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Discussion Starter #41
So back to the questions about changing out the LED's in the AC control unit. Has anyone successfully changed the center light color that illuminated when pressed on these? So the AC, recirculater or rear window?
Mine are still orange, and ive gone through a lot to change everything else over to purple. Havent been able to find info on these, and not quite daring enough to just try something out. lol
Wow, I never considered replacing them. Interesting thought.
 

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So back to the questions about changing out the LED's in the AC control unit. Has anyone successfully changed the center light color that illuminated when pressed on these? So the AC, recirculater or rear window?
Mine are still orange, and ive gone through a lot to change everything else over to purple. Havent been able to find info on these, and not quite daring enough to just try something out. lol
Well, first I'd would hesitate to change these if I were you. They are indicator lights after all, not backlights. If you make them purple, there's no contrast with the other backlights.

Having said that, I would assume they are probably surface mount LEDs as well, mounted on the front of the A/C controller PCB (Note: I've never had the PCB out to validate that assumption, though). If you look here, you'll see teardown pics of the controller, but you'll have to pull apart your dash to get the controller out first. Fun, fun, fun! Dove into the dashboard... pics and info inside
 

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Well, first I'd would hesitate to change these if I were you. They are indicator lights after all, not backlights. If you make them purple, there's no contrast with the other backlights.

Having said that, I would assume they are probably surface mount LEDs as well, mounted on the front of the A/C controller PCB (Note: I've never had the PCB out to validate that assumption, though). If you look here, you'll see teardown pics of the controller, but you'll have to pull apart your dash to get the controller out first. Fun, fun, fun! Dove into the dashboard... pics and info inside
So im not worried about contrast, considering that they are orange in the sky and the stock backlight color was also orange. Not much of a difference changing both to purple.
And yes, ive had it all apart before, they do appear to be surface mount LED's. The issue is...OMG are they small!!!
I have very tiny led's that ive put in my window controllers and my guages, but if im looking at them correctly, these take the cake. I have no idea where to get any that i could comfortably solder onto that location. Was hoping someone knew of these being filtered too and not just orange lights, because id be happy to take a filter off and have them white.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Now that I am driving our Sky (post restoration), I am reminded how difficult it is to read anything on the radio in daylight. I really want a Solstice lens now, and I am contemplating replacing the LEDs to get the buttons lighting up white like the rest of my interior is now.
 

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Now that I am driving our Sky (post restoration), I am reminded how difficult it is to read anything on the radio in daylight. I really want a Solstice lens now, and I am contemplating replacing the LEDs to get the buttons lighting up white like the rest of my interior is now.
Unless your going for OEM originality why not just swap the HU to an aftermaket?
 

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Discussion Starter #48
I like the OEM look, but enhancing the OEM lighting would make it ideal. Aftermarket doesn't interest me.
 

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Now that I am driving our Sky (post restoration), I am reminded how difficult it is to read anything on the radio in daylight. I really want a Solstice lens now, and I am contemplating replacing the LEDs to get the buttons lighting up white like the rest of my interior is now.
The Solstice lens is still a filter and probably the same or even LESS bright than your's is now. The brightest ones are the ND filters that many GM cars use (like the Chevy Impala photo below), but then the display color is green. (Looks a bit blueish below, but I think that's a camera artifact):

 

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Discussion Starter #50 (Edited)
One thing I learned about the GM radio in discussion. Most display filter/lens are not compatible with the Sky radio. The round button in the upper left corner with the letter "i" is the indicator to watch for, though incompatibility is also present on the larger right-side radius.

On the "i" button....
Watch the difference in the radius.
Watch the variation of lens extending to the center-line of the "i".

Here is my Sky radio. Note how the lens falls shy of the center-line of the "i". Also note the radius.
113025
 

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Discussion Starter #54
To consolidate all my interior LED lighting efforts, I am including what I did related to the instrument panel LED lighting upgrade and gauge face replacement.

My 2007 Base gauges were very hard to read, day or night. I took a leap of faith and spent $165 on a custom-made IP face & LED back-lighting kit from Black Cat Custom.

Here is my original Base gauges with original lighting.
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Taken apart, I learned the light bulbs had yellow covers. Here are the differences concerning the covers.
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I found the lighting better without the covers, but still not bright enough nor the right color spectrum. Just as an experiment, here is my custom made BCC gauge face with the original bulbs, both yellow and clear. The clear was still yellow though not captured well in this picture.
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Here are the 3 BCC LED light pods installed. Note the natural color of the odometer.
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I chose the BCC instrument face with thicker graphics for easier reading during the day and also better at night. Here are the two side-by-side. Note the difference in odometer window colors.
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Here is the end result. The hazing is a cell phone pic thing, not reality. I had BCC modify an existing design of theirs to my preference with the hope that I can read it easier, day or night. Some of my deviations eliminated unnecessary graphics to reduce clutter and glare. Note the color of the odometer went from orange to a more appropriate aqua.
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Another benefit to BCC's gauge face is the trunk-open indicator now representing a Sky trunk.
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Here is an over-view picture. Note the IP lighting coordinates perfectly. All my pictures have the IP dimmer set to max. The dimmer adjustment is not dramatic from full bright to lowest. Since I like my radio at full brightness, I keep it at full intensity. One day I hope to convert the radio lighting. Then I would likely lower the intensity.
113106
 

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Discussion Starter #55
I recently got an idea on how to address my poor orange radio illumination that no longer matches the rest of my interior shown just above.

I search locally on Craigslist and bought an OEM radio from a 2008 Chevy Cobalt for $20 from the fellow who took it out of his own Cobalt. He said it has been a while, but he believes all the buttons illuminate a white light. The main display has an aqua colored lens that I hope will be a close match to my odometer. I took off the front panel assembly from the purchased radio and see the back of it looks exactly like the back of my radio front panel, so they just might be interchangeable. I want to confirm the color of illumination before disassembling my dash board again and doing any swapping of circuit boards and lenses so my questions are this.

To which radio pin do I apply 12V to get the radio to power up and display something?
To which pin do I apply 12V to get all the back-lit buttons to light up?

Once confirmed, I would swap the face circuit boards and lenses to retain a stock radio with exception to the color of light from it.

If the project is a success, what would remain is the steering wheel and fog lamp lighting.
 

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........
To which radio pin do I apply 12V to get the radio to power up and display something?
To which pin do I apply 12V to get all the back-lit buttons to light up?
........
Unfortunately the radio doesn't work that way. It is always powered, and the on-off and illumination functions are controlled over the LAN.
08-08-005 Radio Wiring.jpg 08-11-234-5 Radio Connectors.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Hi JohnWR,

Thank you once again for helping me out. I will have to take apart my dash, slide out my radio and swap radio faces to see how the donor illuminates. It is easy enough at that point. I was hoping to know the outcome before starting dash disassembly.

I will report back what I learn. I am just not sure when I will get to it. It has been a very busy summer at home. I would have made this a high priority if I knew for certain the outcome would be ideal. I will go on-line and search out someone selling a 2008 Cobalt. Maybe they would be willing to tell me. Maybe there is a Cobalt forum to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
I just posted my question on a Cobalt forum. Hopefully someone will reply, especially with night time pictures.
 

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I'm almost certain that the (non-color-filtered) display will match your DIC -- they are both electro-luminescent displays that have the same natural color.

I did a google image search and found this to support your hope:

 

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Discussion Starter #60 (Edited)
Oh TomatoSoup.....You got me excited! (don't over-read that comment :) )

That picture is exactly what I was hoping for. Now the only question is the plug-n-play compatibility between the 2008 Cobalt face to my 2007 Sky main unit including the swapping of internals so the face of my radio still looks OEM Sky original. I think the front lenses are the exact same shape and size so I should be able to interchange them. If not, my Sky radio will be black and silver (unlike the Cobalt radio pictured) which might offer a nice black/silver transition between the silver shift area and black above it. I have made a few concessions deviating from OEM with my Sky, for example my black leather steering wheel, and this one seems reasonable as well.

Based on your picture assumed to be an unmodified Cobalt, I will be "Up-ing" the priority to make this happen sooner rather than later. Not only would the radio match my other lighting changes, but just maybe my wife and I will be able to read the display in the day time with the top down.

Adding: I just searched for more pictures and found this one as confirmation.
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My Cobalt radio looks like this one, hopefully will light up exactly the same. I also hope to retain the OEM look by swapping out the silver face. If not, I can live with silver as long as it matches my silver shift area.
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