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PC Board with LED Indicatos

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Riskier4ca

New Member
Hi everyone! Im not sure if this is allowed so feel free to let me know. Im sure you will anyway :0)

Im wondering if its possible to setup a board that has LED indicators that will tell me if lights are out on my vehicle? By lights I mean, all exterior lights. Im pretty sure its possible. Im just not sure how to do it or where to get started.

I did take electronics class back in the day but got into computers instead.

If someone could make something like this, and it could be put in a small, light, box so it could be mounted in a vehicle, I would happily compensate them for it. Im not sure why they dont do this on cars (well, I am, smokey would have a hard time getting people for burned out lights), but it would be nice. It is something I plan on putting on my daughters car before she starts driving in a couple years. Would need to have wires long enough to go up to the PCM, or to the light wire harness directly like through a backprode connector with common ground.

Im pretty sure you get the idea.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks in advance,
Risk
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
If someone could make something like this, and it could be put in a small, light, box so it could be mounted in a vehicle, I would happily compensate them for it. Im not sure why they dont do this on cars (well, I am, smokey would have a hard time getting people for burned out lights), but it would be nice.
They do exactly that on many cars, but it's not so easy to add 'after market' as you need to monitor the current to each bulb.
 

dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I remember seeing something a while back that used cheap fibre optic cable to go from the rear lights to the rear parcel shelf, you saw the light repeated via the end of the fibre optic cable. No electronics.
 

Riskier4ca

New Member
Cadillac used -or uses- optical fiber light pipes from tail, turn, main headlights to the dash.
Or, use photosensors/photodiodes at each, next to the bulb and wire them to dark-sense circuits on a board.
A '79 foreign GM vehicle I had used 3mm fiber optics to light the instrument panel at many points, from a single bulb.

----> http://automotivemileposts.com/autobrevity/lampmonitor.html
So its something they use to do... I have an 10 EXT Cad and I would think it would be something they would at least put on them since they are defined as luxury vehicles. Have an 11 Camaro SS/RS not on there, but according to your article apparently it was something they fitted 68's with. We need to bring this back. Have an 02 Avalanche as well, and one night I was pulled over for no headlights. Got a ticket. Took it to my uncles shop to figure out what was wrong. He said a ground was missing and couldnt find it anywhere. I just ran a direct ground to the light assembly. Would have been nice to see they were out before getting pulled over. Wonder if you can still find those things.
 

Riskier4ca

New Member
Wouldnt it be easy to do with current using a programmable chip and a diode or something like that? Just need a standalone system that monitors current from one side of the bulb to the next. If its not there a program sends a small amount of current to an led. Seems possible but I dont know.
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Wouldnt it be easy to do with current using a programmable chip and a diode or something like that? Just need a standalone system that monitors current from one side of the bulb to the next. If its not there a program sends a small amount of current to an led. Seems possible but I dont know.
Well, you could stick a resistor shunt or a hall sensor in the path of the light. But the fiber optics and no electronics is way more elegant and simple.

I find that the real problem isn't burnt out lights as much as people don't know that just because your speedometer lights are on, it doesn't mean your external lights are on so a bunch of people drive around without external lights.
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Hi everyone! Im not sure if this is allowed so feel free to let me know. Im sure you will anyway :0)

Im wondering if its possible to setup a board that has LED indicators that will tell me if lights are out on my vehicle? By lights I mean, all exterior lights. Im pretty sure its possible. Im just not sure how to do it or where to get started.

I did take electronics class back in the day but got into computers instead.

If someone could make something like this, and it could be put in a small, light, box so it could be mounted in a vehicle, I would happily compensate them for it. Im not sure why they dont do this on cars (well, I am, smokey would have a hard time getting people for burned out lights), but it would be nice. It is something I plan on putting on my daughters car before she starts driving in a couple years. Would need to have wires long enough to go up to the PCM, or to the light wire harness directly like through a backprode connector with common ground.

Im pretty sure you get the idea.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks in advance,
Risk
If you do decide to work on a project like this, one option is placing a "current sensing resistor" in series with the lamp. That requires cutting the wires and insulation to the lamp to insert the resistor. Now you created a new failure mode for your daughter's headlights. Oxidation of the solder, vibration and metal fatigue of the wire right next to the solder joint is very common so strain relief and some type of encapsulation is needed. Ideally, long-term tested encapsulation is needed. Failure of your solution seems like a higher risk than living without your solution.

Therefore, you either need a tested packing method, a method that is "non-contact" to sense the current, or, an off-vehicle method to view the lights on a daily basis (like a camera in the driveway or garage when she parks her car.

Ideally, just buy her a car that has sensors already built in. Commonly, mid-sized sedans with an upper trim level (Honda "EX-L", "Touring" or "Elite" trims, for example).
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I remember a magazine article for a "lamp failure system" a few decades ago.

That just used large reed switches with the appropriate number of turns of suitable wire wound on, for the lamp current rating.

Add a resistor and LED also running from the same lamp power and connect the reed contact across the LED, so it only lights with power on the lamp but insufficient current to operate the relay.

Something like these - 50mm / 2" body style - should be fine.
Try various turn counts to find the operating point (ampere-turns) and work from that.

There are many other ways of doing the same thing, but that one is neat as there is no break (other than connections) in the wiring path to the lamp.
 
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