Model Train Technology Newsletter

May 2020

Hello JIm,

April was a busy month for us as we closed in on completing several new products and updates to existing ones. Our manufacturing process continues to evolve as we seek to bring more in house and back to the USA. We have several more announcements in the coming weeks. With the web site up and running, we have also added many new subscribers to the newsletter via the sign up link - so if you are one of those people, welcome and thank you so much for tuning in!

Here are the topics for this issue:

  • Installation Services - many people didn't know we did this
  • New N & HO lighting board features and update
  • New Dome Car light board
  • Bundled KIT of our LED Scene Controller great pricing over Woodland Scenic.
  • 3D Printing our Cases
For your convenience, here are the links to our site: (both links work the same but one is easier to remember and type!)



We continue to have a steadily growing business in installations and we managed to maintained our one-day turn around goal. For those who might not know, we install our LED light boards in both N and HO scale cars for customers who want our boards but are not keen on the soldering or installation part Recently we've had a couple of longtime customers who, after seeing what we did, are venturing into doing the installation themselves. This is great! We encourage this and if you need our coaching during the process, just call or email. We charge $5.00 per car plus $10 shipping, so $15.00 for one car. If you have more than one car, we bundle the shipping at actual cost. $5.00 covers the cost of any parts that are needed including replacing the wheels, brass pick up strip and the RED rear LEDs if needed. We want folks to have an easy and low-cost way to get great lighting, so we don’t want installation to be an obstacle. We’ll make our money on the boards, not the install.

N & HO Scale Passenger Car lighting new Features

Speaking of the passenger car lighting boards, we made a few enhancements to the entire series of N Scale and HO Scale LED Lighting Boards based on our experience with installations.

Here is a summary:

On most boards we added a way to disable the blue and red on-board LEDs without painting or removing them. There is a little solder “cut” pad. To disable the LEDs, you take an Exacto® knife and just cut the pad. Later, if you want to reactivate the LED simply solder the pad with a little bubble of solder.

We added a set of solder pads that connect to the MAIN LEDs. This allows us to more easily add another floating LED in a hallway, dome or observation car.

We added a solid-state (no moving parts) magnetic sensor very near the push button reset switch so that you can reset the board from OUTSIDE the car once the board is installed inside. We provide a magnetic jewel that you hold at the end of the car. It doesn’t happen very often but having to take the car apart to rest the board was a pain. Now it’s not!

Using Magnet Jewel


N Scale DOME CAR LED light board

Dome Car lighting is especially challenging and while we felt that our approach of individually attaching small 0402 prewired LEDs to the roof was ok, it was time consuming and just didn’t look engineered. When a customer called a few weeks ago asking if we have ever installed our boards in the Milwaukee Road Hiawatha N Scale series – this pushed us over the edge. As a matter of fact, we installed our boards in the Kato 9 car series EXCEPT the dome car. As you see below it’s a lonnnngg Dome car, so we needed another way. That is how the dome car board was born.

Hiawatha N Scale Lighting

The new Dome board is 164mm long and 6 mm wide. It has 8 LEDs on it, and you connect it to the AUX pads on any of our standard boards. There are solder pads at either end so you/we can cut the board to fit smaller installations. We installed our new board and as you can see, it looks incredible!
N Scale Dome Car LED board 3
However, there was one more thing that we decided to change after we tested our car. As you can see in the video on our Video Page, the lower floor lights fade on and off, but the dome lights only have fast on/off. We used one of our N-124-30 boards in there and we are powering the Dome Car Light Board from that. The F3 Aux pads don’t have a fade option and we don’t have enough room on the chip to add it. Instead, we created the F3_sync option which is settable via a CV (Configuration Variable). Once set, F0 allows the whole car lighting to fade on and off as one. Pretty slick. All boards now have this option. If you have a previous board and you need this option, we can update your software if you send us the board. No cost and shipping back to you is free.

LED Scene Controller Bundle Package cost savings

Our LED Scene Controllers are seeing increasing interest from all scales of modelers. What has surprised us is how many people are now buying the kit which comes with 16 prewired LEDs (your choice of four colors of white), with connected JST plugs and a power supply. Our Controller is 100% compatible with all Woodland Scenic lights – you can just plug them into out controller and now you have 100s of animation setting that you can control. You can have all 16 LED up and running in about 60 seconds! And, you can save a TON of money by using our system and buying our LEDs – they are HALF the price of Woodland Scenic. Standard price of all the items is $195 with the bracket and power supply. Now the On Sale bundled price is $169.00.

LSC II Case pic1
LED Controller Case Bracket
2020-03-31 15.43.40


In the past we had to purchase our cases in China. Everything we can make or assemble in the U.S. we want to do. But making cases was a big step. I am happy to report that as of May 1, 2020 all of our cases are 100% make in the US! We use a 3D printing process called SLA and the technology and materials have advanced incredibly in the past 12 months. We now have the design and manufacturing capability of big companies in a very tiny space. Processes of design and manufacturing like this used to take weeks or months and cost 100’s of thousands of dollars. We can design and modify a part and print it into a final form in a matter of days. This gives us incredible flexibly to be agile in meeting customer needs, cost effective and we can avoid using cash for making and keeping large inventory – previously necessary to get per unit cost to any reasonable level.

That leaves only the raw circuit board and the basic electronic components to be source oversees. Everything else is Made and Assembled in the U.S.A. Here is what case top looks like out of the machine. The scaffolding you see attached to the back is necessary for the part to keep its shape while printing. That stuff just snaps off once finished. (also, pretty cool)

Sample Case Picture 3D Printed
Here are links to our most recent videos (or click the picture)

N Scale Installation of the Dome Car lighting into Hiawatha
Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 4.44.07 PM
N Scale MICRO Board installation into Woodland Scenic Building
Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 4.44.21 PM

Until next time, best regards and stay safe and healthy,


Model Train Technology
Orlando, Florida

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