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Z Scale Fiber Optic Arrow Panel Sign

Below are the steps I took to create the blinking arrow sign to show that the lane is closed and cars need to move over to the left.

I started out by cutting a very thin piece of styrene 9mm x 4mm.  I then used a #80 micro drill bit to make the 15 holes to mimic the prototype.


The next step was to take the fiber optic cables and make a 90 degree bend using a soldering iron.  To make the bend you hold the fiber optics close to the iron without touching it.


Once all of the cables are bent I fed them through the holes and used caulk to glue them in place.  I did this part in sections over a few days to avoid some of the fiber optics from popping out.  I pushed the fiber optics into one of those green squishy things normally used to arrange flowers. 

Once all of the fiber optic cables were glued in place I cut off a portion of the tube and glued the panel to the top.  I made the tube longer than I needed it to be because I want it to go into the foam base of the layout so it's securely held in place.


The picture below shows how I took a solid round piece of styrene and used an X-Acto knife and files to create the wheels.


Here's a picture of the finished assembly.  The base has the electrical boxes that house batteries and the controls for the sign.

This is what the sign looked like after spraying it with black paint.  You can easily see the fiber optic cables that were fed from behind.  I later snipped each one at the base so the light would show.


This is what it looks like installed in the layout.

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