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Backlit intrument pannel

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Old 05-16-2014, 01:26 PM
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vasek
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Default Backlit intrument pannel

Is there any way to make a backlit instrument panel with a standard kit ?

Not looking for perfect, just a simple effect. Thanks
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:41 PM
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samparfitt
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On my Z P-61, I put an LED behind the radar screen.



I put red LED's on my yellow AT-6.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:01 PM
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rravetrainshop
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I am working on a Z stuka and I have used fiber optic line in separate bundles capped with different colors of gel ( used for stage lighting ) terminating in a small foil lined tube with 1 - 12 volt super bright white 1/8 square led chip and it lights my circuit panel, rear radios , bomb sight ,and instrument panel . so far
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:36 PM
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Chris Nicastro
 
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Yes, use light sheet. Its a flourescent sheet like card stock but it lights up. You can cut it to shape as well. Use a red or light green transparent sheet to change the color of the intruments.

Formation Lighting made easy
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Nicastro View Post
Yes, use light sheet. Its a flourescent sheet like card stock but it lights up. You can cut it to shape as well. Use a red or light green transparent sheet to change the color of the intruments.

Formation Lighting made easy
Very interesting idea, can you provide more info please? I googled it and it looks like if illuminated from the side it will glow, did I understand it correctly?
The pics show what I'm working with (not yet assembled ). Do I have to re-print the clocks on the new fluo sheet or can I just put it on top existing (opaque) prints and illuminate from the side ?(that would be cool and easy )
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:48 PM
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This is a light in the form of a sheet so you could put the printed instruments over it and the parts that are white will glow. You can cut it to a flat shape as long as the plug pins are intact.
Look up Miller Engineering for the light sheet sets.

If your using individual lenses on each instrument then maybe side lighting the lense will produce a good effect with LED's. Usually just the edge will light up better than the face unless the face has engraved details.

For me depending on how big this panel is I like the look of incandescent grain of weat or grain of rice 1.2V light bulbs. The warm light is better looking than the bright white LED.

What plane is this intrument panel for?
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:35 PM
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It's for a 1/5 Corsair. I took a hard look at instruments and since they're individual parts already enclosed in a "bezel" I could not light it from the side, plus the clocks look real nice as is and they show well in the ambient light. Probably the best option would be to illuminate the panel from the cockpit side so it shows a bit more, sort of like the "theatrical lighting" that is used in movies for an inside of a car to see the actors better.

I noticed there seems to be a light source in the real thing to illuminate the panel (see arrow in the second pic), that inspired me. I'll go with that option then.
Thank you for your insight. Now that I know it exists, maybe I'll use the fluo sheet in another project .
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:05 AM
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There is an interesting fact/trivia that many of the WWII military A/C used indirect red lighting that can be simulated by using a high power LED and, depending on the scale, miniature housings or fiber optics and housings. The light sources were often mounted so that they lighted the panel from the side and above, along with individual instrument "hood" lights. Some aircraft had both red and white lighting.
The instrument dial markings were generally made with radioactive paint, and many were hand painted. The painters were often women, and the practice of pointing the brushes by licking eventually resulted in a very high incidence of cancer.

The white lighting was generally not used at night. When flying in weather, by instruments, the white lights were preferred, in order to "wash out" lightening flashes. Back in the 70's I remember flying from the US to Quebec at night, in instrument conditions. The planes strobe lights were reflecting from the clouds, to the point that we had to either turn them off, or go to full white cabin and instrument lights. The flashing strobes were driving us crazy. Outside of the terminal areas, we turned the white strobes off.

One post WWII Ford sedan had driver selectable red, white, or Ford's blue/green? instrument lights. The red worked really well on the dark two lane blacktop roads of the time. Even now, some A/C have both on panel and projection instrument lighting if the A/C has conventional instruments. The projectors often have selectable red and white colors.

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Old 05-18-2014, 02:02 AM
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Interesting stuff Chuck, thanks.
You mentioned Quebec, I've spend 35 y there after the russians invaded my country.... nice place.

Cheers,V.
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Old 05-18-2014, 04:25 PM
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Thats true there are positionable lights on mounts like flash lights mounted in the cockpit. As you said you could make them work and shine on the panel for good effect. Again here I would use the incandescent light bulbs instead of LED so the light effect looks nice.
Good luck and post photos!
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:45 AM
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Update. The progress is slow, as the pilot refuses to take his gear off for some reason. Plus he wants to install his 6 o'clock protection before starting on the instrument panel... oh well
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:47 AM
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I have seen guys paint monofilament fishing line black, then heat shrink an LED to one end and mount the open end to the swtich, dash, etc. The light goes through the line like poor mans fiber optic.
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