The NEW home for the "OLD" Tutorials Tip & Tricks

Tutorials, Tips & Tricks -->>

Tutorials, Tips & Tricks -->>


Email or call 317-201-4974 to discuss your project today!



Streamlined Backshop Services is an authorized dealer for all major DCC manufacturers including:


CT Elektronik

DCC Specialties


ESU-Electronic Solutions

Lenz USA

MRC Corporation

NCE Corporation

QSI Solutions



TCS-Train Control Systems

Zimo USA


Be sure to contact us if you don't find what you are looking for.  We can ship most items in 5-7 business days.



Be sure to visit our YouTube channel at 
Streamlined Backshop Services to see video demonstrations of some of our projects.


Be sure to visit our store,Streamlined Backshop Services, where you can purchase many great items like DCC Decoders and Command Stations, DCC Installation Parts, Locomotives and Rolling Stock, Ready-To-Run Sound Cars, and our exclusive custom-engineered truck pick-ups.


Be sure to visit our friends at www.hoseeker.netwhere you can find parts lists and diagrams of all your vintage and contemporary locomotives.



Soldering Magnet Wire To Surface Mount LEDs



Streamlined Backshop Services is now offering our exclusive Locomotive Lighting Kits for sale.


Bring your stable of iron horses, your covered wagons, GeePs, StuDs, Big MACs, and your juice jacks to life with the brilliance and intensity of LED lighting. 


SBS4DCC has packaged many great light fixture designs with pre-wired micro LEDs to provide hobbyists with great products to upgrade their rosters and take full advantage of the power of DCC.


These tiny lights are perfect for use in DCC decoder installations and our N Scale Ditchlights could be the smallest functioning add-on ditchlight available anywhere.


Streamlined Backshop Services offers a complete line of LED's for use with DCC installations.  The tiny lights have infinite other uses in model railroading, R/C, and other modling activities.


In addition to the LED's we offer a complete selection of fine wire to complete the project including 32ga and 36ga stranded wire and 38ga magnet wire.
Now you can enjoy the brilliance of LED lighting and create a professional looking LED installation in minutes.  Super bright and super sharp.

Be sure to visit the store to our full line of LED-based DCC Lighting Kits today!


Surface Mount LED Sizes

Surface mount LEDs come in many different sizes.  The four most common sizes are the 0402, 0603, 0805, and 1206.


The 0402 LED measures 1.0 mm x 0.5 mm x 0.45 mm in size.


The 0603 LED measures 1.6 mm x 0.8 mm x 0.6 mm in size.


The 0805 LED measures 2.0 mm x 1.25 mm x 0.8 mm in size.


The 1206 LED measures 3.2mm x 1.5 mm x 1.1 mm in size.


The 32ga and 36ga stranded wire vary in size depending on the thickness of the insulation.


The 38ga magnet wire measures 0.09 mm each and approximately 0.2 mm when twisted.diameter x 10.0 mm long.


Soldering Surface Mount LED's
There are a few tools and supplies recommended for working with surface mount LEDs.
Locking Needle-Nose Tweezers
Soldering Iron (720° F recommended)
Needle-Nose Tweezers with Rubber Band (optional technique)
Wood "Solder" Block (optional technique)
Tinning Flux
Double Sided Tape (optional technique)
The process for soldering the LED is very simple. 
The size of the wire and the LED make it seem very intimidating but it really is not as impossible as it looks.  Watch the video, follow these steps and take your time.  You'll be amazed at how easy it is.


Step 1 - Load the LED in the tweezers.  Optionally, use a pice of double-sided tape on a wood "soldrering" block to hold the steady.


Step 2 - Apply a small amount of Tinning Flux to the ends of the magnet wire and to the solder pads of the LED.


Step 3 - Collect a small "ball" of solder on the tip of the pre-heated iron and pass the wire through the ball to tin the end.  Tip - keep the tinned area very small; it only needs to be as long as the solder pad of the LED.

Step 4 - Lay the tinned wire on the LED solder pad and quickly "touch" the solder ball on the iron tip to the solder pad.
Step 5 - Load the resistor in the tweezers and repeat steps 2, 3 and 4.  Repeat all steps to attach the second wire.
Step 6 - Test the LED assembly and rework the solder joints as required.
Step 7 - Twist the wire pairs by "rolling" the assembly between your thumb and index finger.
Step 8 - Apply a coat of enamel to the exposed solder joint to insulate the assembly.
Still not ready to try it?  Sure thing, I get that.  I sell them Pre-Wired too...

How To Series #1 - On YouTube


How To Solder Magnet Wire To Surface Mount LEDs

Working with Pre-Wired LEDs


The pre-wired LED's ship with a dimming resistor already installed.  The brightness can be adjusted to taste by varying the size of the resistor.


Installation is simple.  All pre-wired LEDs ship with a resistor and wire lead attached to the magnet wire.  This is done for testing more than installation.  The resistor can be removed and reattached or left off if your decoder has an on-board resistor already.


Simply drill an appropriate sized hole to mount the light fixture to the locomotive body.  Next, insert the LED in the fixture, feed the wire through the mounting hole, and secure the fixture with CA glue.  Now, position the LED and secure with Microscale Krystal-Kleer or similar product.  Finally, connect the red mag wire lead to the positve conneciton (blue wire on most decoders) and the green wire with resistor to the negative connection (white, yellow, green, violet wire on most decoders)


There are many options available for both N and HO Scale.  Be sure to check out our LED section for plenty of complimentary LED sizes and colors to finish your project.


Be sure to see the videos below to see just how cool these light kits really are. 

These tiny lights are perfect for use in DC or DCC decoder installations where ever professional-looking LED lighting is desired.
This product can be used with all major decoder brands including TCS (Train Control Systems), NCE (North Coast Engineering), MRC (Model Rectifier Corp), Lenz, ESU-Loksound, QSI, Digitrax, and Soundtraxx.  Be sure to check the manufacturers documentation for resistor sizing and installation instructions.


You can purchase a set today from my online store


Streamlined Backshop Services