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  • Adding lights to cars

    After watching some of the videos of guys adding the Z Machine light kits to their cars, I have become fascinated with adding lights to some of my cars. Z Machine kits available in the US can be limited in times and pricey. I tried to use the Slot.it SP16C kit and found the lights oversized for most uses. I find a large number of LED online and was wondering how I can take some of these and make a lighting kit that I could use in a majority of the cars. Some of the cars I want to use 4 lights , some with either Yellow/Red or Orange/red Tail lights. Maybe even adding marker lights.


    Has anyone ever used the Slot.it SP16C light kit and substituted their LED with another type? Any clue what voltage LEDs used in the kit for the White and Red lights? This seems to be a good place to start with if I knew what type of LEDs I could substitute the ones in the kit with.
    I get paid to build models, race slot cars, and travel to museums.

  • #2
    Slot Car Corner makes a good light kit.
    Butch

    Comment


    • #3
      I know a guy who makes custom LED light kits for a very reasonable price

      Peter
      PetesLightKits

      Comment


      • Starfighter Ace
        Starfighter Ace commented
        Editing a comment
        Wish you were in the US. It's taking months to get anything out of Canada. My last order of PG Tires took almost 2 months. I got several orders from SCC in the time it took to just a single order.

        Once the border opens up again, I will be in touch.

    • #4
      Z Machine makes light kits to fit any application you desire!
      Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA

      Comment


      • Starfighter Ace
        Starfighter Ace commented
        Editing a comment
        No they don't. I have 5 sets installed already. They are limited on what they offer and hard to find. Only 2 places carry them and they sell out rather quickly. I want more options. It's a fine product though.
        Last edited by Starfighter Ace; November 11, 2020, 10:22 AM.

      • War Eagle River
        War Eagle River commented
        Editing a comment
        Well then you just haven't researched. Just because they only sell limited options at 2 dealers in the US, doesn’t mean they aren't available in other countries. I’m sure if you wanted a specific option, SCC & Cloverleaf can get them for you.
        http://www.zmachine.be/
        Last edited by War Eagle River; November 11, 2020, 10:44 AM.

      • Starfighter Ace
        Starfighter Ace commented
        Editing a comment
        See my reply below

    • #5
      also at different price points. just plain worth the money, but thats just my opinion.go to the scc website

      Comment


      • #6
        Pete's light kits are the best for the price, IMO - second to the ZM kits if you're only looking for the standard Xenon style (5000k light output) lights for your car. Where Petes kits outdo all the others is when you want something not "off the shelf" - he can make it any way you want, or if you have your own LEDs he can make it so you can just solder those on. The size of the kit might be a challenge to fit in a small car that has a digital chip. I've put his kits in over 10 of my cars, including Fly trucks and BRM 1/24 scale.

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        • #7
          I guess I wasn't clear. I have ZMachine light kits. I have them and love them. Pete is in Canada (I was specific about available in the US) . No one stocks his kits in the US. I was hoping for info about being able to make my own or modify the Slot.it set that I can find easily to suite what I want to do.
          I get paid to build models, race slot cars, and travel to museums.

          Comment


          • #8
            Zmachine light kit options

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            Last edited by War Eagle River; November 11, 2020, 11:03 AM.
            Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA

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            • jaws
              jaws commented
              Editing a comment
              I think I now know why I order the "standard" kits!!!

              Jim W

            • Starfighter Ace
              Starfighter Ace commented
              Editing a comment
              That's all well and good. However the two suppliers in the US only offer a handful of kits and they are fabulous. The service from them is outstanding. However writing to ZMachine to get more details has been an exercise in frustration and silence. So I will buy them if they meet the needs of that particular build. Thank you for your help.

          • #9
            LEDs are all sensitive to basically the same voltage . Keep the voltage to the LED below three volts and you should be OK in MOST cases.

            If you are substituting an LED on an existing board chances are the power out to the LED has already been regulated down to a safe limit, so it just a matter of getting the polarity right. LE diode means if you guess wrong, no current flows and no harm is done. So you have a 50/50 chance of guessing right the first time with no penalty if you guess wrong.

            Cheers

            Dan

            Comment


            • War Eagle River
              War Eagle River commented
              Editing a comment
              I believe Zmachine light kits have built in protection. Even if you hook them up wrong, they will still work when hooked back up right. We’ve run them at 18v down to 9v, never any issues.

            • Barc 1
              Barc 1 commented
              Editing a comment
              Typically all a circuit needs is a diode to protect a device from being hooked up wrong. Diodes only allow voltage travel one way. That is why LEDs are never harmed if you get the anode and cathode wrong. They just won’t light.

          • #10
            There’s also another guy that does some awesome kits. Will build to suit.
            Ernst-Jürgen Ragwitz
            https://slotlight.de
            Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA

            Comment


            • #11
              Typically white LEDs require 3 volts and red LEDs are about 2 volts to 2.2 volts. Generally, if you replace white with white and red with red there should be no issues. If you put white LEDs on the red leads they may not light or they may light up but be dim, looking like warm white LEDs. If you put red LEDs on the white leads they will work for a millisecond and then they won't . Check the supplier specifications for other colour LEDs to see what their recommended operating voltage is, or hook them up to a variable power supply at about 2 volts and slowly increase the voltage until you get the desired effect to see what the voltage is.

              Peter
              Last edited by PetesLightKits; November 11, 2020, 05:04 PM.
              PetesLightKits

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              • Starfighter Ace
                Starfighter Ace commented
                Editing a comment
                Exactly the type of info I am looking for. Many thanks!

            • #12
              Different colors of LEDs may operate at different voltages. White LEDs run at 3.5 volts, sometimes a bit less, 3 volts would be a safe bet if you do not have the specs for the LEDs that you want to use. Red LEDs usually run at 2 volts. Back when I first started to use LEDs I powered one up with a couple of 1.5 volt batteries in series and it burned out immediately.
              You can look up the specs for all kinds of LEDs on this site: https://www.superbrightleds.com/
              In a pinch you can connect a LED to a variable power supply that is turned all the way down and slowly increase the voltage until the LED just starts to light up. If you go up another half of a volt the LED will be fairly bright and you will be at a safe voltage. I just tested a white LED that way and it just started to glow at 2.4 volts, it was nearly at full brightness at 2.9 volts. Note that the negative lead of a LED is the shorter one and that is also marked with a flat spot on the case.

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            • #13
              I have one car set-up to use a mercury switch to turn-on the brake lights as the car decelerates. I don't want to over sell it because it's not perfect, but it is pretty cool. The tricky part is getting the switch at the correct angle, it's trial-an-error. Right now I'm just using sticky-tack to hold it in place.

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              Last edited by oz10k; December 3, 2020, 12:45 PM.

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              • #14
                [QUOTE=oz10k;n67204]I have one car set-up to use a mercury switch to turn-on the brake lights as the car decelerates. I don't want to over sell it because it's not perfect, but it is pretty cool. The tricky part is getting the switch at the correct angle, it's trial-an-error. Right now I'm just using sticky-tack to hold it in place.

                Very clever! I like that.

                Here's a video of a light kit I made many, many years ago.
                This was way before components were small enough to make it feasible for slot cars.
                In this prototype, for example, the 10,000 micro farad capacitor is 3/4" tall and almost 1" wide.
                I'm not sure if Chip-On-Board LEDs or gold capacitors were even in anyone's thoughts back then. lol...

                https://photos.app.goo.gl/KiViAaLMuqt9NtNf8

                dennis




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                • #15
                  Still installing Z Machine light kits...in everything!

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA

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                  • cbiesecker
                    cbiesecker commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Nice clean installation. I'm curios if that is black hot glue that was used to mount and secure the Z Machine light kit, or some other kind of black adhesive?

                  • War Eagle River
                    War Eagle River commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, mini black hot glue sticks. Keeps light from bleeding out.
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