The Rusty Spike

A Railroad Fan's Website


1:24 Model of a Whelen Liberty (44″) Lightbar

Well, the last lightbar was a1-24 Model of a Whelen Liberty lightbar technical success that met with an unfortunate fate when it shifted inside it’s resin cast. Really, it is a shame because I was very happy with it. But with every failure comes knowledge and lessons learned, so I am moving on without too much angst.

I have targeted a prototype model light bar (Liberty™ SR WeCan® Series Super-LED®) and have also figured out a better manufacturing process. Still not fool proof and does not yield a perfect ‘machine made’ look, but it is infinitely better than last time. Solder traces are much smaller and more accurate. There are 60 LEDs (1206 SMD) this time around grouped into 15 groups and include a Takedown light and left/right Alley lights. At 1:24, the lightbar measures about 44mm wide, 10mm deep and 3mm tall. Keeping the ‘tall’ measurement down in order to mimic the very low profile of the prototype is harder than it appears!

Soldering 1206 SMD LEDs by hand is a bit of a pain, but with practice, I’m getting better. I am still having trouble fathoming soldering 0805’s or 0603’s by hand… yikes.

I’m waiting on some SMD resistors to solder onto the underside of the lightbar, then I’ll have the green light to finish wire it up and test the software.

I’m having a blast!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *