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Need soldering help and LED clarification - gauge LEDs?

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ImagoX

Joined: Aug 24 2006
Posts: 2124
Location: Columbus, Ohio


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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:56 am

Hey everyone...

I'm interested in doing a bue LED replacement on my speedo/tach in my 2006 MINI Cooper. Others have done the mod using this part:



Which seems similar to this part, available on Oz:

https://www.oznium.com/loose-component-leds/plcc-2

QUESTIONS:

1. Are the Oznium LEDs the same kind as the ones available at Alliedalec? They seem to be, but I'm having trouble deciphering the data sheet linked on Allietech's page. irf they are the same, Oz's price is very much superior (about half that of Alliedalec).

2. Soldering. How-tos I've seen speak of using a "pencil size tip" on the soldering iron, but I'm not sure what that means. Obviously, I don't want to melt anything or short something out by using too much solder. Can anyone recommend a good How-to soldering site with tips/tricks? Google searching isn't helping me much. I know we have some soldering pros on here and I'm hoping you can share some wisdom in this respect...

This might be a MOD that's just outside my skill range - I'm not ashamed to admit it. Ideally, I could do this on a spare tach/speedo, obtained from a salvage yard (that way if I hose the circuit board I'm only out the cost of the replacement part), but I'm not having much luck finding a used part.

Thanks in advance!
Cyber Knight

Joined: Nov 23 2006
Posts: 523
Location: Calgary, Alberta


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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:40 pm

This is a bit tough to explain without a diagram. The 3 rules of soldering that I keep in mind are:

1. Solder obeys gravity. Wherever possible, apply heat to the underside of the object you want the solder to meld with and apply the solder from above.

2. Solder moves to the hottest thing it can. If you put your iron against some metal and stick the solder in the crux of the two the solder will stick to the iron, not the metal you wanted it on. Keep the iron as close to the spot you want the solder to end up on, but not so close that the solder will contact the iron.

3. Apply solder to the metal, not to the iron. Use the iron to heat the metal you're soldering, then press the solder against the metal. You SHOULD, however, apply solder to the tip of the iron to help it heal the metal. The bead of solder will help significantly with heat transfer from the iron to the metal.

Also, not so much a rule as it is a best practice, but give your iron lots of time to heat up, don't start soldring the second it's hot enough to melt the solder. A 5 minute warm up should be plenty.
tenminutestolate

Joined: Apr 17 2005
Posts: 73
Location: Peck-Michigan


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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:06 pm

What are your bulbs back there? You could get the LED replacement bulbs, or get the bulb bases, and put your own LEDs in there.
ImagoX

Joined: Aug 24 2006
Posts: 2124
Location: Columbus, Ohio


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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:12 pm

I'm not sure if Phil's will work - the OEM ones are 2.8mm x 3.2mm orange and I believe that OZ's ones are 3.5mm. Digikey sells a replacement that I know will work. a "LED 468NM BLU WATER CLEAR 2-PLCC" (part 516-1464-1 http://www.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?KeywordSearch ) but they can only match Phil's price if you order 100 or more - I'm told that the speedo and tach use about 25 bulbs altogether (most people seem to order 40 for the entire job, so they have spares in case of inadvertant melting).

I've also heard that my 30-watt soldering iron will be too powerful for the job and that it will likely melt the LEDs or damage the circuit board. I dunno... it's looking more and more like this might be beyond my skills and hardware. :: ponder ::
alienyoungjr

Joined: Apr 30 2004
Posts: 4654
Location: Texas


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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:26 pm

Also remember that LEDs can only take so much soldering. Usually any longer than five seconds of soldering can start damaging the LED. It can either melt the LED shell, and/or the semiconductor inside of it.
Cyber Knight

Joined: Nov 23 2006
Posts: 523
Location: Calgary, Alberta


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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:32 pm

ImagoX wrote:
I've also heard that my 30-watt soldering iron will be too powerful for the job and that it will likely melt the LEDs or damage the circuit board. I dunno... it's looking more and more like this might be beyond my skills and hardware. :: ponder ::


A well placed heat sink or 2 might make still make the job possible for you, they work very well.
GlowinPontiac

Joined: Mar 04 2004
Posts: 5959
Location: Central CT


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Post Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:08 pm

if your worried about overheating pick up one of those 3 dollar pencil type soldering irons from walmart. they barely get hot enough to properly melt the solder so you should be fine. altho it will take forever as they need a few mins to warm back up after each solder joint you do.
Phil
Owner, Oznium.com

Joined: Feb 11 2003
Posts: 7719


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Post Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:16 am

1. Are the Oznium LEDs the same kind as the ones available at Alliedalec?

Yes, they are both PLCC-2 which refers to the physical package size.

As far as the brightness and viewing angle specs, they may be different.
ImagoX

Joined: Aug 24 2006
Posts: 2124
Location: Columbus, Ohio


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Post Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:33 am

Thanks, Phil!
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