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  1. #1
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    Default Smartcord blue LED mod question

    Tonight I modified the Smartplug of my RX65 to fit in more discrete and permanent location into dashboard of my car. [As has been done by some on this forum already] It almost looks OEM and I'm really happy with it. 8)

    I also swapped out the GREEN [power] LED for an ORANGE to match car's interior lights and the RED [alert] to BLUE -- just cuz blue looks so damn cool.


    Problem is, the blue is MUCH brighter than the red was, to the point where it's very distracting. I'm guessing the Escort factory Smartplug [which comes with a blue LED] is not so bright you can't look at it?

    Anyone know how I can fix this? Swap out a resistor in the Smartplug? If so, for what value? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Smartcord blue LED mod question

    Quote Originally Posted by swifty
    Tonight I modified the Smartplug of my RX65 to fit in more discrete and permanent location into dashboard of my car. [As has been done by some on this forum already] It almost looks OEM and I'm really happy with it. 8)

    I also swapped out the GREEN [power] LED for an ORANGE to match car's interior lights and the RED [alert] to BLUE -- just cuz blue looks so *BEEP* cool.


    Problem is, the blue is MUCH brighter than the red was, to the point where it's very distracting. I'm guessing the Escort factory Smartplug [which comes with a blue LED] is not so bright you can't look at it?

    Anyone know how I can fix this? Swap out a resistor in the Smartplug? If so, for what value? Thanks in advance.
    Get a multimeter and measure the resistance value, unless of course you know the resistor color code. It takes about 3.4 to 3.6V to turn on a blue LED. So (12V - 3.5V) divided by the resistor value gives you the current through the resistor and LED. The higher the current, the brighter the LED. If the current is too high the LED will burn out. Most LEDs run at 20-30 milliamps. If you have a high intensity LED, and it sounds like you do, changing the resistor value to something higher will help. Red LEDs require a larger resistor than blue, since they turn on at a lower voltage, so I am surprised the blue is so bright with a resistor chosen for a red LED.

    GTO_04

  3. #3
    Speed Demon
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    Default Re: Smartcord blue LED mod question

    Quote Originally Posted by GTO_04
    Quote Originally Posted by swifty
    Tonight I modified the Smartplug of my RX65 to fit in more discrete and permanent location into dashboard of my car. [As has been done by some on this forum already] It almost looks OEM and I'm really happy with it. 8)

    I also swapped out the GREEN [power] LED for an ORANGE to match car's interior lights and the RED [alert] to BLUE -- just cuz blue looks so *BEEP* cool.


    Problem is, the blue is MUCH brighter than the red was, to the point where it's very distracting. I'm guessing the Escort factory Smartplug [which comes with a blue LED] is not so bright you can't look at it?

    Anyone know how I can fix this? Swap out a resistor in the Smartplug? If so, for what value? Thanks in advance.
    Get a multimeter and measure the resistance value, unless of course you know the resistor color code. It takes about 3.4 to 3.6V to turn on a blue LED. So (12V - 3.5V) divided by the resistor value gives you the current through the resistor and LED. The higher the current, the brighter the LED. If the current is too high the LED will burn out. Most LEDs run at 20-30 milliamps. If you have a high intensity LED, and it sounds like you do, changing the resistor value to something higher will help. Red LEDs require a larger resistor than blue, since they turn on at a lower voltage, so I am surprised the blue is so bright with a resistor chosen for a red LED.

    GTO_04
    I hate that color code, just get a multimeter, and measure the ohms...

  4. #4
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    Default

    Well the Blue is the alert light!!!!! So it should get your attention

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  5. #5
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    Default

    It sure does... Anytime I have an alert it's like a strobe going off in the car!

    No matter how loud I have music, I'll never miss an alert.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Smartcord blue LED mod question

    Quote Originally Posted by GTO_04

    Get a multimeter and measure the resistance value, unless of course you know the resistor color code. It takes about 3.4 to 3.6V to turn on a blue LED. So (12V - 3.5V) divided by the resistor value gives you the current through the resistor and LED. The higher the current, the brighter the LED. If the current is too high the LED will burn out. Most LEDs run at 20-30 milliamps. If you have a high intensity LED, and it sounds like you do, changing the resistor value to something higher will help. Red LEDs require a larger resistor than blue, since they turn on at a lower voltage, so I am surprised the blue is so bright with a resistor chosen for a red LED.

    GTO_04
    Thanks GTO, got what I thought was the correct resistor [560 ohm] but it's still really bright. Do you think it's because an ultrabright LED can only go ultra-bright?

    Man if RD's weren't legal here I could mount the RX65 somewhere hidden and just wait for my car to light up like a disco.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Smartcord blue LED mod question

    Quote Originally Posted by swifty
    Thanks GTO, got what I thought was the correct resistor [560 ohm] but it's still really bright. Do you think it's because an ultrabright LED can only go ultra-bright?

    Man if RD's weren't legal here I could mount the RX65 somewhere hidden and just wait for my car to light up like a disco.
    You should be able to dim even an ultrabright LED. Try a larger resistor like 825, or even 1000 (1K ohm).

    Are there any other electronics connected to the LED other than a resistor? Is it a standard looking LED? If there are other electronics connected it could be more difficult to dim the LED.

    GTO_04

  8. #8
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    Default

    Blue LEDs tend to be brighter than red ones.

    With a 600 ohm resistor, at 12 volts you'd be getting roughly 20 milliamps through the LED, actually slightly less since the LED has resistance too. If it's too bright with a 600 ohm resistor, bump up the resistor to 1k or higher. This will get you roughly 10 milliamps through the LED, which should make it dim enough to not blind you at night but still bright enought to see it during the day.

    You might have to experiment with the resistor values to get the desired brightness before making the mod permanent.
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