DIY Compartment Lighting (lots of pics)

Jim_R

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I didn't want to clog up the Perimeter Lighting thread, so created this related topic. This will start out as a DYI on cutting and wiring smaller individual lights from an LED strip, then (once it stops snowing and acting more like spring outside here) cover install of the individual light strips into storage areas on my 2275 RL. While I am using waterproof 3528 single color LED strips, the cutting and wiring concepts extend to RGB strips using different components as well.

Here's a pic comparing an RGB strip using 5050 single chip components (top), and a single color 3528 strip (bottom).

2013-03-17_20-00-20_983_zpsf8200ec6.jpg


The 5050 RGB strip has a cut line drawn though the copper contacts, the 3528 strip, not so much, but the contacts are visable enough. Each strip has a cut area every two inches allowing for smaller strip segments to be created. When cutting the 3528 strip, I found it easiest to cut at the farthest most right edge of the copper contacts, making sure to leave some space before the black resistor. BTW - the black resistor is on the negative trace, knowing this helps keep +/- connections straight. The waterproof strips pictured are coated with silicone, but can be cut fairly easily with a razor knife. The tool below, which I found at Home Depot cuts them like butter.

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Once the strip section is cut to the desired length, with waterproof strips, the silicone covering must removed from the copper contacts.

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Next, we want to add a blob of solder to each copper contact. I used a relatively low power soldering iron (25W) and rosin core solder. (I am by no means a soldering guru - this is pretty easy stuff.)

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Next tin the stranded wires you wish to use. I stayed with red +/ black - conventions, and created 3" leads.

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Next apply solder to the wire leads tinning them.

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See? Told ya I was no soldering guru. Next, using my conventions heat the tinned end of the black wire lead with the soldering iron for about 3 seconds, place against the glob of solder on the strips copper contact and apply additional heat if necessary to solder the lead to the pad. Repeat for the red/+ side.

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My next steps are to test the connectivity of the new connections, I used a 12V laptop power supply where the inside of the barrrel connector was positive and the outside negative.

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With connectivity verified, I go on to shrinkwrap, retest, then seal the cut end and wire ends with seal-all. Probably overkill. For me the end result was this:\

2013-03-18_10-23-04_232_zps309d192e.jpg


More to come with spring thaw...
 
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Floatin' Stones II

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Awesome and great timing for your post.

I was just thinking about doing this project on my new 2013 2275GS !

I will use this info to engineer my project.

Thanks Jim R

Lloyd
 

cwag911

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Nice work Jim.
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Very nice......you have lots more patience than I do ......
 

BulldogsCadillac

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Awesome write up Jim! Can't wait to see the rest! A little tip if I may for tinning, I find it far easier to lay the soldering iron on the table(or a tinning stand if you have one) , then just hold the wire in your hand, rub the wire tip a couple times on the iron, a dab of solder and then just slide the wire off the end. Usually stops from getting the extra blob of solder. Just how I was taught seems to work. Your write up makes me think I should do this too!! THANKS A LOT!! More work for me now!! Haha
 

Jim_R

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Thanks all! A word of warning, this stuff can be addicting. Rather than relax after parsing my 3528 single collor strand, I cut into my RGB 5050 strand. Same principles apply, the copper connectors are just a little tighter.

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Also I didn't have large enough heat shrink on hand, so it's just siliconed for now. Another difference with the RGB is that the black wire ends up being hot. So to test the RGB strip segment, black connects to positive and one or more of the RGB leads are connected to the negative outside of the barrrel connector.

2013-03-18_18-14-10_592_zpsfd8d9947.jpg
 
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kaydano

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You should get an award for that post... Nice job!
 

BulldogsCadillac

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Very impressive!
 

Jim_R

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I don't know that the cooler is technically a 'compartment,' but then again I don't know that it is not either. I do know that it is the only compartment I have access to at the moment, and was on the list for some lighting so thought I'd share.

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This is as close as it gets to a 5 minute upgrade. I used a very short LED module string comprised of these guys:

led-module-string-lbm-x2-closeup.jpg


They are 12V DC, come in strips, are available in many different colors, and are rated waterproof/ immersible. I used a strip of three, and applied them using the 3M foam tape that was already on the back of each module.

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I drilled a hole in the side of the cooler to run the cord out, and used a female barrel connector to receive a connection to power.

2013-03-29_11-55-10_670_zps4003a17d.jpg


It's home is inside the Bennington Coffee Table, which will receive additional attention.
 
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Jim_R

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Ok, win some lose some. All I know is that if the cooler is full of varied beers, it helps to have a 'lite'. :p
 

Jim_R

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Here's the changing room area lit up with 6 compartment lights. The pic was taken after dark with no flash - in real life the light is softer.

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I used an automotive pin switch triggered by tilting open/closed the lounge 'lid' to control the lights.

The rest of the compartment lights in under seat storage areas, under helm, and in mini-galley will be controlled by a switch at the helm. I'll post a few more pics once they are wired up.
 

cwag911

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Very impressive Jim, nice job. :rolleyes:
 

Link

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That is impressive Jim, wouldn't mind that setup myself
 

BulldogsCadillac

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Very nice Jim!!!
 

mtudb24

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Beautiful. I'm an automotive wiring engineer and find no fault with what you have done :)

Todd
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Very cool ... Where are you purchasing the components you are using ?
 

kaydano

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I really like the changing room lights idea. Very practical. Looks great!
 

Jim_R

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Thanks all! And cwag, I forgive you for the eye roll, believe it or not I understand!

Very cool ... Where are you purchasing the components you are using ?
The white waterproof 3528 300 LED strip can be purchased here for $9.99 (it went down 3 bucks since my purchase):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083EENLC/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I am really impressed with the 3M adhesive on the back of these strips, they are adhering very well to the polypropylene in seating compartments, as well as to the aluminum tubing with hardly any surface prep - just a wipe down with isopropyl alcohol. Still wait and see on the fiberglass areas under the helm, I suspect help will be needed there.

The rest is just solder, a tube of Seal-All, and wire. I prefer to buy the marine rated wire I use at genuinedealz.com.

Adding in wire, crimp connectors, seal-all, zip ties, inline fuse etc., I believe total cost to illuminate all compartments on a 2275RL is less than $40. Would have been less still if I didn't go with a pin switch.
 
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cwag911

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It actually wasn't an eye roll, it was just looking up and I am impressed.
 
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