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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:48 am
Posts: 110
This is one of those experiments that has been going on for a few months. I have converted to LED headlights and the instrument lights are LED, so was going to update the blinkers, stop and taillights to LED. I ordered some globes online for the front blinkers which are the two-contact variety. The parking lights and blinkers are of course, the same globe.

At first, I could not get the blinkers to work. Put it aside and thought I will come back later. I had read that you need a ballast on blinkers as the flasher can needs resistance and LED has virtually no resistance. Got a ballast and a few weeks later tried again. No success. Put it aside and forgot about it until recently.

About a month ago I built myself a 12v power supply. Basically a small battery you would use in a house alarm system, and a couple of terminals in a wooden box. I also put in a switch so that I could control power when I needed it. The impetus was chasing lights not working on a box trailer but I thought it will be useful for bench testing lots of components.

I tried out the globes I had purchased online this week when I came across the ice-cream container with the bits from the last time I had played with it. To my surprise, one contact worked fine, and the second caused a flashing LED. Evidently, when I was not looking, some cars have dispensed with the flasher can and just provide a constant current to the globe which flashes on its own.

I thought "I can bypass the flasher!" but then it occurred to me:
- The rear blinker is a single contact globe so I would have to buy a single flashing globe
- What do I do with the dashboard indicator globe? It will be on permanently when the blinkers are on.

Back to eBay. Today I ordered more globes which should have two contacts which are both on all the time. I will keep you up to date on progress. Has anyone else been down this path?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:48 am
Posts: 110
During the wait for the new globes to arrive, I found some other double contact LED globes in a box in the garage. Great. They didn't work. After fiddling around testing them, it turned out they were for a positive earth car. LED globes are polarity dependant and these are useless as I converted to negative earth when I put in an alternator.

So the globes finally arrived. Put them in a front parking/blinker socket to try them out. Blinker is fine, but parkers don't work. I thought it might be a poor earth for the globe as the globe holders are probably original and a bit tarnished. I had a small rotary tool so went to work to clean up the metal inside the holder using a small grinding attachment. Still no success. Tried the other front blinker with the LED globe and it worked fine but the same issue with the parking light. The funny thing is that in both cases, if I turned on the parkers, then put the globe in, it initially went on when I made contact, then went off when I pushed it in and twisted.

Repeated the exercise on one of the rear stop/parking lights and had the same issue. Stoplight works but parkers don't. Again the parker comes on when it is first inserted, but goes out when you push and twist.

I checked the location of the contacts in relation to the pins on both the LED and normal globes and they are the same. Bench tested the LED globes and both lights work. I am completely at a loss to work out what is going on. Guess I will do some head-scratching and wait for a bolt of lightning to reveal the answer.


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