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Help On Car Interior and Exterior LED Lighting Project

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chromebeast

New Member
well i have these LEDs in my car... 5 blue ones on the interior and 6 white ones on the exterior (lighting the grill ect...) well not suprisingly... im bored with it. i want to know a way to make them fade in and out. like on then off in about 3 seconds with a slow fade then back again. im very good at wiring these together. i just need other people to tell me how to do it.

someone give me some suggestions

thanks
 

jem

Member
Some kind of PWM may be needed. How are the LED's currently driven? Is it straight from the car supply through a resistor? You could also try to modulate the brightness through current controlled sources (or more probably sinks), but the resultant circuitry might be as complicated or more than a simple uC PWM. You would need a ramp generator (to ramp up and down, and then a voltage controlled current source.

In any case, more info is needed. How many LED's are in series, or are they in parallel, or a combination?
 

chromebeast

New Member
its pretty simple in my eyes, i have a switch on my dash that contrals a relay under my hood, two wires come off it. one of them goes into my interior where the 5 blue LEDs are set one in each of the foot spaces and one in each of the vents. the other wire go up to the front where 3 white LEDs light up the radiator and 3 light up the grill. looks sweet but again now im bored. i have a choice of either buying more and having some fun with red ones on the rear of the car or doing this project and then doing the rear later.

it is a straight shot from the posive into a resistor that goes into the LED and then i grounded the negative, again, simple enough. it needs 10-14 volts for good lighting. if i put them on the power suplier in my room i can get them to fade in and out but im am not driving while at the same time turning a knob back and forth.

and what is a PWM? again, i can do the wiring simple enough but i just dont know how it all working in sequence
 

DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
If you want control to flash in different patterns your best bet is to go with a microcontroller. It's a big step and requires a programmer and some chips, but you would be able to do some pretty amazing things. You can make the LEDS' flash in patterns, react to sound/vibration, outside light levels, or car controls, like brakes or vehicle speed... In fact the only problem with it is that it opens up too many options.

Look for either Zilog Z8 Encore, AVR or PIC microcontrollers on the net. There are startup guides that will tell you what you need to know.
 

chromebeast

New Member
ok, um, yea. i did a search for those and found some things about them. the zilog is a 5vdc, how would i put that into a 12v connection? and the site said 39.99$ is that about right? is it easy to install?
 

jem

Member
A uC would be the eventual way to go if you will eventually get bored with simply fading in/out. As DirtyLude mentioned, with a uC the possibilities are almost endless. However, you will need to get familiar with the uC you are planning to use. Z8 is fine (cheap development system). I personally use AVR, and with a bit of digging around the web, you can get such simple circuits to work for peanuts. But again, you will need to program the uC to get anything out of it. It is not something you can get good at overnight, but the reward is well worth it. If you would like to use AVR, I can help.

PS. For PIC's, see Nigel! (There bud, you have not been forgotten :) )
 

DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
The Zilog is actually 3.3volts. You would use a simple regulator to provide 3.3volts from 12volts.

I use the Z8Encore and have had great success with it, the development kit is $39.99 and gives you everything you need to start programming the chips including a C compiler. I'm making a dash display and datalogging system with it, so, LED's but on the dash. I'm also using RC Servos to provide tach and speedo needle functions.

The AVR like Jem talked about and the PIC are much more popular microcontrollers, since the Z8e has just come out recently. Personaly I'm a fan of the AVR line as well. Both the PIC and the AVR have alot of support, so you might be better off going with one of those.

The learning curve is steep, especially if you have had no simple programming experince in the past, but it opens up alot of possibilities for you.
 

vaineo

New Member
I've never built it but i'm pretty sure it at the same time, doesn't seem to have a place to controll two rates of fading.
 

chromebeast

New Member
vaineo said:
I've never built it but i'm pretty sure it at the same time, doesn't seem to have a place to controll two rates of fading.
no no no

i wanted to know if after the fade in, do they fade back out and so on and so on in a loop
 

tansis

New Member
Have you discovered electroluminescent wire and sheet yet?
Though making it fade in and out is a bit more tricky but use the same principls as before but runs at higher voltage, typically 110volts.
Apologies for the poor quality pic , but it's damm hard to photograph.
 

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