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Indicator warning light fault

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Zelandeth View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Aug 11 at 21:48

Fault which cropped up a month or so back on my van.

Indicators work as expected, all of them (the on part of the flash is slightly longer when the hazards are on than the normal indicators - is that normal?), however the indicator...well...indicator in the instrument binnacle is as dead as a dodo.  Same whether using the indicators of the hazards, though the flasher in the hazard switch works as expected.


All other warning lights, panel illumination and the fuel gauge work normally.  I'm currently pointing an accusing finger at the flexible PCB behind the binnacle.  Before I go and start dismantling the instrument panel though, especially given how brittle the plastic seems to be, are there any other likely culprits I should investigate?


Not too worried about repairing the PCB if I have to (I restore old TVs and radios, so am no stranger to a soldering iron and dodgy PCBs), just figured I'd ask here first.

Current fleet: 1980 VW T3 1.6 CT Camper Van. 1994 Suzuki Cappuccino. 2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big red bus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 11 at 08:53
indicator tell tale led knackered?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zelandeth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 11 at 18:19

Possible I guess...LEDs are generally pretty reliable bits of kit though!  I'll have to take the binnacle apart to check the flexible PCB anyway, so will check that at the same time.  Reliable or not, I guess they are 31 years old now!  

I figure the problem is most likely within the instrument panel, just thought I'd check if there was any common culprit that anyone else was aware of before I started taking things apart.

Have a pile of LEDs rattling around in a box here, so sourcing a replacement shouldn't be a problem if it does turn out to be faulty.



Edited by Zelandeth - 23 Aug 11 at 19:04
Current fleet: 1980 VW T3 1.6 CT Camper Van. 1994 Suzuki Cappuccino. 2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big red bus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 11 at 00:01
know what your saying about LED's but they are old now and they seem to eat alot of the main beam ones
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zelandeth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 11 at 18:20

Just to close this off, I eventually got around to investigating this.


Turns out the LED was indeed the culprit, showing as completely open circuit on my diode tester.  New LED in and it's working perfectly again.

Though it does mean that my indicator LED is ten times brighter than the other three, even though I picked the most innocuous and normal one I could find!

Current fleet: 1980 VW T3 1.6 CT Camper Van. 1994 Suzuki Cappuccino. 2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chris7ian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 11 at 22:39
Originally posted by Big red bus Big red bus wrote:

know what your saying about LED's but they are old now and they seem to eat alot of the main beam ones


The main beam idiot lamp isn't an LED, just a regular filament bulb Wink (useable) Blue LEDs only came about in the last 10 years or so...
...which reminds me, I must replace the main beam bulb in my bus Ermm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Allanw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 11 at 00:07
If you want to fit an LED as a main beam, you'll want a big resistor for it. I fitted an orange LED for the mains, haven't got a blue one at work I can "borrow".

I did fit new LEDs for the other warning lights.... Super bright ones... no chance of missing them in the day, and at night they light up the entire vanLOL




Edited by Allanw - 13 Oct 11 at 00:08
Allan :-)

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Duct Tape can't fix stupid, but it can MUFFLE the sound.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zelandeth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 11 at 08:26

Main beam in my van is an LED.  Think they switched over to incandescent lamps for that after a few years, probably because the red LED for main beam confused people who expected it to be blue.

Excuse the filthy dashboard there - this was one of the photos from before I picked the van up, so it hadn't been cleaned yet!

The very first blue LEDs appeared around 1990 if I remember correctly based on a silicon carbide chemistry.  Being both very dim and very expensive they failed to capture anyones imagination and promptly disappeared into obscurity.  These were generally quite a pale blue colour based on the examples I've seen.  It wasn't until the late 1990s when blue LEDs based on the indium gallium nitride chemistry we're using today that the eye-catching deep blue colour quite unlike any other artificial light source we're used to today appeared.  Between the colour and luminous intensity which can burn holes in your retinas from two hundred paces, these spread like wildfire and now no piece of tech is complete without a blue LED in it.  Even our kettle has one...



Edited by Zelandeth - 13 Oct 11 at 08:44
Current fleet: 1980 VW T3 1.6 CT Camper Van. 1994 Suzuki Cappuccino. 2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.
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