LGB Stainz upgrades

Ribbons_of_steel

Registered
16 Nov 2020
8
1
32
Buffalo, NY
For Christmas, I pull out a couple LGB coaches and LGB Stainz (2020D) to go around the Christmas tree. I like to run my trains at scale speed and at low speed the incandescent bulbs are barely visible (interior and exterior). With COVID keeping us inside, I decided to upgrade my LGB coaches from the incandescent light bulb kits (3030) provided by LGB to LED lighting utilizing LGB ballbearing wheels (67403) and warm white light LEDs. Anyway, the upgrades to the coaches has made the Stainz (2020D) look underwhelming. I want to upgrade the Stainz to include interior cab LED lighting and LED headlamp and LED reverse lamp. Unlike the coach upgrades that were pretty straight-forward, upgrading this DC Stainz does not. Here's a few questions I'm hoping I can get help with;
(1) is it worth the cost to upgrade an older Stainz than to buy a newer model?
(2) can I simply replace the existing incandescent screw bulbs with LED screw bulbs? Do LED screw bulbs exist in the required size? What size incandescent bulbs are used?
(3) can i simply cut the two wires leading to the incandescent bulb and solder LED leads to the wires?
(4) how can I add illumination to the locomotive cab?
(5) would it be advisable to upgrade the loco to DCC to achieve my desired outcome?
(6) The smoke generator (65203) produces an underwhelming amount of smoke. Are there any recommended upgrades?
Also, I want all illumination to run off track-power and not battery.

Any and all suggestions are welcome! Thank you for your time. - Jay
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

korm kormsen

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,575
261
if you want a qualified answer, wait till others chime in.
if a makeshift low tec solution is good enogh for you, here is, what i would do:

take four LEDs from a christmas chain, use two and two on seperate wires. connect both pairs to the power pick ups. - but so, that one pair of LEDs lights up, when the loco gets forward power and the other when you switch to backwards. (LEDs are direction-sensitive)
put one of the forwards lights into the headlamp, the other under the cabin roof. the other pair to backlamp and cabin roof.
that way, there is always light in the cabin.
if the LEDs burn out, take LEDs from a shorter christmas chain.(that can stand higher voltage)
crude, cheap and simple.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
18,225
3,738
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Hm pulling apart a Stainz can be a bit of a challenge but the older ones I think are a little easier that is the good point. Korm was sort of right but if you do not use a blocking diode for when the current is reversed you will blow LED’s. Have a look at YouTube vids on using LED’s, there are lots of informative ones out there. Also as for fitting LED’s it is simply a matter of wiring them to the existing wire and fitting a cab light to the motor pickups but you will need to have resistances to stop the things again from blowing.

Likely your chassis will be a 3 wire one so you will need to identify the wiring form the internal circuit board.

As to whether you consider a newer Stainz is worth the effort or price, only you can really answer that one but they are pretty cheep on EBay these days. U.K. sites showing plenty under £100 so dollar rate could be cheeper. If you decide to go for a different one, look for a 5 figure manufacturers number q0213 being an example. These will be newer ones that should match your needs.
 

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
Screw in LED rated at 12 and 24 volts exist, I have used them in my Staniz, I think they are E5, and can be found on that well know auction site. Nice thing with LEDs is they come on almost instantly the loco moves.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
18,225
3,738
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Been thinking a little more about this a flashing led could give a little more interest round the tree.
 

Bill Barnwell

Registered
30 Sep 2017
750
540
76
Ormond Beach, Fl
Jay, From a long time user and modeler of LGB i will give you my views on your questions
1 if you like the stainz you have and want to keep it by all means fix it, all of my stainz no longer look like stainz's but rather kit bashed american style of my liking
2 can't answer this ? but would venture to sav they do
3 Yes you can cut the wire and solder in LED's just have to get correct polarity and I would suggest for vertical headlight that side shinning LED's be used rather than tip ones
4 I light my cabs using 1 red and 1 orange flickering LER's of the 2mm size located at the firebox location mounted on the surface they are powered by a voltage regulator that I get off eBay from seller gfhappyboy and set the voltage of 5 VDC, the 5 VDC powers the 5 volt smoke unit from LGB and then add a 100 ohm resister to the circuit which lowers the voltage to 3 vdc and operates the headlights and flickering firebox lights and really lights up the cab with a fire looking flickering
5 can't answer this question
6 refer back to # 4 LGB # 65853 5 volt unit smokes great but a voltage reducer will have to be used + you will have to find some way to remove the factory long shaft one and still hold the weight in place and secure the boiler to the drive chassis, I remove the original stack an thread a furniture grade female thread in to the weight and secure using a 1/4 x 20 bolt from underneath the attach the smoke stack, usually made from from 1/4" brass pipe which i thread into the top of the boiler this way it gives you access to the wiring from the smoke unit.
Finally some picture to maybe make things clearer, Bill, also used the flickering lights in the passenger section of my drover caboose and you can see the reddish glow
G-SCALE MICRO VOLTAGE REGULATOR, B
 

Attachments

  • ORF forney front bolt.JPG
    ORF forney front bolt.JPG
    275.6 KB · Views: 0
  • drover at night.JPG
    drover at night.JPG
    204.7 KB · Views: 0
  • ORF forney left side.JPG
    ORF forney left side.JPG
    428.7 KB · Views: 0
  • P T engine 2-4-0.JPG
    P T engine 2-4-0.JPG
    698.9 KB · Views: 0
  • old joe done lfr-side.jpg
    old joe done lfr-side.jpg
    441.1 KB · Views: 0
  • Rosy right SSS.JPG
    Rosy right SSS.JPG
    959.8 KB · Views: 0
  • 2-6-2 left top.JPG
    2-6-2 left top.JPG
    228.3 KB · Views: 0

Paul2727

Registered
5 Jun 2018
439
67
England
Likely your chassis will be a 3 wire one so you will need to identify the wiring form the internal circuit board.

The old 2020D (D stands for Damf. so identifies it as one with a smoke generator built into the funnel.) Being a clam-shell motor block loco, it has two brass contacts at each end of the motor block. One pair of these touch on the heads of the 2 screws on the underside of the chassis which in turn provides power to the lights. There is no switch apart from the movable meta bar under the front of the loco which controls the smoke generator. The power to the front and rear lights is permanently on and at track voltage. Forward and reverse lighting is controlled by a pair of diodes on a small circuit board inside the body under the closed lid as shown below.
1605632512901.png 1605633003825.png
Note direction of positive flow.
Hope this helps.
Paul.
 

Attachments

  • 2020 clamshell (1).PDF
    268.3 KB · Views: 1
Last edited:

Paul2727

Registered
5 Jun 2018
439
67
England
I though LGB screw in bulbs were E5.5. That's certainly what Massoth supply as direct replacements. It's also worth noting that some of the higher voltage (19 - 24v) leds come with a built in resistor and have an operating voltage range that can mean they don't come on at all at low speeds.
Regards,
Paul.
 

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
4,468
663
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Indeed, higher voltage LEDs must have an internal resistor, since LEDs (white ones) always have a voltage drop of about 3.6 volts.

But whether the resistor is internal or external, running a LED-resistor combination from a higher track voltage will have the situation Paul describes.

Often decoders provide a 5 volt output, and running the LEDs from this supply (given there is enough current) gives you basically constant lighting on DCC and analog operation.

Greg
 

Paul2727

Registered
5 Jun 2018
439
67
England
There is a quick fix I've used in the past on the old clam-shell locos for night running which may be of interest.
As the motor block and body electrics are essentially two separate circuits connect by the two chassis screw heads pressing on the corresponding brass strips on the motor block, simply placing a thin piece of non conducting material, (plasticard, insulating tape etc.) between them, isolates the two.
Ok, so now you have no lights, but here's the point of the exercise, The rear twin banana plug socket is connected to the lighting before the directional diodes, so its easy to connect a battery power feed. You can put in a dpdt switch to control directional lighting if you want. The battery can be in a trailing coach or wagon, or in the loco itself in there's room. Also the banana plug socket can be connected from the inside of the cab, so no trailing wires.
I swapped the bulbs for 5v leds and used a small rechargeable 'power bank' for a mobile phone tucked inside the cab. it was good for several hours.
Most 'power banks' are rechargeable via a usb connection, so an easy recharge. Plus it was quite ;) handy when my phone went flat.
 

Paul2727

Registered
5 Jun 2018
439
67
England
For some reason my previous message was duplicated and I seem unable to delete it.
Paul.
 
Last edited:

Ribbons_of_steel

Registered
16 Nov 2020
8
1
32
Buffalo, NY
Thanks everyone for the input. Greatly appreciated! I'm going to try the easiest solution - replace the bulbs - lets hope it works! - I ordered 10PCS Bright White LED Screw Bulb E5 E5.5 12V-14V
 

Dan

Registered
28 Jan 2010
341
32
Eastern MA
I install the Zimo MX645P22 decoder in my Stainz and for customers, and this gives me sound, 5 volt power for leds, and even a 10,000 uf cap can be used to keep the sound and lights active when changing direction on DC power. However this unit does not have enough current for the 5 volt smoke unit, so I just leave the 18 volt stack tied to track power. (on my DCC units I install a resistor to the smoke unit.)