Lighting manoeuvres in the cold

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To flicker or not to flicker

Been busy away from craft work but caught a few very cold minutes playing with recently purchased flicker unit: can’t immediately remember from where but not at the place I’d originally planned.  However, it needed investigating.  My fancy is for a bit of flicker in as many if not all the candles, torches and fires.  I’ve bought supplies from all over the place including some fires that flicker by themselves and run very effectively off a flat watch type battery.  A very discreet little setup.

Today, with a short length of scrap wiring I jury rigged the new unit with one of the Great Hall wall torches and a cast iron brazier.  The latter was also recently bought, so it was probably the same place as the flickerer, which makes it an Olde Charm Miniatures candle driver unit – mystery solved.

I tried it with a 9V battery to see if the old wire worked.  It gave a minimal light so the circuit was complete.  It needed a mains supply if it was going to run the 10-12 bulbs per channel allowed on this 2 channel flicker unit.

I trotted round the other side of the house model and filched the power set up and lighting strip.  (Thank goodness all the plugs I yanked are labelled!)  The whole thing worked nicely, so pennies are going to have to be put by for a second DC set up.  I always knew I was going to have to dig into the hobby piggy bank once the house became bigger, but I’ve kept putting off.

theinfill - Medieval to Jacobean Great Hall - flickering light

Not much of a photo, but dark and still, so what did I expect?  The fire is an independent flickerer and possibly gives more ground level, useful light than the torches, whose light concentrates on the walls around.

It proved a worthwhile, though freezing cold, exercise.  The ever aging hands combined with the low temp meant that work with incredibly fine copper wiring was an act of patience, perseverance and aching foolhardiness.

Total side issue warning: 

I remember the first time, a couple of years ago, I proudly wired up a plug to a scale model light and got it to work.  I did not believe that I could be doing it right in any way whatsoever.  I mean, who in their right mind spends time doing ir if what I was doing was anywhere near correct?  I’m sure there are better ways but plug pins held in straight nosed pliers, wire ends as fine as fairy hair – the pins flew around the room with a life of their own and were nigh on impossible to relocate. Scrabbling around on hands and knees with magnet in hand – oh, boy.  And, yes, I’d slightly enlarged the holes in the plugs for the pins.  I did get better at it, but better still is wiring them into screw terminals if appropriate, I reckon, and ‘fuey’ to the silly plugs and pins.

Back to the flicker

The only possible drawback to using the flicker unit is that I think the wall torches tested flickered in sync continuously.  If so just how many flicker units or independent flickering items would one have to buy in order to get a more random look, we wonders?  I must wire up a whole section of lights and see the result.  Might have to wait for a warmer afternoon, though.

The original plan had been to buy a Micro Miniatures flicker unit, but the memory being what it is, it never happened.  They are exceptionally helpful folk who have very good model building electrical supplies.  They have remote control lighting systems, LEDs, (some of which I’ve used for daylight effect near window openings), fibre optics, (which I’m playing with at the moment to see if I can get them to work for small candles etc), lighting strips and the afore-mentioned flicker units – different ones for fires and candle/oil lamps, so perhaps they operate more variably.  They design many of the units themselves.  I got my original power supply from them and it was probably one of the fastest deliveries of an online bought item I’ve had.  Order placed late one afternoon and on my doorstep in the middle of nowhere the next day.  I must try out one of their flicker units next time the pennies are rattling around in piggy as one unit won’t be enough, and we’ll see what frequency the flicker is with that.

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Making light work of lighting a dolls’ house | The Dolls House Emporium Blog

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