Pure White Cold Cathode Climate Control - ClubLexus - Lexus Forum Discussion


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Pure White Cold Cathode Climate Control

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Old 05-20-04, 02:35 PM   #1
CleanSC
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Lightbulb Pure White Cold Cathode Climate Control

My climate control had the blacked out display so I scored one at a boneyard from a 97 SC for 150 bux. It's nice and new-looking. The buttons are even matte finish and not glossy polished from years of fingering like mine was.

I figure well since it's out, it sure as hell isn't going in with that stock ugly blue cap/puke green output illumination. I tried many methods and decided incandescent won't give me the color I need (need to match my LLS White 32), and LED won't give me the uniform output needed.

I decided that a cold cathode tube was the way to go for it's long, uniform output. I scored two 160mm tubes and a dual tube 12 volt driver from a surplus electronics catalog I frequently shop from.

The unit basically uses two sets of lights. The front set illuminates the screen. The rear set illuminates the buttons through light pipes.

The procedure was basically to install a tube on each side of the board to light the unit completely.

This pic shows a single tube in the dark.
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Old 05-20-04, 02:39 PM   #2
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Post Pic #2

Pic of tube on front of board to light the screen.
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Old 05-20-04, 02:40 PM   #3
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Default Pic #3

Pic of tube on back side to illuminate buttons.
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Old 05-20-04, 02:42 PM   #4
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Default Pic #4

Pic of final product. Nice pure white output, very uniform.
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Old 05-20-04, 02:52 PM   #5
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Looks sweet Jose, you are a lighting madman!! lol.. Now, for the important question: How much did all the equipment run you?

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Old 05-20-04, 02:53 PM   #6
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hey man, since you did pics, you think you can do a DIY write up? i would be very interested in doing this. good job
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Old 05-20-04, 02:56 PM   #7
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Hehe Mike my man: you've seen nothing yet. I have just begun. What awaits in other interior goodies and especially exterior lights will be sure to please.

Unfortunately in attempting to mod a brand new 97+ tail, I melted it in the oven. DOH! Will try a lilttle less heat with the replacement.
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Old 05-20-04, 03:02 PM   #8
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As for the DIY, it's pretty straight forward. It's all put together and those are all the pics I took so I can't put together a step my step. It's very simple tho:

Just take apart the climate unit, take out all the bulbs (soldering required) and corresponding light tunnels (all the white plastic parts - chuck these). Install a tube on both sides of the board and fire them up. It's very simple, just takes time and patience.

Mike, I spent about $32 in supplies. (2 tubes, one 12 volt inverter) You need a 160mm tube to fully span the rear of the display. Anything shorter will black out the ends and longer won't fit.
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Old 05-20-04, 03:13 PM   #9
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WOW bright
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Old 05-20-04, 03:39 PM   #10
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that's clean...
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Old 05-20-04, 03:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by tpham7
that's clean...
lol hence the user name.

I forgot to also mention, I changed the LEDs. The a/c and recirc/fresh leds are blue, the front and rear defrost are red. The pic above only shows the blue ones installed next to the stock defrost ones. I did those after I took that pic.

Thanks for the compliments, guys.
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Old 05-20-04, 04:02 PM   #12
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can you get the tubes in other colors? I'm really partial to a solid blue...or ultra-violet. I might look into this for several things I like working on.

What was the catalog and how much might you charge to do the same thing?
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Old 05-20-04, 04:44 PM   #13
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where do you get power from to light up the tube?
sorry guys....im lost...........
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Old 05-20-04, 04:53 PM   #14
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Good project Jose!

You are right, you DON'T want to market Cathodes, ESPECIALLY not aftermarket cathodes. They have a horribly short lifespan compared to led's and are fragile so even shipping them would be an issue as i have had several bulbs actually get broken.

Nice job, and good luck.
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Old 05-20-04, 05:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by O. L. T.
Good project Jose!

You are right, you DON'T want to market Cathodes, ESPECIALLY not aftermarket cathodes. They have a horribly short lifespan compared to led's and are fragile so even shipping them would be an issue as i have had several bulbs actually get broken.

Nice job, and good luck.
Thanks for the thumbs up, man. Coming from the master, that's always nice.

Yes longevity is an issue here, so it's pretty much a chance I'm taking to see how long this setup lasts. I mounted the tubes on foam bases to help with vibration. So we'll see how long they can hack it. =) Might just luck out and get a few years out of them.

Indy: The power comes from the inverter. Just hook it up to the illumination circuit. Which reminds me:

OLT: The setup pulls .41 amps as measured on my DMM. Is this current close enough to the stock 6 bulbs to tap the power right from the climate illumination? Since I wasn't sure, I was just going to tap the unit to power externally. But if the inside supply can hack it, I'd love to make it all one tidy unit.

Thanks.
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