LEDs Advice for the 159 - Page 13 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #301 of 821 Old 04-02-12 Thread Starter
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Ok, based on what V suggested I have knocked up the wiring diagram and parts list that you would need to easily load resist the whole rear end of the 159/brera. This method will not involve altering the existing wiring in any way and will instead act like an extension block between the original electrical block of the light unit and the light unit itself, and as such, will be easy to add/remove.

I will be making up a full set once a couple parts arrive in the next few days and will post the pics etc on here when done.

By doing this we are able to use ANY type of LED bulb available on ebay without it causing an issue to our cars which makes the cost of bulbs very cheap (some are only a few pence each) and also allows the use of the new high powered CREE type LEDs which is what I am intending to use in other areas of the vehicle. It will also ensure that the indicators remain properly functioning and don't "flash fast" as the load will be near the original spec the relay was expecting.

Once its all done and tested I may consider making these packs to order for a small "admin fee" if anyone is interested in the results but doesn't have the soldering skills.

Here is the diagram for anyone that wants to make there own:


2008 159 TI 2.4 JTDM QTRONIC
My Car Details______http://www.jabawoki.com/2014/07/07/alfa-159-ti/
Project Halo Wiki____https://projects.jabawoki.com/index.php/Project_Halo_UK
Project Halo Page____https://www.facebook.com/ProjectHaloUK

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I'd like to thank you all for your hard work sorting out which LEDs to use
I got my 159 on tuesday, it was delivered with a duff number plate bulb so I changed them this morning!
I'll do the rest bit by bit.

Jay just out of interest to the CREE LEDs on ebay are they CANBUS friendly or not?

I've got my on these for fogs and reversing:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/120845224415

or

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/120845224415

Would they throw CANBUS errors?
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outofspace, welcome to the exclusive 159 LE owners club!

Lovely car isn't it. Picked mine up on Friday last week.
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It's my first Alfa, I've always loved the 159 and the LE is gorgeous!!
The wheels make the car!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofspace View Post
I'd like to thank you all for your hard work sorting out which LEDs to use
I got my 159 on tuesday, it was delivered with a duff number plate bulb so I changed them this morning!
I'll do the rest bit by bit.

Jay just out of interest to the CREE LEDs on ebay are they CANBUS friendly or not?

I've got my on these for fogs and reversing:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/120845224415

or

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/120845224415

Would they throw CANBUS errors?
These are the ones Variator has installed and also the type I am looking at for the fog/reverse and indicators.

They will definitely cause canbus errors as Variator has seen. You will therefore need to add load resistors as per my prior post to use them. That said, they look like the best option for indicators, fog & reverse we have seen.

As a point of note, I had some "Canbus" LEDs i my stop / tail for a while and after a couple of months started to get canbus errors so resistors are the best way forward which is why I am making some in-line easy to install resistor packs for mine.

Welcome to the AO club and 159 ownership!
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Nice work again JJ!


Just to clarify on the units I installed, they don't produce any canbus errors in the 166 when in the reverse lights, either on or off and didn't produce any error in the rear fogs until I switched them on. But as JJ notes, and I've read elsewhere, it's not uncommon for canbus LED units to trip the warning over time.

The ebay seller I used (linked in my earlier post) is UK based and was very helpful. I've already asked him to try to source red and amber 1156's (for the rear fogs and front indicators) as well as red 1157's for the rear tail and brake light.

I'm going to try the units below as a replacement for the 5w R5W's in the tail light, as they should be less bright than either a filament P21W or the Cree units. I've already purchased H6W (side lights) LED replacements from this company as well as HB3 (full beam) and H7 (dipped beam) HID kits, all of which are going onto front of the car (hopefully this weekend). Again, they're a UK based seller who was very helpful.

Canbus 27 SMD LED BA15s 1156 382 RED Stop or Tail bulbs

After that, I have LED reg. plate units ordered and just then need to find a suitable LED for the site indicators and if needed a suitable relay to manage the lower resistances.

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Originally Posted by Variator View Post
Just to clarify on the units I installed, they don't produce any canbus errors in the 166 when in the reverse lights, either on or off and didn't produce any error in the rear fogs until I switched them on. But as JJ notes, and I've read elsewhere, it's not uncommon for canbus LED units to trip the warning over time.
I think this is most likely due to the fact that there is no can-bus bulb check on the reversing light V. The fact that as soon as you power on the fog you get an error shows that there is a check on that circuit when engaged and that the CREE 5w type bulbs fail the check.

Dont buy those LEDS V, I just pulled a set out of mine that failed in less that 6 months. the canbus errors started last week. Go with the high power LED ones I just put in mine or stick to the CREE 5w type as they are much better efficiency and less prone to failure.

You will of course need to "resist!" the load to prevent canbus issues.
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Next Job = High Level Brake Light LED conversion

...watch this space - parts on order.
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For those of us who are not very electrical/technically minded with these things, how easy is it to put a 'resistor' on these things? As previously stated, I've got a canbus error now on one of my front LED's.....
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For those of us who are not very electrical/technically minded with these things, how easy is it to put a 'resistor' on these things? As previously stated, I've got a canbus error now on one of my front LED's.....
Its just a case of scotch blocking it to the positive and negative feeds to the bulb like a short circuit - very simple. you can buy the resistors made up on ebay ready to go. you want 50 watt 10 Ohm wirewound ones. They are gold in colour and about 4 inches long, you cant miss them!
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Next Job = High Level Brake Light LED conversion

...watch this space - parts on order.
The high level brake light is already LED...
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The high level brake light is already LED...
I can assure you it is not.
Attachment 134674
You can clearly see (and proved on the bench) that these are small bulbs:
Attachment 134675


Enter the Next generation of brake light!

How To will follow when my high power LEDs arrive from China, meanwhile here is the bench test mockup:

When you press the Brake Pedal the unit illuminates as normal for up to 3 seconds so normal use / short presses etc all appear as normal, but if you keep your foot on the brake for more than 3 seconds, it gets a little funky
+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JabawokJayUK View Post
I can assure you it is not.
Attachment 134674
You can clearly see (and proved on the bench) that these are small bulbs:
Attachment 134675


Enter the Next generation of brake light!

How To will follow when my high power LEDs arrive from China, meanwhile here is the bench test mockup:

When you press the Brake Pedal the unit illuminates as normal for up to 3 seconds so normal use / short presses etc all appear as normal, but if you keep your foot on the brake for more than 3 seconds, it gets a little funky
+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
I'll start calling you michael knight if you fit one of those
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I can assure you it is not.
The high level brakelight in the GT is, so I presumed that Alfa carried it on to 159s.
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Looks like there is just a simple bus bar to power the bulbs.
I think it would be very easy for me to design a PCB to accomodate the LED's and possibly the electronics.
 
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Originally Posted by rjc_147 View Post
Looks like there is just a simple bus bar to power the bulbs.
I think it would be very easy for me to design a PCB to accomodate the LED's and possibly the electronics.
Its even better than that....

The bus bar section actually unclips and leaves you with the front reflector housing. The holes for the bulbs are, wait for it, 5mm so take a LED perfect

Plan A:

1) Insert 10 x High Powered (0.5w) RED LEDs (currently winging their way from Hong Kong) & hot glue them into place to stop them moving around.
2) Wire them back to a small perf board holding an ATMega328 MCU, Timing Crystal, 5v Voltage Reg Circuit & associated resistors etc. (est size 50mm x 10mm x 5mm)
3) Locate the perf board in the brake light housing given the space gained by removing the old bulb unit.
4) Connect to +12v & Negative of brake feed

Total cost < £15



All I am waiting for now is the new LED's to arrive + some ancillary components.

Plan B:

Just wire all 10 LEDs to come on as normal and stop being a small child...

... however, I always did want to drive Kit.
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Just an idea , if you are going to use a micro controller such as the ATMega328, then why don't you add an accelerometer to your circuit so that it can detect harsh braking and make the LED's flash quickly. The threshold can be set easily in software and to keep the cost down use an accelerometer that senses in one direction (forward) only.
 
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I had considered that, but the 159 already does this on the indicator circuit so decided against it as it would take a lot of effort to sync the two separate circuits and the indicator one already bugs me to death the way I drive piling up to a roundabout on the A1 with you hazards on isn't ideal.

I have hit a speed limitation with doing PWM in software on my current circuit so have some shift registers on the way so I can move the PWM back to hardware. I wanted to change the basic functions to be a little more interesting i.e.

When you press the brake pedal you get a full 100% brightness for 1 second, then it slow fades to 70% and back to 100% over a 1 second period (to simulate a slow light pulse) and cycles for 5 more seconds, before becoming a cylon for the remainder of the time. This way you have a much more subtle effect for 90% of your driving experience, but if you end up long braking from high speed on a motorway you get a cylon which will aid in visibility.
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For those interested, I have mocked up the brake light further by using the actual brake light housing. I am still waiting for better LEDs and other components but the features are about how I want them now:

Press Brake Pedal = instant on, followed by slow pulse for 10 seconds then cylon:
+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
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Very clever.

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No matter how good they look (I like btw), I don't know how the rozzers will feel about flashing/pulsating brake lights?
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No matter how good they look (I like btw), I don't know how the rozzers will feel about flashing/pulsating brake lights?
don't worry, the final fit will include a bypass switch for "on road use" to make them street legal when needed and the pulse is very discrete, it just looks flickery in the video due to frame rate and the current speed of the PWM.
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Something new just arrived and it nearly cost me a full "bumpers off" episode!

New Side Lights T10 / W5W type, none canbus, with High Powered LED's, cheap @ £3.69 for the pair, (took ages to arrive) but seemingly promising given the power rating and design:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1906229965...#ht_2802wt_979

Bench Tested...
  1. They are bright!!! very bright!
  2. They have a 0.06mA load
  3. You need to add a 150 Ohm resistor to make them canbus friendly
  4. Same approach as the 24 LED Sides, just press it in the holder or solder in place. Only a few pence each from Maplin
  5. Colour temp is bang on at 6K - Perfect HID match

So on to the car for a quick 5 minute swap out of the 8LED ones for these, or so I thought. These units are the same diameter as the hole and were tight going in like the 24's but unlike the 24's you cant file them down as its all metal. After 20 minutes of pushing and twisiting it was jammed tight, half way in! on the plus side they are bright as you like and even with only half of the leds in it was twice the brightness of teh 8LEDs, but they dont fit, period. so it was another 45 minutes with a pair of plyers and various expleteives before I eventually got the thing back out!

So close, but no cigar...
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Cylon brake light on your Alfa, sir? You'll be wanting one of these then to go with it.

Alfa Romeo Bertone Pandion Concept Commercial - YouTube

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Must have.....
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