• Recent Posts


    What are you buying this month? October 2021

    Too many boxcars at once

    Working night shift this week allowed me to be home during the day, and take part in a Stout train auction online.

    mu26aeh Today, 01:06 AM Go to last post

    My First Train set

    Gordon, Heiko and others have steered me to websites for information on various German locomotives and rolling stock.

    Take a look in my build

    Stu Yesterday, 05:22 PM Go to last post

    My First Train set

    Good choice to start with. There's a lot of used Fleischmann on the German eBay site if you want to expand, but be careful with the older locomotives

    SteamPower4ever Yesterday, 05:17 PM Go to last post
    el Gato Gordo

    My First Train set

    This is good advice, though you probably will have very few problems using Fleischmann track. Just keep glue away from these turnouts. Not just the

    el Gato Gordo Yesterday, 03:54 PM Go to last post

    My First Train set

    I have DB rolling stock and engines, too. I really like my Fleischman locomotive, it's a DB218, diesel.

    I love steam, too, and have two:

    Stu Yesterday, 02:44 PM Go to last post
  • Flexible PCB Strips....

    I saw these flexible PCB strips being used first by SteamPower4ever (Jens) in one of his decoder installs ( See how he uses them ). I couldn't find a source in the States for them or any source that would ship to the States from Europe. He was so kind to order some and then ship them himself (thanks again Jens). Later I found a source on eBay that would ship and ordered more so now probably have a life-time supply for about $20 total. ( HERE ) is the current link to the eBay site.

    I found these extremely useful for:

    1. Lightboards ................................................. ..................


    2. Joining wires together .................................................


    3. Using as a solder pad in a tight area ........


    4. Running power through a tight space ........


    I'll conclude with some pictures from various decoder installs and other projects showing how I've been using them.





    Soldering the small LED and resistor can be intimidating. The flex PCB helps with this as it lays flat. I put a weight on it and leave the strip long at this point as it is easier to hold. With the strip pre-tinned you can pick up the LED or resistor and hold it by one end and place it on top of the tinned section. Put a very small drop of solder on the end of your iron (first) and then just touch the iron to the LED/Resistor and the strip at the same time and remove it quickly as soon as you see the solder flow onto the LED/Resistor. With one end soldered on move to the other end and solder it. It will be easier as it is in place held by the other end.

    With the components soldered on I test across the resistor with an ohm meter to make sure it is soldered to both sides. I also use a LED tester I have to test across the LED to make sure it is working. Remember that the LED is polarity sensitive so you need positive going to the anode side and negative to the cathode side. If it doesn't light swap the leads and see if it does. You can check the whole assembly by running the current through both the resistor and LED.


    The LED is polarity sensitive so you should look at the markings on it and place it in the short circuit in a way that suits you. However if you mistakenly soldered it into the circuit backwards that is no problem. Just swap the blue wire and the other decoder wire (white or yellow) around and the LED should work fine. It doesn't matter if the current flows through the resistor before or after the LED.

    AC to DC Circuit:

    The following is a circuit I used in my turntable build ( HERE ) where I needed to convert the DCC AC voltage to DC in the turntable itself.


    Solder Pad and Running Through a Tight Place:


    If you are in the U.S. For about $20 (less or more for others) you can pickup a supply of these from Europe that will probably last some time. Once one starts using them you find all kinds of situations where they come in very handy.

    I have more photos and info on my site ( HERE )

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. SteamPower4ever's Avatar
      SteamPower4ever -
      Glad to be able to help
      And you're right - once you start using those strips, you find more and more uses for them.

    1. Vegaman Dan's Avatar
      Vegaman Dan -
      Sadly the Ebay links don't work as the listing is gone.

      What search terms work to locate the strip? Flexible PCB Strip only brings up LED light strings.
    1. SteamPower4ever's Avatar
      SteamPower4ever -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vegaman Dan View Post
      Sadly the Ebay links don't work as the listing is gone.

      What search terms work to locate the strip? Flexible PCB Strip only brings up LED light strings.
      Find the seller 'ledbaron' and then search the inventory using the terms 'strip' or 'platine'

    1. Gary Rowan's Avatar
      Gary Rowan -
      Quote Originally Posted by SteamPower4ever View Post
      Find the seller 'ledbaron' and then search the inventory using the terms 'strip' or 'platine'

      Here's a link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-60-m-30x-...item4b9fe3b28a