EZ-LITETM FRED (Flashing Rear End Device) FLASHERS , EZ26

See the Photo Gallery for photos of Prototype FREDs

A Track-Powered FRED Flasher (EZ26) is available from Richmond Controls.  It was designed to produce flash intervals and durations as close as possible to the prototype.  Typical flash rates are 40 flashes per minute (1.5 second period) and about 1/5 second flash duration.

The FREDs themselves (the red light sources) are specified separately from the flashers.  The EZ26 can drive Richmond Controls FREDs as well as simple red LEDs.


EZ26 with Supercapacitor
0.51" (1.30 cm)
0.45" (1.14 cm)
0.26 (0.66 cm)
EZ26 with Tantalum Capacitor
0.51" (1.30 cm)
0.24" (0.61 cm)
0.17" (0.43 cm)
EZ26 with NO Capacitor  *
0.51" (1.30 cm)
0.185" (0.47 cm)
0.05" (0.13 cm)

* On special request, the EZ26 capacitor can be supplied as a separate part for remote mounting.


The normal EZ26 TRACK-POWERED FRED DRIVER uses a capacitor to minimize problems related to dirty track or wheels. This module easily fits inside Z Scale, N Scale, and HO Scale boxcars and loads, and it can occasionally be hidden under some Z Scale, N Scale, and HO Scale cars. Once the capacitor has been fully charged, a FRED will continue to flash after power has been removed from the track.

The normal EZ26 energy storage capacitor is a supercapacitor. The "standard" supercapacitor can be fully charged in about a second, but it can only supply power for about 10 seconds after a FRED-equipped car is removed from the track.  The "high-capacity" supercapacitor can take 2 minutes to charge before flashing begins, but it will then support flashing for over an hour.  It is expected that most users will not need the extreme long flashing duration, will not want to wait two minutes to charge a completely discharged supercapacitor, and will select the standard supercapacitor.  (A tantalum capacitor that is significantly smaller than either supercapacitor can be used where absolute minimum volume is the primary concern.)  Another option for those wishing to avoid having to acquire power from the track would be to power the EZ26 using a 3 volt photo battery.

Unlike its predecessor, the EZ23, the new EZ26 can withstand higher voltages without requiring a voltage-dropping resistor.  The EZ26 is rated to accept 24 volts PEAK.  It can be used with all conventional DC power packs, the Aristocraft / Crest system, and most DCC systems, as long as the 24 volt peak rating is not exceeded.

If the smallest possible FRED is desired, a SPECIAL EZ26 is available. For this module, the capacitor is not mounted on the circuit board.  A separate tantalum capacitor is supplied for the user to mount in a remote location.  This EZ26 circuit board without capacitor is extremely thin, and can be mounted under Z Scale, N Scale and HO Scale cars. The tantalum capacitor is a bit thicker, but can also be mounted under a car. For example, the Richmond Controls Train Show Display includes a Micro-Trains N Scale flatcar and an E&C HO Scale Coalporter, both with special FRED flashers mounted completely under the empty cars.

PRICING: Base Price (EZ26, capacitor included):
$20.00 per module
(Without FRED)
Additional, Richmond Controls FRED (G, O, HO, N, or Z)
$40 for G
$24 for O
$18.00 for HO

$15.00 for N
$15.00 for Z
Additional, Red LED (without FRED casting)
$2.00 each
Additional, Red LED with 0.040" tip diameter (for Kato MHCs, etc.)
$4.00 each
Additional, set of axle wiper current collectors, HO, N, or Z:
$4.00 per package

The full part number for the EZ26 Track-Powered FRED consists of the module number followed by a dash ("-") and a three-number suffix of the form "-xyz". Replace the "x" with the type of Richmond Controls FRED desired (G, O, HO, N or Z), R for red LED without casting, L for red LED with 0.040" tip and lead wires, or 0 for none). Replace "y" with the type of capacitor desired (normally Supercapacitor, or Tantalum for special applications). Replace "z" with "W" if axle Wipers are desired (and specify whether HO Scale, N Scale, or Z Scale wipers are desired). For example, a typical HO FRED kit is EZ26-HSW ($20 + $18 + $4 = $42), and a typical N FRED kit is EZ26-NSW ($20 + $15 + $4 - $39). A typical Z Scale kit is EZ26-ZSW for $20 + $15 + $4 = $39.00.

AMTRAK Material Handling Cars generally use a FRED mounted on a bracket attached to the rear wall, rather than the coupler-mounted FRED generally found on freight cars.  For the Kato N Scale Material Handling Car (which already has power pickups routing power into the car from the track), a small (0.040") hole can be drilled in the rear wall through the small rectangular block, and a red LED with a 0.040" tip can be inserted from the inside.   An EZ26 to flash the LED and a power distribution wiper set (EZWPRS-KMHC) complete the package.  The EZ26 is $20.00, the EZWPRS-KMHC set is $10.00, and the red LED with small tip is $4.00, for a total of $34.00.

ORDERING - When ordering an EZ-LITETM FRED module, always specify the following:

  1. Brand, scale, and model of the car or load into which the FRED Flasher will be installed, and the location where the module will be installed. (Examples: inside deLuxe Innovations N Scale Container, under Micro-Trains N Scale flatcar, inside Athearn HO Scale Box Car, under E&C HO Scale Coalporter, under a MicroTrains Z Scale gondola.)
  2. FRED module desired. (Example: Richmond Controls HO Scale FRED, Richmond Controls N Scale FRED, Richmond Controls Z Scale FRED, Red LED, None).
  3. Other options or special instructions, if any. (Example: HO wipers, N Wipers, Z Wipers.)
  4. (optional) EZ-LITETM model, with suffix.