Wanted: Obsolete Component LED Rectangular Light Bars

Scotophor

Member
I'm seeking some out-of-production discrete through-hole component LED light bars for a project. There are two different styles that I want and can not substitute. Depending on where I look, they were reportedly manufacturer-discontinued in either the late 1970s or early 1990s, but remained somewhat available until around 2000 because at least two distributors had bought the manufacturers' remaining stocks as surplus and sold them in retail packaging.

The first type have 2 LED emitters (a.k.a. chips, or dice) per unit. Their front face measures approximately 14 mm x 7 mm (9/16 x 1/4 inch) and they're about 12 mm (1/2 inch) tall excluding leads. They're made of lightly-tinted clear epoxy, with a white-ish diffusion layer about 1-2 mm (~1/16 inch) thick at the front. The dice are about 7 mm (1/4 inch) apart, center-to-center. These were once sold in retail packaging as Cal-Pak brand "Specialty LEDs", distributed by Cal West Supply, Inc. as their part numbers CP-59 (green), CP-58 (red) and CP-60 (yellow). I know that the Cal-Pak packages were stocked in MarVac Electronics stores in the Los Angeles, California vicinity, but I do not know where else they may have been found nor how widely distributed they were. They were also offered online via Cal West's website, www.hallbar.com (defunct since early 2005). Additionally, I've been told that these LEDs have been found in "Lucky Bag" LED assortments sold primarily in Europe several years ago by Kemo Electronic. Kemo still sells such assortments but this type is apparently no longer included. I do not know the original manufacturers' part numbers nor which company(/ies) made them, though I have read a post mentioning that they were Japanese.

The second type is of similar general appearance and construction, but they have 3 emitters per unit. Their front face measures about 16.5 mm x 4 mm (5/8 inch x 3/16 inch) and they're about 8.5 mm (5/16 inch) tall excluding leads. The chips are about 4.5 mm (3/16 inch) apart, center-to-center. These were also sold in Cal-Pak packaging, at least in green (CP-57) and red (CP-56) colors, but apparently not in yellow. There are similar LEDs to these in current production, but not exactly alike -- the chip-to-chip spacing is 6 mm now, and the dimensions a bit different at 16 mm x 5 mm x 8 mm height. Some time circa 2000, Cal West switched the LEDs in their Cal-Pak packaging to the current style without changing the part numbers. They also changed the 2-die style to a much smaller modern type of only 10 mm x 5 mm frontal dimension, again without changing the part numbers.

Photos attached show the original large 2-chip style (slightly retouched image of actual LEDs in all 3 colors), the original 3-chip style (the green one is real and the others are simulated), and the Cal-Pak blister card packaging (partly simulated -- I don't know how many actually came on a card; it would most likely have been in the range of 1 to 4).

I will consider your offers for any quantity. I am willing to pay international shipping costs.

EDIT: At the time of posting this, I believe I have fairly well exhausted the online possibilities presented by the popular search engines. I'm also running several daily eBay searches in English and German. So, unless you have access to data that isn't generally available to the public or crawled by the search bots, or is in another language, please don't waste your time running internet searches on my behalf. I'm after real-world info about a source or possible sources for these LEDs that probably isn't already online.

Last edited:

MrAl

Well-Known Member
Hi,

Of all the LEDs i've seen i dont think i've ever seen those here in the US. Maybe somewhere.
When you cant get what you want, look for substitutions or figure out how to make your own.

tunedwolf

Well-Known Member
I have seen the 2 die type before with a few package face variations, they were commonly used in simulated VU/ peak level meters on cheaper end music systems in the 80's. I don't think I have ever seen the 3 die types in common use anywhere though

MrAl

Well-Known Member
Hi,

The type i have seen most is the 10 LED type, where they make up a 'bar' display. Some have all green, all red, or red green and yellow combined for the 'level' meter on audio equipment. I think i have one around somewhere.
Had an older tape deck with two for stereo level indicators.

Maybe cut one down to make two or three smaller units with only 2 or 3 LEDs each.
Each LED is rectangular and they are stacked end to end very closely so as to appear as a continuous 'bar' when lit up.

Tony Stewart

Well-Known Member
Best source for equivalents may be [email protected] or their website.. They specialize in light pipe LEDs
I have tons of LEDs that could be made with light pipes, but probably worth the trouble. How many are needed?

I could make them pass 25kV ESD testing if you need with built in Zener protection.

Scotophor

Member
The project is a sci-fi TV show prop replica, so I need to exactly match the appearance of the LEDs in the photos. MrAl: I don't know of any way to do that using common 10-segment bargraphs.

The entire LEDs (excluding the leads) are visible on the prop, so 'cheating' using something else is mostly out. I do have a method in mind by which they could be replicated in my home workshop with fairly high fidelity, but it will be difficult, time-consuming and expensive, so I'd rather keep trying to get the originals for a while.

Tony Stewart: Bivar doesn't appear to offer any LEDs anywhere near as big as these. I'd be happy with a dozen each of red and green, perhaps 2 dozen of yellow in the 2-chip style, and at least 6 green in the 3-chip style. But I'm not the only person interested in this particular prop, so larger quantities would be useful too.

tunedwolf: I don't believe I've ever seen a music system with VU or EQ display segments this big! A stack of 10 of the 2-die style would be at least 7 cm (2 3/4 inches) tall! However, if you can point me toward one or more such units that I can verify the correct LED type and scavenge, I would be grateful.

Last edited:

Tony Stewart

Well-Known Member
I can make for you if sufficent qty. with clear epoxy or tinted. with appropriate colour LEDs.

Tony Stewart

Well-Known Member
Whatever specs you provide, I can match, if you can specify accurately. Most of the cost as you know is the labour for tooling and not the epoxy tint, LEDS are are almost free. I have to see your specs on details. Like colour accuracy, diffused/ clear, radiation pattern. I specialize in the brightest HB 5mm LEDs which these use, but you may only want deep colours and not HB colours which are less deep colour. e.g. I can supply aqua, -aqua-green and true green,. deep red in 660 nmD or 630nmD in HB Red etc etc
Cost depends on number of mold sizes more than qty. Do you need dozens or hundreds? or more?

Scotophor

Member
Remember, the LEDs I'm trying to match apparently originated in the 1970s (EDIT: doubtful, probably no earlier than 1980), so today's fancy colors and super brightness would be inappropriate. I can get you the chemistries and approximate peak/dominant wavelengths. I believe the brightness for any color will be <20 mcd, probably around 10 or less; I can get more precise figures for brightnesses too. Even though the original LEDs pictured all have a diffusion layer at the front, when making the prop, the builders ground that layer off of the LEDs, so lightly-tinted epoxy with no diffusion would be fine for replicas. Radiation pattern really doesn't matter; whatever comes out of a typical plain reflector in an undiffused rectangular package will be fine. The effect onscreen was of simple point sources visible from very wide angles. I don't have a way to measure the tint density but my first photo in post#1 is pretty accurate. Those LEDs are ~ 7 mm thick in that orientation and resting on a white card, so the color you see is for the most part that of light that has gone through them twice. The yellow one appears to be tinted more heavily than the other two and that is also accurate. I can re-photograph them alongside a standard color card if that will help.

Total quantity for each mold size will likely be in the range of 600 pieces for the 2-die style and 120 pieces for the 3-die style, assuming a run of 20 prop replicas. There are additional LED styles used in the prop, some of which are still available in slightly different form, but replicas of any of those in the correct form would be wanted in even smaller quantities, say ~ 25 to ~ 75 pieces, so probably not worth the cost to replicate them for such small gains in accuracy.

Last edited:

Tony Stewart

Well-Known Member
Fair enough. So GaP green and GaAs Red and GaAs Yellow.
brightness you can control with any series R, which I can provide if you spec V+
Original package is not ESD safe. I would insist on ESD packaging. LEDs blow with more than -10V of ESD (only) or >10uA and all are rated at -5V. I have a gmail account .... [email protected]
You can define all details, dimensions, tolerances and qty of each color and I'll respond in kind to RFQ.
My avatar today is example of my custom lighting at home.

Here's another example I made this week.... custom Chinese Xmas Lanterns for my home with added Cree LEDs and urethane coating. They are on dim but can be made very bright, 12W

My wife is going to LA for 10 days in Jan. Maybe I can make a sample if I get all specs and time.,

Last edited:

Scotophor

Member
Original package is not ESD safe. I would insist on ESD packaging.
Is there any visible difference in construction between a standard LED and an ESD-protected one? If so, can you post a photo?

Tony Stewart

Well-Known Member
No difference as it is embedded on 1.2mm chip.
Zeners were not available on old technology very few new ones as well
I always get my custom parts which I got made for me with HB white, green red , yellow, blue. But a reverse diode could be added to base of leads with solder
I also use no flange for most.

This is just a retirement hobby/biz for me but nobody else can get what parts I have made for me. Best Q, Iv and very tight Vf specs and white colour 4500'K +/-250 is not avail anywhere. It started when someone in NZ they need 10K custom Leds in 2 weeks and I wrote specs and got them made ontime , suitable for Swiss tunnels and road lane markers.

Last edited:

Tony Stewart

Well-Known Member
I just found the specs for the CP-59 (green), CP-58 (red) and CP-60 (yellow)
Yellow shown is 5 x 10 x 8mmD (3 LED are 5x15mm x8D)
4mcd 590nmD @20mA 2.1Vf

Last edited:

Scotophor

Member
Which specs did you find? Cal West changed their styles/suppliers (from the original which is presently unknown by me, to Kingbright) without changing part numbers. I imagine most of the Kingbright specs (peak & dominant wavelengths, brightness, If, Vf) will be correct or close enough, and that's what I was going to send you anyway, but the physical dimensions will be different.

Last edited:

Tony Stewart

Well-Known Member
I can support $1 each in >=250 Qty with exact match of any type. if ordered together. as show or$1.25 with diode protection added. ( if you accept 2mm below body on leads.)
Results guaranteed.

just saw your remark... no problem.. email specs on what you need.

I take pride in meeting or exceeding expectations.

Last edited:

Scotophor

Member
You mentioned previously, "can be retrofitted by grinding off lens and molded to suit exact size", but was that only in reference to 10k mcd types that you have on hand? Or would it apply to my custom parts also? In other words, would there be remains of an original lens visible inside the custom rectangular package?

Tony Stewart

Well-Known Member
You mentioned previously, "can be retrofitted by grinding off lens and molded to suit exact size", but was that only in reference to 10k mcd types that you have on hand? Or would it apply to my custom parts also? In other words, would there be remains of an original lens visible inside the custom rectangular package?
One cannot remove all the epoxy without damage. but one can remove the 8mm lens down to 3mm and fill with epoxy with low viscosity epoxy to avoid the air entrapment. It would not be visible from the front or when lit as the exterior can be sanded to diffuse the interior. Or I can get a quote on custom build but higher MOQ. and may end up costing more. A diffused exterior would be more retro as this was popular for indicators when they were not so bright in the old days.

If it must be an exact replica, just say so, and send samples. The Kingsbright were cost reduced for a reason. If these are period samples for Silicon Valley Show, I know the guy who invented the 1st LED watch at Litronics which became Stanley, and we both grew up in the same era in Silicon Valley. I was at San Tomas and Central Expressway in San Hoser. He is still banging out bits for PIC applications.

If you need ANY custom lighting of any power range , or special application, I am your McGuyver guy.

Last edited:

Scotophor

Member
Moving to private Conversation with Tony Stewart...

But for anyone else reading this far, I'm still hoping to get more of the original LEDs from my post #1. If you have any, or a possible lead for me, please reply here.

Last edited:

Scotophor

Member
A clarification, that I hope will prevent some hurt feelings as have happened on another forum:

I'm not asking anyone to do internet searches for me. I apologize to everyone who thought that's what I was asking. I don't think it would be reasonable for me to post here every website that I've already checked and rejected, to reduce your needless duplication of my previous effort. I haven't kept a list, and I'm sure the number is over a hundred sites.

What I'm hoping to find is someone who either has some of these LEDs, or who already knows a place or person where there's a fair chance that they can be physically found. I believe I've already exhausted all the online possibilities, or at least those that can be found with any reasonable effort. So what I'm after is knowledge that probably isn't already online. Perhaps somebody on here knows someone who sells old LEDs at a mom-and-pop bricks-and-mortar electronics store, electronics swap meets, flea markets, hamfests/hamventions or the like, or someone who might have them squirreled away and gathering dust somewhere.

Last edited: