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Old 02-14-2006, 03:51 AM   #376
redwagon
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The only way I can justify all the hours I've put into this is the lack of an EL gauge face set for my car. Even at minimum wage I'd have already gone way beyond the price of a readymade solution, but still I'm in my cave gathering up my will for a third attempt. The green is just not acceptable.

<-- has MY'00 GF6 with 220kph speedo. Try finding reverse EL gauges for that!
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:46 PM   #377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojotherider
I think I may just buy one clear bulb and go the condom route. I just realized the price for ten covers is cheaper than two bulbs. If I don't like it, I can always buy the bulbs later.

Please share pics when you have the condoms on

WHen you say #74... i am assuming you're going to replace the bulbs in your dash cluster
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:56 AM   #378
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here are mine. did it with the sand paper and nail pollish remover.
Shane
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Old 02-16-2006, 05:50 PM   #379
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has anyone tried removing the green (with sandpaper/polish remover - doesnt really matter) and then repacing it with some sort of red film or even paint?? could this be the solution - red spray paint layers where the green used to be + red bulb covers??? i think it might work but im not brave enought to try on a brand new car!

thoughts? comments??
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Old 02-16-2006, 06:02 PM   #380
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I tried with a red tinted transparency, i guess it helps a bit. Its still a weird color during the daytime when illuminated, but thats not really an issue. I cant really tell you how much the tinted transparency helped because I never had any noticeable hotspotting to begin with.
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:27 AM   #381
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxpunk
has anyone tried removing the green (with sandpaper/polish remover - doesnt really matter) and then repacing it with some sort of red film or even paint?? could this be the solution - red spray paint layers where the green used to be + red bulb covers??? i think it might work but im not brave enought to try on a brand new car!

thoughts? comments??
I can tell you now that you won't be spray painting the backs of those without removing the needles. The back of the faces have a clear plastic piece sandwhiched between the face and the actual gauge. It's hard enough getting in there to clean it off let alone apply something else. Of course..you could try painting the clear plastic piece...but my gut tells me it would look a bit odd.
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Old 02-17-2006, 12:09 PM   #382
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yeah, spray paint won't work unless you paint a piece of translucent film and then place the dry painted film behind the guages once it's dry... or take off the needles.

and even then, you won't have the halftone pattern that helps even out the light dispersion.
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Old 02-18-2006, 11:30 AM   #383
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OK, I think I am finally done with this. Five 5mm leds in a daisy chain, four blue, one extra-white, One chain around the speedo motor, one around the tach. That's in addition to the six that I already had in there, and led bulbs in the sockets. Sixteen blue leds in total, let dere be light an' all dat.
The new blues are flat-tops, backs on the white plastic housing pointed at about 45* to spread the light across the back of the dials better. I used clear tape to fix the pigtails to the housing. The green film is intact, but I have a pretty darn even light distribution now. Three white leds point at the light pipes on the back of the dial plastic base and light the needles. There could be more red in the output, but at least I can see the needles now. My redline area is a little dim, but at this point I can deal with that.
Pictures when my better camera gets back here.
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:17 AM   #384
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ok, i gotta question.....

I changed my gauge cluster to blue and things such as the battery, set, brake, and cruise to red(all with LED's.) .a few months ago in my 05 WRX.

2day i decided to try to brighten the cluster up a bit by cleaning the green film off. 2night, i also decided to finally put in the last LED, the Battery.
after doing all of this, the Brake light, and the Battery lights won't go off...

could this be from light seapage, or perhaps irregular voltage from the LED's?

somebody please help me here bc this stuff is annoying the crap outta me
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:00 AM   #385
twentynine
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Ok! I finally finished my stupid gauges. I did the standard Trunk_Monkey mod with the condoms from partsexpress.com, but I added my own twist of "selective hotspotting and dimspotting" to even out the color. To fix the dimspots, I also ordered 2 12V 35mA LEAD LAMP .12" diameter bulbs. You can see where I mounted them in the pics below. To get rid of the ungodly bright hotspot on the fuel and oil temp gauges, I used a sheet of computer paper as a diffuser to "dim" the light to the rest of the cluster. I also swapped out the larger bulbs for smallers ones, but I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it. I only did that because partsexpress.com large condoms were on backorder.

I won't lie and say that they came out 100% perfect, but they are damned close to the human eye. Or at least my eyes heh. There is a slight dimming around the H and C of the oil temp gauges and near the 0 of the tachometer. Also the 140 mph area of the speedo is a little bright, but my boost gauge kind of masks that. Without further adieu, here are the pics:



This is where I added the extra bulbs. I drilled an 11/64 hole in the plastic, put two condoms on each of the bulbs and just stuck them in there. They hold pretty well with the condoms. Bulb licking worked EXTREMELY well!




Here you can see that all the big bulbs were swapped out. I just changed bulbs with the signal lamps and the battery charge indicator. I'm not sure if this really had an effect on the color spread.




Here's the lighting all ready to go. The two new bulbs are wired together and they dim with the factory dimming stalk. They draw power from an unused plug for the factory boost gauge. It's usually taped to the radio harness, with purple (-) and orange (+) wires. I borrowed Handsdown's idea with the wedge connectors so it's easily reversible.




This is my ghetto computer paper diffuser. It really helped even out the light on the fuel/oil gauges with the rest of the cluster.




Close gauge shot. Either my cheap camera is playing tricks on me, or there really is discoloration that my eyes cannot see in person around the 2 and 3 of the tachomoter. Notice the slight dimming on the H and C of the oil temp gauge, and the 0 area of the tach. I think those areas could've been brighter if I had been more thorough about sanding the green crap off the back of them.




One of the few times I'm actually glad to have Omoris. This is more like what my gauges look like in person. I think they turned out pretty nice.
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:38 AM   #386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twentynine
Ok! I finally finished my stupid gauges. I did the standard Trunk_Monkey mod with the condoms from partsexpress.com, but I added my own twist of "selective hotspotting and dimspotting" to even out the color. To fix the dimspots, I also ordered 2 12V 35mA LEAD LAMP .12" diameter bulbs. You can see where I mounted them in the pics below. To get rid of the ungodly bright hotspot on the fuel and oil temp gauges, I used a sheet of computer paper as a diffuser to "dim" the light to the rest of the cluster. I also swapped out the larger bulbs for smallers ones, but I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it. I only did that because partsexpress.com large condoms were on backorder.

I won't lie and say that they came out 100% perfect, but they are damned close to the human eye. Or at least my eyes heh. There is a slight dimming around the H and C of the oil temp gauges and near the 0 of the tachometer. Also the 140 mph area of the speedo is a little bright, but my boost gauge kind of masks that. Without further adieu, here are the pics:

damn man, that looks friggen good! I'm not a big fan of the red, but that makes me like it a lot! Congrats
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:53 AM   #387
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twentynine- amazing job! i like LEDs but i think i'm going to be copying you. bulbs give so much better light for this application, it's just silly to try to make LEDs work. I'll definitely be doing what you did. thank you for a concise writeup and what appears to be the most sensible solution as of yet!
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:19 AM   #388
twentynine
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Thanks for the props guys! I wasn't a fan of red either at first, but after driving around with no green film or condoms for a week I was ready to try anything. Red was the only sensible choice since blue backlighting makes my red needles look like crap without something like white LEDs focused on the needle diffuser rods. Now that it's done, I really like the way it turned out.

BTW I'm not sure if it was clear in my post, but I only put the computer paper behind the gas/temp gauges. The speedo and tach worked out just fine without any diffuser at all.

Handsdown- your LEDs will still come in handy for the rest of the interior lighting! I'm kind of wishing I had more condoms right now since my HVAC, fog and window buttons are still green.
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:04 AM   #389
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well i'm using replacement #74 LEDs in the HVAC, and it's giving really center-heavy lighting, i might need to wire up some more for each side of the HVAC. the radio is a single din single disc unit and i'm very happy with just condoms on the radio... maybe if i do the extra bulbs to give the cluster an even light output i'll use the LEDs for some stupid ricer accents like red vents and door handles the new audis have red LED accent lighting EVERYWHERE!
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:19 AM   #390
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results of all my LEDs-
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Old 02-22-2006, 01:40 PM   #391
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^^ is the clock visible during the day? details please.
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Old 02-24-2006, 05:30 PM   #392
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Has any one tried the options of using that light bulb paint? Instead of using it on the bulb, using it on the back of the green plastic that was removed?

How about using a clear film to the color of choice?

I was just trying to find other options other than the led adventure
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Old 02-24-2006, 05:47 PM   #393
twentynine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaGuaGua
Has any one tried the options of using that light bulb paint? Instead of using it on the bulb, using it on the back of the green plastic that was removed?

How about using a clear film to the color of choice?

I was just trying to find other options other than the led adventure
I did try with blue transparent film, from 1 to 4 layers. It either came out sky blue or teal. Put on any more layers and the blue just came out ugly and uneven. It was just common clear film though, not professional stage lighting gels. Gels might turn out better, but I'm so sick of my cluster at this point that I don't care to try.

I also tested blue sharpie on a small area behind the gauges. It came out as a blotchy purple so I removed it.
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Old 02-24-2006, 07:05 PM   #394
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lol... Looks like I will have to see what sort of mission I have ahead then... If I come up with any other simple ideas I will let you all know... I will see if I could find a quality bulb paint that I could spray on the surface...
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Old 02-25-2006, 03:32 PM   #395
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Just finished installing the dark blue stage gel transparency on my gauge cluster with the stock bulbs (I have an '05). I HAVE NEEDLES !!! The needles are bright bright red and the blue is the same brightness as stock but it came out really good !! There is a little white light intruding on 6,7,8 on the tach but that's because I had to trim a space for the redline so it's red. Wow I really recommend this to anyone who is good with a pair of scissors and a little free time. If the dark blue works this well I can't imagine light blue or red - heck any color. It's the same concept as the stock film which is why I believe it works so well. I can't post pictures right now but I will try soon.
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:58 PM   #396
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my clock is invisible during the day. it's called 'stealth clock mod'

i turned my LED's back towards the back of the cluster and it's WAY better. i also tried the computer paper behind the gas/temp guages and it works real well.

where is everyone getting these stage gels?
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:52 PM   #397
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsdown
where is everyone getting these stage gels?

Check ebay... type in "stage gels"

this mod works best with the leds face backwards like you said with the stock bulbs in place so that the needles are still visible.
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Old 02-27-2006, 07:43 PM   #398
twentynine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintballjunky
Just finished installing the dark blue stage gel transparency on my gauge cluster with the stock bulbs (I have an '05). I HAVE NEEDLES !!! The needles are bright bright red and the blue is the same brightness as stock but it came out really good !! There is a little white light intruding on 6,7,8 on the tach but that's because I had to trim a space for the redline so it's red. Wow I really recommend this to anyone who is good with a pair of scissors and a little free time. If the dark blue works this well I can't imagine light blue or red - heck any color. It's the same concept as the stock film which is why I believe it works so well. I can't post pictures right now but I will try soon.
Eagerly awaiting pics.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:04 AM   #399
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I got mine from partsexpress.com It is basically just heat resistant colored film. You will have to trim it to get the desired effects but it is worth it. Pictures coming very soon!!
I was hoping to get the HVAC blue as well but for '05s that is not an simple task.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:35 PM   #400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cation
Check ebay... type in "stage gels"

this mod works best with the leds face backwards like you said with the stock bulbs in place so that the needles are still visible.
the needles being visible would be a huge reason for me to do the stage gells, i feel that as little as two white bulbs in conjunction with my red LEDs would be enough to light up the needles... and with stage gels i could probably even put red stage gells over the needles, lose as LITTLE light as possible and get RED NEEDLES without the trouble of stripping the orange paint on the bottom and repainting... that would be even better.
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