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Old 08-31-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
cheese tits
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Default stealth mod+...slight electrical issue

Ok, so I installed a switch to cut power to my gauges in my clock pod whenever needed. Why you ask? Because they are extremely bright and I think attract too much attention. The whole install took about 2 hrs and I mounted the switch underneath the shift boot. As you can see in the pictures, it is still far away(2-3inches) from the shifter when in 2nd gear. Anyway, I tapped the wire for the switch onto the 'Batt' wire of the gauges. It works well but I noticed last night one of the gauges stays faintly lit(It was pitch dark and I could barely see it). My question is- Why is one of the 3 gauge faintly lighting up? The gauges are Maddad's, daisy chained, and the wires for each is the ACC, Illum, Ground, Batt, and On(ign). Thanks in advance and here's pics for anyone considering the install of a switch in a stealthy location for any purpose.



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Old 08-31-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
kpluiten
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My maddad's are full of bad habits when it comes to illumination also. I have a special dimmer circuit hooked up to them which was intended to dim the gauges when I used the factory dimmer switch. (This is not as easy as it seems due to the funky way in which Subaru decides to dim it's cluster) It works perfectly, but occasionally, my maddad's will get super dim or flicker. The strange thing is that I have used my ocilloscope to monitor the illumination wire and the ground wires on the cluster and there are no events seen when the gauge randomly flickers or goes dim for a period. This leads me to believe it has something to do with the circuitry internal to the gauges. Both do it, both do it at different times. All my connections have been verified several times.

I'm torn because they look like nice gauges, but in stock form they are the stupidest, brightest thing I've ever seen. I'm not sure what the designers were thinking. Without a dimmer setup, they are useless in my opinion as they blind you at night. And yes, draw excess attention. And no, I don't want to take the easy way out and have some lame secondary dimmer switch for them. I like OEM look and I would like to use the OEM dimmer switch.

In your case, I would assume that perhaps the gauge is getting some sort of electrical bleed off internally. You have cut the illimination power, but due to some strange wiring or electronics internally (in the gauge), it's still getting some fraction of a volt. Can you measure the illuminating wires with a multimeter or something along those lines?

All in all, my maddad gauges leave me . Unless I can figure out a fix for my issue or at least an explaination, they are getting sold and some decent ones are going in. Also, these things are loud! The motors make a lot of noise on start up sweep. Once the car's on though, I don;'t hear it at all.
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:09 PM   #3
cheese tits
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/\I was hoping it was not something gauge related, but it most likely is. Maddad is in the process of making new gauges as Rich is aware these have problems. Mine do function properly, just as you said, they are 'a little' bright
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:12 PM   #4
4wdrift
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You could get resistors from radio shack and solder them in wire between the guage and the illumination power source. That would reduce the current thus decreasing the light output, rather than killing the power all together.

I know it's after the fact but meh, what are you gonna do right?
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:36 PM   #5
xsuperman350x
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well if you have a kill switch no power should even come close to the gauges, so you might have a wire crossed or a solder rubbing or a wire is getting chaffed. we run into this problem all the time on the backlighting on the helicopters i work on. good luck though
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:36 PM   #6
cheese tits
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I was thinking it may be a bad ground connection, so I just redid the ground wire for the gauges. It looks as though that solved the problem, but it is still light outside and I will check later on tonight.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4wdrift View Post
You could get resistors from radio shack and solder them in wire between the guage and the illumination power source. That would reduce the current thus decreasing the light output, rather than killing the power all together.

I know it's after the fact but meh, what are you gonna do right?
This is always a solution, but it leaves you with gauges that are one brightness and not a variable with the OEM gauge cluster. While this might not bug most people, I do A LOT of highway driving at night and really find the need to turn the brightness way down to avoid headaches and eye fatigue.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:02 PM   #8
cheese tits
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluiten View Post
I do A LOT of highway driving at night and really find the need to turn the brightness way down to avoid headaches and eye fatigue.

+12344
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese tits View Post
/\I was hoping it was not something gauge related, but it most likely is. Maddad is in the process of making new gauges as Rich is aware these have problems. Mine do function properly, just as you said, they are 'a little' bright
i talked to rich the other week. i'll be testing some of these.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:15 PM   #10
cheese tits
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/\When?
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:03 PM   #11
thejordan
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should arrive this week.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:46 PM   #12
4wdrift
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluiten View Post
This is always a solution, but it leaves you with gauges that are one brightness and not a variable with the OEM gauge cluster. While this might not bug most people, I do A LOT of highway driving at night and really find the need to turn the brightness way down to avoid headaches and eye fatigue.
No, no, no,....you don't understand...

You can purchase a 20 cent resistor that just dampens the light output by slightly decreasing the total current available to the guages' light circuit. It will not snuff the light completely.

Its a win win scenario in that the output will not be so bright but will remain adjustable with the cars circuits.

These links might help you to better understand...

http://www.doctronics.co.uk/resistor.htm#limit

http://www.the12volt.com/resistors/resistors.asp

Last edited by 4wdrift; 09-01-2009 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:28 PM   #13
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I might be a little off topic but dont cops know all the ins and outs of cars and if theyre searching the car they will pop the dash trim open?? or do cops have no idea
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:15 PM   #14
cheese tits
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Un0RiGiNaL View Post
I might be a little off topic but dont cops know all the ins and outs of cars and if theyre searching the car they will pop the dash trim open?? or do cops have no idea
Lol, First off, no. Second off the reason I am doing this is two fold. 1)the gauges are blinding at night, 2)Civics (and maybe cop cars) are less likely to harass me then if they dont see the red 200 watt glow these gauges emit.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by thejordan View Post
should arrive this week.
Pm me and let me know how they are different.
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