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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 10-08-2011, 07:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: Converting a Needle Tach to LED

Hmm, well I just looked on Radioshack. I take it this is the one you used?
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2102850
I would be VERY wary using any of their LED's mate. Reading the feedback on several of the LED's there is a lot of reports of failure. Of course this could just be the fact that the people using them are morons.
Anyway, I found this as part of a review for the LED above:

Quote:
"These results suggest that Vf (forward voltage) of this LED is roughly 3.5 Volts, which is typical for a blue LED, not 5 Volts as indicated on the package."
Personally I would not base the calculations on 5v & 30ma. The problem is that we are basing calculations of using a 12v source, but in all reality when the bike is running we see voltages higher than that, generally over 14V....
Their own 2800mcd LED uses specs of 3.7 & 20ma.
As a safety net I would go with 3.5v and 20ma. This gives a resistor value of 470 ohms. This is the resistor I am currently using to drive the LED's I have and they are working fine.
In the end it's up to you what you do. Me, I would probably find somewhere else to purchase LED's...

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 10-08-2011, 08:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: Converting a Needle Tach to LED

great info. thanks so much man. yeah, unfortunately here in the land of the big box stores, that's prolly the best option i have with radio shack. right now, anyway. this is really my first hobby where i've been so inclined to even bother with electronics. i wouldn't even know where to go for these things other than radio shack. but i hear ya on the blue one. wouldn't hurt to test it with bigger resistors until the thing lights up, right?

another question is how do you know which end is positive, and which is negative on these things? i've heard direction is important for LEDs.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 10-08-2011, 08:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Converting a Needle Tach to LED

Very good question bud. The +ve side of the led is called the anode and the -ve side the cathode.
The +ve side is USUALLY identified as having a longer leg, the -ve side has a shorter leg and a flat part on the body of the LED. This is not always the case though!!!
Here is a diagram.
http://www.fiberopticproducts.com/Led.ht14.gif
The +ve side can be identified by the smaller smaller post inside the body of the LED, and the -ve post is larger.
It does not matter which side the resistor is placed on, I usually place it on the +ve side to make it easier to connect multiple LED's to power...

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Originally Posted by jaybuilt
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 10-08-2011, 09:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: Converting a Needle Tach to LED

Fuck Radio Shack. For the price of one (insert electronics component here) at Radio shack and the gas to drive there, you can get 100 in your mailbox from ebay.

BTW, for a few cents you can put a voltage regulator in the circuit to make sure your LEDs don't get more than 12V. I wouldn't worry about that too much for a tach, but it's a good idea for diy tail lights and stuff where you have a lot of LEDs close together that will be on constantly. LEDs don't respond to voltage increases in a linear fashion, a little extra voltage can mean a lot of extra heat and dead LEDs.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 10-08-2011, 10:44 PM   #15
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Default Re: Converting a Needle Tach to LED

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaos View Post
Very good question bud. The +ve side of the led is called the anode and the -ve side the cathode.
The +ve side is USUALLY identified as having a longer leg, the -ve side has a shorter leg and a flat part on the body of the LED. This is not always the case though!!!
Here is a diagram.
http://www.fiberopticproducts.com/Led.ht14.gif
The +ve side can be identified by the smaller smaller post inside the body of the LED, and the -ve post is larger.
It does not matter which side the resistor is placed on, I usually place it on the +ve side to make it easier to connect multiple LED's to power...
Sweet, thx for the link. that clears that up. coincidentally, the longer is + on these, so at least they got that right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedEye669 View Post
Fuck Radio Shack. For the price of one (insert electronics component here) at Radio shack and the gas to drive there, you can get 100 in your mailbox from ebay.

BTW, for a few cents you can put a voltage regulator in the circuit to make sure your LEDs don't get more than 12V. I wouldn't worry about that too much for a tach, but it's a good idea for diy tail lights and stuff where you have a lot of LEDs close together that will be on constantly. LEDs don't respond to voltage increases in a linear fashion, a little extra voltage can mean a lot of extra heat and dead LEDs.
i hear ya on that. i'm all about saving a buck, but being this is my first dip into the realm of electronics, i wanted some more hands-on than point n click. but once i edumicate myself more on the subject, i have no doubt i'll be doing just that. i'm the type that once i get one project to work, i'll be so jazzed that i'll be hooking these things up to my horn and shit.
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