DiecastXchange Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a Ford Focus model by Motormax (quite impressive I must say, the wheels are a bit small but they'll do for now) and I am looking to modify it. A stock Focus is just so boring! I am probably going to add racing stripes and do some interior detailing. I would also like to add neon lights on the bottom. And if at all possible, have working headlights and tail lights. If anyone knows how to install neons (wiring and such I suppose) any kind of advice would be helpful. Thanks!

:happytwo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,936 Posts
I've got not practical experience in that area but I think this is what I'd do:
  • - get 2 or 4 LEDs from some place like Radio Shack (should be available in blue, purple, red, green)
    - drill holes so that you can insert the LED from inside the car
    - use a glue gun to keep the LEDs in place
    - LED has a positive and negative side (do NOT wire them up incorrectly!)
    - need a low profile switch (no immediate ideas here)
    - I think 2 AAA batteries should light up the LEDs pretty decently
These are the ideas that comes to mind. I'm sure there are a couple folks out there with more experience than I.

NOTE: LEDs get hot really quickly so don't leave it on for too long!

Keep us posted on how things go okay? Good luck! :cheers
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
StygianMax said:
I've got not practical experience in that area but I think this is what I'd do:
  • - get 2 or 4 LEDs from some place like Radio Shack (should be available in blue, purple, red, green)
    - drill holes so that you can insert the LED from inside the car
    - use a glue gun to keep the LEDs in place
    - LED has a positive and negative side (do NOT wire them up incorrectly!)
    - need a low profile switch (no immediate ideas here)
    - I think 2 AAA batteries should light up the LEDs pretty decently
These are the ideas that comes to mind. I'm sure there are a couple folks out there with more experience than I.

NOTE: LEDs get hot really quickly so don't leave it on for too long!

Keep us posted on how things go okay? Good luck! :cheers
I tried this one the way that SM said it!. hehe..

didnt look to bad but you could pick where the LEDs were cos of the light throw they have....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,936 Posts
Nice work Malik! :phaty Those red LEDs look good. Where did you locate the batteries? Could I trouble you for a picture of that and the switch too?

:cheers
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What Felix said except:
LEDs don't really get hot because they don't have a filament that burns to produce light. The light is a result of electron movement in a semiconductor.

You may want to use a resistor to regulate the voltage. Try this calculator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,936 Posts
RichardM said:
What Felix said except:
LEDs don't really get hot because they don't have a filament that burns to produce light. The light is a result of electron movement in a semiconductor.

You may want to use a resistor to regulate the voltage. Try this calculator.
I guess I should have qualified my statement by saying that the heat build-up depends on the type of LED and the amount of power the LED sucks up.

The scenario where they do get quite warm is if there isn't enough ambient air around the LED lens. I know about that because I've dealt with HP and Toshiba LEDs in our overhead 10'x 50' wide Changeable Message Signs. We've got them perched over our highways. Generation 1 of those signs had LED pixels consisting of 15 red LEDs and 55 green ones. Each pixel was encapsulated in an epoxy-type material to ensure the LEDs are aligned properly. They were prone to colour fading within about half year operation specifically because of the heat build-up in the LED pixels. Gen 2 signs did not use the epoxy material so that there would be significantly better heat dissipation. This all helped in the colour of the LED remaining uniform across the sign.

Good idea with the resistor. :cheers
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
StygianMax said:
Nice work Malik! :phaty Those red LEDs look good. Where did you locate the batteries? Could I trouble you for a picture of that and the switch too?

:cheers
yeah no worries mate.. Ill do some pics tomorrow for you....

the car that all that was in is now a donor car again for other things.. it was my first conversion so was always a test car so alot of the parts are now for a more permanent mod that I have planned..

so I can do a couple pics of the wiring and everything.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can't really SHOW my progress, no digicam :crying

I really thought this would be a lot simplier and I would buy a set of interior neons for a car at pepboys and hook it up to a battery in the hatch. However, the LED idea sounds much better. Now, where to get it and what to hook it up to? :confused
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As promised.. the pics of how I hooked up my LEDs on my C'dore conversion...

first up.. the switch... the biante commodores come with a simulated fuel drop tank underneath so it was simple enough to pull it off and mount the switch inside it..
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Second.. the batteries.... I used two AUTOart size mounted onto this little thingamagig I found at Dick Smith (local electronics shop) that was originally a little box for the batterys with a switch attached and wires to hook it up. so I just modified it to fit where I wanted it.. this case into the boot (trunk for americans) and it fit fairly snugly in there... unfortunately didnt allow for boot detail but hey... it happens.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
and last one.. the wiring...

LEDs come with 2 little legs on... one long one and one short one.... I found the easiest way was to get 2 different coloured wire's (I used black and red..) and just make sure that you solder the same coloured wire to the same leg EVERY TIME... I did red wire to the short leg and black wire to the long leg... I found that it doesnt matter about positive and negative as long as you always attach the same wire colour...

connect them around in a circuit to the last LED (you dont have to go back to the battery) and your done..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,936 Posts
That's great work you did there Malik. Thanks for posting those detailed pictures for us all to learn from. :cheers :cheers

Q. How do you keep the LEDs in place? Do you use a little bit of glue? Are there any heat build-up issues to watch out for?
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nice work there Malik :nicejob

My nephew had a 1:24 supra and got some small glow sticks. They look fine but only last a certain amount of time.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's a great step-by-step tute Malik, thanks for taking the time to put it together. Do you have pics of the lights in action? :cheers :nicejob :nicejob :nicejob
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
SM the LEDs are held in place with a touch of superglue... and no heat issues that I noticed.. LEDs dont produce heat due to the lack of a filament (so Im told)

Rat there are pics of the car in action on the front page of this thread :)
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
WOW! Thanks for the tutorial Malik! Those look awesome! I'm probably going to pick them up pretty soon, if not today then this week sometime. I'll keep everyone updated.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top