Gauge backlighting DIY

March 17, 2013

So as it turns out, none of the three Omori gauges I bought for squid came with functional backlighting.

For that authentic 1980s look.

Which is all kinds of odd; you’d expect maybe one or two to at least work partially, however for the price and the age of the equipment I suppose I shouldn’t complain, especially since a pretend sparky like me can easily replace the old-style bulbs with LEDs for a slightly more modern twist!

Armed with a disassembly guide I’d found on the interwebs and a few trusty tools, I set to work…

After somewhat apprehensively prying the front bezel off I carefully de-soldered the old-style incandescent lamps from the existing circuit board and replaced them with a pair of white LEDs and in-line resistors.

The old lamps are in the bottom left, and are both in fact blown.

The simplicity of the entire package is amazing, and I was careful not to upset the calibration of the gauge itself.

The question is... will it go back together again properly?

Success! There are a couple of bright spots thanks to the LED positioning, but once in the car it shouldn’t be as noticeable. Re-assembly will take place once I buy some paint to touch up the bezel, as unfortunately the only way to disassemble these gauges is with excessive prying force. Hopefully once they are mounted in the instrument panel on the car the damage/markings won’t be visible.

One gauge down, two to go.

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