Madman Lighting Kits

Ask and answer questions, share tips and resources for installing lighting and other electronics in your models.

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Madman Lighting Kits

Post by Sparky » Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:34 am

Post Questions and instructions, et-al here for the Madman Lighting Kit. this way they stay until the bits in the data base die.
Last edited by Sparky on Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Sparky » Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:35 am

So, Madman's Lighting kit just arrived yesterday but I'm a complete newbie and I need help already. Looking at the instructions, it looks like I need:

- Wire-wrap tool
- More wire (wanting to light the ERTL Enterprise-D)
- 3 more blue LEDs (2 per nacelle and 1 for the deflector)
- 3 more red LEDs (1 per bussard, 1 per impulse drive)
- 1 (or 2) more white LEDs, at least 1 per section of the ship (Secondary Hull, Neck and Saucer)

Now for my questions:
- The instructions to attach the power supply suggest that I need pins....what kind/where do I find such pins? And which hole(s) do I use on the chip?
- I'm probably going to want 12 LEDs....which the instructions say I can, but the diagram provided maxes out at 6.

Sorry for the newb questions, but can anyone help me?
Pat Did a write up on the kit its over here

Here is some info from the Madman himself:
1) Theres a new revision since Pat A wrote his review. The new rev is smaller, much flatter, and all the connector pins are along the side now as a dual row of pins. There's also larger mounting holes that take standard #2 size machine screws.

2) Electrically, its the same as before. Four constant current regulators provide 18mA of current each to LEDs. The "pins" are the square posts on the connector sticking out the side of the board. If using 8 LEDs, connect one LED to each pair of posts. If using more than 8 LEDs, connect up to 3 LEDs in series (one after the other, positive to negative) for each regulator.

3) Theres now traces and pads on both sides of the board. Don't worry about the pads on the back with no parts, you don't need them yet. There's a new blinking version in the works that will use them.

On to the Newbies questions:

Yes, you need all that stuff you mentioned. You can get a wire wrap tool and more wire at Radio Shack or from Jameco Electronics You want 30AWG wire wrap wire. Radio Shack sells spools of red, blue and white. Its OK to substitute colors (blue instead of black) as long as you keep it all the same.

You asked about more LEDs too, send me a private message with your home email address and I'll send you a quote. I'll even toss in the newly revised instruction sheet. There's a BIG graphic in there now that shows exactly how to hook it all up, in detail.

If you want to try buying your own LEDs, the only real constraint is that they have a nominal running current of 20mA, which is very common. Getting the ones that are very bright at that current rating is more difficult.

If you want to use 12LEDs, I recommend using a 12VDC wall wort, rated at 100mA or better. You can also use 8 batteries in series to get 12V, any size is OK except 9V. Also available at Radio Shack or Jameco.


Power is hooked to the board using two of the pins on the one big connector now, instead of lots of little connectors. Hold the board parts side up, connector pins towards you. The power ground pin is the top, left most pin and the power positive is the bottom left most pin.

When power is hooked up right, a tiny LED on the board will light up. Its near the power pins. You should hook up power first and get this one LED to light before hooking anything else up. You wont hurt anything, its just easier this way.

There's a wire wrap tutorial on my web site. (www.madmanlighting.com) The pics are a little fuzzy but readable.

I hope that answers your questons, ask some more if still stuck. Theres a neat article on how I lit up NX-01 in Sci-Fi Fantasy #4 that's pretty detailed too.

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Post by Madman Lighting » Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:20 pm

I just wanted to add a little clarifier about LEDs.

Someone asked if you can use different color LEDs in the same string.

Yes, yes you can. My product is a constant current regulator which means as long as your LED will light up with 18mA of current, you can use any combination of colors you like. 20mA LEDs will work, 30mA LEDs will work.

Whats a "20mA" LED? Look at the specs for the part. Look for the "nominal current" or "test current" for the LED. If its 20mA, or a little higher, it will work fine. Dont get the ones less than that, you'll blow em up.

Hope that helps.

-John C.
That Madman Who Lit Up Deep Space Nine

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Post by Sparky » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:00 pm

Quick question on the new 350th scale NX-01 lighting kit. Are the nacelles light with LEDs (the blue warp coils) and do they sequence in some coil pulse fashion?

It appears that they would be LEDs as the product description doesn't mention EL sheet.
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Post by Madman Lighting » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:17 pm

Hi Sparky

All my kits use LEDs for everything so the new BIG Starship kit uses LEDs to light the nacelles.

I'm sorry, they dont pulse. :)
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Post by Pat Amaral » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:43 pm

you could make 'em pulse buy flipping the power switch on and off really fast :P

I have this kit. It's a great little piece of work. I'm looking forward to using it. Nice job as always, John

Cheers,
Pat A.
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Post by Madman Lighting » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:53 pm

Nuthin like a happy customer! :D
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Post by Madman Lighting » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:17 pm

Hi folks,

I'm getting some common questions about the new BIG Starship kit so here we go:

Q: Do the red parts on the front of the warp engines rotate or spin?

A: Sorry, no. Those are lit by a single red LED each. It should face inwards and the inside surface should be either mirror foiled or painted gloss white. Use a little wire stand to hold it there.

Q: What is wire-wrapping?

A: Its a technique to connect parts together by wrapping thin wire around posts instead of soldering. You need a wire-wrap tool from Radio Shack or Jameco Electronics for $10 -$15. There is a tutorial on my website on how to do this. Its safer and easier than soldering.

Q: Can we see more pics of your NX-01 lightup project?

A: Sure, get Sci-Fi Fantasy #4 and read the article on how I did it, or buy the kit. There's a reprint of the article there too. Or wait for me to post a few more pics on the site. :)

Q: What about blinking lights?

A: Yes, the kit has blinking lights. One of the three circuit cards has parts on both sides and is a "Super Strober" card. It can drive six LEDs as "strobe" lights with a brief flash and six more as "navigational marker" lights, with a longer flash that mimics an incandesant light. The rate of blinking is adjustable with a small button on the card.

Q: How do you get uniform blue glow in the warp nacelles?

A: Follow the kit instrutions. Mount one super bright blue LED at each end of the nacelle, facing each other. Paint or mirror foil the entire inside of the nacelle.

Hope that helps!!

-John C.
That Madman Who Lit Up Deep Space Nine

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Post by Shizman » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:02 pm

Would it be possible to connect multiple LEDs to a pin in parallel? I want to avoid having all LEDs go out if one burns out.

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Post by Madman Lighting » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:42 pm

Yes, you can connect LEDs in parallel but there's a catch.

There are 4 regulators on the card, each will "source" 18mA of current. This means that LEDs in parallel will share that current and be less bright.
NO, you cannot hook the regulators together to get "more".

If you're worried about LEDs going out like lights on an old style Christmas tree string, dont. LEDs are much much more reliable and my product has several features designed to keep them well inside their safe operating limits so they will last a long long long time.

How long? How about 10 years of continuous operation. The DS9 model I did years ago still lights up as bright as ever and has been on for months at a time.
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Post by Shizman » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:34 am

Madman Lighting wrote:Yes, you can connect LEDs in parallel but there's a catch.

There are 4 regulators on the card, each will "source" 18mA of current. This means that LEDs in parallel will share that current and be less bright.
NO, you cannot hook the regulators together to get "more".

If you're worried about LEDs going out like lights on an old style Christmas tree string, dont. LEDs are much much more reliable and my product has several features designed to keep them well inside their safe operating limits so they will last a long long long time.

How long? How about 10 years of continuous operation. The DS9 model I did years ago still lights up as bright as ever and has been on for months at a time.
After I asked the question I did some research on amperage in parallel circuits and discovered that it'd be shared between the lights, so I think series is the way to go.

Can you recommend a good wall wart that'll provide 12V? I currently have a 9V battery hooked up to mine, which does the trick, but I worry that as I add more lights, it won't

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Post by Madman Lighting » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:07 pm

Just about any 12V DC wall transformer will work as long as it makes at least 100mA.

Here's a couple options:

From Jameco.com
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores ... tId=252794&

From Digi-key
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSea ... 501-P1P-ND

From Mouser: (any of these will work)
http://www.mouser.com/Search/Refine.asp ... DC&FS=True

I tell people to buy one without a plug (Mouser has one like that), buy one with a plug and buy your own matching socket, or just clip the plug and use the ones that come with my kits.

Have fun!
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Post by Shizman » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:15 pm

That's awesome. Thanks very much for the info. I'm trying to learn as much as I can so your advice is much appreciated.

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Post by Shizman » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:23 am

Madman Lighting wrote:Just about any 12V DC wall transformer will work as long as it makes at least 100mA...
What about 18V DC? Would that work with this system?

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Post by Madman Lighting » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:58 pm

Nope. This system runs on 6VDC to 12VDC. More than that and you'll blow it up.

-John C.
That Madman Who Lit Up Deep Space Nine

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Post by sbbbugsy » Sun May 17, 2009 5:53 pm

:evil: Received the Big Starship Lighting Kit. Circuit boards were wrapped in ALUMINUM FOIL! WTF? I've worked electronics for the USAF for 25 years and you NEVER do that.

Both Deluxe 8 flasher boards were fried and would not even light the on-board LED.

Thanks for selling me a Piece Of Sh!t! $165 down the drain thanks to an IDIOT that knows NOTHING about ESD protection.

I'll never buy any crap from this store again, and I suggest no one else buy these lighting kits.

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Post by Madman Lighting » Mon May 18, 2009 7:43 pm

Of course we will replace your boards immediately, at no cost to you.

Please allow me a few days to make a few, we sold all our inventory at Wonderfest.

Today I consulted with a good friend of mine who has also worked in electronics for many years and aluminum foil is a reasonable way to protect circuits from ESD.

Of course, all Madman products have built in reverse hookup protection, input over voltage protection and are tested before they ship.

Please PM me with your home address and I will ship your replacements, if you could be so kind, I would greatly appreciate returning the boards to me so I may determine the failure of the boards myself and devise a way to improve them. I will PM my home address back to you.

Regards,

John Cook
Madman Lighting.
That Madman Who Lit Up Deep Space Nine

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Post by LindaSmile » Mon May 18, 2009 10:15 pm

sbbbugsy wrote::evil: Received the Big Starship Lighting Kit. Circuit boards were wrapped in ALUMINUM FOIL! WTF? I've worked electronics for the USAF for 25 years and you NEVER do that.

Both Deluxe 8 flasher boards were fried and would not even light the on-board LED.

Thanks for selling me a Piece Of Sh!t! $165 down the drain thanks to an IDIOT that knows NOTHING about ESD protection.

I'll never buy any crap from this store again, and I suggest no one else buy these lighting kits.
We have a no questions asked guarantee. Just return it to us for a full refund, and we will also pay for the return shipping.

Linda
Is this plastic thingy on the counter a model part or can I throw it away?

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Post by LindaSmile » Mon May 18, 2009 10:16 pm

Madman Lighting wrote:Please PM me with your home address and I will ship your replacements, if you could be so kind, I would greatly appreciate returning the boards to me so I may determine the failure of the boards myself and devise a way to improve them. I will PM my home address back to you.

Regards,

John Cook
Madman Lighting.
No, return it to us, since that's where you bought it. We'll make sure Madman Lighting sees it after that.

Starship Modeler
PO Box 549
Lake Villa, IL 60046

Thanks.

Linda
Is this plastic thingy on the counter a model part or can I throw it away?

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Post by Madman Lighting » Tue May 19, 2009 7:41 am

Thanks Linda.

-John C.
That Madman Who Lit Up Deep Space Nine

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Post by ToMuchGlue » Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:58 am

Is it possible to run both the Falcon lighting kit and the 8 LED fiber optics kit on the same 12v power supply? I would like to light some of the landing lights around the lower hull.

Also I assume I can run them on a 9v battery when no outlet is available but with less brightness.

Thanks,

Kevin

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Post by Madman Lighting » Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:47 pm

Yes, you can run ALL MY KITS from the same supply. All my kits run from the same card and use the same supply voltage and draw the same amount of power for each card.

Each kit will draw about 100mA at full load (8 to 12 LEDs) so just buy a wall wort that can produce at least as much as you want to use.

For example:

If you want to go crazy with a big StarTrek kit you can run a BIG Starship kit and a Delux Spinner off the same 12V supply. There are 4 cards involved (3 in Big Starship and 1 in Delux Spinner) so you will need at least 400mA to run it all. More wont hurt anything but less is not good.

All the LEDs will run at a constant brightness if there is enough voltage for the LEDs in series. For 9V, you will definitely get 8 LEDs (two per output) and maybe up to 12LEDs (3 per output). With 12V you will definitely get 12 LEDs. If there is not enough voltage, the strings will dim if you're close, but will go out if you're too low.

Hope that helps.

-John
That Madman Who Lit Up Deep Space Nine

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Post by ToMuchGlue » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:06 pm

Yes ithelps alot.... I just ordered the last Millenium kit and one of the 8 LED kits so I should be testing them out in a few days. Yahoo! I have a regulated wall wart comming from another source (1000ma), so that should do the trick.

Thanks,

Kevin

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Post by kronos6948 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:16 pm

Are you planning on doing a kit for the reissue of the 1/350 Enterprise Refit from Round 2/ Polar Lights?

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Post by Madman Lighting » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:17 pm

Got one! Our BIG Starship kit does that one pretty good.

Here: http://www.starshipmodeler.com/newshop/ ... gory_id=92

Dont let the picture fool you, its big enough to do just about any 350th scale Trek style ship.

Same goes for the "regular" Starship kit, its not just for NX-01 Enterprise. It will work pretty well on just about ANY "regular" scale Trek style ship. Yes, this includes the re-issued Voyager kit.
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Post by kronos6948 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:39 pm

Madman Lighting wrote:Got one! Our BIG Starship kit does that one pretty good.

Here: http://www.starshipmodeler.com/newshop/ ... gory_id=92

Dont let the picture fool you, its big enough to do just about any 350th scale Trek style ship.

Same goes for the "regular" Starship kit, its not just for NX-01 Enterprise. It will work pretty well on just about ANY "regular" scale Trek style ship. Yes, this includes the re-issued Voyager kit.
Thank you! I wasn't sure if the kit was just for the NX-01. Would've helped had I actually clicked on it and read the description! :oops:

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Post by kronos6948 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:42 pm

Sorry to bother you again...

I was reading up on your large lighting kit, and it has the ability to have 24 always on lights.

Now, what I'm doing to the model is giving it the "Raytheon Effect", where light shines through the hull in spots where spotlights are supposed to shine on the model.

The kits that I've seen built with that type of effect had a bit more than 24 LEDs in them. Is there an add on of yours that I could use for additional lights, or would that not be a good idea with your kit?

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Post by Madman Lighting » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:08 pm

You may bother me all you wish. :wink:

My kits work with a "standard" card, each card can drive up to 12 LEDs. The BIG kit actually has 3 cards, two for constant on, one for blinking effects.

So, YES, you can get as many lights as you want, in groups of up to 12.

Yes, I can generate a quote for you, just figure out how many lights you want and I'll quote you.

Yes, you can even combine some effects from my kits into one or more custom kits. I'm doing a custom now that has the "Fast Tramp Freighter" engine effect, the "Red Green Running Light" effect, and the "White Strobe Marker Light" effect, all on one card.

Ask away, please. :)
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Post by Madman Lighting » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:19 pm

FYI guys,

Madman is going Green and Paperless with our manuals.

The current batch of kits will have both printed manuals and a mini CD rom with ALL our product manuals on it.

After this batch, no more paper. All kits will get the same mini CD ROM with all our manuals, catalog, and whatever else looks nifty we can think to add.

Everything is in Adobe PDF format, and the PDF reader is also on disk.

Thanks!
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Post by battlestar90 » Mon May 03, 2010 5:29 pm

Im using the republic destroyer kit. Im having trouble lighting 5 leds wth one 12v battery.  Itll work wth  
3 leds but when when i add 2 more i have to use another 12v. Is that  
normal or did i hook it up wrong?  Also the diagram shows mini  
jumpers, will i need some, what are they use for?  Thanks alot

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