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Heaterpanel lighting

Allthough you get to know which dial is which on the heater controls in the dark, I allways thought it would be nice to have them lit. Inspired by a post on the VX forum by Neil I started this project.

Got a new heater panel from the dealers. Didn't think I was going to finish this one soon, and still wanted a way to control the heater in the mean time.
I pealed the sticker of the alumiunium and cleaned all the glue off. Then I put it on a glas table with a light below it.

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Got some black paint and a fine brush and started outlining everything I wanted to light up.

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Now I have to cut out the aluminium where I want the light to get through. To make it a bit easier I made a paper template.

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and traced that out on the aluminium

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Got out my saw and started sawing. Not a fun job (3mm aluminium), but it did work. Here is the old and new panel next to eachother

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I got some leds from conrad. They are 5mm white leds and give out 10000mcd (partnumber 176724). I also got two constant power source prints (partnumber 191192).

So first made a test setup with my lab powersupply and put the leds loosely below the panel.

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After finding the right spots for the leds I taped them in place.

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When all seemed to work ok, I removed the tape and started soldering the leds in place with correct cable length and insulation in place. Taped everything off with black tape to reduce light spilling.

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After another test I made everything final, soldered on two leads for the power supply and the component was done.

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Then it was time to put the new panel in the car. Put the panel in place, put the bolts back in and the controls.

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At the back of the panel everything seems to clear nicely, no interferance from the controls to the panel.

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Connected up the power and put the dash back in place.
Pretty hard to take a good picture of something that is illuminated. Below picture gives the idea that there is a lot more light than there really is. But at least you get the idea.

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