**** And we are live! http://jeep-core.com/
Okay guys, as promised, here are a few pics of how I made and installed my lighted LED cupholder rings. Had I known the response would have been so positive I would have documented things a little better. I think you'll get the gist of things though.
I'll start by saying that this isn't exactly easy to replicate unless you have access to a CNC. I build small form factor computers as a hobby, and I make frequent use of the CNC for those projects. I've only now started playing with it on other projects. It's small, but more than adequate for the work I typically do.
I took a few measurements and came up with a simple design in CAD. I converted the design for milling and pulled out some 5mm acrylic I had left over from a previous project.
I clamped it to the CNC and let her rip.
A few minutes later I was left with a small disk with a recessed pocket.
With the backing peeled...
I used Little Dot SMD LED Accent Lights
. They are pretty cheap, and already have the resisters built in, along with substantially long lead wires. They fit perfectly in the smaller pocket I milled in the disk. In this pic you can also see I lightly sanded the surface of the acrylic disk. I did this to help diffuse the lighting a bit.
Although I didn't get a picture of the disk insert being made, it's simply a piece of 1mm PVC sheet. The tolerances are very tight, but the insert just presses in place. Once there, it's not ever going to fall out on it's own. In fact, I had tap on it a bit with a rubber mallet to get it seated.
A test lighting... and success!
I basically repeated the same process above for the second cupholder with a slightly larger ring, since they aren't the same size.
Now, in order to get them seated in the cup holder, I had to do a little trimming of the rubber. Using a very sharp x-acto knife, I just made the bottom openings a little taller. I really only needed to take a few mm out.
Lastly was the wiring. I only wanted them lit up when the headlights were on, so I tapped into the closet light wiring I could find. It happened to be the wire running over to the FWD Low indicator. A minute with the multimeter and I found the wires I needed. Right on one side of the plug. Black - and orange +. I tapped in and was good to go.
As far as wire routing went, I just ran a wire to the left and right of where the rubber on the front of the cupholder 'snaps' into place. I didn't have any at the time, but I'll likely go back in and add a simple plug to disconnect the wiring should servicing of some kind be needed.
Overall I'm pretty happy with them, although I'm going to try and tone down the boldness of the green to match my instruments. I've ordered some white LED's and some colored filters to attempt this. I also ordered a simple PWM dimmer to play with. Either might get me the results I was looking for.
Now, some of you have expressed interest in me having a few of these fabbed up. I'd be happy to do that. I'd need to get some more materials and LED's. Just let me know!
**** Update! Check this post for the first color samples with a white LED and gel filter.
**** Update 2! Check this post for the second color samples with colored LED's.
**** Update 3! Check this thread for an informal poll on colors.
**** Update 4! Check this thread for information regarding the switch to RBG LED's with a controller.
**** Update 5! And we are live! http://jeep-core.com/