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nissan patrol
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
I have a set of saas gauges on the middle of my dash and at night it sucks driving with them lit up; very very distracting.

I am thinking of wiring an on-off-on switch up to be able to have them running at full brightness (daytime), 1/2 brightness (night driving), 1/4 brightness (highway driving)

all the wiring is easy, I just need to know resistor sizes? or is there a variable resistor type thing that is adjustable (like a dimmer for house lights)?

Any help would be appreciated
 

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GUII ZD30DI Wgn
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Hey all,
I have a set of saas gauges on the middle of my dash and at night it sucks driving with them lit up; very very distracting.

I am thinking of wiring an on-off-on switch up to be able to have them running at full brightness (daytime), 1/2 brightness (night driving), 1/4 brightness (highway driving)

all the wiring is easy, I just need to know resistor sizes? or is there a variable resistor type thing that is adjustable (like a dimmer for house lights)?

Any help would be appreciated
You can cut into the std dimmer switch as long as the gauges get their power for the light separately from any power the gauge may require. Do a search there is an old thread on it somewhere, it's the earth that the dimmer controls not the power side.
 

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2003 GU PATROL
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Yep, Ross is on the money!
 

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nissan patrol
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Discussion Starter #4
12v + for the gauge light input. I am currently using the ashtray light cable to run the gauges.
I would love to use the factory dimmer but I don't think it would work using a -ve on a +ve :(
I know how to wire all this stuff up I just need a little know how with the maths for selection of resistors or potentiometer
 

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nissan patrol
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Discussion Starter #5
I just re-read that ross.
what you are saying is to run the gauge lights (which does has its own input cable) off the -ve of the dash light dimmer; so basically wire it in series instead of parallel. very sneaky of you, I will just have to give that a go tomorrow arvo.
 

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GUII ZD30DI Wgn
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12v + for the gauge light input. I am currently using the ashtray light cable to run the gauges.
I would love to use the factory dimmer but I don't think it would work using a -ve on a +ve :(
I know how to wire all this stuff up I just need a little know how with the maths for selection of resistors or potentiometer
If it is 12v stand alone it will work through the std dimmer, the std dimmer regulates the earth to the dash so all you need to do is connect the gauge light earth to the dimmer, check this from post #7.

http://www.patrol4x4.com/forum/nissan-patrol-gu-gr-10/gauge-lights-27874/
 

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nissan patrol GQ
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if they're LED backlit then need to use a PWM dimmer as LEDs won't dim using factory dimmers

PWM dimmers are cheap now - $4-6, although the decent US built ones are triple that. peanuta and monkeys warning springs to mind
 

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I've tried wiring up my sass temp gauge to a spare factory dimmer a while back but the LED light didn't like it.
Thanks for the tip gf0012 to wire it through a PWM
 

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nissan patrol
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Discussion Starter #11
If it is 12v stand alone it will work through the std dimmer, the std dimmer regulates the earth to the dash so all you need to do is connect the gauge light earth to the dimmer, check this from post #7.

http://www.patrol4x4.com/forum/nissan-patrol-gu-gr-10/gauge-lights-27874/
Ok now im with you. unfortunately the saas gauges only have a light 12v+ and no independent -ve. so it looks like I will go down the path of a pwm dimmer or potentiometer.

thanks for you help guys. Dronus is getting me the jaycar part number for his potentiometer and I will take it from there.

The lights are LED so more reading is required for me and today its just not gunna happen!
GF That PWM dimmer looks like the goods and at 6A rating I might get a couple and have some fun with the LED strips I am going to install in the house.

Thanks again guys
 

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I have GQ with no dimmer circuit. I tried adding one and had no luck with it at first attempt. My gauges also fogged up with the standard globes.

I replaced the standard globes with the cheapest LED I could get. I deliberately used the $2 LED as they are not as bright. I find them perfect now. Wouldn't adjust them even if I could.
 

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nissan patrol
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Ok, I have solved my own problem, so thought I would do a write up so others have more info to go off than I did :D p.s. sorry for the bad photos

This solution covers gauges that are 1 wire for light control eg the saas gauges I have installed only have a 12v+ for lights and the whole gauge setup run on the one 12v-.

My gauges are wired to light up when the head lights are on. I achieved this by stealing the 12v+ from the ashtray light (blown globe and I never need it) and extending it up to my gauges. It worked perfectly:


Problem was that they worked a bit too well in comparison to everything else and at night the 4 gauges were almost blinding, if nothing else they just annoyed me.

So after lots of searching, and coming up with no ready made solutions, I went with my own idea of using a potentiometer (fancy name for variable resistor). I chose this path instead of a switch with a fixed resistor due to it being prettier and, more importantly, user friendly. It also allowed for error in selection (see below).
My big issue was finding out all the info required to size it correctly... In my usual form I just got drunk, jumped onto RS Online and ordered what looked good!

Here is what I ended up with:
TW1502KA | TE Connectivity TW Series Wirewound Potentiometer with a 6.35 mm Dia. Shaft, 5kΩ, ±10%, 1W, ±100ppm/°C, Panel Mount | TE Connectivity
This 5k ohm was $4 cheaper than the 1k ohm, but more on that later. The little knob for it is about $3 or so.

Even though I had not done the maths, I took the great Aussie attitude of she'll be right and just went ahead and installed it!

Firstly working out what the 3 terminals were:
1 Output high - The resistance will be highest when the knob is turned fully counter-clockwise
2 Common - Input
3 Output low - The resistance will be lowest when the knob is turned fully counter-clockwise

So I want my incoming light cable to go to terminal 2 (the one in the middle) and my outgoing cable to be on terminal 3 (left terminal with pins up):



If I had wired between terminals 1 and 2 the dimmer would have been backwards; turning the knob counter-clockwise would increase the light output of the gauges... test before you solder. I almost did it wrong! measure twice and cut once kind of thing.
Notice the size of the pins; I had to solder the cables on and it was a bugger cause I was using a heavier gauge cable than I should have been, just a tip for the future.
Also, please remember to insulate all terminals, especially ones not is use as it is still zappy!

another pic to break up all the words:


So after soldering I was back to testing to make sure it all worked before the panels went back on:
High:


Low:


yep it works! but a bit too well :headwall:
The Pot is a 5k ohm and I can use about 20% of the adjustment in it - as i turn the knob from full brightness down the gauges are at 0% light output when I get to about 2 o'clock :headwall:
Solution - use a 1k ohm Pot instead and If you are running one or two gauges you could possible even use a 500 ohm or 750 ohm. stupid drunk me for cheaping out over $4 :headwall:

anyway this is the Pot installed:


the little knob was a pain to get on as it uses a 1.5mm hex key grub screw. tiny fiddly little thing to be playing with, but I got there.

So what did I learn to pass onto others?
DO:
- Use a Potentiometer (Pot) as they are perfect for the job
- Do the maths to find current draw and required resistance range
- Use the right size cable for the job
- Have good lighting for performing fiddly jobs

Don't:
- Order your parts based on a $4 saving and she'll be right attitude!
- Fit this fiddly little thing in a dark garage because its cold and raining
- Burn yourself with the soldering iron... again

Any questions or corrections I am happy to try and help
 

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Thanks for the info Risms, i picked up a 500ohm for $3 from jaycar, tested it on the gauge and presto it dims
Maybe a lower ohm potentiometer (I seen some 250ohms there but they only had them in double prongs) would have a better adjustment as like you am only able to use approx 20% on the dial but I can live with that.
 

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GUII ZD30DI Wgn
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I like that, well done, have bookmarked that page ;). I'll slot it into electrical in the GPD archives.
 

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nissan patrol
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the info Risms, i picked up a 500ohm for $3 from jaycar, tested it on the gauge and presto it dims
Maybe a lower ohm potentiometer (I seen some 250ohms there but they only had them in double prongs) would have a better adjustment as like you am only able to use approx 20% on the dial but I can live with that.
How many gauges are you running?
did you get a linear or logarithmic resistance curve?
the one I have is linear.

I am not going to bother changing mine as it has the desired effect. Yes it could be better but it does not bother me... yet!
 

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I tested it on one gauge but will be running two gauges thru it when I install it properly. The one I got is linear but I will be trying a lower ohms rating just to see if it will work better to get better adjustability out of it but it worked fine and I'm stoked.. It's a very cheap & simple mod.
 

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I had the same problem with a set of autometer gauges I put in so I got a autometer dimmer part #9114 ($60)
says it runs up to 7 led gauges off it ,only problem is my EGT gauge runs 22g (supplied in the harness) wire and my temp and boost run the thinnest wire I could find in town but not the same and is dimmer then the EGT when lit up . ive got to change me wiring to the thinner and it'll level out
 
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