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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

Can the console light colors be changed. Not only for the A/C and radio panels, but also the EVIC as well.

Thanks
 

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Yeah, goval has a great write-up here:

http://www.chargerforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37747

This is just for the gauges/EVIC. It's easy to change the gauge color, but a bit harder to change the EVIC. I tried to change all of that to orange and the EVIC and PRND looks more yellow than orange.

The inside of the radio/HVAC/etc. is blue lights/LEDs which has to go through a yellow filter to become green. This yellow filter will be the limiting factor on what colors you can get. Once I get some red LED's and the guts to do a swap, I'll let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Funny thing is, If I could just remove the yellow filter, that would give me what I want. How would I remove the yellow filter? Do I just remove the bezel and pull them off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wish it was a blue LED

Yeah, goval has a great write-up here:

http://www.chargerforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37747

This is just for the gauges/EVIC. It's easy to change the gauge color, but a bit harder to change the EVIC. I tried to change all of that to orange and the EVIC and PRND looks more yellow than orange.

The inside of the radio/HVAC/etc. is blue lights/LEDs which has to go through a yellow filter to become green. This yellow filter will be the limiting factor on what colors you can get. Once I get some red LED's and the guts to do a swap, I'll let you know.

In my excitement to change the lights and break open the HVAC , I looked at the lights. Actually it is the opposite. They are yellow lights (standard filament bulb) that have a blue filter/gel over the bulb. I confirmed this when I actually took a hobby knife and scratched off a piece from the base of the bulb. I powered the lights and you can see the filament as well. I thought this was the case mainly because of the amount of heat dispelled from the console. So, in theory you could use a plastic covering that was allows enough light and strong enough to hold up to the heat or if you are good with electronics simply replace them. Option 1 seems like it would be time consuming.
 

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The Door's Wide Open (Possibly)

In my excitement to change the lights and break open the HVAC , I looked at the lights. Actually it is the opposite. They are yellow lights (standard filament bulb) that have a blue filter/gel over the bulb. I confirmed this when I actually took a hobby knife and scratched off a piece from the base of the bulb. I powered the lights and you can see the filament as well. I thought this was the case mainly because of the amount of heat dispelled from the console. So, in theory you could use a plastic covering that was allows enough light and strong enough to hold up to the heat or if you are good with electronics simply replace them. Option 1 seems like it would be time consuming.
Thanks for looking into this a little more, optimus. This means that there is no tint in the plastic. Getting a film to cover it would be a little tedious, and they usually decrease light output (this happened when I changed the color of my gauges), plus you have to work with green as your base to change from (or yellow if you scrape off the blue). However, it would be the quickest way. The best thing to use would be lighting gels. They are designed to work with very hot spotlights and should hold up to the heat given off by these bulbs. You can get them from most music stores (guitar/drums/mc).

But, because there is no tint in the plastic, if you were adventurous, you could replace the lights with any color bulb/LED. One thing to consider is the power draw of the bulbs. If you replace them with LED's, LED's generally don't handle as much power as bulbs and you would want some resistors to absorb the difference in power (the anal EE in me won't let me do a straight replacement). Some measurements have to be taken to determine what resistors would be needed. This might be something to look into over the weekend...
 

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I was looking at combinations of colors of light, and if you put a blue filter on a green light, you get cyan. While not a true blue, it's about as close as you can get without changing the bulbs themselves. This might be an option.
 

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Optimus,

Those LED's should do the trick. I was thinking that you might need another resistor in parallel with the LED to get the total current draw the same. Some electronics monitor the current they are using and if they detect that the current is high or low, they turn off that output. After thinking about it, this won't be applied to the backlighting, so I don't have to worry about it.

But, there is another potential problem. LED's can only be dimmed by pulsing the power on and off (PWM). Regular bulbs can be dimmed that way, or the voltage can be decreased. With this being a modern electronic device, my guess is that the bulbs will be PWM'd, so the LED's should just be a direct replacement. If the dimming is controlled by voltage, there won't be any dimming when you put the LED's in. I will check that when I take it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Optimus,

Those LED's should do the trick. I was thinking that you might need another resistor in parallel with the LED to get the total current draw the same. Some electronics monitor the current they are using and if they detect that the current is high or low, they turn off that output. After thinking about it, this won't be applied to the backlighting, so I don't have to worry about it.

But, there is another potential problem. LED's can only be dimmed by pulsing the power on and off (PWM). Regular bulbs can be dimmed that way, or the voltage can be decreased. With this being a modern electronic device, my guess is that the bulbs will be PWM'd, so the LED's should just be a direct replacement. If the dimming is controlled by voltage, there won't be any dimming when you put the LED's in. I will check that when I take it apart.

AAAAAAAAALRIGHT!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I did a similar mod on my Corvette. Check out www.spdkilz.com. It shows replacing the bulbs to LEDs. May give you some ideas.

Thanks, I was doing some searching a while back and came across this before. Looks like Zerg and I may be breaking some new ground for the charger. Gonna be waiting till payday to buy some LEDs and find my soldering gun.
 

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Success!!

Okay, I've got the HVAC controller open and finally have my first good look into it. It's relatively easy to remove the covers optimus talked about, so if you want a yellowish/orangish look, you can just do this and no other work is necessary.

I started by taking off one of the existing lights to see if the bulb was separate from the plastic base. It turns out that you can remove the bulb. The bulb itself is about 5mm in diameter and 10mm long. A 5mm LED (T 1-3/4) will work in its place. If there is a lip on the bottom of the LED, the bulb will not sit in the holder like the bulb did, but it should still clear the plastic light pipe.

More good news, I went to Radio Shack and got a test LED (with internal resistor). Put it in the holder, and soldered it to the board. It lit up just fine, and it dimmed with the rest of the lights! Not only will we be able to switch to LED's, but we will be able to dim them!

Now that I know what's required as far as work goes, I'm going to have to go get some LED's and probably resistors (haven't found an orange LED with internal resistor that I like yet). I'll more than likely have a write-up in a couple of weeks for this with pictures.

:rockon:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ha Ha!!!!!!!!! I guess my service center is gonna hate me for this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey Zerg,

What *MCD are you using for the LEDs. I am gonna get a bunch of them and the ones at RadioShack are a little pricey.

*millicandela
 

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I'm definitely subscribing to this thread. This sounds like something that any of us who are decent with a soldering iron can do.
 

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Hey Zerg,

What *MCD are you using for the LEDs. I am gonna get a bunch of them and the ones at RadioShack are a little pricey.

*millicandela
I think I'm going to use 1160. I don't know if that is too much or not, but as I plan on changing all of the lights to these, it won't matter too much in the end. One thing you have to keep in mind, however, is that incandescent bulbs are visible from every angle. LED's are not as bright when you look at them sideways. The plastic "light pipe" that directs light to the faceplate takes in a lot of light sideways. We might have to use a more powerful LED to get it to the same brightness as original. We'll have to see.

Oh yeah, here are the LED's I'm planning on using:
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail?name=404-1097-ND
 

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I'm definitely subscribing to this thread. This sounds like something that any of us who are decent with a soldering iron can do.
While it's not that hard if you have some soldering skills, all of the lights in the HVAC controller (5 of them) are surface-mount. These aren't typical through-hole components like most people are used to, so just be prepared to spend some more time and effort with this if you haven't soldered any surface-mount components before.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
While it's not that hard if you have some soldering skills, all of the lights in the HVAC controller (5 of them) are surface-mount. These aren't typical through-hole components like most people are used to, so just be prepared to spend some more time and effort with this if you haven't soldered any surface-mount components before.
I haven't gone back and tried to remove the OEM lights. They are currently through hole connections now right. So you will have to remove the connector (beige piece) off of the board, and then solder the new light?
 
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