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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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chase blinkers

Has anyone tried or considered this product for the trunk light decoration? I still haven't opened mine, so I haven't progressed past the "what can I do with it" phase. Is it too long? I forget the length of the '96 Bird assembly, so there may not be room for it at 17.7" (45cm).

It seems to have an abundance of LEDs, which should provide a smooth flowing effect to the outer stop lamp. With some extra magic (delay) added to the outer stop lamp per blink cycle, this could look really nice — i.e., stop lamp turns on at the very end of the strip's cycle, so it'd be like ☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ ☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼

Reviewers say both strips of this product illuminate simultaneously and the white LED's turn on between amber cycles. That design wouldn't make much sense, and this may just be the reviewers' inability to correctly wire it, or incompatibility with their particular vehicles. But if it turned out to be the case with the MN-12, these two issues could be dealt with by using 2 kits and 1) cutting off the second strip from the controller box of each kit and 2) deleting the white LED's from the strips (assuming you could open the strip w/o destroying it), leaving you with a single red strip that functions as desired.

Of course, it if ONLY chases and cannot be made to illuminate all red LED's at once, it wouldn't be a good mod for our decorative trunk light panels. Then again, this could be used in conjunction with a second, constant-on strip, which would obviously need to be turned off during turns.

Here's a shorter version

Here's one w/o white LED's, with strobing brake and solid tail

Last edited by Torque; 04-18-2018 at 12:52 PM. Reason: shorter strips
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 11:24 AM
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I think you will be disappointed with the quality. But for $10 to $20 it might be worth a try. The tiny wires are one weak point. If you want to see these things in action travel to Vietnam and watch the millions of crazy motorcycles and the crazy lights decorating them. You might decide they belong on Asian motorscooters rather than classic American cars.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 12:00 PM
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There's a mustang chase kit that is more like the old 'follow-me' blinkers from the 60's.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 12:25 PM
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This is similar but not quite to what Im working on. This would still look cool.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
There's a mustang chase kit that is more like the old 'follow-me' blinkers from the 60's.
How 'bout that. Chasers do belong on American vehicles after all.

Are you referring to this kit? That looks like it might be more difficult to get mounted into the Bird's lamp assembly. I guess some kind of rigid bracket could be fabbed, but the 'stang lamp is shorter than ours, so it seems to me that at least one additional LED might be needed.

Also, $250 vs. $15-$20; I kinda wanted to do this on the cheap side of things. I suppose the 'stang kit's LED's may be brighter...
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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I think you will be disappointed with the quality.
Too dim? Or just crap out too quickly? Or both?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 07:46 PM
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Too dim? Or just crap out too quickly? Or both?
Tiny wires that will break quickly on a car. Somewhere I saw a flexible smooth red led tube that had a controller with many features. I looked again, but couldn't find it. Most of these toys would look bad in my opinion. I especially hate LED dots.

Can anyone rewire this and add a controller?

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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That was discussed in a thread some time ago, but nothing ever came of it, AFAIK.

It would take some effort, but shouldn't really be that difficult, probably using a BASIC PIC stamp. A a custom PCB would need to be fabbed for it, obviously, but prototype (or limited run) boards can be made to order for cheap nowadays.

Is that 20 LED's on the OEM strip? It's a safe bet just about all of those cheap Chinee COB and SMD strips have more, some a lot more, so I doubt it'd be possible to borrow their controller to use with the OEM LED's.

The OEM's no doubt have different current draw as well, which could perhaps be dealt with via proper limiter resistors, but now you're getting into likely reducing their output and, if you didn't, probably frying the Chinee controller chip.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 12:10 PM
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Individually addressable LEDs are affordable and can be controlled with an arduino to blink in whatever silly pattern you want. There's no reason you can't adapt this program to activate the LEDs based on a 12V input signal from your stock brake system (stepped down to 5V).
https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials...p-hookup-guide

Whether or not this will last for 100K is TBD. You are already planning on modding the rear lights anyway so this is merely upping your game.
Personally, if you DO decide to do something silly with your rear brake lights (which is almost certainly NOT DOT legal), do yourself a favor and make sure that at least the third brakelight is stock.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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It's a question of luminance I would think. I assumed those addressable strips wouldn't be as bright as strips that are designed to be used on vehicles for alerting other drivers. If they are just as bright, then I guess it could work. But, I obviously don't want them brighter than the stock outer brake lamps, either. Matching color and luminance levels is the trickiest part.

Most of them have a fairly large gap between LED's to allow for cutting to length and soldering the end pads. The effect I had in mind was as smooth a transition/flow as practicable, more of a liquid as opposed to stepped effect. Thus, they would need to be many and fairly close together. I suppose it could be argued that fewer LED's, spaced farther apart, may work just as well, given the lens diffusion. However, as I've seen with half of one of my strips out, larger gaps are quite noticeable. But then again, I suppose with the inherent diffusion and a proper transition fade between LED's it could look ok.

I guess a full-on/full-off strobe could violate DOT regs, but don't manufacturers sell motorcycles in the USA with OEM strobing brakes? Here's here's how one company deals with the issue: https://www.pulseprotects.com/product-info/

edits: I see NeoPixels are available in high density (144 LED's per meter), which would likely meet my "fluidity" goal, but it's rather pricey @ $60. They spec wavelengths on these, but not luminance (yes, I know it varies with test conditions, but there are standards).

I couldn't find any DOT regs on turn signals other than color requirements and that they not flash like an emergency vehicle; nothing about chase/sweep animation (I would think the Mustangs would be in violation), or a combination of sweep-to-steady outer then recycle (my original intention).

Last edited by Torque; 04-21-2018 at 11:15 AM. Reason: more research..
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