View Full Version : Quasi-Stealth Shift Light

01-15-2007, 11:54 PM
so i decided that i wanted a shift light. i didn't want to get one of those big tachs with the light attached to it, as my stock tach works perfectly fine (for me). and i didn't want to get one of the lights you mount on the dash or steering column because, well, i didn't want a big light there. so after some thinking, i decided to mod my stock tach.

here are some images...

this is an image of the LED, located right above the "RPM x 1000" text:

this is another image of the LED, but closer:

yet another of the LED, close up:

here the light is actually on, and the camera has the flash on:

active LED, no flash on the camera this time:

LED on, no camera flash, driver's view:

shot of the Autometer RPM module, activates the LED - lol, not my toes :) :

another shot of the Autometer RPM module:

so, the Autometer RPM module is meant to be used with an Autometer shift light, but as i said earlier, i didn't want the big light. so i used a 3mm white LED that i had lying around from all the computer crap i do. i got another tach off eBay, drilled the hole in it, installed the LED with a retainer (you can see it in the close-ups), used a 3-pin computer fan connector (like what attaches to the motherboard headers) with only 2 connectors in, and basically slid it on to the LED. so it's removable if i ever want to change out the LED. i used white because i didn't have any other "white" lights in the car so i wouldn't confuse the shift light with anything else. but i could have used purple, blue, red, green, amber and i even think there's a pink LED (not that i would use that one, listed for the sake of example :) ). the RPM module has a "special" connector that hooks up to the shift light. it's got two male posts, much like what you would find on molex-type computer connections (like on a hard drive, for example). in fact, exactly like the molex connectors... i took a female molex connector (like what comes on power supplies), cut it in half keeping two of the female posts and wires, then shapped it a little (not much at all) to fit the RPM module connector. i wired two 100 Ohm resistors up to the LED, and then put my RPM "pill" into the module (the yellow thing on top of the black box in the last two pictures - the black box is the module). the light is very bright during the day, i can easily see it without looking down. at night it's even more obvious.

so in the end, it works really well, and really isn't noticeable until it comes on. maybe eventually i will stick larger resistors in there to cut back a little more on the brightness (it's really just a little too bright at night), but it only comes on when i get the RPMs up there. most of my driving is done below this RPM so it really isn't in issue. which means i probably won't touch it unless it breaks...

so there you have a quasi-stealth shift light that works great, and because it's an LED, it'll probably last longer than me...

01-16-2007, 12:39 AM
Nice work, looks good.

01-16-2007, 05:47 AM
Good work, looks real nice. :thumb: