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7" retrofit (GDAA WRX)

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  • Frame for mounting the faceted diffuser

    Figuring out a way to mount the faceted diffuser to the assembly. The orientation is as previously shown, with the convex side pointing to the road, just like the clear cabochon lens in front of it:


    These diffusers come with a lens holder (white for the ribbed, black for the faceted one) that has foreground and "high beam" limiters like so:


    Instead of using it in the intended orientation, I can mount it upside down to increase the total surface area that touches the cabochon. As it is right now, only the center of the curved lens of the diffuser touches the cabochon (see first picture above). Since the foreground and "high beam" limiters get in the way of the lens in this upside down position, and since the limiters counter the purpose of this unit as aux DRL (or maybe aux parking light), they need to be trimmed off.

    A quick trim, with rough edges not smoothed out.
    Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

    Comment


    • Smoothing out the edges

      I was hoping that the edges might get into that dark zone of the cabochon lens, where the optics will prevent objects close to the perimeter of the lens from being visible as seen from the outside. It just barely clears the dark zone, but from some angles, it is still visible.


      After the edges are filed smooth.


      Whatever edge that shows up is now smoother. The cabochon acts as a magnifying glass for objects placed that close to it.


      The white frame sits like so, with the diffuser lens flipped upside down from its original design.


      My thought is to have the white frame glued to the flat side of the cabochon lens. This might not be a good idea, since any glue runoff can appear magnified from the outside. Time to set it aside and think of some ideas. There are other parts yet to figure out.
      Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

      Comment


      • Idea: stabilizing ring

        Moving the question of how to best affix the faceted diffuser's holder to the acrylic cabochon lens aside for a moment.

        I'm trying the idea of making a stabilizing ring for the aux DRL assembly. Each assembly will have 1 ring mounted behind the shroud, and when the shroud pushes against the ring, the orientation of the DRL assembly will be somewhat fixed.

        Rough cut from an acrylic tube:


        The ring is c-shaped instead of fully enclosed. This is because when mounted behind the shroud (the back of this shroud is painted yellow; I was experimenting with ways to make the predominantly sheet metal finish have a bit more nuanced reflections), one side goes to the bent side of the shroud, where it interferes with the 7" housing's perimeter otherwise.


        Another angle of the ring with respect to the DRL assembly and shroud:
        Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

        Comment


        • Alternate position of the stabilizing ring

          Alternatively, the stabilizing ring could mount on the outside. If the ring is glued to the DRL assembly, then the ring can be affixed to the shroud by a series of small screws coming in from the backside of the shroud into the ring. The screws won't be visible from the outside, but the ring would be. No screws yet in the picture below.


          Another angle:


          I'm not sure if I like the screws being visible on the shroud while the ring sits behind it like in the previous post, or the reverse.
          Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

          Comment


          • 3rd option: both sides with stabilizing ring

            The previous 2 options probably requires small screws to mount the stabilizing ring onto the metal shroud. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with just glueing the acrylic ring on metal. Another way is to have stabilizing rings on both sides.

            I made another pair. The bottom pair is the new pair intended for the outside. The top pair is the original pair I previously made. The new ones have a better finish on both sides, since these will be visible from the outside. I left the surface rough enough to keep a frosted look.


            The rings mount like so:


            , where the gap between them is what keeps the lens assembly affixed to the shroud. Here is the gap, exaggerated.
            Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

            Comment


            • Having the rings glued to the rest of the lens assembly is not an issue, since they are all acrylic, and I plan to use acrylic glue. The connection between the sheet aluminum shroud and acrylic is now by mechanical constraint, not chemical bond. Like so:

              Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

              Comment


              • Very interesting. Will that clear the housing lens?

                Originally posted by cthunder
                The more you mod your car the moodier it gets.
                Avalon Dual Lens | Rogue LED | Mori 3800K | Mori 3Five | H11 PnP LED

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Fstrsn View Post
                  Very interesting. Will that clear the housing lens?
                  Good question. I don't know yet. The reason the new rings are c-shaped is also to clear the housing lens. The last time I tried the housing lens on, the DRL assembly jutted out about the same amount (see RHS unit in the picture below), so I hope it fits. The other new constraint is now the faceted lens that sits between the LED and the acrylic cabochon lens; there is no gap among them.
                  Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Fstrsn View Post
                    Very interesting. Will that clear the housing lens?
                    You're correct. I need about 2mm more clearance.
                    Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                    Comment


                    • Affixing the diffuser's frame

                      Now that the ring idea could possibly not work (due to interference with the 7" housing lens), let's move on to something else.

                      One option for affixing the diffuser's frame (i.e. that white plastic ring) onto the flat side of the cabochon lens was to just glue it. But it involves a relatively contact surface area on the white plastic.


                      One way to make that surface area larger is to use the side. Since I have some spare clear acrylic slabs, I'm trying out an acrylic ring made of the slab, so that the surface of the hole can be glued to more of the white plastic's surface, and then the bottom of the acrylic ring can be glued to the flat portion of the cabochon lens. More surface area means less chance of the glue failing imho. Trim the slab into a ring shape using a drum sander:


                      The rings turn out like so; not perfect circles on the outer diameter.


                      Another side benefit is that the outer diameter forms an interference fit with the metal surround; I may also glue it there, or just leave it to mechanical friction:
                      Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                      Comment


                      • Ignoring for the moment, the fact that the double c-ring approach interferes with the 7" housing's lens, here's how the faceted diffuser looks, when the custom acrylic ring keeps the diffuser and the DRL assembly together via mechanical friction (i.e. I haven't applied any glue yet).







                        Since the diffuser sits behind the cabochon lens, the pattern doesn't show up when seen from the side.
                        Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                        Comment


                        • Looks like the space constraint on the aux DRL is more severe; to clear the 7" glass lens, the acrylic cabochon lens for the DRL needs to be recessed quite deep into the DRL assembly like so:


                          In addition, there isn't much vertical space for the c-ring under the shroud (pointed to by the pen below) near the edge of the 7" housing.


                          The shroud should push the c-ring down, but the clearance with the 7" housing edge (below) becomes an issue.


                          To make matters worse, having the acrylic cabochon lens recessed to clear the 7" lens means that the faceted diffuser won't have enough space.
                          Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                          Comment


                          • Plan B

                            Evaluating options.

                            There's this LED diffuser that uses a ribbed pattern, and has a larger diameter than the faceted diffuser. I've avoided using it because I only have 1 part left, and ordering a set (of 5) takes a while from deal extreme. Also, this lens has a flat outer surface, which makes it look different from the other units in the 7" housing (i.e. the ES300, Micro DE, and DIY aux turn signal).

                            Clearance wise, this LED diffuser should work:




                            Lots of clearance:
                            Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                            Comment


                            • But how does it light up?

                              Left side (of the picture) is my preferred (but will not fit) configuration of acrylic cabochon lens on top of a faceted diffuser on top of the LED emitter. Right side is the flat LED diffuser on top of the LED emitter.


                              Low exposure pictures to compare; head on:


                              From the flat diffuser side:


                              From the preferred configuration's side:


                              Both seem to maintain about the same intensity when viewed from left side, head on, and right side. But the flat diffuser gives away the relatively spot light source behind it, whereas the preferred configuration appears like an evenly lit circle.

                              The recessed (relative to the shroud) flat diffuser looks ok, even though it lacks the curved outer surface of the others (ES300, Micro DE, turn signal).
                              Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                              Comment


                              • Plan B2

                                Another option is to use just the faceted diffuser, and do away without the clear cabochon lens in front of it. This solves the space clearance issue, but exposes the smaller faceted diffuser.

                                One way to make the size not look noticeably small compared to the other lenses is to recess it as far inwards as possible. It gives a deep socket look that is different from the rest though:


                                Left side is still my preferred (but infeasible) configuration of the clear cabochon in front of the faceted diffuser. Right side is just the faceted diffuser, placed as far back as possible.


                                Lit up:


                                Underexposed shots, to better see the relative intensity from different angles:




                                Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                                Comment

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