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Old 14-12-10, 18:21   #51
kalais6
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Hats off to the level of detail and thought being used to create this. Its a top effort what you've come up and once complete will be an awesome addition that I'm sure not many would pick up on as being retrofitted.

Well done
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Old 14-12-10, 20:27   #52
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nice work

keep the pic's comin bro..
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Old 14-12-10, 23:05   #53
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Originally Posted by kalais6 View Post
Hats off to the level of detail and thought being used to create this. Its a top effort what you've come up and once complete will be an awesome addition that I'm sure not many would pick up on as being retrofitted.

Well done

Thanks!
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Old 14-12-10, 23:23   #54
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so the carpet on the door trim is stuffed? has he made cuts in the fabric to cover the curve? not a trimmers a@@hole if he has..... i hate when people dont do their jobs properly
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Old 15-12-10, 03:40   #55
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so the carpet on the door trim is stuffed? has he made cuts in the fabric to cover the curve? not a trimmers a@@hole if he has..... i hate when people dont do their jobs properly

Yes he has. The carpet I used I actually went to Melbourne to get so I could match the colour up perfectly as I know the rolls vary especially with this carpet which wasn't produced for one year. It's actually imported from the UK.

What was agreed that the whole carpet could be stretched and glued in one piece. He didn't do that. Took the easy way out and did it in two pieces.

I'll evaluate next week when I'm back. I know this is really going to niggle me and I might just get all 4 doors redone again.

So that's four attempts at getting the doors done right in six years.

I do not know how to avoid clowns like this guy.

---------- Post added 15-12-10 at 15:36 ----------

UPDATE: Vodafone PXTworld services suck as I am unable to pick up the latest photos from there;

- Hole has been cut in the dash pad. Piece cut out is now being grinded on the underside (as there are support ribs) where the piece is to fit on top of the mechanism.
- Runners being fitted but has to use gravity to ensure that when the top goes down the TomTom slides in nicely everytime.
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Old 16-12-10, 05:50   #56
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Originally Posted by tzatziki View Post
nice work

keep the pic's comin bro..
You asked for it....

Firstly before somebody throws the word "molest a VL" my way, this is a spare dash pad....NOT the original one that came with the car. Everything I've customised and replaced have been spares and my original bits are being mothballed.



The hole cutout is aligned perfectly from the vents up this will look square from the front on. The dash as you know is sloped towards the passengers side.




Side view.

Notice how thick the dash is - The piece cut out is now being ground down to about a 5mm depth.

I think I'll put an thumb indentation on the RHF corner because that is the area you will have to press down for the TomTom cover / lid to pop up (ie. click down, pop up). I was also thinking of getting a small Holden lion decal circa 1986-1988 (eg. TomTom by Holden or something like that) made up for the inside of the clamshell so the panel looks "factory". Mulling some ideas and I'll get the decals done next week in Perth.

Thing is, when the clamshell lifts, it should look "neat" inside similar to what the glovebox looks inside OR I might get some "accordion" type filling inside that hides the inside and lifts with the clamshell. Dunno - going to talk to a few people about how this "could" have been designed by Holden.

---------- Post added 16-12-10 at 18:43 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADICTIV View Post
so the carpet on the door trim is stuffed? has he made cuts in the fabric to cover the curve? not a trimmers a@@hole if he has..... i hate when people dont do their jobs properly

Here's how they turned out....

UPDATE: Doors are done and all wires insulated with heat shrink and will be installed this Sunday.



I'm still gutted it's not 100% to my liking / vision but I have so much other things to do right now, this now slips down the priority list.





The A-pillar pod is being fitted this Sunday too but after the idiot trimmer didn't do what he was supposed to do and has now gone AWOL probably with his carton of beer and bong, I'm at crossroads as to what to do. Again, once I get the pics through I'll make a judgement call. Hopefully they get to me before I head to the airport for my journey back to Oz.

Last edited by EvilPet; 16-12-10 at 17:45.
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Old 17-12-10, 08:11   #57
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UPDATE: TomTom Fitting





The top will be painted the same colour as the rest of the dash OR there is a guy in Perth that might be able to give the top the same "grain" as the rest of the dash like what he did to my iPod mount and A-pillar gauge pod (before I abandoned that look for upholstered). The bit that was cut out won't do as its much too hard to sand it flat and even on the underside.

I'm just deciding how to present the inside of the clamshell so it looks "factory". Still talking to a few people about how it "could" have been done.


This sits absolutely square with the front vents and perpendicular with the doors. The dash as you know slopes slightly towards the passenger side BUT we're lucky that the tray that is being installed sits perfectly on the part that is completely flat.




How it fits underneath - As mentioned previously above, this just clears all the venting by a few mm once its all screwed / fitted.

Digital Speedo Update:

The LEDs that I need for the digital speedo were sent by mail on Tuesday. I'm now worried that it won't reach me in time and might have been delayed from the Christmas mail sort.

Worse comes to worse I'll get someone to pick up my mail and courier it to Perth meaning that I'll fit the right LED on the 2nd January instead of next week - I'll fit a slightly larger one next week if that is the case as a temporary measure.

Fingers crossed it arrives tomorrow.

---------- Post added 18-12-10 at 04:59 ----------

UPDATE: Digital Speedo Mock Up

Well, the LEDs I was expecting from China came through today. Slight issue with one of them I requested and an excerpt of the email is as below;

"....Hi Aaron

Just received the following response from Rebecca....

Hello Brian,
I checked with our engineers for this and they informed me that our reflector supplier donít offer us the plastic reflector of BL-T30A-31 series. They donít produce the reflector of the item BL-T30A-31 series. So they made samples of BL-T31A-32UG instead, which is the closest dimension with the item BL-T31A-32UG. For the white color, our engineers tried to make with the technology of blue chip and yellow phosphor. But the samples works no good. So we didnít send the samples with white color to you.

Best wishes,

Ms Rebecca Wong

Sales Manager..."


So I do have a few shades of green and yellow to play around with next week but no white which I thought would be good to start playing around with colour filters.

Well that isn't going to happen.

The digits are slightly thicker / fatter than the clock but there's nothing I can do - they are still 8mm in height though. The standard VL clock LED are individually lit within each digit square - sorta like individual microscopic lightbulbs - hence why the clock unit is so big to start off with - It's 70s/80s technology.

So below is as good as this project digit segments are going to get.

The length across the whole unit is 21.3mm so should fit in the cavity in the dash nicely without much modification.


Last edited by EvilPet; 18-12-10 at 04:05.
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Old 19-12-10, 23:35   #58
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Been following this closely, much respect for what you're attempting here. When it comes time to sell the other Digital Speedo's send me a PM
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Old 20-12-10, 03:07   #59
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UPDATE: Am stuck in London. I was supposed to fly out 5 hours ago but I'm back home now awaiting instructions from the airlines. Not too sure now when I'm going to get back and put all this together now. I got some update photos of the doors and they look sweet.

Not 100% and I know those carpet joins are really going to niggle me. Otherwise I would think the door almost looks "factory".









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Old 23-12-10, 06:29   #60
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Love your work dude - nice to see something different. It's also nice to see all your progress pics - I like being able to see how things are made. Shame about your door trims - I'm no trimmer, but I managed to make my speaker pods look pretty damn good.
As for other ideas for your project, have you thought about attempting a proximity key/ true key-less operation?
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Old 23-12-10, 07:04   #61
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Originally Posted by NZ_GTS View Post
Love your work dude - nice to see something different. It's also nice to see all your progress pics - I like being able to see how things are made. Shame about your door trims - I'm no trimmer, but I managed to make my speaker pods look pretty damn good.
As for other ideas for your project, have you thought about attempting a proximity key/ true key-less operation?
Keyless - Yes I have something similar. I was actually going to adapt a BMW push button start / coded key BUT Looking at the dash design, I really couldn't find a spot that looks like it was part of the design. I even got one of these engine start switches / coded key ring to play around with that has a very cool green light ring around it. But it just didn't look right in the end.

As for the speaker mounts - Bloke did a fantastic job done prior to the trimming in terms of getting it all to fit up - just the final bit with the idiot upholsterer screwed up (in my eyes). It's on a list and will get fixed in the future.

Last edited by EvilPet; 23-12-10 at 07:06.
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Old 05-01-11, 05:26   #62
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UPDATE:

I'm finally back in Perth.

Well my aircond was completely replaced yesterday. One of the forum members manages a NATRAD and updated the compressor to a better designed one. Nice and cool at a constant 4c (Thanks again Matt!).

Doors are being finished today with the internal handles being fitted and the 10 inch finally being connected up.

Alberts in Morley when originally fitting the Dynamats covered over the drain holes. This has to be rectified.

Once these door trims are finished off I have no intention of ever taking them off again UNLESS I get round to re-doing the door carpets (which I know I will).

IF a few of you may remember, the peanut and so called "professional" car detailing mob who detailed my car before I returned in October degreased the engine bay with acid and ruined all the polished alloy and blanked out my HDT Build plate and "Built to the Specifications of General Motors Holden P/L" tag.

Trying to find any outfit in Perth that can print on metal and recreate the "Built to Specifications" tag. Any ideas?

I'll have to leave the build plate the way it is. Am gutted this is ruined but can't do much about it now.

Now, regarding the Digital Speedo:
Thursday is D-Day to putting everything together.

Biggest issue besides the wiring is the fabrication and mounting of the sensor bracket that hovers over the magnets. We won't have access to a hoist but have a hydraulic jack.

I won't be mounting the LED into the dash until this weekend.

Cruise Control switch being modified next week for the SPEED ALERT buttons but a temporary switch setup being used until then.

Regarding the TomTom in-dash installation:
TomTom currently in-use for me to familiarise myself with it.

Getting decals etc made up before I head back to the UK. Should actually have these done Friday or early next week.

I'm also getting the top cover to have the same grain as the rest of the dash andthe dash re-sprayed grey before I head back as well.

Regarding A-Pillar Boost Gauge Mount: Should be fitted today BUT I have to get my entire starter motor set-up replaced and that's being done in the arvo so this will be time permitting. Currently carrying around a heavy metal pole to tap the damn thing in order for the car to start.
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Old 05-01-11, 17:58   #63
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that door trim job is ****ing tough as man
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Old 06-01-11, 01:52   #64
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that door trim job is ****ing tough as man
Thx. We finished the doors today putting the armrests on and connecting the 9 inch speakers. Pics soon.

Looks even more better now. Quite happy with the results.
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Old 06-01-11, 12:25   #65
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hey mate,you were asking about the plate that needs printing of "Built to Specifications" on it.
I have a friend that is in that line of work,only prob is we are in NZ,if you get stuck let me know and she could maybe get one made up and sent over?
Been watching this build alot,love your work,keep it up will be special car (even more so)once complete.
cheers
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Old 07-01-11, 08:11   #66
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Originally Posted by NZ-DOSEIT View Post
hey mate,you were asking about the plate that needs printing of "Built to Specifications" on it.
I have a friend that is in that line of work,only prob is we are in NZ,if you get stuck let me know and she could maybe get one made up and sent over?
Been watching this build alot,love your work,keep it up will be special car (even more so)once complete.
cheers
Kelvin
Thanks!

It's screen printed per the original on 1.2mm aluminium plate.

I *think* I found someone in Perth that can do it BUT the company gets back from hols Monday.

I'm in town for another 12 days so have to see what I can do until then.

Will get in touch if all fails.

---------- Post added 07-01-11 at 10:04 ----------

UPDATE: "Oh My Gawd..."

That's what I kept on saying yesterday. 13 hours of work and RESEARCH and it's still not installed.

Soldering took some time to double check there were no crossed connections etc.



Now the BIG ISSUE was the LEDs I got made up in China. See the firing order on each segment is combined to "save PINS" on a 3 digit LED as compared to a single segment digit LED which the sourcecode was written for.



I spent a better part of an hour online trying to find a patent as to how these work and we *think* (not know 100%) we have the answer as to the "firing order" of each segment in relation to the sourcecode. But we won't know until we testbench this. IF it doesn't work, besides scream, I'll have to revert to single segment which means back to the manufacturer in China to see whether they can do this.

I started putting together the switch yesterday as well but it's not finished. Going to see the screenprinter today to get the panel re-printed.



As you can see, the buttons will sit behind the cruise control buttons which have a small plunger at the back of them.

Here's a test fit of everything before I get a proper bezel made up for the LED.



A BIG THANKS to everyone here assisting in getting me the measurements. As you can see it fits perfectly.

I started pulling apart my dash yesterday and seeing where I can drill holes but as it is a printed circuit board, I'm not game to do this SO trying to figure our HOW I can get 12 wires out from the back of the dash unit. I have an idea and will post solution soon.

So, more wiring to be done, switch to be finished, "Speed Alert" instrument panel to be created and printed, magnets to be placed on the tailshaft, braket to be fabricated for the sensor and a few other odds and sods.


Now, as preparing this whole thing takes about 2-3 days, I'm not really game on doing kits as I haven't got the time. I have a couple of sets of compnentry / new plates, boards etc and the detailed instructions with pics step by step which I have been putting together as this project has taken shape. Might just get rid of these on eBay in the near future and that be it. No more. It's just too hard.

Now that I've figured out Photobucket on iphone I can post pics as they are being done in real time.

Today the boost gauge pod will be completed and finally mounted on the A-pillar. So that will be finally ticked off on the list of mods for this project.

---------- Post added 07-01-11 at 10:06 ----------

Oh, BTW: I've replaced all the dash lights with super bright white LEDS and RED ones for the warning lights between the digital speedo. A bit of soldering etc and this motha will be bright as.....
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Old 08-01-11, 23:44   #67
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Update: Started to pull apart my dash now for the new piece and make a bezel for the LED.

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Old 09-01-11, 00:24   #68
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hey mate this is coming along great cant wait to see the finished dash setup..... just an opinion regarding the speed alert. you mentioned magnets on the tailshaft oviously for picking up your speed pulse/revolutions.

these can be quite intermittant why not go with a small hall effect sensor which can mount inline off your gearbox. may be more expensive but dosent look like that even matters with this build
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Old 09-01-11, 06:53   #69
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hey mate this is coming along great cant wait to see the finished dash setup..... just an opinion regarding the speed alert. you mentioned magnets on the tailshaft oviously for picking up your speed pulse/revolutions.

these can be quite intermittant why not go with a small hall effect sensor which can mount inline off your gearbox. may be more expensive but dosent look like that even matters with this build
Interesting you mentioned that because I found a sparky willing to take the job on for "phase 2 - redux install". He just hasn't got the time right now and I'm keen to get this working before I head back to the UK. So magnets it is for the time being. I'll have to check with the dude who wrote the sourcecode on the upgrade. Sparky says no problems but just need to be sure.

---------- Post added 09-01-11 at 08:01 ----------

Update: Boost Gauge on A-Pillar

As you can see from previous photos we mounted a metal bracket using Araldite. Upon fitting and tightening to make sure all edges were tucked in the glue didn't hold. So back to the bench to be glassed over. Final fitting Monday. To ensure a tight fit we removed sections of foam padding on the A-pillar to gain a few mm leeway and a tighter fit.

Pics soon.
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Old 09-01-11, 08:03   #70
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Loving your work! This is comming up great, i'm really looking forward to seeing that dash mounted TomTom and the digital speedo. Will be very interesting (and no doubt amazing) to see how this turns out
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Old 09-01-11, 13:04   #71
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Update: Alert warning light and lit instrument panel.

If you look to your DEF button on the left hand side of your dash you will probably notice a blank panel and unlit bottom half. I had the idea this very morning to light the bottom half, place a decal over a grey button that says "Overspeed" and place the red Overspeed alert LED in the unused recess (which I was going to do anyway).

So I started pullin apart a spare instrument piece I have and swap bits with the ones already in my car)



I will now drill a small hole in the recessed blank panel and tomorrow head back to the signwriters and get the 'Over Speed' decal made up to place over the grey button.

---------- Post added 09-01-11 at 14:22 ----------

Update: Door Trims and Dynaudio install COMPLETED.

Tick this off the list of modifications. Still not happy with the door carpet thanks to the idiot upholsterer who couldn't follow instructions but will do for now.



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Old 11-01-11, 03:51   #72
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Update: Boost Gauge Pod: COMPLETED

On the final stretch to completing this. The foam was removed from the A-Pillar to give it a bit more leeway.




Bracket tightened, gauge insterted and this is how it finally looks





I was saying to my installer that I had a vision of how it would look over 3 years ago and and it was great to finally see this completed after a few false starts by "professionals" who turned out to be idiots.

Pictures don't do it justice. I drove home last night and it was awesome to have this at eye level.

Now the dash lights are not very bright but after inserting and soldering super LEDs, they are now as bright as the gauge.

So......

Updating VL Dash Lights - In Progress

One thing that always bugged me was the lumen strength of the VL dash lights. They're very passive and sometimes at night very hard to see. As I recently sat in a fully bombed HSV one night and observed how nice a fully lit and visible dash is and the fact I have bad night driving eyes, it was time to do something about it.

LEDs are the answer. They run at a low voltage and are cooler / generate virtually no heat and of course are a helluva lot brighter. When I recently pulled apart my dash, there were a couple of bits that had melted due to the original incandescent light globes.

They had to go.

Thing about LEDs though, if they aren't arranged in a "petal configuration" to evenly distribute light, they turn out to be very "directional" like a torch.

In a VL dash, larger H10 globes can be purchased off eBay BUT the smaller ones for "Low Coolant" / "Low Fuel" ones aren't readily available.

They need to be soldered into place. Once there, they should out live you and your kids and not be replaced.

BUT, given the VL dash has a printed circuitboard to run all the dash lights, these need to be soldered into place CAREFULLY determining the positive / negative ends.

So after a test as to whether RED amplifies RED or WHITE amplifies RED, the answer is to retain RED globes for the warning lights in the new dash piece I've had manufactured for the digital speedo.



However, the ends / reflectors on the LEDs need to be ground down so that light disperses more evenly. Once these are set in place within the light box shelves in the white dash, these will glow VERY bright.



The dude who is doing the plastics for my dash is done with it and I pick up my dash with everything in place this evening. It all goes in Wednesday / tomorrow.

More pics then.


Update: Relocating Alarm LED and inserting an LED for Digital Speedo "Speed Alert" OVERSPEED warning light - COMPLETED

I've never liked where these alarm installers place the alarm warning light. Usually they take the easy way out and mount it on the blank plate to the left of the dash. But I'm trying to do something different here. Something that looks like HOLDEN had actually designed this in their design so like John F. Kennedy's speech about launching man on the moon "not because it is easy, but because it it hard" I started looking at practical areas to mount BOTH the Digital Speedo OVERSPEED RED Light and my existing ALARM BLUE light.

The answer is staring me right in my face but there's a lot, I mean ALOT of ****ing around to get this to work. Just means you have to pull apart your VERY BRITTLE instrument binnacle and drilling holes.

I inserted bezels around the LEDs and re-sprayed the small recess mount a semi matt black.








I'm getting an OVERSPEED symbol made up. What is an overspeed symbol you ask as many of you have probably never seen one but it is common in some European makes.

So I have spent months, yes months trying to find out what the internationally recognised symbol is, similar to low fuel, engine management etc you commonly see on dashes used by car manufacturers. You may not know but there are dash "symbol standards" that are agreed / used between all car manufacturers.

For my project, the symbol is the speed limit, in this case for circa 86-88 vehicles, 110 km and a circle with a stroke though it on top of it (like the movie "Ghostbusters" logo)

This will be placed on the grey button as pictured (Used an emery board to whittle down the old symbol there).





As for the BLUE ALARM warning light, here it is again.



I will be taking pictures of the whole dash when it's done. I didn't want to do it just yet.


Update: Alarm "armed" warning light switch

I'm not going to explain to you what alarm is installed in my car (yes you, the guy who is thinking of knicking it) BUT I thought it might be "fun" to adapt a switch and mount it on the dash to display that a particular alarm feature is installed. Reason being is that this was all the rage in Europe in the late 80s, I thought that Holden might have also adopted something like this.

As I live in the UK it wasn't long until I came across something I saw in an Opel Vectra that could do the job. And yeah, it's all part of the GM family so design aesthetics, it's similar.

It was a pain to modify as it typically just plugs into a harness BUT I thought it would be worth the challenge.




Update: Digital Speedo - In Progress

Spent a better part of a day making plug in harnesses for the dash.

Luckily my installer refurbishes pinball machines and old arcade games as well and I spent a better part of an hour rummaging to find the right bits.



Then I did a "test" overlay of bits for the Digital Speedo "Speed Alert" buttons.




It all comes together tomorrow.

Last edited by EvilPet; 11-01-11 at 04:53.
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Old 11-01-11, 18:50   #73
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This is great! really given me some inspiration!
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Old 13-01-11, 00:38   #74
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Update: The Good, The Bad, and The Frustrating

Here's the completed dash.....



However, the LED I was supplied from China is negative polarity for some of the PINS whereas the sourcecode is written for positive polarity.

BUGGER!!!

So we're wiring and fitting everything any way and using another LED that has the right polarity for benchtesting purposes.

I've gone back to the manufacturer in China to get the right one.

As for the unit we made ourselves, we accidentally shorted some transistors through some soldering bleed that we didn't pick up. The holes were separated by about a micron on the board and we just didn't pick this up even when checking this the third time..

As the LED in the dash in held in by friction, it will be a 5 min job to swap it all around.

We are doing tests using a transformer Sunday to see how bright the LED actually is. But in the meantime our objective before I leave the UK is to get everything working and install the sensor above the tailshaft, put the magnets onto the tailshaft.

I should get my super bright LEDs from Queensland (yeah, don't laugh) for the analogue backlighting this morning or tomorrow and regardless, Sunday, the dash will be back in my car.

Update: NEW ITEM - Engine Bay / Paint

After a chat with my engine builder yesterday, I've decided to rip out the engine and get the engine bay re-sprayed and engine looking like it rolled off the production line. I was a bit disheartened by the peanut who degreased my engine bay with an acid based degreaser in October.

Car is also going back to the panelbeaters to get her back to where she was two years ago. All tee'd up and will be completed before Easter this year.

Update: Shift Light / Gear Indicator

Powered this on for the first time yesterday. Selected green as a background colour. Forgot to take pics but am hoping this is installed Sunday. Need someone with a dremel though to cut a bit more out of my dash as the thing won't fit in the hole these behind that panel to the left of the steering column right now. For the naysayers, we postioned it anyway and the shiftlight is VERY BRIGHT and easily visible when looking straight ahead as the colour changes between gears are quite distinctive. Now got to get some mock up HDT decals made up.

Geez I've spent over $500 just on decals this time around. Got a lot made up and reproduced.

I'm in Oz for another 5 days so trying to get as much done as possible before I go.

Last edited by EvilPet; 13-01-11 at 07:16.
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Old 14-01-11, 19:50   #75
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Update: Digital Dash LEDs

As mentioned previous I replaced all bulbs with LEDs. Here's some final testing.


The ground down red LEDs were tested and proved nice and bright.



Update: Shift Light / Gear Indicator

It's amazing what you can achieve with a little designing knowledge and skills and Coreldraw.


Last edited by EvilPet; 15-01-11 at 02:50.
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