I was tossing up between signage and lighting but as I can't get the printing done for the signage, lighting won.
The design I scribbled way back in 2011 has remained in my head, continuing the modern and industrial theme. It was time to finalise it for production based on the prototype- I decided to add some height and reduce the head angle from 45 to 40. Months ago I'd ordered some plastic H beam stock, enough to do 15 light poles. Of these 8 would be double headed.
I wanted nice bright LEDs, enough light to race the cars without ambient support but not completely flooding the track. Ended up choosing a 5mm high-CRI model from Yuji rated at 8 lumen/15k mcd with a 45° view angle. They draw up to 30ma. The lights are on a separate 12vdc psu.
Each light is removable and modular so the wiring would be done in parallel with a resistor for each LED. Decided to use JST connectors- cheap and only plug in one way. Perfect.
First started milling up the plastic with a rotary tool mounted to a holder with compound table which made easy work getting clean consistent angles.
For the lenses I used some 9mm perspex I had laying around. I ripped a strip of this on my table saw and crosscut some small sections.
The light heads were assembled and welded together, then I drilled out the hole to accept the LED. I decided to punch all the way through to eliminate any dispersion underneath and simplify the drilling operations...
Then the heads welded to the poles
Welding the clean cuts together gave an excellent bond, seamless on most of them after a brief file
Finally the bases with flange to mount onto the table. I didn't have access to a 3d printer but that would be the way to go
Assembled one to test the height, just to make sure.. It's a little taller than the plywood test rig
Happy with that so onto the base gussets
Next- prepping material for wire cutting and stripping, soldering...
LEDs mounted through the back of the head so the flange holds them in place
Positioned resistors to be hidden by the base
One down, 14 to go...
In order to finish the installation I had to build the hairpin island I'd been planning for a while. I wasn't happy with it all flat, just looked wrong.
Cut the island shape out of mdf, with a ply base
Decided to use blue xps for the walls. First time using it, I've had some kicking around for a while.
It might be possible to use 3mm mdf but it seemed like it would be a lot of effort, based on my previous experience
Initial pass with a hot wire cutter. This left a lot of ripples so I think it's underpowered for this stuff.
But the stuff can be shaped with common tools so no big deal. Creates a huge mess though, be warned!
The reference I used was a tutorial that recommended poly filla for the surface protection but I only had builders bog. I don't recommend it, couldn't get a nice finish.
Not a problem in this application however as I liked the resulting rough look. Primed and spray painted in the same colour as the rest.
For some extra detail I scribed in some lines on the section of base plate to resemble gutter areas and carved a drain near the end.
Finally got everything wired up.
Sorry for the potato pic but I've misplaced my DSLR battery charger.... I'll find it and redeem myself
More lighting to come, see you soon...