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Old 09-09-2005, 03:46 AM   #176
WizardGandoff
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ya . i put them on and they are completly on. 2 per bulb. light pink fade. im gonna try leds someday when i 100 % percent sure they are a deep red. i would love to have RSX cluster lights(that color i mean)
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Old 09-09-2005, 07:12 AM   #177
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Did you guys cut the condoms to fit?
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Old 09-09-2005, 12:02 PM   #178
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you have to cut the condoms to custom fit it?!!?
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Old 09-09-2005, 01:27 PM   #179
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Anyone try to get their gauges to match the Defi green?
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Old 09-09-2005, 06:03 PM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1lentx
you have to cut the condoms to custom fit it?!!?
I guess trimming it depends on how good of a fit they are. They should be doubled but tight like stock.

EDIT: I think the covers shrink a little when heated.

Last edited by Trunk_Monkey; 09-09-2005 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 09-09-2005, 09:53 PM   #181
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one of the tricks to getting them installed correctly, I think is to make sure that you get all of the air out above the bulb. I used a pair of tweezers to very carefully--and without puncturing the condom--push it all the way down on the bulb. The second one should fit over the little molded, thicker ring on the base of the one before.

Haven't had a single problem with any of them coming off.

RD
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Old 09-11-2005, 11:25 AM   #182
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s1lentx
Quote:
you have to cut the condoms to custom fit it?!!?
I did this mod yesterday and for many of the bulb condoms I cut a little bit of the bottom. Make sure the top of the condom is sitting on the top of the bulb.

-Pete

Last edited by pwilk; 09-11-2005 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:37 PM   #183
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FWIW, I did the same thing to my wife's Alero a while back. At first, we used 7 color LED's that rotate between different colors, which looked cool...for 20 minutes. Then it was just annoying. Next, she said she wanted blue, but instead I bought white LED's. The stock "gel" (colored lens/diffuser) is blue on an Alero, but the needles are clear with a white backing on them. With the white LED's, the gauges are light blue with white needles and it looks great. I haven't cracked into the Suby (I have an '02 Legacy GT I'm trying not to toy with until it's sold for something funner, like a GC8 2.5RS) but I think I will be trying some of this stuff soon. Screw using bulb condoms, though, when you can buy #74 LED's for like $1.50 a piece at superbrightleds[dot]com. I have no clue what size the other bulbs are, though..? What size is the bulb behind the LCD? And the ignition halo?
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Old 09-14-2005, 01:06 AM   #184
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good write up... first of all.. bulb condoms suck.. waste of time and money.. secondly... if u want blue or something... then u need leds.. and the only way to make the guages light up fully blue, without any faded spots is to go in and add several leds. Led's are bright, but only in a focused area.. so.. u need more of them to make it look nice... here are the pics of my custer and hvac unit...



and before i get a bunch of questions of how i added leds...
first i bought a bunch from auto luminations and replaced what i could.. and then i also bought some more from a local store that had wires and all that.. and just used power from one of the relacement leds...
oh.. its quite nice.. there are a few spots where i will still go in and add one more cause its a bit dim.. the pics looks really bright, but that camera catches too much light from them at night
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Old 09-14-2005, 02:00 AM   #185
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^^ that looks good, did you also remove the green backing?
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Old 09-14-2005, 02:11 AM   #186
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yea.. sanding it is waaay easier than it sounds.. jsut takes a bit of time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsdown
IT'S SO MUCH EASIER THAN SNAKING BEHIND THE FACE WITH THE ASSEMBLY INTACT!!!!
doesnt matter if its easy if u cant see half of the numbers and guages...

i reccomend to spend the time and make it led if u want it to be a different color.. if u plan on using bulb condoms, or findin some halfass way of doin it... then your jsut wasting your time because after a few weeks youll realize that it looks like ass and cant see how fast your going and will have to go back to stock
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Old 09-14-2005, 08:20 PM   #187
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Are the needles actually orange, or clear with orange backing? I would imagine that blue light would be almost cancelled out by the orange filter if they're actually colored.

Also, as mentioned before, grinding the tips of those LED's flat would diffuse the light much better and cover a wider surface. The guy who mentioned it used a dremel, which would work much faster than the file I used lol.

What size bulbs are you guys using besides the #74?? They have to have some kind of identification number and someone out there likely makes replacements for all of them. I especially wanna know what kinda bulb lights the LCD screen..?
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Old 09-14-2005, 09:31 PM   #188
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What model year do you have? Are you referring to the radio screen?
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Old 09-14-2005, 10:10 PM   #189
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No, the odometer, thermometer, etc screen. It's a 2002 Legacy GT, but I'm almost positive the setup will be nearly the same since my car has the same drab green lighting as everyone else's.
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Old 09-14-2005, 11:52 PM   #190
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AFAIK the needles on bugeyes are orange, but for the 04s they switched to red acrylic. Personally, I actually like the color, and consistency of the needles on mine (04) despite my disdan for the color 'rojo', and in that fashion, I've chose red as the color for the cluster, and everything else that lights up in the car interior, including the driver's map light, and the A/C, & fog 'on' indicators. However, things that will only be momentarily lit, like turn signals, and the real important stuff (check engine, oil, fuel empty, etc.) I've left to amber as a contrast. Defrost 'on' indicator will be left alone, as it's too low on the dash for the amber to be distracting in any way.

Having driven it quite a bit at night, I must concur with the experts, and fighter pilots; Red retains your night-vision, even with the driver's map light on.

It seems Subaru has done their homework, and all of the stock lighting locations behind the panel, radio, hvac, etc. with the possible exception of the key ring (but who cares?) has VERY even light distribution, and no noticeable hot-spots. To that end, I am still struggling with a way to remove the green ink on the back of the dials without removing all of the diffusing/dimming elements that were intentionally printed there in order to obtain my deep red color.

I will post an update when I've had a revelation.

RD
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:24 AM   #191
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It seems like if there was an easy way to remove the needles, then sanding off the green, and using stage/photography gels would be by far easier.

The gels should work much better than the bulb condoms, and could be adhesived to the backside of the gauge face.

Also, stage gels will definitely take the heat, considering they're used with lights outputing 100s of watts.
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Old 09-15-2005, 01:49 AM   #192
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that was exactly my intention, but how to remove the green without removing the diffusing white and black, which even the light output?

Plus lighting gels, you have such a broad spectrum of colors to choose from, you could change twice a day all year, and never duplicate.

RD
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Old 09-15-2005, 09:43 AM   #193
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Also, there are diffuser gels, too, which would work perfectly in place of the diffusers you were referring to. If we could maybe use a red gel, a white diffuser gel, and some red LED's (color given as an example) it would probably come out great.
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Old 09-15-2005, 03:02 PM   #194
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With the gels, probably better to run white LEDs for flexibility of color, Although one problem with gels and LEDs is that IIRC LEDs are a narrow-band light frequencies (and while is actually a RGB composite of sorts). So if you try to filter it with the wrong red gel, you might not get anything at all (since the gel only allows a certain range of reds through).

You could try this with a TV, and a gel like purple or yellow, and if you get a sufficiently narrow filtering of colors, you'll get no light through the gel, as the red, green, and blue of the phosphors don't land in the spectrum of the gel.
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Old 09-15-2005, 03:54 PM   #195
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There are a couple of issues that might arise with the diffusing gels:

First off, you need to keep the thickness to an absolute minimum, because the needles don't clear the plastic ring that attachs the dial to the acrylic backer by very much at all. Just something to be mindful of.

Second, the stock bulbs probably do have a bit of a hot-spot, and could likely be replaced by LEDs similar to 1llusions's suggestion of cutting the lens of the LED square, and leaving the tip square, and rough. This looks like it diffuses the light quite a bit, but is it enough? I don't know. I wouldn't want to put any colored LEDs in there, because like I have mentioned before, the needles are already red, and I like the color. It would be difficult to successfully change the color of the needles with lighting elements alone.

Third, if you do manage to diffuse the light enough for the dial faces, with the light source, one of my worries is that you won't get enough light through the little bridges/tunnels that light the needles, and they would appear darker than the rest. With some thought, and looking at it again, this might be possible.

The diffuser gel does seem like a feasible method, so long as it's thickness (I know they're not THAT thick) coupled with that of the colored gel will still allow free operation of the needles. One thing that could be done (and this is how I was intending on installing the gel) is to cut the gel just slightly over-sized for the area that I want to light, and make the center holes larger than they need to be to clear the center, and leave a 'key-hole' path out to the edge so you can slip the gel under the dial face without having to remove needles, etc. A very small dab of superglue, or even a small piece of double-sided tape should hold it, because the whole thing is captured in the bezel.

If that eliminates the hot spots, or even reduces them to a barely detectable level, they won't be distracting, and no one will know. Otherwise, I'll keep looking.

RD
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Old 09-15-2005, 03:59 PM   #196
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Rd
:d

Last edited by Rubr_Duky; 12-24-2005 at 09:44 PM. Reason: double post
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Old 09-15-2005, 07:25 PM   #197
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Quote:
One thing that could be done (and this is how I was intending on installing the gel) is to cut the gel just slightly over-sized for the area that I want to light, and make the center holes larger than they need to be to clear the center, and leave a 'key-hole' path out to the edge so you can slip the gel under the dial face without having to remove needles, etc.
That's what I was thinking. You could actually make a cheap pre-fab kit to sell on here, but the part about getting the green out of the stock gauges is the PITA part anyways, so the kit may not save much time.

Two suggestions for the color filtering:
1. Use the same color LED's as the gel you use, also first ensuring that the LED color will not be negated by the red or orange in the needles. Many white LED's are actually a pale blue, so this may not work well with the needles.
2. Forget about gels and just use whatever color you prefer, so long as it i not negated by the needles, causing them to appear dim or to not show up at all.

If I had an STi, I'd get pink LED's lol. It's light the gauges up in pink and the needles would still probably be red, providing interesting contrast. However, if you're afraid of being called a homo even though you drive a badass car, you may just wanna go for red or orange.

The first things I'd like to change are my two LCD screens (Odo, thermometer, clock, etc.) and my ignition halo, but I have no idea what kind of bulbs they take. I remembered earlier that I have a white #74 bulb that doesn't have the twist in socket built onto the back of it, and a green one that does ahve the socket, so if either of these fit anything we're discussing, I may be able to tell you gusy what it looks like. I'm not sanding the green off until I have a whole set of LED's though, so I may not able to help too much. The green LED behind the green may look cool, but it will probably dim the needles.
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Old 09-15-2005, 08:45 PM   #198
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Some detail about the lights behind the Odo here

Dunno what the bulb is, but it fit the larger bulb condoms.

RD
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Old 09-21-2005, 03:28 PM   #199
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I put a very thin blue filter between the gauge face and the plastic backer and got horrible hot spots. The parts that lit up well looked very nice and clear but the dark spots were very dark. I even got some bulbs that seemed to have a higher output and they helped somewhat but not enough.

The needles however are all very bright.
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Old 09-27-2005, 07:44 PM   #200
kevin2.5rs
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Lightbulb Red Sharpie + paint

The red sharpie works
I now have a evenly bright red gauge cluster
There are two ways to do this, the right way and the halfass way
I chose the halfassed way mainly because ive messed with my cluster
more times than I can remember, I couldn't stand orange anymore, just wanted it red

The correct way to do this is to color in the clear areas behind
the nubers and lines which was sanded off.
This may be quite hard with a thick sharpie, dismantiling of the
sharpie may be required
Note: The areas between 2-4 rpms & 110-140mph will need a second
coloring due to the bulb placement.

Now the halfassed way is to neatly color the numbers & lines on the front of the cluster. (During the day your numbers will be red, pic coming soon)

Remove 2 bulb covers from 3 larger bulbs, scratch off the melted cover
and spraypaint the bulbs red. (use a paint that can withstand temps of 200 F
when i figure out how to turn the flash off I'll show a picture
Still trying to get the flash off.

Last edited by kevin2.5rs; 10-07-2005 at 06:38 PM.
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