I was slightly worried about how the Moonliner would look on the Platform, but now that I have it installed I think it looks great and adds a bit more Tomorrowland flavor to Main Street. The modifications I made fall into two categories; adapting the Moonliner Lighting to operate with the Platform Lighting Accessory and a completely optional mod to lower the Moonliner by a quarter inch. Here’s how they work:
The Moonliner is illuminated by a single LED located at the rear of the piece. When you remove the ‘Liner from its base you’ll unplug the black and white wires that connect the LED to the lighting control board. We won’t use the lighting controller with this mod so leave it in the base.
Depending on how your Orbitor fits into your Platform you might need to move the Moonliner LED leads around slightly. The LED leads are silicon’d to the ‘Liner base such that they extend forward and probably won't allow the Moonliner base to sit down flat on the Orbitor base. If you have that problem then take a thin knife and cut the led leads from the silicon and away from the base and move them around so they drop down into the gap behind the back of the Orbitor. Your LED might come completely loose when you cut the silicon (mine did). If that happens just tape it back into place or use a bit more silicon to hold it. Be careful with the LED leads so they don’t short out.
To connect the Moonliner to the Olszewski Lighting Package you'll need to cut out one of the now unused female connectors in the Moonliner base electronics. I used one with the Red/Green wires. You'll connect the Moonliner White/Black wires into this connector when you install it into the platform. We'll be placing a current limiting resistor in the Red wire path of the wire going to the female connector (as per the photo below).
Now, about the Resistor: If you want to illuminate your Moonliner with the same intensity as Olszewski used with the original Moonliner Base then use a 56 Ohm resistor in series in the connector Red wire path as shown. That operates the LED at it’s maximum power. I found that setup to make the Moonliner appear to be SUPER BRIGHT, I mean REALLY bright in comparison with the lighting of the Orbitor, Plaza Inn, and other Main Street pieces. I found that a 560 ohm resistor (a 10X reduction in power!) made the Moonliner lighting to look much more consistent with the other pieces – but still quite bright. So, I recommend using a 560 ohm resistor. All of these photographs show the 560 ohm LED lighting. The photograph to the left shows the Moonliner Black/white wires connected to the Red/Green connector and with the resistor spliced into the Red wire. You'll solder and tape the resistor in place before splicing the Red/Green wires into the Platform Lighting Red/Black wires.
When you’re ready to install the Moonliner on your platform, you’ll remove and unplug the Astro Orbitor, find the Platform Lighting Accessory wires that power it, splice the Moonliner Green wire into the Orbitor’s Platform Lighting Black wire, and connect the ‘Liner Red wire to the Orbitor’s Platform Lighting Red wire (the one with the resistor). Then reinstall and reconnect the Orbitor, place the ‘Liner where you like, and you’re done. This mod does not provide a 10 minute timer to turn off the Moonliner lighting.
Lowering the Moonliner:
I didn’t want the Moonliner to compete with the Astro Orbitor or Plaza Inn for attention. After all, the Moonliner sits at the very back of Tomorrowland and shouldn’t be all that visible from Main Street in the first place. So, I wanted the Moonliner to sit as low down and as far back from Main Street as possible. For that reason I cut the Moonliner free from it’s base as you can see in the photos. Lowering the ‘Liner ¼” might not seem like that much, but it makes a difference in scale – especially against the Orbitor. Lowering the Moonliner also eliminates that funky gray base with it’s odd flange and allows the ‘Liner feet to sit directly on the Orbitor and Plaza Inn bases. I think it better integrates the ‘Liner with the other pieces, but it’s a fine point and the mod is entirely optional. Here’s how to do it:
Cut the LED free from the base with a thin knife. Use a Dremel to cut the Moonliner feet free from the base unit. There’s a steel pin in each foot so don’t be concerned when a few sparks fly when you get about half way through. Then use a Router to cut the ‘Liner engine exhaust fence free from the base. Be careful with this cut so that you only cut about 99% of the way through the resin. If you cut the exhaust fence thing completely free it will drop down and sit directly atop the router spinning at 6,000 RPM and it will fly across the room in a zillion pieces – I know this first hand. So, cut almost entirely through the piece and then just “push” the center out with your fingers. I stopped cutting when I could see light coming up from the Router through edges of the piece. Use the Dremel to clean up the cuts.
Installation of the Lowered Moonliner is fairly obvious, except for the LED. Wire the LED exactly as described above. Then tape it to the Platform Wall behind where you want to place your Moonliner. The led will sit in the gap behind the Orbitor. Place the LED so its top sits slightly above the top of the Orbitor base. Then use the Clump Foliage to hide the LED and direct its light upward. The LED light striking the white wall behind the Moonliner provides a nice effect – like the ‘Liner’s engines are running.
So, that’s it. Everybody will want to make the lighting modification. And even without making the Lowering mod the Moonliner still looks good and adds more Tomorrowland flavor to the Main Street collection.