Tired of having those Gauge lights burn out? Here I will show you how to
install LEDs instead of the 3.4 watt lamps.
*note: Disassembly of the Gauge is Not required.
First off you will need some High intensity LEDs which
can be found at many local electronic stores (check out the phone book),
Radio Shack will have LEDs but they wont be bright enough to get the gauge
to glow. You can also Check online at supberbrightleds.com or eled.com .
They shouldnt cost but around $0.50 apiece for at least 4,000mcd or
4Candela (its the intensity rating of them, the ones in your computer are
~ 40mcd or 0.04Candela)
I found that you can fit 2 LEDs into the hole where the
old lamp goes, with some finesse of course. I used a small piece of PCB
material for support (anything really stiff, about the thickness of a
dime). I am assuming 14v for all calculations and 2v for each LED so you
need a 680 ohm resistor (+- 50ohms) for each gauge.
Take the stiff material you have and cut a shape that
looks like a 1 (see photo) so that if you placed the LEDs on top they
would point away from each other at almost a 90 degree angle. Now solder
the leads together on the LEDs.
*quick electronic lesson*
LEDs are polar and only work hooked up one way. The short leg is Negative
and Long is positive, Or if you look at the plastic part the notched side
is negative and smooth is positive. So to hook 2 of them in series they
need to be hooked up in this order. Negative battery ->
short->long->short->long->resistor->positive battery. The
resistor can be anywhere in the circuit. But its easier to have it on one
side like shown.
Ok so now that you have the LEDs in series facing away
from each other(in photo) now glue them to the PCB as shown with the
middle of the board between the leads. Now wrap the leads that are left
around the bottom part of the one and cut them so the lead will make
contact with the plug when you put it in the socket. (see yellow drawing).
Now install the assembly into the socket like you would an ordinary bulb
but you need to make sure you have the positive to positive. So use a test
light or something to make sure you have the positive side going to the
positive side. (sometimes being hooked up backwards they will
pop/burn/explode/stink so get it right the first time, but if you turn on
the key and they dont light quickly shut off the bike then turn them
around and try again) Now the hard part is installing them into the
housing (because they are face out) I had to put them in half sideways
then push them in all the way (be careful if you make a mistake they could
fall into the housing and be lost forever!) They look pretty crazy during
twilight because the led is a different type of light than a filament bulb
but at night they are bad ass!!
*Final note: if you are unsure of your electronic skills buy some of the
cheap LEDs at radio shack and test build this until it works right, then
use the good LEDs.