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Connecting the NK030 Lightning effects Kit


This kit includes a pre-programmed simulator, a 2-channel N8103A-2 Super Booster board with the simulator installed on it and two high-intensity (300 lumen) 1-watt 12-volt white LEDs with wired sockets, plus power input and control wires. A 1/2-inch square double-sided adhesive foam pad is included for mounting the booster board.

 The Lightning effect is designed as an add-on for our N8502-030 Little Bigger Sounds Thunderstorm sound effect, but can be used separately (as stand-alone lightning) if so desired.

 Wiring this kit for operation:

 Figure 1 below shows the layout of the N8301A-2 Super Booster board with the Lightning light effect Simulator board mounted on it (small board on the left side. Included with this kit are two #26 wires for use as power input wires. The red wire should be soldered to the +DC IN solder point (just above the left-side of the Simulator board, and the black wire soldered to the –DC IN point just below the Simulator board.


                                                         Figure 1

CAUTION! The included LEDs are extremely bright and are intended for INDIRECT viewing ONLY.

   Prolonged direct viewing can seriously damage your eyes

The two socketed LEDs included in the kit create the very bright lightning flashes that are triggered by the simulator board and amplified by the Super Booster channels 1 & 2.

Booster channel 1 output solder points are labeled 1C and 1A. This channel is for the “foreground” lightning effect. Channel 2 output points are labeled 2C and 2A and are for the “background” lightning which is lower in intensity being for a more distant effect.

 In most diorama and layout applications, the thunder and lightning will be somewhat distant from the front viewing position and the LEDs should be located to shine INDIRECTLY up against a backdrop or some surface that will give reflectability when the flashes occur. The distance is totally dependant on layout or diorama size and configuration, but from a wiring standpoint, we recommend limiting wire length to a maximum of 12-feet, with our preference being about 6-feet to minimize voltage drop from the booster to the LEDs. Wire used for this extension should be at least #26 in size. When wiring the LEDs, the Red wire is the + connection and must be connected to the “A” solder points. The black wires connect to the “C” solder points. Included in this kit a 4 segment of shrink tubing that can be used  to cover solder joints for the splicing of longer wires to the LEDs.

Connecting control wires to run the Lightning effect:

Important note: A low-wattage iron with a pointed tip should be used for connection of these wires. Too much heat or solder can damage the circuit pads on the board and void the warranty.

In the lower left corner of the Super Booster there are 3 oval pads labeled T1, T2 & T3. (see Fig. 2 below) To the right of each pad is a pair of solder jumper (bridging) pads These bridging pads will NOT be used for this application.

                       Figure 2

Oval padT3:

This pad  is connected to the lightning Simulator’s control input  and when connected to ground (–DC) , starts the lightning effect. Included in this kit is a #32 violet wire that can be used for this connection.

 If the Lightning effect is to be used with the N8502-030 Thunderstorm Little Bigger Sound effect, the blue wire in that product package is normally connected to control pad #3 on the sound module (see Fig 3 below). When that wire is grounded (–DC)  it starts the sound effect.

                             Figure 3

To synchronize the Lightning and Thunder, connect both control wires together and momentarily connect the to –DC. This will initiate both effect which will run for 1 minute and 23 seconds and stop. This –DC connection must be the same –DC that connects to the power inputs for this booster board and the Little Bigger Sound effects modules.

 If you plan to run these effects using one of our N8600 Proximity Detectors, the control wires should be connected to the Switched DC output marked on that circuit board.

Looping or, continuously running the effects:

There may be situations where it is desirable to have the Lightning and Thunder run longer or run in a continuous loop. If that is desired, the violet and blue wires mentioned above would be grounded (–DC) continuously instead of momentarily . A toggle switch works well for this purpose. We have also included two additional (yellow) wires that need to be connected if looping is desired. One end of one yellow wire would be soldered to the “T2” pad on the booster (Fig.2 above) and the other end connected to pad #7 on the sound board  (Fig. 3 above).

 Because both the Lightning Simulator and the Sound module have their own microcontrollers with internal clocking circuits there can be a slight “drift” in timing between the two boards. To eliminate this “drift”, the Simulator sends out a momentary pulse at the end of its lightning cycle to oval pad T2 that is transmitted to Sound board pad #7 causing the sound processor to do a reset (start over at the beginning). At the same time the program in the Simulator starts over. Unfortunately, when the sound board is reset the Little Bigger Sound Amplifier board is still on and a “popping sound” will be heard in the speaker. To eliminate this, the second  yellow wire needs to be connected between “T2” and one side of a 10K-ohm resistor on the Amplifier board. See Figure 4 below. Be very careful when connecting to this resistor so as not to overheat or cause solder to jumper (short) to other components or circuit traces.

                                                      Figure 4


This completes connection of the NK030 Lightning Kit. It is recommended that a thorough re-inspection of all connections and module placement be performed prior to applying power. We hope you enjoy the added realism our kit provides.


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