Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
dash lights for gauges More power Scotty
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Forum Index -> Bay Window Bus Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
crushie
Samba Member


Joined: September 23, 2011
Posts: 764
Location: alberta
crushie is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:24 pm    Post subject: dash lights for gauges More power Scotty Reply with quote

My dash lights and auto shifter indicator light are very dim when the lights are turned on. I did clean the shifter which was dirty, both the bulbs and plastic but are these lights not all that bright from new. Is there something you can do to improve the brightness. I am old and blind and need more brightness from these instruments.... Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Randy in Maine
Samba Member


Joined: August 03, 2003
Posts: 32155
Location: The Beach
Randy in Maine is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We generally use a "wheat bulb" style Sylvania 2723 IIRC. I think they are about twice the candlepower output. My bus uses 4 of them.

I don't know what bulb the auto trans uses though.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Casey Ryan Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: August 06, 2008
Posts: 324
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Casey Ryan is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I switched to LED replacement bulbs and put a bunch of reflective tape inside of the non-visible portion of the panel basically trying to reflect the light into the viewable gauge area.

Mine are now pretty bright.
_________________
'78 Riviera Camper

Blog: http://www.VWBusBlog.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Classifieds Feedback
RatCamper
Samba Member


Joined: November 13, 2008
Posts: 3307
Location: Australia
RatCamper is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casey Ryan wrote:
I switched to LED replacement bulbs and put a bunch of reflective tape inside of the non-visible portion of the panel basically trying to reflect the light into the viewable gauge area.

Mine are now pretty bright.


What sort of reflective tape? The kind people like sticking to their bumpers for higher visibility with the prism or whatever it's called?

Where'd you actually find the LED bulbs? I've looked at them online and couldn't figure out if they were the little ones or the bigger ones used in indicators etc. sometimes.
I need to go to LEDs because I don't feel happy with all the extra gauge backlights hanging off the same circuit.
_________________
Vehicle: 1975 Special order delivery walkthrough panel based pop-top camper (LCA / Sunliner). Motor: Nippon 1.8L Single port Wasserboxer, Transmission: 3 rib 002.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Casey Ryan Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: August 06, 2008
Posts: 324
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Casey Ryan is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RatCamper wrote:


What sort of reflective tape? The kind people like sticking to their bumpers for higher visibility with the prism or whatever it's called?

Where'd you actually find the LED bulbs? I've looked at them online and couldn't figure out if they were the little ones or the bigger ones used in indicators etc. sometimes.
I need to go to LEDs because I don't feel happy with all the extra gauge backlights hanging off the same circuit.


here are the light bulbs I bought. There's another option for a higher power one.

The tape i used was white reflective tape like you describe. I just put it everywhere inside of it so there's as much potential for light reflecting where it should.

Another option ive considered but not done is to buy an led flexible light strip and wrap it around the gauge opening where the light usually comes through. Just a thought right now.

Casey
_________________
'78 Riviera Camper

Blog: http://www.VWBusBlog.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Classifieds Feedback
Wild Bill
Samba Member


Joined: January 02, 2006
Posts: 1014
Location: Pepsi-Cola, Fl
Wild Bill is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casey Ryan wrote:
RatCamper wrote:


What sort of reflective tape? The kind people like sticking to their bumpers for higher visibility with the prism or whatever it's called?

Where'd you actually find the LED bulbs? I've looked at them online and couldn't figure out if they were the little ones or the bigger ones used in indicators etc. sometimes.
I need to go to LEDs because I don't feel happy with all the extra gauge backlights hanging off the same circuit.


here are the light bulbs I bought. There's another option for a higher power one.



The tape i used was white reflective tape like you describe. I just put it everywhere inside of it so there's as much potential for light reflecting where it should.

Another option ive considered but not done is to buy an led flexible light strip and wrap it around the gauge opening where the light usually comes through. Just a thought right now.

Casey


Where?
_________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life in the Fast Lane ?....What the Hell does that feel Like?"


"Wild" Bill Tucker
Pensacola, Fl
1978 Champagne Edition (High Top Camper Converstion.) 2.0L FI
1969 Squareback 2.0L


www.rareairvw.com


Last edited by Wild Bill on Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
SGKent Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: October 30, 2007
Posts: 20600
Location: Sacramento CA
SGKent is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

don't melt your dash or start burning up the light dimmer switch. They aren't designed for lots of current. We felt the instrument lights were fine but the VDO gauges were too bright. Telford designed a circuit I built that acts as a seperate dimmer for the VDO gauges so they are the same brightness as the regular gauge lights - and then the dimmer takes all of them up and down equally.
_________________
77 Bay (2008-)
71 Bay (1975-85)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Casey Ryan Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: August 06, 2008
Posts: 324
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Casey Ryan is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:
don't melt your dash or start burning up the light dimmer switch. They aren't designed for lots of current. We felt the instrument lights were fine but the VDO gauges were too bright. Telford designed a circuit I built that acts as a seperate dimmer for the VDO gauges so they are the same brightness as the regular gauge lights - and then the dimmer takes all of them up and down equally.


The led bulbs actually use way way less energy (measuredin milliamperes instead of amps) than the incandescent. No chance of them burning up anything. They don't really dim that well but that doesn't bother me.
_________________
'78 Riviera Camper

Blog: http://www.VWBusBlog.com/


Last edited by Casey Ryan on Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Classifieds Feedback
Casey Ryan Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: August 06, 2008
Posts: 324
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Casey Ryan is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wild Bill wrote:
Casey Ryan wrote:
RatCamper wrote:


What sort of reflective tape? The kind people like sticking to their bumpers for higher visibility with the prism or whatever it's called?

Where'd you actually find the LED bulbs? I've looked at them online and couldn't figure out if they were the little ones or the bigger ones used in indicators etc. sometimes.
I need to go to LEDs because I don't feel happy with all the extra gauge backlights hanging off the same circuit.


here are the light bulbs I bought. There's another option for a higher power one.



The tape i used was white reflective tape like you describe. I just put it everywhere inside of it so there's as much potential for light reflecting where it should.

Another option ive considered but not done is to buy an led flexible light strip and wrap it around the gauge opening where the light usually comes through. Just a thought right now.

Casey


Where?


The "here" above is a link to superbrightleds.com where you can buy the bulbs.

For the tape, remove the whole gauge cluster so you're looking at the back where the lights twist-lock into it. Remove the metal backing to the gauge panel and you'll see that the bulbs actually shine into these dark voids between the gauges. I put the reflective tape in there all over the inside of the void... Maybe overkill, but I figured make them as reflective as possible to get the right in the correct place.

Another thing you can do is to clean the surface of the gauge cluster back where the bulbs twist-lock and get their ground. I used some fine grit sand paper to just make sure the connections were really good.

Casey
_________________
'78 Riviera Camper

Blog: http://www.VWBusBlog.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Classifieds Feedback
SGKent Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: October 30, 2007
Posts: 20600
Location: Sacramento CA
SGKent is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casey Ryan wrote:
SGKent wrote:
don't melt your dash or start burning up the light dimmer switch. They aren't designed for lots of current. We felt the instrument lights were fine but the VDO gauges were too bright. Telford designed a circuit I built that acts as a seperate dimmer for the VDO gauges so they are the same brightness as the regular gauge lights - and then the dimmer takes all of them up and down equally.


The led bulbs actually use way way less energy (measuredin milliamperes instead of amps) than the incandescent. No chance of them burning up anything. They don't really dim that well but that doesn't bother me.


I am 61 years old and the stock bulbs are way too bright at night. I have to dim them. What have you guys done in your youmg lifetimes to destroy your eyesight?
_________________
77 Bay (2008-)
71 Bay (1975-85)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
RatCamper
Samba Member


Joined: November 13, 2008
Posts: 3307
Location: Australia
RatCamper is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now if you can show me where to get replacement bezels for VDO gauges I'll be over the moon. I'm missing a couple and have absolutely no idea where to sources ones that fit.

as for light brightness, I'm night blind. My bay has 55/100 halogens and a 100...or is it 120W driving light.
I like my gauges around "mid" bright if that makes sense. too bright and I have trouble seeing the road. Too dim and I can't see them.
_________________
Vehicle: 1975 Special order delivery walkthrough panel based pop-top camper (LCA / Sunliner). Motor: Nippon 1.8L Single port Wasserboxer, Transmission: 3 rib 002.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Casey Ryan Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: August 06, 2008
Posts: 324
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Casey Ryan is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:
Casey Ryan wrote:
SGKent wrote:
don't melt your dash or start burning up the light dimmer switch. They aren't designed for lots of current. We felt the instrument lights were fine but the VDO gauges were too bright. Telford designed a circuit I built that acts as a seperate dimmer for the VDO gauges so they are the same brightness as the regular gauge lights - and then the dimmer takes all of them up and down equally.


The led bulbs actually use way way less energy (measuredin milliamperes instead of amps) than the incandescent. No chance of them burning up anything. They don't really dim that well but that doesn't bother me.


I am 61 years old and the stock bulbs are way too bright at night. I have to dim them. What have you guys done in your youmg lifetimes to destroy your eyesight?


computers man.... who knew they'd end up in me needing brighter bulbs. Smile
_________________
'78 Riviera Camper

Blog: http://www.VWBusBlog.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Classifieds Feedback
SGKent Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: October 30, 2007
Posts: 20600
Location: Sacramento CA
SGKent is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casey Ryan wrote:
SGKent wrote:
Casey Ryan wrote:
SGKent wrote:
don't melt your dash or start burning up the light dimmer switch. They aren't designed for lots of current. We felt the instrument lights were fine but the VDO gauges were too bright. Telford designed a circuit I built that acts as a seperate dimmer for the VDO gauges so they are the same brightness as the regular gauge lights - and then the dimmer takes all of them up and down equally.


The led bulbs actually use way way less energy (measuredin milliamperes instead of amps) than the incandescent. No chance of them burning up anything. They don't really dim that well but that doesn't bother me.


I am 61 years old and the stock bulbs are way too bright at night. I have to dim them. What have you guys done in your youmg lifetimes to destroy your eyesight?


computers man.... who knew they'd end up in me needing brighter bulbs. Smile


Ok - that makes sense cause I am 61 and have been working with computers since the early 1980's. I still can't stand bright gauges in the car on a dark road. It blinds me too much. When younger I used to paint the bulbs red to cut down on the effect even more.

Get a sheet of plexi-glass and cut your own replacements. That would be the easiest and least costly solution.
_________________
77 Bay (2008-)
71 Bay (1975-85)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Casey Ryan Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: August 06, 2008
Posts: 324
Location: Downers Grove, IL
Casey Ryan is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:
Casey Ryan wrote:
SGKent wrote:
Casey Ryan wrote:
SGKent wrote:
don't melt your dash or start burning up the light dimmer switch. They aren't designed for lots of current. We felt the instrument lights were fine but the VDO gauges were too bright. Telford designed a circuit I built that acts as a seperate dimmer for the VDO gauges so they are the same brightness as the regular gauge lights - and then the dimmer takes all of them up and down equally.


The led bulbs actually use way way less energy (measuredin milliamperes instead of amps) than the incandescent. No chance of them burning up anything. They don't really dim that well but that doesn't bother me.


I am 61 years old and the stock bulbs are way too bright at night. I have to dim them. What have you guys done in your youmg lifetimes to destroy your eyesight?


computers man.... who knew they'd end up in me needing brighter bulbs. Smile


Ok - that makes sense cause I am 61 and have been working with computers since the early 1980's. I still can't stand bright gauges in the car on a dark road. It blinds me too much. When younger I used to paint the bulbs red to cut down on the effect even more.

Get a sheet of plexi-glass and cut your own replacements. That would be the easiest and least costly solution.


Maybe it's just personal preference then. OR something weird with you 61 year olds.
_________________
'78 Riviera Camper

Blog: http://www.VWBusBlog.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Classifieds Feedback
SGKent Premium Member
Samba Member


Joined: October 30, 2007
Posts: 20600
Location: Sacramento CA
SGKent is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casey Ryan wrote:
SGKent wrote:
Casey Ryan wrote:
SGKent wrote:
Casey Ryan wrote:
SGKent wrote:
don't melt your dash or start burning up the light dimmer switch. They aren't designed for lots of current. We felt the instrument lights were fine but the VDO gauges were too bright. Telford designed a circuit I built that acts as a seperate dimmer for the VDO gauges so they are the same brightness as the regular gauge lights - and then the dimmer takes all of them up and down equally.


The led bulbs actually use way way less energy (measuredin milliamperes instead of amps) than the incandescent. No chance of them burning up anything. They don't really dim that well but that doesn't bother me.


I am 61 years old and the stock bulbs are way too bright at night. I have to dim them. What have you guys done in your youmg lifetimes to destroy your eyesight?


computers man.... who knew they'd end up in me needing brighter bulbs. Smile


Ok - that makes sense cause I am 61 and have been working with computers since the early 1980's. I still can't stand bright gauges in the car on a dark road. It blinds me too much. When younger I used to paint the bulbs red to cut down on the effect even more.

Get a sheet of plexi-glass and cut your own replacements. That would be the easiest and least costly solution.


Maybe it's just personal preference then. OR something weird with you 61 year olds.


Could be. We work harder too. Wink
_________________
77 Bay (2008-)
71 Bay (1975-85)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
FlowerPowered
Samba Member


Joined: December 22, 2005
Posts: 351
Location: Montana
FlowerPowered is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:

I am 61 years old and the stock bulbs are way too bright at night. I have to dim them.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
_________________
76 Westy White Bay Bus "Sunset"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Emeritusx
Samba Member


Joined: June 20, 2008
Posts: 2843
Location: 12 inches behind the wheel
Emeritusx is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LED light is softer, even though it is brighter... I much prefer this over the bulb in the tach (still incandescent) The don't dim very well is true, but the light does not hurt your eyes, or make your eyelids heavy at 3 am when your crossing kansas with the tumbleweeds and an occasional pheasant...

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
_________________
82 Westy ☢, 66 Splitty ☮, 73 Type 181 ✠
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Facebook Gallery Classifieds Feedback
telford dorr
Samba Member


Joined: March 11, 2009
Posts: 1283
Location: San Diego (Encinitas)
telford dorr is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a do-it-yourself circuit which I use to dim the interior lighting in my bus when camping. It's used with incandescent lamps, but should work just fine with LEDs, as it is a PWM switching type dimmer. What this means is that the lamp sees (close to) full battery voltage, but the amount of time that it receives this voltage is variable. Thus, it should work fine dimming LED dash lamps.

"I1" represents the lamp or LED modules.

Mount Q1 on a heat sink using suitable insulating mounting kit, if dimming incandescent lamps. The transistor power dissipation is approximately 1.5 volts x total lamp current x duty cycle, in watts. Shouldn't need a whole lot of heat sink. Small piece of sheet metal should do it.

This circuit switches at audio frequencies, so some incandescent lamp filaments may 'sing' a little. If annoying, you can make C1 smaller (say, 10 nf) to raise the frequency above audible. LEDs won't have that issue.

When running at full battery voltage (14.4 volts), the maximum the lamp will see is a little above 12 volts, due to the output voltage of the 555 and the Vbe drop of the output transistor. Thus, the bulb won't quite reach full brightness, but I haven't found it to be a problem.

Not shown is a fuse on the 12 volt input. Either have one on the circuit board, or make sure it's supplied by fused power. (Power directly from the light switch is unfused.)

LM555 - is there anything that you can't do with these things?

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
_________________
'71 panel - stock

'Experience' is the ability to recognize a mistake when you're making it again - Franklin P. Jones

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research - Steven Wright

In theory, theory works in practice; in practice, it doesn't - William T. Harbaugh

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows - Epictetus

More VW electrical at http://flowcon.us/td/ (available 9am to 9pm PST)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
crushie
Samba Member


Joined: September 23, 2011
Posts: 764
Location: alberta
crushie is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emeritusx wrote:
LED light is softer, even though it is brighter... I much prefer this over the bulb in the tach (still incandescent) The don't dim very well is true, but the light does not hurt your eyes, or make your eyelids heavy at 3 am when your crossing kansas with the tumbleweeds and an occasional pheasant...

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This looks great, after a short roadtrip last night it`s a must do.
How many bulbs are replaced for this change...

After removing one dash screw and having the clip just drop somewhere in the dash, finally feeling around back there and finding it not to mention the 20 minutes to but the screw back in the dash I am more than dreading this upgrade.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Emeritusx
Samba Member


Joined: June 20, 2008
Posts: 2843
Location: 12 inches behind the wheel
Emeritusx is offline 

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used two of those led drawer lights and two separate led's on the outside for a total of 6. - I just epoxy'd the circuit board to a piece of insulation to the back plate..

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

and a touch of fluorescent blue paint to the speedo needle
_________________
82 Westy ☢, 66 Splitty ☮, 73 Type 181 ✠
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Facebook Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Bay Window Bus All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2014, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB