It seems like a lot of time has passed since I posted about having to remove the rear coal bunker from Pioneer to install some LED marker lights but I think this feeling is due more because of the amount of work it’s taken me to get back to the starting point than anything to do with the interval between this and my last post. Since making that last post I’ve essentially spent all my modelling time (always in short supply I will admit) constructing a completely new coal bunker and sorting out the fitting of a circuit board inside that will give me the dual red/white colour I wanted.
I set up a test this evening after a bit of minor fiddling about and took the above photo just to show how the lights work in relation to the coal bunker. I’m quite happy with their operation but I did manage to un-solder one of the lamps while trying to make a modification to the inside of the coal bunker. It took a lot of adjustment to get the lamp back in the correct location, sitting right over the top of the LED. You can just see the top of the vero board circuit in the photo inside the coal bunker. The original circuit was designed by John Parker to fit inside the relatively large space available in the NSWR style coal tender on a 32 class locomotive. To get it to fit in this much small space I got a bit of help from John in designing the circuit and the altered arrangement seems to work fine.
I had the option of using nano LEDs but I tend to avoid these if I can. They certainly operate and they are tiny, but I find them very fussy to work with so I use tower LEDs whenever they will fit. They do in this instance, with a bit of gentle persuasion, in addition to making the coal bunker about 1mm deeper than the original. I need to pull the circuit out of the box again, clean everything up and remove some of the surface solder from the box. After this I’ll decide how I’m going to paint and fix the new bunker into position. I’ve also constructed a tiny circuit to fit inside a head light for the front of the loco and the platform for fitting this to Pioneer is now attached to the front of the loco. With any luck this should be fitted in the next couple of days and I can move onto re-installing the decoder and applying a finish coat of paint and weathering to the spots where I’ve had to removed the original paint.