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Old 11-13-2006, 11:37 PM   #1
g8rvictor
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Default HVAC color change to blue?

seems like all STi owners are very partial to red. i've read plenty of threads on how to change the gauge cluster and HVAC controls to RED, but i can't find anyone who has given a good description on how to change the HVAC controls to BLUE. anyone? i have a 06 2.5i with the cheap HVAC controls, not the climate controls.

this is what i've done so far:
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:43 PM   #2
Mechie3
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Looks like someone installed the gels I sold them Looking good. Do you plan on putting in LED's behind them to even out the lighting? I plan to do the HVAC mod sometime, but I don't have a 2.5i. I believe the original HVAC color change though was done with the cheap HVAC controls.
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:43 PM   #3
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BTW...I like the dual color MPH/KM deal you have going on.
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:56 PM   #4
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yeah, your gels worked great! i shouldn't have any problems doing the electrical part, the problem is procurement. i need to find a supply of superbright white LEDs before i can continue, unless u have some of those to sell me!

the original write-up on the HVAC controls involved using colored condoms over the lighting but from other feedback i've read, blue hasn't taken very well to the lighting. i tried taking the HVAC control unit out, but there are actually mechanical linkages connecting the dials and circulation control to the car and i was too lazy to try to remove them. so anyone who's taken the HVAC unit out and knows how to change the color to any other than blue input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechie3 View Post
BTW...I like the dual color MPH/KM deal you have going on.
next up i'll change the backlighting to the thermo/odometer. again, a procurement issue with the LEDs.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8rvictor View Post
next up i'll change the backlighting to the thermo/odometer. again, a procurement issue with the LEDs.
The Blue LED's I used came from digikey.com. I think they were about $1.50-$2 a piece, but you only need two. I have the part number/specs at work.

I don't have any of the 5mm or 3mm OD LED's to sell to you (these are already made into circuits to put into people that are mailing their gauges to me) but I do have some smaller surface mount led's that are bright. The only downside to these is that they are a harder to work with becuase they're small. The bright side (haha) is is that they can sit upright and shine light directly at the gauges. I am using these for one person.

Here's a preliminary pic:



In the pic above, I put a piece of paper above the LED's, and depending on how close you are the lights are either hot spotted or nice and even. Unfortunately, I don't have any open gauges right now and the distance for no hot spotting is just about where the gauges actually sit, but I don't want to risk it. I plan on adding more led's to each circuit for a total of 12 to each ring, plus ~12 for the fuel/temp.

If you want to buy a bunch, let me know, but they aren't cheap (~$1 apiece).

--Craig
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:15 AM   #7
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have you figured out a way to adjust the brightness for the LED array?
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:20 AM   #8
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Yeah, I wired the LED's into the stock dimmer switch on my car and control it that way. I can't turn the gauges all the way off, but they can get really dim.

Edit: I tapped the power wires in the gauge harness that are attached to the dimmer switch for the stock light bulb dimming. I didn't physcially tap into the dimmer or take it apart.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:47 AM   #9
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ok, i am a complete newbie. i didn't think i had an interior lighting control, but i just checked the owners manual and discovered i did! so all i need to do is tap into the power wire as described in your original writeup?
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Old 11-14-2006, 07:28 AM   #10
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The color of your wires might be different. Use a voltmeter and find which combination of wires gives you 12 volts when not dimmed and changes when you slide the dimmer.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:11 PM   #11
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The blue led's I used are digikey p/n 67-1751-nd. They are $2.23 apiece, unless you buy 10 they are $2 apiece. They are a 300mcd rating, 470nm, with a blue epoxy cover. I got some of those for free, which is why I used them.

These may be better: 511-1370-ND. They are blue, 468nm, clear lens, $2.13/pc or $1.26 for 25. they are 2500 mcd.

160-1611-ND are similar to the above with 1900 mcd $.84/pc or $.7 apice for >10
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Old 11-15-2006, 05:21 PM   #12
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^ where do you order them from?

511-1370-ND. They are blue, 468nm, clear lens, $2.13/pc or $1.26 for 25. they are 2500 mcd

My left control has dimmed recently, I think I need to replace the bulb.....
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Old 11-17-2006, 11:56 PM   #13
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digikey.com.

Left control? Not sure what you mean by that.

Some additional info:

The LED's I used have a 60 degree viewing angle
the160-1611-ND's have a 15 degree viewing angle.

I'm going to try some of the 160's, sand the tops down, and see how well they work. I also ordered some surface mount LED's in blue.

Here's a better pic of the surface mount LED's.



Much better than the one above, huh? I won't be doing those again. I think the benefits of the surface mount LED's is outweighted by the fact that 1: they require twice as many LED's for the same effect and 2: are really small and take four times as long to solder together 3: Require small wires.

Still, it was worth the effort and, at the least, let me know to stick with my original plan. If I was doing it for myself, I would probably use SMT LED's, but not when I'm making several.
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:09 AM   #14
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Unless you find a source of HVAC buttons made in a color other than green, you cannot get your HVAC blue. Trust me I tried. I tried a max of 3 blue LED's each putting out over 8,000 mcd in each knob and they still came out TEAL. Read teal, not blue, not green, and not matching anything lol. So I am going with red which has been proven to work and yet still matches my red/blue color scheme.
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:12 AM   #15
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sorry just realized you were asking for help with the RS controls, not the WRX/STI climate controls. apoligies.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:25 PM   #16
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No...not teal....no.......

I might go with red. I have an 06 though, and someone said something about the knobs being different. Who knows...I ordered some LED's...we'll have to see what happens.
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:42 AM   #17
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Did you pick up an '06 recently? I thought I remember reading somewhere earlier you had a older wrx or RS? I imagine even if the knobs are slightly different you can accomplish it in a similiar-LED-modded fashion like the current technique for 05's. Also, despite what anyone says about modding your HVAC with LED's, just say no to drilling. Those followers don't know what they're drilling through. Anywho let us know if that 06 HVAC is different and I will look forward to the pictures.
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