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Discussion Starter #1
Part two of my LED addiction

Part one was the overhead festoon lights: http://thenewx.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=7645

I'm a avid amateur radio operator and have a Yaesu FT-8800 mounted under my passenger seat next to the Rockford Fostgate amplifier.



I've had the detachable faceplate mounted on a strip of velcro just in front of the AC controls. The frequency display is lit but the buttons aren't illuminated at all. I've had to either use a small flashlight or a gooseneck LED light. Not the best for ease of use.



I've also added a CB radio into the armrest console which is pretty simple but also doesn't have any lights.



So I looked at the lid of the arm rest and thought that it would be a good place to mount a pair of LED light assemblies. I removed the three screws holding the top of the arm rest to the console and pulled the back of the console off to check out the cigarette lighter. I'll use this for my power source.



The inside of the lid comes off with four T screws. Inside I mounted a simple tilt switch. I put three pieces of 3M tape on the high side and one piece on the other so that when the lid closes the switch opens and shuts off the lights. Opening the console lid a bit puts the blue lights on. I picked blue as to be soft on my night vision.



The point-to-point wiring was done with heat shrink and soldier. The tilt switch is put in series with the (+) lead. Very easy to do. A quick post wiring check on the bench before the installation.



Each LED assembly is four LEDs that paint a pretty broad light.



I ran the wire out the bottom of the lid and into the side of the inside of the arm rest near the coin storage area. The wire isn't pinched as the lid closes. In use the LEDs put out a nice gentle light which can be aimed by opening the lid up and down. In the fully up position it paints the AC controls with a nice soft glow. I might adjust the light up just a tiny bit with a piece of double sided tape as a shim.



I went with the accessory power as to not have these lights accidently left on for a few days if I park the truck on a slope. This is a really easy installation and the only difficult thing is a bit of soldiering.

The four LED accent lights are no longer sold at my source. There are some 6-LED ones for $8.95 each at www.superbrightleds.com, part number ALB-B-x6.

My next LED project is the upper glove compartment with six LED's pointed inwards and six more pointed down again connected to a tilt switch.
 

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Nice. And a pretty radio as well. :)

Nice to know there is room for a radio under the passenger seat. I was hoping I could fit my new IC-7000 under there. Also got to install my new little tarheel on my X this week. Woohoo :)

- Russell
 

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Discussion Starter #6
RussellB said:
my new IC-7000 under there.
- Russell
Nicer radio!

That thing has been at the top of my list since I got my General ticket last year. If I got one of those I'd likely change the stock radio out for something with a flip up GPS and video screen to connect the video output of the IC-7000 into for viewing.

The Yaesu FT-8800 fits under the seat next to the Rockford Fosgate amplifier with very little (none) room to spare so if the Icom's brain is the same size or just a bit bigger it will fit. Or if you blow out the RF system for something with a built-in amplifier you gain all that space.

If I pull the RF system I'd pull the amplifier and matching sub-woofer out too as my rock-n-roll days are long since gone. I've got an external GPS and enjoy the steering wheel mounted controls so those two factors are working against losing the stock radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Third project completed. The bottom glove compartment has a light when the ignition is running. There's a bit of a scoop on the right side that lets some light in from a small light bulb down into the compartment.

The upper one is dark. I wanted to finish with the blue lights and put a pair of 6-LED assemblies on the door of the upper glove compartment. One of the assemblies points into the compartment and the other points down illuminating the lower compartment if it's open. The blue light is soft and not too disturbing at night.

The circuit consists of a tilt switch and two assemblies connected to the battery this time. The tilt is pretty serious to get this thing to illuminate. The lid needs to be almost all the way open - meaning parking on a slope isn't going to light this one off.



Here's the results:

 

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nice work. I want a light in my console to see whats in there with out flipping on the dome lights. This write up gives me the idea to go to radio shack and pick up some stuff to get it going.
 

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Very cool. I might attempt to run some led bars to light up my cargo area as that's my bedroom when I am working in the field. Like to read before I go to sleep.

I light my front door way to my house and driveway with bulbs from superbrightleds. I heart LEDs.
 

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coool blue...nice work man!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Wow bumped from near death. Oddly enough I was using the lights last night at a Riverside Emergency Animal Rescue Service (REARS) drill. The thing started at 5:00 PM and I wasn't though until 11:30 PM so the lighting came in handy. The LED dome lights don't add any heat to the inside of the truck and don't sap the battery too hard. The amateur radio draws about 22 amps while transmitting at full power - nearly 300 watts so I need to conserve as much as possible.

I've moved my ham radio down a bit lower - and more out of sight.

 

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I read about this here on thenewX.org and decided to do it to my Frontier. I bought some LEDs at the autoparts store and while at the register, I saw this neat LED flashlight for only $3. When I got home I realized the flashlight had much more light than the LEDs, so got my Dremel tool out and began to cut!





I used the ohmmeter to determine the negative and positive connections and wired up the positive side with 470 ohm resistor to not blow the LEDs.



I used a drill to cut the holes in the back of center cosole box and mounted the LEDs and the switch and wired it up to 12V and ground.



Voila - there is light!

 
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