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Old 06-21-2012, 10:24 AM   #1
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Changing the color of the Climate Control and switch back-lights

The back-lighting of the climate control LCD's and switches, in their stock form, are orange LED's, rather than incandescent bulbs like the dash LCD's. That will make this project much simpler as the supply voltage is already 1.5 volts, so no need for resistors. Just a matter of removing the old LED's and installing new ones.

I will not be doing a multi-color setup like I did with the dash lights(see here), just to keep things simple. Blue is my favorite anyway,so we're going with blue for this project. The orange and blue really clash...

EDIT: I'm considering offering a retrofit with a core exchange. The core exchange kit would include these parts with the backlight color of your choice. You could also just send me these parts for a retrofit.

Any interest?
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Last edited by particlewave; 02-14-2014 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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1 down, 22 to go!

Hehe!

Last edited by particlewave; 12-23-2013 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:38 PM   #3
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All 23 replaced...

Yowza! Thats bright!

Also a side by side of the old vs new...old on the right, new on left. The new leds are only about 1/4 the size...tiny!

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Old 06-21-2012, 04:42 PM   #4
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I tested it with the LCD in place before putting everything back together.

Good thing!
Not only was the readout too dim, but it was also GREEN! Sure enough, there was an orange filter back there. I tried replacing it with a piece of white copy paper, but the light distribution was spotty. I found some thin "For Sale" signs with a nice unprinted white section at the Dollar store for $.75 that were perfect for a new white filter.

Last edited by particlewave; 12-23-2013 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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will be nice to see the finished product installed, so we just pack ours up and ship to you right???

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Old 06-21-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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And the finished product! So much better than that hideous orange and now it matches my blue dash lights!

I still need to do the switches, but I'm all soldered out for today, so will put that off for a day or two.

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Old 06-21-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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One final note; please do not ask for pointers on how to do this.

If you cant figure it out from the thread posts, then you really shouldn't attempt it. This is not easy. It requires some fine solder work and if you dont know what you are doing, you will destroy your climate control unit...I'll have no part in that.

Last edited by particlewave; 06-21-2012 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxster6354 View Post
will be nice to see the finished product installed, so we just pack ours up and ship to you right???

Haha! Wish I had it in me, but one was plenty!
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:06 PM   #9
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One more...wide shot.

The CC unit looks slightly darker than the dash in the pic, but I cant see a difference in person. I think maybe its just the angle. Now I need to play with the stereo to get it matched up.

Last edited by particlewave; 12-23-2013 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:07 PM   #10
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I might still change the rotary gauges out as well, but not sure yet. I don't really mind them being white.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:24 PM   #11
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That is so nice looking!

Great Job
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:40 PM   #12
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Very nice ! I'll send you mine to do !!
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:42 PM   #13
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Thank you both!

I went ahead and did the switches. It only took a few minutes and I didn't want to put it off, so here's one last picture. Sorry for the blur...my phone camera is not so great.
Crap! Still gotta do the cigarette lighter socket! Oh, well...one more to go.

Side note; my brain is fried!

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Old 06-22-2012, 12:49 PM   #14
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Daylight shots.

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:01 PM   #15
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Haha! It never ends!

I did the cigarette lighter socket, along with the window switches and "ashtray"(actually an ipod cubby) a few days ago, then took it for a night drive, content that all was well...NO!

I forgot the headlight switch!

Did that today using white for the icons and blue for the "dot".

Done!

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Old 11-22-2012, 08:30 PM   #16
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Hmmm...I guess I forgot to update this. Did my rotary gauges as well with LEDs from porscheleds.com. All blue now
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:51 PM   #17
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Looks really nice! Soldering is fun. I would say you could also have just saved yourself a lot of time and bought a speed yellow car.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:05 AM   #18
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Hi @particlewave,

NOW you are living up to your name! Gonna change it now to Blue particlewave?

The Blue LEDs REALLY look good! I have switched out my doors and dome, thought about this…how many IN TOTAL LEDs did you use? How much time/money did it take? Were there any other problems you encountered?

Good Job!
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:02 AM   #19
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Man oh man, those are awesome. Compartively to sodering two wires together, how hard is this to do?

I've never soldered on a circuit board and it would make me pretty nervous!
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:07 AM   #20
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Thanks for the compliments
Here's a rundown;

LEDs-
23 micro surface mount for the climate control unit
10 micro surface mount for all rocker switches(2 each)
5 small standard for the head light switch
2 large for the power outlet and "ashtray"(1 each)-these also require a resistor to drop the voltage from 12v to 3v.

The climate control and switch LEDs are pretty darn small, so a steady hand is a must. Check the orientation of the LEDs first and use a black sharpie to put a dot on the negative terminal of each(on the board). This will make things go faster
I think that I spent about 2 hours on the CC unit, which was the most work of course.
All in all, I'd say that I spent 4-5 hours on the whole project, though its hard to say for sure since it was spread out over several days.
The instrument cluster LEDs all came from porscheleds.com and took only a few minutes to swap out as the are just plug-and-play.

1-10, 10 being the most difficult, I'd rate the whole project a 5, but that is dependent upon the skill level of the individual.
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