I've been so busy with working the last couple of weeks and the Camaro has been out with a bad fuel pump (ordered 2 and both were bad! waiting on a third, not going with stock now I'm modifying the thing) My other car is broke these LEDs just don't seem as important. Maybe if I get some time off work this weekend I'll go pick up some thinner Lexan and get to work mounting these. The newest fuel pump won't be here till Monday anyways.
Well this weekend was the nicest and warmest of the year, and as a true North Westerner I spent as much time outside as I could. I fixed my El Camino and took it out cruising, still waiting for a fuel pump for my Camaro (it should be at home when I get off work). I got some more work done on the LEDs though.
I got them all mounted on this piece of acrylic. It is rpetty thin but works great and it easy to cut out. I've only hooked up this first string of 5 LEDs but I think they are going to be plenty bright for park lights. I couldn't get a pic with them in the housing or behind the lens becasue I'd need at least 3 hands to hold everything.
I wasn't too worried about if they were perfectly straight or if they were all spaced perfect because there is no way to see them when the lens is mounted to the car.
Just a quick idea of how they will mount, the lens is sitting on the top right now. These will face down when I'm done.
And here is the first row attached. I'm going to move that resistor to the other lead I think and then just jumper all my negative leads together (If that sounds stupid let me know!).
Anyways I'm going to be working on my fuel pump and then hopefully welding my exhaust back on the car so I may not have time to finish these tonight. If something changes I will get some more done (I can't wait to see these done)!
And just because I have a nice pic of it, this is my next project: park and turn signal LEDs on the front and full LED tail lights on the back with maybe a 3rd brake light (I deleted all the side marker lights, and yes I'm adding rear view mirrors they just aren't mounted yet).
Last edited by 78_elky; April 24th, 2012 at 11:58 AM.
Hey so I got the LED strip built. I think it'll be bright enough for the park lamp. One section of the LEDs didn't light up in this pic unfortunately. I'm not really happy with how the wires are routed and how I'm going to have to make them exit the housing so I am going to rebuilt it a lot differently. I still think I should have these 25 on the top and then have another 20-25 below these as well.
and now on to the pics (what every one wants to see!)
Lemme know what you think
I would say that centering the LEDs in the housing would be very nice. And I would add another row as well, just to be bigger/more visible. I like being as visible as possible.
Is that lens cracked? it looks cracked in one of the pictures.
EDIT: maybe that's just the wire in picture 3 that makes it look like a crack..
I like the length of the strip you made here but I would like to see it wider personally.
Last edited by BoneJj; April 29th, 2012 at 12:35 AM.
Yeah The more I played with these the more I didn't like them...I'm not sure how to remedy the problem (the lens isn't cracked it must be the pic). I think I may try to build a board that will face all the LEDs out and then the ones covered by the body will just not be seen but maybe they will still illuminate the housing enough.
I got really fed up with these and I happened across a place that sells really good high quality LEDs local so I got some read ones and went to town on the rear park lights. It seems like everything on this car has something that makes it really weird or hard to do a project. The rear lenses are so shallow that they can hardly fit the LEDs so I think I may end up with the lens sitting out from the car a little and not nearly as flush unless I start to grind the inside out. Luckily this project only took a couple of hours from start to finish.
Anyways onto the pics. I used 10 piranha LEDs for these, and I am a little concerned they are too bright, but I'm not going to dim them until I get told there is a problem.
Test fitting and such they are also black lenses with clear but smoked lenses
Then I painted the board black and got the LEDs soldered.
Everything hooked up, its by far not the prettiest thing I've build but it works plus you can't see it through the smoked lens.
And the back (Again not pretty)
And the important stuff: Output shots!
Hope to be back to work on the front lights when I finish the other side marker (ran out of resistors).
OK so I got some more done on these...not nearly enough but still its a start
First I cut some cardboard for a template and then cut it into pieces so that I could simulate sections of PCB instead of curved cardboard.
Then I went ahead and traced the shapes of the cardboard onto some pre-drilled boards and threw some LEDs on them.
As you can see there are quite a few LEDs there (89 to be exact) I could have even put some more but it would have been crowded. I also have the problem that a good section of these will be hidden (refer to 1st post) so I changed the design slightly by using graph paper and playing around with placement.
Now I've got it down to about 50 LEDs that are going to be visible. I was trying to avoid using a PWM because of the complexity but the more I look at this the more I think I may want to use a PWM to blink these because I think it'll look really bad/weird if sections blink and others are solid.
When using a PWM I assume that you'd want to regulate the voltage to the PWM so I'm still going to be running the voltage regulators, right?
I just don't know how to go about building one and the How-Tos I have found are not that explanatory. If anyone can point me in the right direction please let me know.
Oh and just because, I got a new toy for my Camaro! (haven't put it on yet)
The simplest way to PWM IMO is use Vreg which come with On/Off pin (Sharp is a pretty common choice here), then link your PWM module output the the on/off pin of the Vreg. Building a PWM module with 555 is pretty easy, but you can also just buy some ready-made PWM module. And max voltage for 555 is 17v (or 18v, I forgot), so most of the time (except the extremely bad luck time) you should be fine without using Vreg to supply voltage to the PWM module itself.
So is there a good tutorial on this site? I've looked through a few and it seems like they give some info then they either are dead threads or they go in another direction.
I'm puzzled on a few aspects
1) do you always use the same diodes or is that dependent on a variable?
2) it puts out a certain amperage or on;y will run things of a certain amperage if I exceed that somehow with all these LEDs will I need 2 and if so how do I wire that?
3) do I need a pot or could I just play with resistors and just use one I like the output of?