M.L. Toys
M.L. Toys
HobbyMasters M.L. Toys
Have you added running lights? Headlamps? Perhaps some spinners?
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I have an Escalade EXT that has been painted white for a while now. I've always thought of making it into a police ride.

I've used the SHO-ME SF controller, but for $35, I wasn't impressed. I've always wanted more options. There are some cheap chinese things on ebay, but no thanks. I'm into making my own stuff. This is just what I'm doing.

First off, I had to black out the rims. They looked too ridiculous.
Blacked out Escalade Rims

For the electronics, I had to make my own.
Gerber view of Controller PCB

Actual Controller PCB

I'll post a video of the flash patterns later on in this thread.

I decided on a combination of 1W LEDs from ebay and some PLCC-4 White & Amber LEDs we have in the reject NCM bin here at work. Might as well recycle. Need to make PCBs for these now too.

Gerber for PLCC-4 LEDs

Gerber for 8MM 1W LED beads

PCBs for LEDs

I had the light boards masked in white so they do not look silly in the light bar, as there will be a clear polycarbonate lens in front of them all.

Add in some reflector lenses for the 1W beads, and this is what we have...
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So the plan here...

Front of vehicle:
7, 3-led segments of 1W/led
3 blue, 3 red, 1 white in center.
2 blue will be on a different patterns than the other blue. Same with red. The white in the center will strobe continuously like an opticom.

Rear of vehicle:
10 of the PLCC LED boards in amber for directional arrows
1, 3-led segment on each end

I'll also use white LEDs on the PLCC boards with one board facing sideways on each end of each light bar.

This is still very much a work in progress, but I wanted to share my progress so far.

Another feature, is the controller boards have programming ports built in so I can re-do the software and re-program a different set of flash patterns on the PICs should I decide to do so. Endless possibilities. ;)
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By taz11
Weh..heh...helllllllllll......... That works :shock: :D

How much you gonna sell them for? I'm thinkin' there might be a market ;)
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By taz11

I'm still trying to find that "money maker" custom part too :lol: :lol:
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By daveweber34

So, you have this as the printed circuit board that your lights are mounted on? For lack of a better term, what are the "containers" that you have the leds in to aim the light?

Also, since I have a bunch of loose 3w leds coming, I could get a printed circuit board made up to mount them on too?
Last edited by daveweber34 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LED Lens

I don't think this is where I got them. Maybe it is. Who knows. They come in different viewing angles. Mine are 60 or 90 I think. It was a long time ago I ordered them. I've been working on all of this since January.

I'll see how many boards I have left over when I'm done.

EDIT: THESE are the ones I bought. Good pricing.
If you're using them for headlights, a 30 or 20 degree lens would be better. I wanted a wide angle so the light bar could be seen at an angle to the face.
Last edited by CJB on Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:25 am, edited 4 times in total.
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By daveweber34
Thanks for the reply.

So, it looks like the circuit board is acting as the heat sink for your leds. Correct?
Last edited by daveweber34 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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daveweber34 wrote:So, it looks like the circuit board is acting as the heat sink for your leds. Correct?

That's the theory. I selected a thicker copper layer on the PCBs to help with the heat. If you're going to use a constant current driver, heat will be less. If using resistors, the resistors will get hotter than the LEDs. Only down side, is my red LEDs have the metal behind the die common to the anode so it shorts to the ground plane on the PCB. Stupid chinese led maker.

I have to insulate the red ones. Everything else working as planned. Sort of. Well enough, anyway.

Check with a multimeter on audible continuity test, your LEDs when you get them that the metal circle in the middle of the back does not 'beep' to either connection tab. My white and blue are isolated. Red, not so much.

If that just made as little sense to you as it did to me on my proofread, let me know and I'll put up a pic. :lol:

I'll post some more detailed LED pictures later.
Last edited by CJB on Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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By daveweber34
I get what you are saying about the continuity of the base to the anode. Good for me to know. Like you say, I'll check that the base plate is isolated.

In all honesty, right now I'm thinking about doing some garage lighting with some of these leds. I live in rental housing and it only has one lonely, poor fluorescent fixture in the middle of the garage ceiling. That leaves quite a bit to be desired in useful work lighting. :roll: The whole garage is just dark. It would be a bit more in upfront cost but they would last a virtual lifetime.
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That would be do-able. If these will be on for expended periods of time, I'd use a heat-sink compound/adhesive and glue them to an aluminum bar.

I thought about doing that in this application, but since mine strobe so fast, they do not get hot! :D
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Update - Finished the front light bar this weekend. I'm pretty happy how it turned out. I have another one to do for the rear that will consist mostly of amber direction arrows. :twisted:

I always get too involved and forget to take in-process pics, but here's some near-end pics.

The housing is made entirely of polycarbonate.






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Quick update here. Finally working on the rear light bar. I'll capture a video at some point today. Maybe. Possibly.

The arrow stick is not direction-selectable, but that's on the drawing board for the next revision of my strobe controller.
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By taz11
Now that's how it's done! :D

you need the "bad boys" theme on that video :lol: :lol: :lol:
Last edited by taz11 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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New video. Per usual, the camera does not do it justice. All assembled, just need to install on the car.

Last edited by CJB on Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By aVWguy
any chance of knight rider style scanner lights??? ... need two sets in blue .. one BPRO size and one full scale ... upcomeing build
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By aVWguy
are you making light bars?
i need one o-o ... and not nearly as complecated
well two .. same function differant sizes
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aVWguy wrote:are you making light bars?
i need one o-o ... and not nearly as complecated
well two .. same function differant sizes

Sorry, I didn't catch your request for Knight Rider lights.

If you're looking for something custom, PM me with specific details and I'll see what I can do.

Here's a video of the finished products.
Last edited by CJB on Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By jonesee
that is just plain awesome. I vote it the best lighting system ever!

bonus points for building the bars yourself. :mrgreen:
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