USAT Streamliner Lighting

The stock lighting in the streamliners is pretty nice. On the underside of the roof extrusion, there is an inverted "T" molded into the aluminum.

USAT uses a long circuit board with little plastic clips that slide on this upside down "T".

The bulbs are about 1" long and thing, like a "zoomed up" grain of wheat bulb. These have a longer filament and thus do a better job of dispersing the light inside.

Unfortunately, the bulbs are also power hungry. My "shorty" 66' RPO car has 11 of these bulbs and draws exactly 1/2 amp at 18 volts.

I'm guessing the full length cars will draw about .7 amps. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that any reasonable length train might have the streamliner cars drawing more than the locos!

I'm investigating a flexible light strip, that can be cut to length and runs on 9-12v DC. I took a long strip, and cut it in half (you can cut off a section every 2 inches) and then wired these two halves in series (so 18-24v rating), and then put a full wave bridge between it and the track.

I run DCC, so I have effectively square wave AC on the rails. This means that a full wave bridge converts to DC pretty cleanly, with little or no filtering required.

Well, it looked great in my Arist heavyweight passenger cars. The strips are self-adhesive, and come in a continuous roll so no waste, and the dispersion angle of them is 120 degrees. These people make them in warm white:  http://www.theledlight.com/flexible-ledstrips.html (The second picture, not the ones on top)

I'll post pictures as soon as I get there.