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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-25-2012 04:41 AM
S0C0nFused Well, if your just getting started in 'hobby electronics", there are 3 phases or steps.
1: Circuit design
2: Circuit layout
3: Circuit board creation
Each is a 'hobby' (if you will) unto itself. Circuit board creation however is by far the 'expensive' part if you don't already have the tools. It involves cutting, physical layout and etching. then precision drilling. You can have your circuit boards done by any of the numerous businesses offering these services, but you will soon find out that it is only cost effective for large orders. Hence, it pays to do the 3 steps yourself. The creation of an effective LED light assembly is the easy/cheap part. Hence why I stressed that you insure you have this worked out satisfactorily before proceeding with anything else. I am not intending to 'pee on the parade' as being able to design and build you own circuit boards is very personally rewarding (well, at least for me anyway). I just wanted to give you a heads-up so you will not get half way through and become disillusioned. If you design/build things properly, they will last decades without fail.
12-15-2012 10:50 AM
mr1mrwun Thanks for all the info and insight. I have a lot of r&d ahead of me lol. Might have to shoot you a pm when I'm closer to doing it to help me get a few things straight.
12-12-2012 12:43 AM
S0C0nFused OK. Ya! bread boards are OK for the smallest of projects, IMHO > not suitable in this case though. I mean, your going to spend as much time if not more doing point to point soldering as you would just drawing your circuit on a blank, etching and drilling. I have done it both ways (also wire wrap, which is nice in its own way but eats a lot of room).
Also, if you have not read. Research the diff tween incandescent vs. LED. Now above is just a post, but I think your making some common assumptions/mistakes. Incandescent light is spherical. LED in planner. Hence, LED is MUCH dimmer than incandescent, unless the viewer pupil is equal to the plane of the LED. That is why LED are not rated in candlebra's. Your intending to put a LED source into a reflector designed for incandescent. It is not going to work very well. Others have tried it and report the light output is weak (it's not weak, it's that the emitted light is not focused and is lost). I would recommend before you do anything, you insure your light source works within your reflector housing (do you have a hatch by chance?). I have a hatch, and I have already worked out that, for the rear turn signal/brake, using the stock housing/reflector. The only way to convert to LED (that work as good or better than incandescent) is to use two 20MM LED, mounted back to back. The brake light LED faces the reflector, the turn signal LED faces out towards following cars. Both require 120degree light spread. Hence for the brake, simulated spherical light into a spherical reflector. So it 'should' work. This is all the 'crap' you get into with LED. (I am lazy and just use the incandescent bulbs). But you need to work this all out 1st so that you don't spend a ton of time on something that in the end does not work.

add >> GEM >> just to be clear. Your still going to put a resistor on the output of the GEM module as it requires a minimum load to function properly. Your going to use the signal to trigger your 555. You don't really need to worry about impedance. So no harm to your GEM. You will need to have the 555 drive a power transistor (555 can do this easily if common cathode). The power transistor is what drives the LED. If you use discreet LED, and because the turn sig is pulsed, you can overdrive the LED by ~ 2 volts (never exceed the max rate though). Just an FYI.
12-11-2012 09:48 PM
mr1mrwun
Quote:
Originally Posted by S0C0nFused View Post
Thanks for that.

Pardon my ignorance, like I said I'm still learning about LEDs and small circuits,
If you really want to learn more, I recommend "IC timer cookbook (W.Jung)" and/or "110 IC timer projects" (J.Gilder)(I found it at Radio Shack). You will find these very helpful I am sure.

but is that timer a standalone or would I just need integrate it into the car's flasher circuit past the GEM? Or is it something I can/should put on the bread board for each separate array?
It is 'standalone'. You would place the circuit after the GEM. 1 "brd" (= circuit board) would drive each side of the car (left vs. right). Some thought required to trigger. I think I would build as simple astable, and tie the GEM output to the 555 reset pin. This would give a 'fast blink' whenever the turn signal was high (on). So, simulate in mind >> blink/blink/blink/pause - blink/blink/blink/pause. (the pause comes when the turn signal goes low (off). You can also set up the 555 to 'ring'. There really flexible.

Both you and the description says it's a kit. So some searching on DIY electronics forums are in order. Still have a lot of research and learning to do!

Btw, whats a brd?

A kit comes with everything except solder and tools. I recommend a 'soldering station' as there heat is regulated. There are also 'learn how to solder' kits. Worth it if you never have. Also, making your own circuit brd (= board) is not hard, but it can be somewhat expensive to get started.

One thing I don't know about is the intended load. I.E. >> What LED replacement bulb were you intending to use (assumption there). The problem most have is that you cannot get any specs. Hence, it is difficult to design the driver circuit intelligently. This also does not address the problem with the stock reflector (which is designed for incandescent). 1 thought is to not use the LED 'bulbs' as such, but use a single 20MM LED for each filament leg. Just a thought. Check out the better ones specs as they easily meet the stock bulb brightness.
Gonna look into those books

I follow you on the placement.
I get the kits....gonna google around for more/different options/possibilities.
I have basic to average skills so thats not a problem.

What I meant about the bread board,http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-5-PCS-Br...item27cde181b0 at least thats what I've seen it called, is that this is what I was planning on constructing my different arrays from. Cut to fit and mount inside the light's housing. Retrofitting if the term is applicable. Not intending to use replacement bulbs ie http://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/l...541-37-206569/. Plan on a full out custom project for all my lights. Seen it done on here and on FJ, mainly headlight projector retrofits with HALO/'Angel Eyes' and integrated turn signals. Just so happens that I'm planning this out and researching, and haven't come across a relative answer to the original question I had. Maybe I worded it wrong, maybe it was misunderstood. Idk. The info you've provided is helping me arrive at the result that I want. I know that if I was to do just a bulb swap.....I'd have to change the GEM/flasher relay to one that supports/recognizes the LED bulbs resistance, to negate the hyperflash function. I LIKE the hyperflash. IF the hyperflash is constant would it damage the GEM?

I know now that my original question is obsolete, thanks to our discussion.

As far as my intended load.......thinking of using SMD LED's....from some of what I've read into so far they're supposed to be up there in brightness.

The reflectors I plan on looking into after I hit the junkyard and figure out how to open the different housings up....
12-11-2012 07:19 PM
S0C0nFused Thanks for that.

Pardon my ignorance, like I said I'm still learning about LEDs and small circuits,
If you really want to learn more, I recommend "IC timer cookbook (W.Jung)" and/or "110 IC timer projects" (J.Gilder)(I found it at Radio Shack). You will find these very helpful I am sure.

but is that timer a standalone or would I just need integrate it into the car's flasher circuit past the GEM? Or is it something I can/should put on the bread board for each separate array?
It is 'standalone'. You would place the circuit after the GEM. 1 "brd" (= circuit board) would drive each side of the car (left vs. right). Some thought required to trigger. I think I would build as simple astable, and tie the GEM output to the 555 reset pin. This would give a 'fast blink' whenever the turn signal was high (on). So, simulate in mind >> blink/blink/blink/pause - blink/blink/blink/pause. (the pause comes when the turn signal goes low (off). You can also set up the 555 to 'ring'. There really flexible.

Both you and the description says it's a kit. So some searching on DIY electronics forums are in order. Still have a lot of research and learning to do!

Btw, whats a brd?

A kit comes with everything except solder and tools. I recommend a 'soldering station' as there heat is regulated. There are also 'learn how to solder' kits. Worth it if you never have. Also, making your own circuit brd (= board) is not hard, but it can be somewhat expensive to get started.

One thing I don't know about is the intended load. I.E. >> What LED replacement bulb were you intending to use (assumption there). The problem most have is that you cannot get any specs. Hence, it is difficult to design the driver circuit intelligently. This also does not address the problem with the stock reflector (which is designed for incandescent). 1 thought is to not use the LED 'bulbs' as such, but use a single 20MM LED for each filament leg. Just a thought. Check out the better ones specs as they easily meet the stock bulb brightness.
12-11-2012 06:04 PM
mr1mrwun
Quote:
Originally Posted by S0C0nFused View Post
OK. I have tried to find the more advanced kits for you. They apparently no longer exist. The closest one I could find is here
http://www.mtmscientific.com/timer.html
You would need to reengineer the output (relay not suitable),timing cycles etc. I was trying to find the dual timer brds but no luck. I wanted to stay with a 555 as they can drive a power trans directly.
Thanks for that.

Pardon my ignorance, like I said I'm still learning about LEDs and small circuits, but is that timer a standalone or would I just need integrate it into the car's flasher circuit past the GEM? Or is it something I can/should put on the bread board for each separate array?

Both you and the description says it's a kit. So some searching on DIY electronics forums are in order. Still have a lot of research and learning to do!

Btw, whats a brd?
12-10-2012 06:03 PM
S0C0nFused OK. I have tried to find the more advanced kits for you. They apparently no longer exist. The closest one I could find is here
http://www.mtmscientific.com/timer.html
You would need to reengineer the output (relay not suitable),timing cycles etc. I was trying to find the dual timer brds but no luck. I wanted to stay with a 555 as they can drive a power trans directly.
12-06-2012 10:05 PM
mr1mrwun
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper Focus View Post
The GEM handles the blink function if I'm not mistaken, and there's a little speaker that makes the sound in the steering column.

Most of my exterior is LED and I have resistors on the blinker circuit. Then I found out that the GEM doesn't like having little resistance to the running light circuit. With no resistance in the running light circuit the blinkers didn't work correctly, the opposite side would blink faintly. Plus with the hazards the door chime would beep and the interior lights would flash. So I added small load resistors on the running light side to fix it.

You might be able to not add resistors to the blinkers, but won't get away without having any resistors at all; at least with out a lot of annoying problems.
Okay, maybe I worded it wrong. I've been doing research on how to correctly plan out and make an array of LEDs. Not planning on using bulbs but making my own custom setup inside the light housings. So I know resistors are needed in the circuits for the LEDs to work properly to begin with. Also from my research I found out that just a LED bulb swap makes the GEM (thanks for that) think that the lights are not working/burnt out, hence the hyper flash, because of the missing resistance from what used to be incandescent bulbs. So when I do this will the GEM's life be diminished because of the state it will be put in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by S0C0nFused View Post
What Sniper Focus said. Without any resistance in series, you have a 'run away' condition. feedback issues etc. The flasher driver is designed for incandescent. AS you wanted a "LED expert", to achieve a high flash rate, you need an LED interface circuit that 1: provides the required resistance for the OEM flasher circuit. 2: A timer (async) that produces X 'flashes' per second. 3: adjustable LED driver output section (so you can adjust based on LED specs which can change). I would suggest (rough assumption) not to exceed 2-3 flashes per second.
Thanks for that info. Gonna have to look into that LED control interface. Would you have any suggestions for me to start looking in the right direction?
12-05-2012 11:18 PM
S0C0nFused What Sniper Focus said. Without any resistance in series, you have a 'run away' condition. feedback issues etc. The flasher driver is designed for incandescent. AS you wanted a "LED expert", to achieve a high flash rate, you need an LED interface circuit that 1: provides the required resistance for the OEM flasher circuit. 2: A timer (async) that produces X 'flashes' per second. 3: adjustable LED driver output section (so you can adjust based on LED specs which can change). I would suggest (rough assumption) not to exceed 2-3 flashes per second.
12-05-2012 08:32 PM
Sniper Focus The GEM handles the blink function if I'm not mistaken, and there's a little speaker that makes the sound in the steering column.

Most of my exterior is LED and I have resistors on the blinker circuit. Then I found out that the GEM doesn't like having little resistance to the running light circuit. With no resistance in the running light circuit the blinkers didn't work correctly, the opposite side would blink faintly. Plus with the hazards the door chime would beep and the interior lights would flash. So I added small load resistors on the running light side to fix it.

You might be able to not add resistors to the blinkers, but won't get away without having any resistors at all; at least with out a lot of annoying problems.
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