Sunrise, Sunset

This week, Andrew and I installed the remaining lights for Pembroke. There are now five strips of LEDs pointing down: three cool white and two warm white. As anticipated, the extra strip of warm white adds a little more – well – warmth.

These strips were from a second manufacturer, and I must say the glue on the back is not nearly as good as the first manufacturer’s offering. Indeed, the new warm white strip has been re-installed several times already. The latest time, I used contact cement on both the strip itself and the location. Hopefully that means I am no longer relying on the manufacturer’s adhesive at all.

The big news, however, is the sixth strip of LEDs. This we installed so it washes up the backdrop, and it is a variable RGB strip. My intent is to tie this into the fast clock so that at 7 in the morning the sun comes up, painting the backdrop with a wash of orange or yellow.

In the evening, it will be purple.

We broke the strip into three parts so I can have different intensities or colours in different parts of the backdrop. When viewing the layout, you’re facing east (in real life and model life) and so, the center of the backdrop will be brighter than the outsides as the sun comes up. At the end of the day, the middle of the backdrop will have less purple than the outsides.

Well, that’s the theory anyway. It turns out that the wash isn’t as bright as I’d hoped. In the end, this might be a pretty subtle effect, which nobody will notice. So far, I’ve not got a fast clock, and so, I’m just playing with the colours available on the little keypad that came with it.

The three RGB strips are fed by some 18×5 wire that I found at Rona. Both ends of the original 5m LED strip had connectors, and so, I only had to wire the centre section myself. I got the waterproof variety, which has a thick layer of something like silicone over it. This is a pain to remove, and so, I was glad I only had to solder one strip up myself.

The waterproof strips are not at all happy about bending around curves. So, I added small L brackets every foot or so as it curved around the corner.

Of course, the power supply is in the cabinet above the layout, and I had to feed these three cables down behind the backdrop. When Andrew reached up there to fish them up, he discovered that the holes were sized for the power cables only. So, out came the hole saw to make a serious hole. Hilariously, when it finished boring the hole, the hole saw fell out of the drill chuck and landed on the ledge below. Well, I guess it will still be there when we dismantle the layout!

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