Caboose Marker Lights with DCC : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

I want to install Tomar marker lamps in a Walthers SP C-30-1 caboose. With Athearn, it's easy, 'cause the floor is removeable, to put a battery and switch (also Tomar) inside the car. With the Walthers car, once the roof goes on, that's it--no easy way to replace the battery. If I put a resistor in one lead to the marker lights, enough to knock the track voltage down to the capacity of the lights (1.5V), can I pick up track voltage with Tomar shoes and mae the lights work? There would be no switch, which may prove to be a drawback--has anyone tried this?

-- Ron Boham (, November 08, 2004


Not with that specific caboose. I suggest putting one resistor in series with each marker lamp to lower the voltage down to 1.3-1.5 volts. Reason...1.5V lamps are fragile but do draw sigificant current. Using a separate resistor for each lamp eases the current surge on start-up and spreads the heat between the surface area of 2 resistor bodies to keep temperatures low.

-- DonV (, November 08, 2004.

Yikes! I didn't think about the heat. I might need a heat sink to keep from melting the car. I _did_ think about putting a sound and light only decoder in it, so I could toggle the lights off and on with the throttle controller, and use the whistle to signal to the engineer (layout era: late forties, early fifties), but I have four (so far) of these cars to prepare, and I thought that might get a little pricey. If I do it with just the lights and resistors, though, I will definitely have to add a switch to the circuit.

-- Ron Boham (, November 09, 2004.

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