no worries. you are totally welcome to your opinion. my wife feels the same way. although she has lights in the doors and B pillars in her mini, it came that way outta the factory. and she asked if i could put lights in the footwells of hers when i was done with mine which would almost be the same (minus the back seats) haha. but its all good.While the look is a little too "blingy" for my personal taste,
i wasnt sure about doing the doors at all, and the pillars depend on what the plastic looks like when i pull it off, but my fam came by for tday and i was showing my sister. she has a newer ford focus and it came outta the factory with everything i have done to mine so far (again i think minus the back seats, but it does have the cupholder, and th two spots in the doors). she told me this before i had done my doors. so i figured what the heck, lets do it. i wired it up in a way though that there is a small harness right under the dash that if in the end i dont like it, i can bypass the doors entirely by swapping the harnesses and going right into the pillars. (granted i do the pillars). or if i dont like the pillars either in the end i can just unhitch the harness altogether and leave out the doors and pillars both. so i havent made up my mind yet what i want, but at least i can easily remove (without actually removing) the stuff on the sides if i end up not wanting it.
thanks about the lens piece! i may still end up trying to make my own cuz its fun, but it it comes out not up to par i may do what you suggest. not sure why the subee dealer guy didnt know about it.
although, im not sure i like where i put the light in the door handle spot... its going from top down and you can kinda see the spot. its not so hidden. i wanted it behind the lock and pointing forward but when i pulled it out on the inside it wasnt so feasible, so i might stop by a pick and pull or something and see if i can find another one and see if i cant figure something else out i like better (since i already drilled a hole in mine). if i do stop by ill look for the lens there too.
i didnt document it very well honestly, but i can start with the parts that i can remember...Look forward to reading more details about the project, including the parts list.
though its kinda changing a bit here and there as i figure out more what i wanna do really...
and i keep changing my mind on what volts i wanna run off of, if i want to regulate my amp usage or not (resulting in brighter or dimmer max brightness leds)
i keep changing my mind on how expensive i really want this to be (i had most of the parts lying around already from other projects or from just fiddling with electronics, or as gifts. it really could be done much much cheaper than how i have mine in my car currently, and still do the same thing, and still be bright enough for illumination.)
teensy 3.0 - $19 PJRC Store
one is enough to control 3 sections of lights independently of each other, if you want more than that you need two, or an arduino mega Arduino Mega 2560 R3 (Atmega2560 - assembled) [Mega!] ID: 191 - $65.00 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits
so for each "section" of leds, you need 3 pins on the micro controller that can PWM. (pulse with modulation.) this allows for fading of color between the red, blue and green lines, or dimming also. i have divided my car up into 3 sections, back seats, front driver, and front passenger. (the division between the front is prolly overkill, but whatever, its already done.) so im using 9 PWM pins on the teensy. im thinkin of changing out all of the red dash lights or whatever too, which means i need 3 more PWM pins, which means either i combine the two fronts into just one section, and use those other 3 pins or add another teensy to the mix. if i do do it ill prolly jus add another teensy because the ring around the ignition kinda does its own thing apart from everything else, meaning even more 3 PWM pins. id go with two teensys as opposed to one arduino mega because two teensys is still cheaper than one mega and it gives you 6 or 7 separate lines in the end instead of 4, which the mega will give you.
but currently i have just 1 teensy at $19.
iono, i still havent decided. i might not try the dash lights too and just leave it at one teensy.
i have about 2.5 meters of these RGB leds in the car right now ...
RGB LED weatherproof flexi-strip 30 LED - (1 m) ID: 285 - $16.00 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits at $16 a meter. you can prolly find these cheaper somewhere else.
i've realized i have gone a little over kill, and the amount of leds im using can seriously be reduced in my car, i have like 5 section strips (half meter) under the front footwells, im thinking about reducing it to 3 each side, which is still more than enough. i have 3 section strips under the door armrests, which ill prolly pull down to 2 or even 1 section strips....
i can prolly drop the whole thing to end up using just 1 meter, or just over, and still look just about the same, which i may end up doing.
(i didnt realize i own 4 meters of these things. i thought my roll was just 1 meter when i started. the amps and everything added up ok for 1 meter. so i just started putting stuff everywhere. i just recently started counting sections and put it together in my head and realized i had a lot more in there than i thought, which is the reason im gonna tone it down a bit. )
3 of these mosfets per "section" of lighting in the car...
N-channel power MOSFET [30V / 60A] ID: 355 - $1.25 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits
since i have 3 sections, thats 9 mosfets. they are listed here at $1.25 a piece but i got a lot of parts at the local electronics store for a lot cheaper.
i think i paid 50 cents a piece or something like that for these or similar.
here is a link to one that would work...
Adafruit Perma-Proto Full-sized Breadboard PCB - 3 Pack! ID: 590 - $19.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits
you only need one though. they offer half sizes, still in a 3 pack, but that might not be long enough. i guess all three together would be.
i used one of their quarter sized ones along with a halfsize one i got from the local electronics store... both together prolly cost about $7.
i used two because you need to convert volts twice, once from the 14.5-12.7 range the car is outputting to somewhere between 12-9, then once again to 5. the leds run off 12-9, the teensy runs off 5V. i used each board as a different voltage rail thingy. you could use just one board and have 12-9 on one side and 5 on the other.
you need a 1M resistor, a 10K resistor, and an NPN transistor for every line you want to input from. for example i am reading from the dome lights X3. the back seat dome, the front driver dome, and the front passenger dome, to tell me if that light is on or off. you also need a 10K to ground the switch. so i have 3 1M and 4 10K resistors. these are cents. prolly 70 cents total here. (again from the local electronics store.) i still need to put in a line from the headlights...
create a transistor buffer with the 12.7+ line from the lights into the 1M into the NPN, 10K to ground, use the 5V rail, and have the teensy read between the 10K and NPN.
you need some way of converting your power, i am currently using two buck converters...
one to convert the car voltage down to 9V and another to drop it yet again to 5V...
TSR1 | Traco Power TSR1 | USA Warehouse
TSR1-2490 and TSR1-2450 at $8 and $6.
i will prolly scrap the TSR1-2490 (@$8) and just use a 12V zener diode which would be no more than a dollar at the electronics store. keep the leds brighter, dont limit the amps, and cheaper. save the 9V buck for later for some other project.
as for the buck converters, you can use a much cheaper volt regulator like the LM78L05 which is like a dollar or two instead of the TSR1-2450 which does the same thing, but i like the TSRs because they have more protection and the teensy is frail above 5V.
you need a switch if you want to be able to override them to just be on with the flip of a switch. $1 or two at your local electronics store.
you need some potentiometers for controlling color and brightness.
i used two of these little guys Breadboard trim potentiometer [10K] ID: 356 - $1.25 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits at $1.25 each (with the hopes of finding some legit knobs to put over em to make it look more professional.)
and i think the last thing you need is wire. i dont know how much, i didnt measure. i spent prolly $10 to $15 on about 6 different colors but with the bulk of it being 4 of those colors. its gotten me as far as what ive shown in the pics, but i will definitely need more to continue. if you just wanna light up the spots that the kit lights up you really dont need much at all.
i used 22 guage. IMO it doesnt really matter too much.
so iono, i guess going with the more expensive versions of things (eg the traco vs the TO-92) and going with more leds than really needed (eg almost 3 meters compared to 1 meter ) and more options (3 separately controlled spots as opposed to 1) i will prolly end up spending a lil bit over $100. if i were to do it with the cheaper versions of things, and just in the spots like the kit, and only have 1 control area, but still keep the RGB and dimmer, itd prolly be a lot closer to $55. and if you didnt want the RGB, but just wanted one solid color, even different than the factory blue one, led strips that arent RGB but just one solid color are even cheaper. and you wouldnt need the $1.25 potentiometer to change the color.
oh and you need a couple of these for any place you want to easily be able to disconnect wires...
4-pin JST SM Plug + Receptacle Cable Set ID: 578 - $1.50 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits
i actually used quite a few of these because i like to be able to pull things off in the future and not rip wires off. much like the other wire harnesses in the center console and many other places. i had all these lyin around for some time from other projects but you can add the $1.25 about a dozen times. im also doubling mine up in places (like i said before, the door, so i can bypass the door and go straight to the pillar if i want) but that is for sheer convenience since i dont know what i want yet and totally not necessary. none of these are actually needed, but they sure make things easier later.
k so i dont really expect anybody to do this also or follow this. so im not going to go into detail about the board or the code.
here is an early pic of the board but its changed a bit since then, gotten more compicated but also cheaper (price wise, not quality) but also safer for the electronics...
the teensy drops into the black rails on the left but is not pictured.
if there is someone out there that is crazy enough like me to go through with all of this and wants the info, i can post more about the board, the way it currently is, and whats happening in there but i feel its unnecessary at this point. i can also hand over the code.
the rest is all just wiring. you saw where i put the leds, all the info on pulling the car apart is here on the forum somewhere or another if you look for it. the leds have a sticky back so i just stuck em in places where they werent visible, or if they were visible i moved them til they werent
sorries this got a lot longer than i thought it would.
time for bed.