So...the electronics wiz who promised me to get the SMD changed on my cluster is still very busy, it's been 2 months since I've been riding without gauges....so I went around town today visited two specialized electronics shops.
One is working with cars only, they do "tachos" which probably means they fine-tune the mileage on cars lol....and when I told the guy what I wanted him to do (desolder the smd's and replace them with new ones) he asked me - why would you want to do that? I was kinda perplexed by that response, and we left kinda of hanging in awkward silence...and I figured he's not too keen on doing that type of job, I presume he has more imporant gauges to fix lol
The other shop is old amps, televisions, radios type of repair shop, figured the owner saw all kinds of boards in his life...so I shown him the cluster, the smd's I bought and his response was - it's a very tedious type of job, I might blow air (?) on the LCD and then I'll ruin your gauges, I rather not do it.
And I went by a shop that fixes Apple products, figured if they can fiddle with microscopic circuits on those things, they might be willing to do this, but they didn't want to do it.
So 0/4 so far...not sure if I wanna go thru with this, I can't believe this is turning out to be such chore, I thought it was a "simple" type of job.
Also side quesion, which kinda confuses me - do the original SMD leds on the EFI cluster throw orange/amber color temp, or are there any filters involved to make the amber effect? I can't see anything between the LCD and smd's, so my guess is the originals are orange or very warm white?
OK so I went to my parking garage and fiddled with the cluster a bit. First I changed the two rev gauge lights, replaced the originals with some LED version from ebay. I took a few snaps with identical settings to try and convey the difference.
The problem with the "superwhite leds" is that they don't help much, and I don't know if this issue can be even solved. The gauge face itself has orange tint printed, no amount of white light can change the color of orange paper. Bummer. As you can see in the pic, it's a bit more bright with the leds, but that's photography, when you stand back and take a look at the gauge with your eyes, it's not some big difference.
I was happy to see the SMD leds orange around the fuel/speed LCD's...that's an issue that actually could be fixed. @beestoys - this is what asking going from shop to shop around town - to change these orange leds and change them to white. But then I have to tackle the issue of gauge face color contrast - white LCDs on the side versus the orange circle in the middle haha.
ONE MORE THING THOUGH I tried out few LED lights for the tail light. Original vs. white "tower" led and red one.
Again, I couldn't be bothered to photograph it with exact settings but few things I have to observe;
I only checked by changing the brake light (upper bulb)
both white and red LEDs behave incorrect - they turn on when you turn the ignition on
when pressing the brake, they do increase in luminance but not greatly, I would say maybe quarter brighter
from couple of steps back, the original vs. white LED is a clear win for the original filament bulb, despite not being bright, because it looks red, where as white led is too cold temperature and turns the tail light orange
Red LED looks awesome, and looks good brightness-wise as far as I'm concerned - but this is in an underground garage, perhaps the visibility would better be checked in broad sunlight.
Just read a few articles on using red leds for brake light on red lenses - turns out that seems to be the preferred way to go when retrofitting leds. I took apart the late model gauges I have, to check them on light and see whats the paper color - very happy to see it white! Should be a nice cluster - if I can only find someone to fix those SMDs.
Depending on the number of elements the bulb can actually be dimmer because of the power drop across them. You might want to try a lower element count. It should make the bulb brighter. Look for the highest lumen number that will give a good idea of the lights brightness. Took me a couple try before I got it figured out myself.
Just to really mix up the LED choice issue… a cautionary note: be aware that white LEDs can "wash out" the colour of a lens and coloured LEDs can result in a more intense colour but dimmer light (and with certain relative colours (light v filter) combos that can result in black).
This is down to the physics involved in light and the magnitude of the effect of wash v dim depends upon the colours involved. So no one fixed answer.
This link explains quite well the "washed out" effect (white v red led behind a red brake light lens) and includes a link to the "dimming" effect (white v amber LED behnd an amber indicator lens).
Welcome to the next instalment of ABD TV where we aim to answer all of those burning questions, clear up the confusion and leave you brimming with In this episode we’re tackling a common question we get asked: Is a coloured LED bulb or a white LED bulb is better behind a coloured lens? This is a...
So when the lens involved is multicoloured (like a dash dial) parts can be washed out or dimmer or indeed even change colour or go black entirely (green light throughout red filter = black). Nightmare!
Solution: when I changed to LEDs on my carbie BB dash I used RGB dimmable ones. The RGB (red green blue) bulbs allowed me to change the colour of the light until I found the colour combo which a) was aesthetically pleasing and b) allowed all parts of the dial to be equally visible. I then noted the areas that were dimmer and brightened the nearest bulb.
Over time as some LEDs failled earlier than others I've then just replaced them with fixed colour bulbs (green in my case) and higher/ lower lumens as per needed at anything one spot across my dial.
Result: a clear, evenly bright dash with good contrast for the different coloured sections. Happy days!
Tom, was checking to make sure you have the exact correct base for the LED. Compare to bulb removed. Also, maybe you have a dud.? Test with some jumper wires from battery. Note: if you wire it backwards, nothing happens.
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