White EL panel for gauge cluster modification. - Page 7 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #121 of 189 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 10:10 AM
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I will need one of those retainers!
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post #122 of 189 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 10:19 AM
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I think I've mentioned these before - for white headlight indicators you want white PLCC-2 LEDs, either modifying the terminals by bending, or just bridging them with solder. Ebay PLCC-2 LED's: PLCC-2 LED | eBay

(Note - the corner 'notch' on top of the LED means "-" / Cathode...)



Here's a shot of the back of 2 of the boards - left one is the white PLCC-2 LED; note I also replaced the resistor with a 4.7k one vs. the OEM 560 ohm one. 560 ohms is 'ok', but gets hot since it's pushing more current than the LED needs. One of my boards I used 4.7k, the other I used 10k, and both white LED's light up plenty bright. No reason to have to wear sunglasses at night, right??

Board on the right is OEM, notice the front-facing LED.. The PLCC-2 LED just needs to line up with the hole in the board, then solder it down..



Here I added some 3D printed spacers to help with light dispersion.. The OEM spacing has the LEDs very close to the graphics, which to my eye left a bright 'dot' in the middle instead of even illumination. Spacing the LEDs farther back helped even out the light, in my opinion.. Some diffuser plastic behind the graphic would probably have the same effect.




Shot with the boards mounted - NOTE, the top one in the picture above is shorter - turns out when they're this tall, the top circuit board will hit the aluminum of the dashboard... I had to cut it down for clearance.




And lit up - I also illuminated the START button with white LEDs in the center, and a red ring around the outside:



(inside of START button.. Looks cooler in person than in the pictures.. )

2005 Chrome Orange Elise
Mod list: Stainless shift knob.

Last edited by Riceburner98; 11-23-2014 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Speeeling...
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post #123 of 189 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 11:41 AM
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What is the retainer thing for?

2006 Aspen White Lotus Elise
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post #124 of 189 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 11:47 AM
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The 'retainer thing' is the piece that centers the gauge cluster faceplate and EL sheet to the instrument cluster housing, as well as holding it flat against it. Many have broken when removed apparently, as they're very thin and brittle. I'm going to see if I can machine some replacements, since you can't buy them outside of a whole new gauge cluster. I've used double-stick tape to hold the layers down, but it's not quite as elegant as the retainers.. Also I don't know for sure how the tape will hold up in a very hot environment.. (I'm in New England.. HOT is like 90*, whereas you guys in the sunshine states probably think that's a cool breeze! )

I actually stopped here at work to grab some stuff and see if I could set up the machine to crank out a sample... But I forgot the plastic rod stock! I walked right by it in the garage on the way to the car.. I'll have to see if I can do one after work this week..

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Mod list: Stainless shift knob.
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post #125 of 189 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 04:25 PM
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The 'retainer thing' is the piece that centers the gauge cluster faceplate and EL sheet to the instrument cluster housing, as well as holding it flat against it. Many have broken when removed apparently, as they're very thin and brittle. I'm going to see if I can machine some replacements, since you can't buy them outside of a whole new gauge cluster. I've used double-stick tape to hold the layers down, but it's not quite as elegant as the retainers.. Also I don't know for sure how the tape will hold up in a very hot environment.. (I'm in New England.. HOT is like 90*, whereas you guys in the sunshine states probably think that's a cool breeze! )

I actually stopped here at work to grab some stuff and see if I could set up the machine to crank out a sample... But I forgot the plastic rod stock! I walked right by it in the garage on the way to the car.. I'll have to see if I can do one after work this week..

You are the man! Parts ordered and I'll try and do it before the EL gets in. Now for the HVAC.



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post #126 of 189 (permalink) Old 11-24-2014, 06:20 PM
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I need some of those retainers! I busted mine right away and have my gauges held up with electrical tape...

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post #127 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 08:28 AM
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Status update from the manufacturer after I sent payment on the 5th.. Had to go back and forth with sales orders and confirming things again, and it looks like they're on the far end of '2-3 weeks', but they're in progress now... Still should arrive well before the Holidays.

"Please confirm the attached sales order. Your order will be shipping on the 28th and I will send the invoice receipt along with tracking at that time. Thank you."

Will update if I hear anything else, but most likely won't be until the 28th.. Now we just have to patiently wait.......
Any update?
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post #128 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-02-2014, 08:44 AM
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Nothing yet... I emailed them just now to see what's up. Maybe they're on the way and they forgot to update with tracking info? Let's hope for that!

I had to go pick up a package at the Post Office today, I was all excited for a minute but it was just a coffee mug from England..

edit:
Well that was quick...

Hello Robert,

I believe they are shipped and you will be getting a final invoice today.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Mod list: Stainless shift knob.

Last edited by Riceburner98; 12-02-2014 at 08:51 AM.
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post #129 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 08:08 AM
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edit:
Well that was quick...

Hello Robert,

I believe they are shipped and you will be getting a final invoice today.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Sweet! Looking forward to them!
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post #130 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-07-2014, 05:07 AM
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According to the tracking info, the panels have arrived in NY! Won't be long now...

2005 Chrome Orange Elise
Mod list: Stainless shift knob.
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post #131 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-07-2014, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the update Bob!


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"This car is more fun than the entire french air force crashing into a firework factory." - Jeremy Clarkson

2005 BRP ELISE:
Sport Pack, Hard Top, Black Mesh Grills, Cup Air Box, TitanQR, Difflow diffuser, Larini Club Sport Exaust, Rear Panel Delete, RTD Brace w/Nitron Toe Pins, Mono-ball bushings, PRORAD, Reverie CF Side Scoops & CF Splitter, CF door pulls, Odyssey PC680. Filled seams including a custom one piece front paint protection film.
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post #132 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 11:23 AM
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Good news / scary news??

Good news is I machined a couple of faceplate retainers, and they're PERFECT, at least on my cluster. They hold the faceplate so much tighter than the factory early '05 ones anyway.. Does anyone know if there's a difference in the later years ('07 maybe?) before they really changed the cluster in '08? I'd sold a set of '05s from one of my clusters to someone (brain is Swiss cheese - can't remember who..) but he'd said they weren't the same as his and I think that meant they didn't work for him for size reasons.. I'm going to machine a bunch more of these, if I do enough I'll just send them with the EL panels but no point sending them to people who can't use 'em. I machined them from a sheet of polycarbonate, so they're a lot tougher than the originals which appear to be acrylic. (I tried some acrylic on the lathe, and it just shatters when I get it thin enough...)

Somewhat scary news is yesterday the EL faceplate tracking # said "out for delivery"; I waited 'till 10pm like a kid waiting for Santa and saw no Post Office guy.. This morning it changed to "Delivery status not updated", and hasn't moved since... So theoretically they're somewhere in town on a Post Office truck; I didn't hear of any truck crashes so hopefully they'll be delivered soon..

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Mod list: Stainless shift knob.
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post #133 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 11:43 AM
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Rice, you are a good man. That's all I have to say.
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post #134 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Bob,

You can call your local post office for additional information. They can usually tell you more than the website can as long as you have the tracking information.

"This car is more fun than the entire french air force crashing into a firework factory." - Jeremy Clarkson

2005 BRP ELISE:
Sport Pack, Hard Top, Black Mesh Grills, Cup Air Box, TitanQR, Difflow diffuser, Larini Club Sport Exaust, Rear Panel Delete, RTD Brace w/Nitron Toe Pins, Mono-ball bushings, PRORAD, Reverie CF Side Scoops & CF Splitter, CF door pulls, Odyssey PC680. Filled seams including a custom one piece front paint protection film.
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post #135 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 01:13 PM
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Bob
I purchased the clips from you and they fit the 07 just fine. The 07 are just thinner and are really tight. That's why they break when you pull them out. I will take a set.
Thanks again for all your hard work.
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post #136 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 01:21 PM
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I would appreciate a set of retainers too if you are sending them out with the EL panel. I broke mine when removing them. They are quite fragile.
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post #137 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
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I would appreciate a set of retainers too if you are sending them out with the EL panel. I broke mine when removing them. They are quite fragile.

05' Elise->Exige conversion with Supercharged K20
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post #138 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 09:00 AM
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Thanks Kamsden! I swear I can't remember my name some days..... Hopefully these replacement ones work for all; they certainly fit nice and tight on mine! I was able to machine 5 sets last night. A lot of the time was setup and tooling, so now that I've done that and learned a few tips I should be able to make some more faster tonight.

Good news break though!! It looks like someone just forgot to scan the package and / or leave a pickup notice on the door... I stopped by a couple Post Offices just now, and I HAVE THEM!!!

I took tomorrow off work, though I was hoping to have enough retainers for all by now.. I'll probably ship out as many as I have retainers for tomorrow, starting from the top of the list. Then I'll ship more as I make more retainers. You'll have 'em by Xmas!!!

- Bob (Excited!!)

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Mod list: Stainless shift knob.
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post #139 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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"This car is more fun than the entire french air force crashing into a firework factory." - Jeremy Clarkson

2005 BRP ELISE:
Sport Pack, Hard Top, Black Mesh Grills, Cup Air Box, TitanQR, Difflow diffuser, Larini Club Sport Exaust, Rear Panel Delete, RTD Brace w/Nitron Toe Pins, Mono-ball bushings, PRORAD, Reverie CF Side Scoops & CF Splitter, CF door pulls, Odyssey PC680. Filled seams including a custom one piece front paint protection film.
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post #140 of 189 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 10:09 AM
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you are definitely our santa claus this year!
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