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Author Topic: Indicator lights for dashboard - what to use?  (Read 4172 times)
belfert
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« on: January 21, 2010, 04:11:28 PM »

What are you guys using for indicator lights on your dashboards if you build a new dash?

I was going to get a dash light module out of a Freightliner, but I don't think it has quite the right lights for my bus.  I'm thinking perhaps individual LEDs with labels, but I don't know if that would look tacky or not.  I believe I have 14 different indicator lights right now.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
JackConrad
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2010, 05:34:36 PM »

I use individual LEDs, flashing LEDs for the "need immediate attention" indicators such as low air, low oil, hot engine. I get my LEDs, mounting clips & resistors from Digi-Key. 


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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2010, 06:44:12 PM »

Belfert -

Or you could go with something like this:





You know, a sort of 'retro' theme. I sell these on ebay (8-track tape deck is optional).
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2010, 08:35:29 PM »

I do dash indicator lights in LED.

They come in different sizes, and the resistance you place in the line can determine the brightness of the indication.

You can use different resistance values based on the importance of the indication, so less brightness for high beam than for low oil or air, plus you can choose your colors.

They also last longer, and you can use them with either 12 v or 24 v circuits, again by changing the resistor value, so you can have uniformity across the dashboard.

Just my thoughts. Hope I have offered some useful thoughts.

Keith
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 01:47:38 PM »

Custom Insturment has an undicator pkg that I used. Lights for turn, hi idle, high temp, low oil, low air etc. Look right above the wheel (the retangular black pad)

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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 02:07:34 PM »

When rebuilding my MC9 panel, I put the warning lights in a vertical panel on the windshierld post where my arm wouldn't hide them, leaving the turn signals, high beam and fog light indicators on the dash face. I can see the lights even if someone else is driving.
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belfert
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2010, 03:15:04 PM »

A couple of questions/comments:

What size resistors would one use with LEDs and 12/24 volt?

Are the warning lights on the side easy for the driver to see?  It seems like they are positioned more for the owner to see.

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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2010, 03:36:24 PM »

When rebuilding my MC9 panel, I put the warning lights in a vertical panel on the windshierld post where my arm wouldn't hide them, leaving the turn signals, high beam and fog light indicators on the dash face. I can see the lights even if someone else is driving.


"Plus, it doubles as a starting tree when I take my bus to the races...."

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2010, 03:42:11 PM »

What size resistors would one use with LEDs and 12/24 volt?


700 ohm, 1/4 watt for 12v (14v charging, 2v drop, 0.017a)
1500 ohm, 1/2 watt for 24v (28v charging, 2v drop, 0.017a) (I've been using 1/4 watt on mine (dash indicator light replacements). Haven't burned any out, but technically, you should use 1/2 watt.

These are somewhat conservative. Pick a resistance value that is close, typically higher if you don't have those exact. These are for one LED.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 04:06:40 PM by gumpy » Logged

Craig Shepard
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2010, 03:04:08 PM »

...You can use different resistance values based on the importance of the indication, so less brightness for high beam than for low oil or air, plus you can choose your colors...

...I use individual LEDs, flashing LEDs for the "need immediate attention" indicators such as low air, low oil, hot engine...


ISO 2575-2004, section 5, specifies colors that should be used and when (ISO 2575-2004 is the guide which contains the symbols for use in vehicles).

Paraphrasing,

  • Red is for something that will kill you or your bus right now if you don't do something
  • Yellow/Amber is for something that is malfunctioning or otherwise wrong that will cause a escallation to a critical if not taken care of after some time
  • Green is for normal operating conditions

There are symbols in ISO 2575-2004 that have color-codes assigned to them by the specification, for example:

  • blue for highbeams
  • green for turn signal arrows
  • red for low oil pressure
  • amber for check engine


I agree that using LEDs is a great idea, low power draw, very long life.  But I also think some attempt should be made to convey the meaning of the light in a standardized way, in addition to turing a light on.  In a car this is done by lighting up a symbol that has been standardized by ISO so that you can tell what it means by seeing it.  Keep in mind that you might not be the only one to drive your bus - a recent post illustrated the need for quick understanding of the how/where to operate of a function, someone left their Jakes on which caused the bus's rear to swing out.  They were able to find the switch to kill the jakes and get back in control of the bus, but someone else might not have been aware the bus was even equiped with Jakes.  If extra time was needed to tell if the jakes were on or off, and where to get to the control, the outcome could have been much worse.

-T

I'll bet everyone knows what these three icons mean:
« Last Edit: January 23, 2010, 03:07:27 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2010, 03:32:10 PM »

   Our color choice may not meet the ISO standards, but most are red because red does not affect night vision as much as other colors and as I am getting older, I need all the help I can get iwth my night vision.
   Our turn signals are green, high beam is blue (as is our porch light switch which is not used while driving). NEED IMMEDIATE ATTENTION lights such as low oil, hot engine, and low air are flashing red LEDs. Since our back-up lights are controlled by a switch on the dash, our back-up light indicator is also a flashing red LED (I don't want to be driving with back-up lights on). NO Charge & low tag axle air are non-flashing red LEDs.  These will need attention, but the coach can still be driven.  Jack
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2010, 05:41:44 AM »

One of the ways I have used LEDs is to place them behind an engraved plastic face. The engraving shows the iconic symbol to identify which light represents what.

Used to be, I would just know what each lamp represented, but at my increased age count, sometimes I have to count from left to right, and then look it up in my manual !!  More importantly, if someone else where driving, the icons are easier to understand, and it looks very professional.

Thank you, Tim, for listing the color codes. That is some good information.
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2010, 05:12:29 PM »

...One of the ways I have used LEDs is to place them behind an engraved plastic face. The engraving shows the iconic symbol to identify which light represents what...


Factory methods for this type of thing are engraving (as PCC has done), hot-press (using a die) which is usually filled with black ink, direct printing either in positive or negative done on either the front or back side.  I like the back-side silk-screening with a dark plastic as a substrate.  This allows the symbols to blend into the background when off but are very clear when lit (LEDs are great because they emit a very saturated color of the shade you want only).  By using several different color LEDs (Red, Amber, Green, Blue), you can clearly indicate the status of something using a single icon just by changing the color presented (but again the symbol must be a standardized so you know what the color is referring to).  As an example, look at the below picture; a clear dark grey piece of plastic makes up the dash surface, the symbol is silk-screened in negative using a black ink (meaning light will be blocked from passage where the symbol is NOT), a diffusing-prism sheet is placed betweent the dash surface and the back-light (light-pipe) to evenly scattered the light emitted by the LEDs.

-T
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 05:16:57 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2010, 05:18:29 PM »

 recent post illustrated the need for quick understanding of the how/where to operate of a function, someone left their Jakes on which caused the bus's rear to swing out.  They were able to find the switch to kill the jakes and get back in control of the bus, but someone else might not have been aware the bus was even equiped with Jakes.  If extra time was needed to tell if the jakes were on or off, and where to get to the control, the outcome could have been much worse.


Another reason to turn off your Jake brake switch when not using them, ESPECIALLY if you are not the only one to drive the vehicle.  Kinda like getting behind the wheel and starting the vehicle up and all of a sudden that damn rap music starts blaring in your ears...okay, who left that CD in the player?
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belfert
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2010, 06:01:32 PM »

Symbols are great, but I would rather have things that say "Check Engine" rather than a symbol that looks like an engine.  My bus came from the factory with a mix of symbols and written sayings on the dash indicator lights.

One of the symbols on one of my lights looks like a set of pullies and a belt.  I know what it means now, but can anyone here tell me what it means?

Symbols make sense if you can't read english, but nobody is ever going to drive my bus if they don't know english.  Myself and some of my friends are the only drivers.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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