Nelson Riedel, Nelson@NelsonsLocomotive.com
1/22/2014, last updated
The photo above shows the headlamp and generator on MRSR91.
The headlamp is similar to the pair I made for the Shay (see
Shay Electrical II).
I hadn't used the headlamp mounted on the Shay tender for years and was
planning to remove it as part of an update to install a swivel seat like
on the Heisler. So, I just decided to use that Shay tender
headlamp on the front of the Heisler.
|Several of the small LEDs on the original headlamps were no
longer functioning. One can buy much more powerful LED
flashlights now with single LEDs that look more light prototype
bulbs. I was able to find flashlights at Tractor
Supply that matched the size of existing headlamp unit.
Photo at right shows the light unit with reflector.
|The flashlight plastic lens fit over the headlamp shell
perfectly. It is secured with a couple very small
dabs of silicone adhesive.
I purchased a kit to make a non working generator several years ago.
Luckily I was able to find it for this project. I think I
purchased it from Wayne Godshall. I made a mounting for both
the generator and the headlamp similar to that used on MRSR91; see
I used a 20 ohm resistance in series with the LED to limit the current
from the 12 volt battery to about 400 miliamperes. I only
used it once at night and it is very bright; possibly too bright.
I turned it off when approaching other locomotives. Maybe
I'll put in a dimmer arrangement next year.
|The one time I ran the locomotive at night it was
pitch black and I had to hold a flashlight on the water glass so
a light for the water glass was the next project. I
purchased a 10mm LED (ultra high brightness) from Radio Shack; #
276-0005. The LED is housed in the mounting shown on the
right. The mounting is attached to the bulge in front of
the oil tank using an existing screw.
|The photo above shows the illuminated water glass. The LED
has a pretty narrow beam but there is probably enough scatter so
that the pressure gauge will also be readable in the dark.
|The light switch was mounted on the bracket holding the
Battery Level Indicator --- it's a miniature toggle switch just
to the left of the green LED.
|The 20 ohm headlight resistor (2 - 10 ohm 10 watt
resistors from Radio Shack in series) were secured to the back of the Battery
Level Indicator bracket with silicone adhesive.
Those resistors are visible in photo on the right.
The electrical current runs from the 12 volt battery through the
20 ohm resistance to the light switch and then from the light
switch to the headlamp. A second wire from the light
switch is run through a 120 ohm resistor to the water gauge LED.
The wires to the LEDs and the wire from the switch output are
connected together using the 1/4" blade connectors
shown in the lower part of photo. (The 120 ohm resistor is
under the black shrink tubing next to one of the blade
connectors.) The wires tuck behind
the Battery Level Indicator and are not visible when the cab is