May 25, 2002 at 9:47 pm #9022
I did this mod over a week ago, but I’ve been waiting for my new digicam to arrive to photograph the results. Yes – stupid me sold my old camera BEFORE acquiring the new one – DOH!
Anyway, before I start yapping about the ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ of this pretty simple mod, you might want to check out the Bit Char-G Technical section for images, better yet here’s a direct link for you to the actual thumbnail page.
This lighting mod was inspired by the original watch battery lighting mod (hey – can anyone remember a URL for that?), using a small lithium cell to power the lights instead of the Char-G’s internal battery.
My plan was to add both tail lights and fog lights (*NOT* headlights) to an Accord wagon car. The specs that I wanted to achieve were:
- No modifications to the shell (glues or otherwise) ACHIEVED
- A self-powered module that could be swapped from car to car ACHIEVED
- Minimal (if any)modifications to the chassis ACHIEVED
- Accurate placement/display of lit areas ACHIEVED AT FRONT, A LITTLE SCATTERED AT THE REAR
- Keep car PCB, motor etcreadily accessible ACHIEVED
- Keep cost under AUD10.00 ACHIEVED
All of the parts were acquired from Dick Smith Electronics (largest electronics chain in Oz), however, I’m sure any electronics store would have these items in stock. Total cost was around AUD5.00 (USD2.50)
- 2 x 3mm Yellow 5.6mcdLEDs- Yellow
- 2 x 2mm Cylinder Dot Indicator 1.3mcdLEDs – Red
- 1 x CR2016 Lithium button cell
- Some 0.1mm hook-up wire; 60/40 solder; and 2mm heatshrink tubing
The hardest part of the operation was always going to be the fog lights, which would have to be secured just a few millimetres off the surface to get the right positioning. It took almost an hour of frustrations before I found a solution that did not affectthe movement of the wheels or the snapping-on of the body.
Using an Exacto knife, I carefully made a small hole in the mounting tabthat securesthe front of the shell. This MUST be done JUST large enough to get two pieces of hook-up wire through, and made as close as possible to the steering well wall. Make the hole too large and/or too close to the end of the tab and you risk weakening the mounting tab and having it snap off. The snug fit of the wires through this hole becomes the holding mechanism which keeps the fog lamps in place.
The fog lamps are simply two 3mm yellow LEDs, wired in parallel, with some hook-up wire solded on to juice them up.
The rear lamps, red “dot indicator” LEDs, are assembled on a table. Place the LEDs at approximate 25mm centres, with the anode of each LED on the ‘outside’. Follow the cathode leg of one LED approximately 15mm down from the red package and make a 90 degree bend towards the other LED. Repeat on the other side. This will make a “U” shape that can be soldered togther.
Next, repeat the bend/solder operation on the anode legs to make another “U” shape loop a couple of millimetres down from the first. To limit the risk of shorting out, cover the solder connection with some heatshring tubing. Bend the red LEDs at an angle of approximately 30 degrees to help shine them into the correct spots at the rear of the car. DO NOT push them onto the motor or gear (that is bad, mmmmkay?).
Attach some hookup wire to both the anode and cathode “U” joins (about 15-20mmlength for each) and bring the anode/cathode wires from the fog lights up to meet them atop the clear PCB cover. Solder together and leave small extensions for +/- battery connections.
I was a complete slacker for the purposes of the photo shoot and attached the wires to the battery using some sticky-tape! When I get a chance, I’ll buy a PCB-mount micro DIP switch and make a more elaborate system.
The next chapter of this mod will be a windscreen/roof founded flashing LED – like those slapped upon unmarked police cars for a heated car chase. Will also add some white LEDs for headlights (in addition to the yellow foggies). All lighting will be able to be switched on/off individually via the DIP switch.
If anyone has a lighting mod, or any other mod for that matter, that they’d like to share with ausmicro.com members, just create a post and start typing – you’re guaranteed an eager audience :smiley2:. If you need some webspace and bandwidth to host your images/videos please refer to this thread for info.
May 25, 2002 at 11:47 pm #14166
That’s is pretty awesome derek, good work. I’m off to the electronics store! :smiley4:. Dave
May 26, 2002 at 2:10 am #14169
there’s a guy named wedginator on the tinyrc.com forums and mini-zracer.com forums that seems to be really good around putting LED’s into mini-z r/c cars and bit char-g’s. his work turn out pretty nicely, so u might wanna check out his stuff. i’m not saying his is better or anything so calm down lol. :smiley2:
his site: http://www.geocities.com/mini_zracer/ click on pics and movies, then bit char-g
edit: oops didn’t know i had to press “add image button”
edit2: haha add image button doesn’t like me, here’s a link instead:
May 26, 2002 at 7:52 pm #14177
Hey Derek why did u decide to put fog lights instead of headlights? Also would any of u know how to paint ur taillights red but still have them able to have light pass through them like already painted bit char-g bodies. I have a clear skyline body.
May 28, 2002 at 5:17 pm #14236
Derek, here’s an idea…paint the LEDs black everywhere except where you want the light to come out. That might prevent the entire back end from turning red :smiley2:
alexthegreat2k, he probably did fogs because it is difficult to find white LEDs…especially in the very small sizes that you need for Bits. For red taillights, just use transparent red paint. Of course, that might be tough to find, so you should be able to use a light coat of red paint and still get light to come through.
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