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What color guages do you guys want a how-to on?

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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I'm going to do one or the other, They're both doable but the Red would (might) be way easier. the white will (might) look cooler but will cost a whole lot more and take a lot longer to do. But this'll be my (late) Christmas present to you guys, which would you rather see?
 

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Red would be cool, but only if you could change all the dash lights to red, not just the gauge cluster.

Right now I use red LEDs for my dome lights which is something I always wanted for driving while someone is looking at a map, or just night vision in general.

What I would really like is the ability to turn the dash lights down even more without turning them completely off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well you might get a bit of a blessing in disguise here, the method to switch to red will make the lights a bit dimmer already (not much, but a bit) so the lowest setting will be a bit dimmer. the red conversion will basically involve applying a transparent red vinyl to the back of the gauges, the white conversion would involve buying a pile of white LED's and resistors and then incorporating a PWM (pulse-width-modulator) somewhere in the circuit to allow the lights to dim.
 

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Where is the Poll selection for "Neither"? ;-)

It's not something I'm interested in, regardless of the color.
My only comment is that for people like me, who are partially colorblind,
Red would be a very poor choice, as it decreases visibility.
 

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dpatton said:
Where is the Poll selection for "Neither"? ;-)
Or Orange, (i.e. leave them alone.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
come on man, that orange was cool for all of a day or two. and for me it was only cool back when I had the 350z. it started wearing on me rather quickly but the Z gauges looked really cool (shape, depth, etc) so I lived with it. The X gauges leave a whole lot to be desired, I got it and thought about modding them from the get-go. if you guys want to leave them orange, be nice to the 18+ people that don't! :)
 

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dragonplayboy said:
Be nice to the 18+ people that don't! :)
I was just joking. Any mod is worth a try to see it works and/or how it comes out. But your poll wasn't fare as it didn't have the negative side to it, so you could get a TRUE reaction on ALL members.
 

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In one of the other boards I frequent and mod, it was a requirement for quite some time to offer a "I like Pie" option to polls. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good idea, due-ly noted. :)

I really don't see any negative aspect to making the guages a different color...

I'm gonna do them red though, that seems more tactical-ish.

I love how a lack of vocabulary can be easily replaced with simple adjectives and hyphens!
 

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I like red as it does not affect your night vision. But it is true, it's harder to see in and usually not too bright.

If I changed to red though, I would have to find a way to change all lights (including the HU and Scan Gauge).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ok well I began this project tonight, and started with the window switches. the window switches are lit up with 3mm orange LED's, which have the same forward voltage drop as 3mm red LED's about 95% of the time, so we're definitely going red with this project. white would be possible in theory but to actually get it to work like stock would be really really really hard, and involve a lot more time and money. red will just require about 5 dollars worth of LED's, a soldering iron, and some patience.

anyway, I finally got the switch disassembled (after being scared to death of breaking it the whole time) and realized that my red vinyl idea won't work (it would, but it would be more of a hassle than actually just soldering the red LED's in) and figured out that it was 3mm red LED's I needed, I looked at the compy to see how late radio crap was open. well it said online they were open til 10pm on thurs & fri so I happily drove with my windows up all the way up there and found out that they close at 7:30 every day now as of the new year. rather than reassembling and disassembling my door switch 90 times I'm going to finish this up tomorrow.
 

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dude you have to be the master of customization I wish I had the time to do all of your mods
 

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Discussion Starter #15
see the problem is that orange LED's and red LED's have very similar properties, such as forward voltage and current draw. AKA they can be directly replaced. if you want to put in blue or white (which have a higher voltage drop than red or orange) then you have to figure a way to change the voltage on the circuit board to accommodate for that, which I am in no mood to figure out. f that noise. red it is!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
here's a basic how-to, which if anyone feels so inclined can move to the how-to or electrical section.

You need:
phillips screwdriver
tiny flathead screwdrivers
soldering iron
solder
solder wick (braided copper stuff)
(9) red 3mm LED's, available at radio crap for $1.29 for a pack of two.
needlenose pliers

remove the panel holding the switch by popping it out


remove the plug from the back of the switch, and then the switch from the plastic panel. on the drivers door switch, there are 3 phillips screws holding the switch to the panel.


then take the switch itself apart (carefully) by pushing a couple tiny screwdrivers in to release the tabs and you'll have access to the circuit board.


using the solder wick and a soldering iron, remove (as much as possible of) the solder from the base where the stock LED is soldered in. then bend & cut the legs of the new red LED to match the existing one, being careful to replicate the bendy pattern with attention to polarity- in this particular switch (passenger rear door) the anode, or positive leg, was on the left side, and the cathode or negative leg (which is connected to the visibly larger piece of metal inside the LED dome) was on the right.



Also be sure to burn the hell out of your thumb with the soldering iron, this is a real treat.


then plug the circuit board in and turn the key to the on position to make sure the LED lights up, if so, pats on the back all around, brewskie time. snap the switch back together, snap it back into the plastic trim piece, plug the switch back in for good, and then pop the whole shebang back into the door and voila! your switches are red!


 

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For some odd reason I feel compelled to do this later today! I might switch it up and go with green or blue.

Did you use the 3mm leds? Do you think 5mm leds would fit?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was thinking I'd try 5mm, they'd fit in some with no prob, some you might have to drill out the inside of the switch a little bit (there's a 3mm hole in some of them) but you could probably make it work. get er done!
 
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