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7" retrofit (GDAA WRX)

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  • Skin fabrication: first side

    Material of choice: aluminum sheet metal marketed as roof flashing. It is thin enough to cut with household scissors (allowing for much more precise cuts than the beefier metal shears), and yet can be stiff enough with strategically placed bends and closures.


    The template is transferred onto blue tape that is applied to the sheet metal; I try to make cuts, folds, and extra materials to be folded later visually different to minimize mistakes that can scrap raw material. Areas marked green delineate the perimeter of extra material to better connect the skin to the 7" housing.


    Initially, I thought it is better to fold the extra material in an alternating pattern, in order to better connect the skin to the 7" housing. It wasn't until I finished doing it that I realized how sharp some of the fold angles had to be to allow the 7" housing's "bowl" surface to fit. Since aluminum this thin is quite brittle, that meant a lot of the extra materials are close to breaking. Either way, it looks like this:


    Here's how it looks with the 7" housing pushed down to make the extra materials bend to the appropriate positions. I noticed that the 7" housing is secure enough without the temporary clear acrylic bars (like the one on the right). So off it goes. That also means 2 less holes through the skin; 2 less sources of leakage to worry about.
    Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

    3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

    Comment


    • dude, this is custom work level OVER 90000 lol
      Great job so far

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Ahmad Kadado View Post
        dude, this is custom work level OVER 90000 lol
        Great job so far
        Thx. I hope it doesn't go up in flames like Goku.

        I just wanted to find out what things are possible. It may or may not work. We'll see what happens with weatherproofing and heat management.
        Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

        3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

        Comment


        • Skin fabrication: replication to the other side

          Flip the scrap paper + tape template over, and it becomes the template for the other side. Unlike the first side, I decide to bend the extra material outwards. Learn from one's mistakes, I suppose.


          From the botom, looking up. The holes here are mostly identical, since they were governed by the pre existing holes in some of the metal brackets used.


          From the top looking down.
          Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

          3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

          Comment


          • ^
            That last picture in post #214 gives me an idea... how about a shroud that looks like a sunny-side up, with the ES300 being part of the yolk.
            Hmm... that might get old real quick though.
            Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

            3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

            Comment


            • I was seriously questioning how this was going come out, and you sir have not disappointed me.

              Comment


              • ^
                Thank you; I too seriously question how this is going to come out. It may just leak.

                Either way, it's been a good learning experience; still is.
                Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                Comment


                • Simple short range projector

                  Now for a simple projector with a ribbed lens to diffuse light over a relatively horizontal beam over a short distance. I'm not sure if I want this to be an auxiliary parking light, auxiliary turn signal, or DRL. It all depends on the intensity & spread.

                  I start with 2 different sizes of clear acrylic tubes, one having an inner diameter matching the other's outer diameter. For the lens, a cabochon matching the inner diameter of the bigger tube. The larger tube will serve as the "housing" of the simple projector, and the smaller tube will allow the cabochon to "sit" on it as pictured, inside the larger tube.


                  For the diffuser, an off-the-shelf LED diffuser lens (top right), with the edges and conical back trimmed off (bottom right):
                  Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                  3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                  Comment


                  • Putting the simple projector together

                    Since the smaller tube is only needed to seat the cabochon, I only need to take a short piece, say, less than 1/2". On the other side, (and still on the inner side of the larger tube) a thin strip of aluminum sheet metal (the same type I used for the "skin" of the custom brackets that hold the ES300 and Micro DE together) provides just enough wedge action to prevent the cabochon from falling out. A little bit of acrylic glue (the clear bubbly one) helps set them together.

                    The trimmed LED diffuser lens is placed inside the smaller tube, just behind the cabochon. I plan to just glue that piece. From this angle, the ribbed pattern from the LED diffuser doesn't show.


                    From a more head-on angle, the clear cabochon appears to have a ribbed pattern, thanks to the LED diffuser right behind it.



                    Obviously, since the entire simple projector assembly (save the aluminum strip) is made of acrylic, I have no intentions of putting a halogen or HID light source in it. With LED, I just need to make sure that the heat on the back end is properly conducted away by some metal. Hopefully something can be worked out on that end, to that end.
                    Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                    3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                    Comment


                    • More paper mache trimming

                      To accommodate for the acrylic projector, the 7" housing needs to be trimmed off some more. Time to recruit back the paper mache mock housing. The acrylic projector is temporarily propped to be in its tentative position. After some iterative trimming, the paper mache housing looks like this (on the left):


                      Transfer the final pattern to the 7" housing. Good old metal hand saw (which has a thin blade and tiny teeth) does the job very well.


                      Quick mock-up after both sides have been trimmed. The acrylic projectors have not been installed yet at this point. I'm leaning towards mounting it on the bracket that mounts the ES300. Mounting it on the aluminum skin would be easier, but it will compromise serviceability. A choice between an easy solution with deferred complications, or a harder solution with less future complications. Hm...
                      Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                      3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                      Comment


                      • That looks really good. I really like how the two lower lenses have that ripped design.
                        How about three additional yellow or white parking light leds in the top outside corner? I think it would look cool if you could use the same difuser as in the headlights.
                        Last edited by Crossgolf; November 28th, 2013, 12:16 AM.
                        Subaru Outback retrofit:
                        http://www.hidplanet.com/forums/show...aru-Outback-H6
                        License plate lights with dual brightness:
                        https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/for...hen-backing-up

                        Comment


                        • thx
                          3 might be a stretch. The remaining areas are quite shallow. It would be hard to fit any optics. First, I need to figure out whether the acrylic projector I made can actually work.
                          Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                          3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                          Comment


                          • Bracket for the acrylic projector

                            I decided to take the harder route of affixing the acrylic projector onto the metal bracket (where the ES300 and Micro DE are mounted on) instead of onto the sheet aluminum skin. That way, servicing the unit will be less of a headache.

                            First, a cardstock prototype, running through 2 of the screws that hold the ES300. The botom bends 90 degrees, and has a hole to hold the acrylic projector via a screw seen below (with a red threadlock residue).


                            Perusing my scrap metal bin resulted in a slight detour from the cardstock prototype. This particular scrap piece already has holes in the right location. All that was needed was to trim the overall shape. Hopefully, one hole plus some interference fit will suffice. Since the relative position of the pre-made holes depend on how accurate the bend is made, I chose not to make the bend by hand. Vise grip and hammer to the rescue.


                            Completed bracket (out of galvanized steel scrap from a Simpson strong-tie branded wood fastener), next to the cardstock prototype.
                            Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                            3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                            Comment


                            • Mount for the LED

                              Supposing the acrylic projector is securely fastened by that bracket, the open back end will accommodate a smaller cylinder (tentatively out of a smaller acrylic tube) that secures the LED. That way, if the LED needs replacing, the smaller cylinder can be slid out, and a new LED is inserted. Here is a tentative concept. Using a PC power supply unit, I powered the LED to test what the best LED depth should be relative to the cabochon. The blue tape strip on the smaller cylinder marks that depth.


                              The area near the LED will probably need to be metal, to facilitate proper heat dissipation. To be determined.


                              In order to make the acrylic projector as shallow as possible, I decided to cut the larger cylinder such that the flat part of the LED is on the same plane as the back of the large cylinder. It is marked by the black line on the large cylinder.
                              Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                              3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

                              Comment


                              • So how is it gonna look/perform with a projector LED behind that lens?

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