use and number of resistors you wish to solder. My build is using a 5VDC power supply as the Trinket Pro is set for a 5VDC input and the LED strips I am using are SMD's with resistors already set for 5VDC input. Most LED strips and lighting set-ups are wired in parallel. This means current is more important than voltage for your power supply. Count up the number of LEDs you will use and figure out the current requirement (there are calculators online that can help with this).

As an aside the Arduino is very capable of doing a fade-on and fade-off for running lights. This make the running lights look more realistic than just blinking them. Here is a link to a Youtube video I posted showing my bench test:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aFZbrLPVJ8&t=21s

Behind the nacelles you will see the running lights using a fader program from the Arduino.

Hope this helps

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