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Old 2002.05.12, 06:56 AM   #1
laminaleigh
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light kit with working brake lights

Hi ,

I am reasonably new to mini z (only had one 2weeks). I know there are pre made light kits out there but they are very expensive . I know alot of people have also made their own.

I decided to have a go at making my own for my Z. I'm not too sure how others have done it but here is what I did.

This might be hard to describe but I will try

The basics are probably the same as most peoples. I've used orange and yellow 3mm LED's at the back (they seem to be the brightest of the colored leds and still look ok through the red lense on my Skyline.
For the headlights I've used high intesity white LEDs.

The bits which may be different are that I have utilised a PBC mount 4 way "DIP" switch and a "mercury" tilt switch.

This allows me to have total control over switching individual lights on or off , turning the whole light set off and easily changing whether I want the 2 outer or the 2 inner lights to work as brake lights.

For those who dont know , a mercury switch is a small peice of sealed glass tube a little under an inch long with a blob of mercury inside which can flow from one end of the tube to the other depending on what angle the switch is at. At one end of the switch are 2 wires which are open circuit if the "blob" is away from the wire end and closed circuit if the blob is at the wire end. Basically you can hook the switch up to turn lights on or off depending on the position of the mercury inside the switch.

By mounting the switch somewhere inside the body of the car at an almost horizontal position you can adjust it (i just mounted it with blu tak to make it simple to adjust) so lights are either on or off when at a complete stop.Adjusting the switch so the mercury only just touches the wires when stopped will make the lights be on .Adjusting the switch so the blob is away from the wires will have them off when stationary .Any foreward momentum will make the mercury flow to the other end thus turning the lights offwhile accelerating or moving at a constant speed. if the car slows down at all while moving the slight change in foreward momentum will allow the mercury to flow back down and turn the lights back on. thus giving a brake light effect.

It is actually much simpler than it sounds and seems to work really well.

I have also changed the way the main on off switch works so that power is completly taken away from the circuit board in the car when the main car switch is off. (basically remove the 2 white wires from the switch and solder them together and then chop one of the battery wires and run them through the switch instead) I have picked up the voltage for the light circuit from the point where the red and black wires from the batteries solder onto the circuit board. With the change in the way the switch is wired when I turn the car off everything including the lights turn off. With the car turned on I can use the "DIP" switch to turn all the lights off if I want to. (you also need a small connector of some description to connect the car body wiring to the main car. I have just temprorarily used 2 9v battery clips together for now.)


Basically the whole thing fits on a small circuit board (about 1 inch by 1 inch) .I mounted the resistors and Dipswitch on the PCB itself. The mercury switch I added about a 4 inch length of wire to so I could experiment with mounting positions inside the car.

Hopefully the circuit diagram will help explain things a little better.
*note ... this circuit has so far worked totally fine for me but I take no responsibility if anyone tries this and things fry or whatever :-)

I will post pics of the car etc when i get a chance. DIP switch and Mercury switch pics will follow for those unsure what they are.
here is the circuit diagram.Sorry for the poor quality.I actually drew the diagram in a program and cant get it to save in a suitable format for posting here.So a photo will have to do for now.

cheers

leigh


here is a quick speil to go with the diagram....

Notes.

SW 1 – SW 4 is a 4 way PCB mount “DIP” switch.

Led 1 & Led 2 are used for Brake lights.

Led 3 & Led 4 are used for Tail lights

Led 5 & Led 6 are “White” headlights.



SW 1 is used as a master on/off switch

SW 2 is used to switch LED 1 & 2

SW 3 is used to switch LED 3 & 4

SW 4 is used to switch LED 5 & 6



The mercury switch is used to create the Brake light effect on either LEDs 1 & 2 or 3 & 4 . The angle that the switch is placed will determine how sensitive the brake lights are and if they stay on or off once the car is at a complete stop.



If SW 2 and SW 3 are both closed LED 1 , 2 , 3 ,4 will be on and remain on.
If SW 2 is closed and SW 3 is open LED 1 & 2 will stay on and LED 3 & 4 will be switched by the mercury switch.
If SW 2 is open and SW 3 is closed LED 3 & 4 will stay on and LED 1 & 2 will be switched by the mercury switch.
SW 4 turns headlights on or off.




Please note. I have tried this circuit on my car and it seems to work fine. BUT I take no responsibility if anyone tries this and something happens. Feel free to ask any questions and I will answer them if possible. laminaleigh@hotmail.com


my mini-z lights
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File Type: jpg light diagram photo.jpg (51.6 KB, 322 views)

Last edited by laminaleigh; 2002.05.15 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 2002.05.12, 06:58 AM   #2
laminaleigh
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this is a mercury switch
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Old 2002.05.12, 06:59 AM   #3
laminaleigh
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this is a DIP switch
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Old 2002.05.12, 07:31 AM   #4
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laminaleigh, sounds brilliant - can't wait to see pics of the actual installation!
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Old 2002.05.13, 05:51 AM   #5
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I tried the mercury switch myself...
Made the back of my car look like a mobile disco, even on smooth floor.
I'd use an accelerometer or an optoisolator.
http://mini-zracer.com/forums/showth...&threadid=1349
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Old 2002.05.13, 06:28 AM   #6
laminaleigh
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A tiny accelerometer would be very nice. Quite expensive though i imagine?. I was really surprised though how well the mercury switch works. Maybe you used a smaller or more sensitive one than i used?

The set up seems simple enough and realistic enough for me at the moment.. No doubt I will think of a different way to try things soon and change it all around :-) ....damn these things are addictive to play around with :-)
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Old 2002.05.13, 09:37 AM   #7
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I have no idea about the mercury switch... seems identical to the one in the picture, about 5mm in diameter and 10-15mm in length.
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Old 2002.05.13, 10:48 AM   #8
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well when I do my light kit, the HEad lights and taillights will be on their own batteries... 3v for each one... and the brake lights will be a parrallel wireing with resistor on the PCB motor terminals so only on in reverse... so just tapping it will flash the brake lights...

the mercury switch will only work if you dont shake the car... and it shakes and bounces/vibrates a lot... so it will be sorta strobish.
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Old 2002.05.13, 11:55 AM   #9
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GPM has a light-kit, it has brake-lights aswell, when you touch the brake the rear-lights shines stronger
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Old 2002.05.13, 01:46 PM   #10
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i'm drooling over this idea....
mind if i give it a try also? hope it's not copyrighted
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Old 2002.05.13, 11:13 PM   #11
laminaleigh
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maybe I've just been lucky so far then but my brake lights dont seem to flash too much when they are not meant to. it's all in the angle you set the switch up at. I actually find it best to have them so they are only on while slowing down and turn off once you are at a complete stop. Maybe it would be affected a bit more if the surface was a bit rough. I've only tried it on reasonably smooth surfaces so far. But it seems to work a treat.

Does hooking them up so they only come on when you hit reverse have a very realistic effect ? I haven't personally tried it :-)

Draconious - what kind of batteries are you thinking of using to power your led's ? I was thinking of doing that but thought the extra weight might be a problem. ? would love to know what you come up with


cheers
leigh
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Old 2002.05.14, 02:58 AM   #12
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Just watch batteries, small ones laser pointer style.. maybe even smaller then that...

I got some ET Finger in cereal box, and damn are these BRIGHT RED LEds (lights off in room and the ring can show up on the wall over 13 foot and beyond away... Each one has 2 batteries... no resistors... they fit perfectly in the hole in the rear of my BMW, and they are clear white when off... hehe so kinda ricer ish. and I might get the dimmer ones to shine through them
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Old 2002.05.14, 03:11 AM   #13
laminaleigh
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Draconious ,

Those sound like pretty awesome leds. I've thought of using those little button cells but were not too sure of their capacity and how long they would actually last. Let me know how they go. I might even try it at some stage. I do have some of those batteries laying around somewhere I think.
Hey BTW I must thank you ... I did what it seems heaps of people have done and shorted my antenna. My range went down to about 5 feet. Thanx to some of your tips I was able to fix it by moving the location of the antenna pick up on the PCB. I found that I also had to remove the RF filter completely before my range came back to what it used to be.

I've made a new antenna now which should prevent me making the same mistake again :-) ...

cheers
leigh
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Old 2002.05.15, 03:54 AM   #14
laminaleigh
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I've put up a few pics and a 15second movie of my skyline with lights

http://www.angelfire.com/clone/miniz/lights.html

Last edited by laminaleigh; 2002.05.15 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 2002.05.18, 03:04 PM   #15
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Question lichts

how do i get the back light on my viper. where did you put the batters.and where did you get the batters
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