A new dining establishment just opened in the village of Watuppa...
... Most of you guys will recognize this as the old discontinued "Frank's Diner" kit by Pola.
(An eBay "catch" I made a few months ago).
...but with the addition of 10 "warm white" LED's.
Although the seller did an excellent
job of packing it, a lot
of details were knocked loose in shipping.
(Over the years, I've found this to be a common occurrence
...Structures in general do not tolerate
the "knocking around"
of shipping well). It also didn't help that whoever originally built the kit did a
marginal job of assembling it.
- Lots of insufficiently - glued joints.
The figures & several
stools were knocked loose, several window frames were loose, even a couple of major wall joints were coming apart (I kept finding more problems as I worked on it!
). - But with some patience (& a LOT of plastic
cement & silicone rubber!
), I was able to restore it to it's former glory!
As I mentioned previously, a total of 10 LED's were used. 4 were strategically placed on the roof
to try to "spotlight" both sides of the sign relatively uniformly...
A single LED was placed under the canopy of each doorway, & 4 more were placed under the roof
to illuminate the interior. The 4 "sign spotlight" & interior LED's were wired in 2 series sets (4 each),
then the 2 sets of 4 were wired in parallel, requiring a nominal 12 volt supply for their power. The 2
"entrance" LED's were wired in parallel (needing 3 volts). I built a small voltage regulator circuit consist-
ing of a full-wave bridge rectifier, filter cap, LM7812 & LM7805 three-terminal voltage regulator chips, &
a couple of voltage dropping / current limiting resistors. (The regulator circuit can be seen on the floor
behind the left-hand counter; it's virtually invisible through the windows at normal viewing angles).
The use of the bridge rectifier permits me to use AC, DC, or DCC track power for a power source. (I'm
currently tapping power for ALL my lighted structures from the DCC power feed to the track, but plan to
change that in the near future; if I'm running some of my live-steamers with uninsulated drivers, I have to
shut down the DCC system so it won't be shorted out.
). I'm considering doing a solar or trickle-charged
battery supply, possibly with automatic photo-electric control, to isolate the lighting power from track power.
Hey, the crossing flashers nearby just started up - here comes Mallet #9 blowing for the crossing!
The crew's pretty hungry, but we have to clear the crossing first...
- As soon as the caboose clears the crossing, DINNER TIME!
You might wonder why I went to the trouble of turning a relatively-ordinary plastic kit into a
bit of a "showpiece"; "Frank's Diner" is a bit of a "tounge-in-cheek" memorial
to a close
friend of mine, Frank Dubiel,
who LOVED "greasy-spoon" style diners
& had a great
sense of humor
as well. Frank passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack 7 years ago.