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  #1  
Old 10-15-2003, 08:52 PM
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Location: rural chicagoland
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82 300TD I want my window switches to light up!!!!

Hello fellow dieselers;

Today as I am preparing to install my new nakamichi cd400 I pulled the wood panel to figure out the fade control

Noticed that there is no Fiber Optic Octopus so @#*! my window switches wont light up. Peering at the switches themselves - there is no way for the switches to light up even if a wired a fiber optic

Is this standard with the W123 - to a certain age???

at least my BMW all the switches light up- including the ones on the passangers doors.

I am thinking of a swap - has anyone done this

Advice....... appreciated


Peace:
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nibiru
82 300TD- diggin it
Ich habe Dinge gesehen, die ihr Menchen niemal glauben würdet
Gigantische Schiffe, die brannten, draußen vor der Schulter des Orion
Und ich habe C-beams gesehen, glizernd im Dunkel, nahe dem Thannhäuser-Tor
All diese Momente werden verloren sein....in der Zeit
so wie...Tränen im Regen
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2003, 10:18 PM
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Not sure about the TD or the '83, but on my '85 CD there is a light inside the switch. Works off the normal power plug on the back. I'm not sure what year MB changed over. If your switches have pictures of windows on them, then they should light up.

Just looked in the PP catalog.....after 1982 all the switches were the same, so they should light up.

Craig
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1994 E420, Pearl Black/Black. 2.82 rear diff., AMG front spoiler, painted lower half. SOLD

1972 & 1974 BMW 2002tii's.
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  #3  
Old 10-15-2003, 10:33 PM
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On a related note... Does anyone know if those newer (post-1982) switches can be used in earlier 123s? Even if a little rewiring is necessary I'd be happy to do it. The important thing is they fit the holes in the center console and the door.

I'm having a hell of a time with replacement window switches of the earlier type... The original ones in the console finally gave out a few months back, and the new ones (OE, straight from the dealer) KEEP BREAKING! They just fall apart in a month, a week, or less... The worst was when I was driving down the freeway the morning after I'd had yet another new switch installed (less than 24 hours previously), I pressed the button to lower my window and it not only fell apart, it began SIZZLING! The little metal jumpers in the switch had come loose when it fell apart and were shorting.

It's easy to tell when they're beginning to fall apart; the switch buttons themselves begin to stick (you push the button down or up and it stays in that position when you let go). The dealer got an entirely new batch after I went through 6 or 7 two-button switches within a month; the newer ones have lasted me a whole month now (wow, a record!) but are beginning to stick and I fear they're about to fall apart again.

Anyone else having this problem? If I could use the "newer" post-82 123 window switches instead of the chrome-framed earlier ones I can only hope they're better quality. And having them illuminated would be a plus to...
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'83 300SD 180k
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2003, 10:41 PM
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My vehicle is a 1982 and the window switches all light up and they do not have any kind of chrome frame around them.
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2003, 10:46 PM
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Location: rural chicagoland
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Nib writes:

DGRAIG:

I have pictures on my switches - I pulled the switches to clean up the wood - crud every cranny. The switches have no holes to allow any bulb's so if they burn out - replacements can be made.

No place for fibre optix to fit- no fibre optix in the area

Anyone know if I can swap switches with a later model so I can put in the octo-fibre?

peace
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nibiru
82 300TD- diggin it
Ich habe Dinge gesehen, die ihr Menchen niemal glauben würdet
Gigantische Schiffe, die brannten, draußen vor der Schulter des Orion
Und ich habe C-beams gesehen, glizernd im Dunkel, nahe dem Thannhäuser-Tor
All diese Momente werden verloren sein....in der Zeit
so wie...Tränen im Regen
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2003, 11:30 PM
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Location: rural chicagoland
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curiosity got the better of me

nib writes:

Ok dieselers:

I had to find out tonight so I would not go mad not sleeping

Pulled the switces apart and lo and behold - a tiny LED witha tiny resistor lay inside the switch- so now I have to figure out why I do not get any light in these switches

Ideas????

Please and thank

peace:
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nibiru
82 300TD- diggin it
Ich habe Dinge gesehen, die ihr Menchen niemal glauben würdet
Gigantische Schiffe, die brannten, draußen vor der Schulter des Orion
Und ich habe C-beams gesehen, glizernd im Dunkel, nahe dem Thannhäuser-Tor
All diese Momente werden verloren sein....in der Zeit
so wie...Tränen im Regen
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2003, 11:43 PM
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Location: Back in Colorado for now
Posts: 1,313
The newer switches have a small LED soldered into them. They also have a resistor, so you can just hook-up 12v source that powers with lights.

Maybe branch off from the shift panel light (they're LED's so current shouldn't be an issue)

Here's a pic of the inside of the newer style switches (the yellow thing is the LED).



The back door sw's are the same setup with an LED for light:



All in all, the newer switches are VERY rebuildable and with a good cleaning (in the ultrasonic) and modern lubes, should last a LONG time.

Of course, they are not "sealed" by any sense of the word, so one soda accident will ruin their day. But they are also easily torn down and cleaned again too!

I have a few switches that have the "window" logo worn off so they're now just round white dots in the middle (that the light shines through), LMK if you want one to try out.
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1984 300D Turbo - 4-speed manual conversion, mid-level resto

1983 300D - parts car

1979 300TD Auto - Parts car.

1985 300D Auto - Wrecked/Parts.


=========================

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". Lewis Carrol
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2003, 12:11 AM
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nib writes:

TOMJ:

Right on man. I am in the process of cleaning. Lots/0/crud

But since I have them open I will go ahead and change the LED to a cool blue color. Or maybe cool green

I just tried a 9 volt battery to test the lights and they blew out

So I wonder what low voltage power must be feeding these

could not be 12 volt cause the 9 volt battery would not have blown them out. Good excuse to change the LED's now

Are you proficient in this area. Just wondering if I can get my volt meter out there in the morning and see what kind of power is feeding these switches. Gotta know this for the correct LEDS

And wish me luck finding such a small size at Radio Shack

Peace:
__________________
nibiru
82 300TD- diggin it
Ich habe Dinge gesehen, die ihr Menchen niemal glauben würdet
Gigantische Schiffe, die brannten, draußen vor der Schulter des Orion
Und ich habe C-beams gesehen, glizernd im Dunkel, nahe dem Thannhäuser-Tor
All diese Momente werden verloren sein....in der Zeit
so wie...Tränen im Regen
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  #9  
Old 10-16-2003, 12:18 AM
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Location: So. CA. USA
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A color would be great. Please post pictures when you're finished.
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1994 E420, Pearl Black/Black. 2.82 rear diff., AMG front spoiler, painted lower half. SOLD

1972 & 1974 BMW 2002tii's.
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  #10  
Old 10-16-2003, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nibiru
nib writes:

TOMJ:

Right on man. I am in the process of cleaning. Lots/0/crud

But since I have them open I will go ahead and change the LED to a cool blue color. Or maybe cool green

I just tried a 9 volt battery to test the lights and they blew out

So I wonder what low voltage power must be feeding these

could not be 12 volt cause the 9 volt battery would not have blown them out. Good excuse to change the LED's now

Are you proficient in this area. Just wondering if I can get my volt meter out there in the morning and see what kind of power is feeding these switches. Gotta know this for the correct LEDS

And wish me luck finding such a small size at Radio Shack

Peace:
YIKES! Hope you didn't apply the voltage directly to the LED? There's a resistor in there (probably something like 470ohm) that should bring the 12v down to the 3v the LED wants.

Since they use a miniscule amount of current, no problem with using a 1/4W resistor.

OK, just tried a switch skeleton that I have for parts and it's definitely 12 volts. Try it again, THIS TIME apply pos to switch post that directly conns to one side of the LED and neg to the FAR end of the resistor (current should pass through the resistor). You'll find they light up nicely with no problems.
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1984 300D Turbo - 4-speed manual conversion, mid-level resto

1983 300D - parts car

1979 300TD Auto - Parts car.

1985 300D Auto - Wrecked/Parts.


=========================

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". Lewis Carrol
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  #11  
Old 10-16-2003, 01:35 AM
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OK, WAY too much time on my hands.

Took the idea of diff colored LEDs and soldered a few into some test switches.

Here's what I found:

The red and green LED's are too dim (the matte or fog inside the potting dulls the brightness through the switch diffuser.

If the switches have all the window logo rubbed off so there's just a round white thing, it's a little brighter.

Best I found was a clear LED that is bright red with 12v.

Here's a pic of the test switch assy:



Here's a pic with just the red LED illuminating an all-white diffuser:



Here's a pic with the red LED under a rocker with the window logo still intact on its diffuser and the stock LED under an all-white diffuser for comparison:



Here's a pic of the same setup, except a little ambient light to see what's going on:



What I think I'll do is change out the passengers rear switches to the bright LEDs with all-white diffusers and leave the console ones as-is. After all the LED merry-go-round, I think the soft amber color of the stock switches works well.

Green looks too much like most American cars (not that that's a bad thing, it's just nice to be different). Red is too "weird" for window switches.

There is one thing that came to mind though. Ripoff Shack now sells LED's that have a potted-in resistor so you can hook them up to 12v directly. That may be an answer to the front instrument lights. Just replace those little bulbs with 12v LEDs and NEVER have to replace them again.

Could also wire some up inside the instrument panel (run the wires where the two reflectors are) and direct the LEDs down toward the face of the instruments?

They don't get hot and they last forever.

????????????
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1984 300D Turbo - 4-speed manual conversion, mid-level resto

1983 300D - parts car

1979 300TD Auto - Parts car.

1985 300D Auto - Wrecked/Parts.


=========================

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". Lewis Carrol
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  #12  
Old 10-16-2003, 02:28 AM
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Very Cool! I don't know anything about LED's. Do they come in different brightnesses? WHat you mean by clear is the plastic on the LED is clear compared to a matte or foggy plastic, but both were red, right??

What color are the LED's normally? White or a little yellowish?

Craig
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1972 & 1974 BMW 2002tii's.
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  #13  
Old 10-16-2003, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dcraig
Very Cool! I don't know anything about LED's. Do they come in different brightnesses? WHat you mean by clear is the plastic on the LED is clear compared to a matte or foggy plastic, but both were red, right??

What color are the LED's normally? White or a little yellowish?

Craig
Right, clear plastic instead of the "foggy" plastic.

The stock ones are a clear yellow.

The stock ones do seem brighter.
__________________
1984 300D Turbo - 4-speed manual conversion, mid-level resto

1983 300D - parts car

1979 300TD Auto - Parts car.

1985 300D Auto - Wrecked/Parts.


=========================

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". Lewis Carrol
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  #14  
Old 10-16-2003, 06:00 PM
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TomJ:

Nice work - I understand the quest for answers.

I applied the 9 volt to the post outside bottom of switch case

I figured that this was the positive current line to the Anode + because there is a band of copper running from post ( short connection of LED- non resistor) to other LED on Passangers switch.

But yes as you say - power should go thru the resistor first

But>>>>.......... when I hooked up a 4.5 volt connect I put the + to the non resistor and the neg to the resistor and it lit up - so I though it was the way - due to LED's are completely polorized - so if the power travels the wrong way they dont light up

So I quess I have to bone up on the LED thing in the Benz applique. N

Now - I have to replace the LED's cause I wanted to test with a 9 volt.

Wait a MO.... I just tried the same pattern again
with a 4.5 volt I placed positive probe to the LED - Drivers switch directly to the short side without resistor and Neg ( - ) to the side with the resistor and it works. So perhaps whoever tried to fix it - if in fact they were tried to fix soldered them wrong or I do not understand the circuit

Tell me what you think?

I agree with you on the RADIO SHack- they dont have great LED's- I hear their best one have to be ordered on line or from catalog ( You can do this at the store and pay 2.50$ to ship directly to you)

I ordered a bunch or LED's for dash and fixtures because over the years I cant tell you how many 2721 bulbs I have had to replace. P I T A to pull a dash 2-3 times a year

Even ordered these really cool 12 V wedge but I have to return them cause polarity is on same side- must be for other than automotive

i am wondering if I can just wire 12 V LED's in place of these little 2.75mm LED ( Mercedes choice ) and do away with resistor. probably had to do thaht way when in the early 80's LED were so new no one saw a reason to have 12 V LED's

Gotta get a Digi Cam so I can post my finding as well

I am thinking Blue to replace the orange Hmmmmmmmmm.....

Peace
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nibiru
82 300TD- diggin it
Ich habe Dinge gesehen, die ihr Menchen niemal glauben würdet
Gigantische Schiffe, die brannten, draußen vor der Schulter des Orion
Und ich habe C-beams gesehen, glizernd im Dunkel, nahe dem Thannhäuser-Tor
All diese Momente werden verloren sein....in der Zeit
so wie...Tränen im Regen
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  #15  
Old 10-17-2003, 01:54 AM
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Location: Back in Colorado for now
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Quote:
Originally posted by nibiru


.........But>>>>.......... when I hooked up a 4.5 volt connect I put the + to the non resistor and the neg to the resistor and it lit up - so I though it was the way - due to LED's are completely polorized - so if the power travels the wrong way they dont light up

That's right, they are rated to 5v, so 4.5 volts would probalby light one without burning it up.

Quote:
Originally posted by nibiru


I agree with you on the RADIO SHack- they dont have great LED's- I hear their best one have to be ordered on line or from catalog ( You can do this at the store and pay 2.50$ to ship directly to you)

I ordered a bunch or LED's for dash and fixtures because over the years I cant tell you how many 2721 bulbs I have had to replace. P I T A to pull a dash 2-3 times a year

Wait!!! Found just the thing at a local electronics surplus store today. They have all the colors, but Blue and white are really expensive (like $4-5/each).

The brightest ones they have are $0.30/each, are clear, and light up VERY bright red.

Soldered these in this eve. Here's pics without the switch covers (both LED's lit);

Top LED is the new one, bottom is the stock (picture doesn't do it justice, it is a LOT brighter than the stock one!):



Here's a pic with both covers on and LED's lit up with a little ambient light to see what's going on (new led on top, stock on the bottom again, both are lit):



Here's another pic of the same but in total darkness (notice how the stock light is barely visible):



Here's my test setup with both LED's lit:




Quote:
Originally posted by nibiru

Even ordered these really cool 12 V wedge but I have to return them cause polarity is on same side- must be for other than automotive

i am wondering if I can just wire 12 V LED's in place of these little 2.75mm LED ( Mercedes choice ) and do away with resistor. probably had to do thaht way when in the early 80's LED were so new no one saw a reason to have 12 V LED's
Well..., it also looks like the 12v ones only come in a housing (where they pot-in the resistor) so they just won't work for the other instruments (unless RS or someone else has one that doesn't have a housing and resistor built in? Thought I'd seen those, but couldn't find anything like that today).

I tried running an in-line resistor and wiring up some LED's for the climate control unit, but they just aren't bright enough to even see in there. Ended up griding down the edges of #37 bulbs so they'd fit the stock plugs. They usually last a LOT longer than the German bulbs.

Anyway, will ponder how to mount LED's for the other lights and LYK what I come up with.
__________________
1984 300D Turbo - 4-speed manual conversion, mid-level resto

1983 300D - parts car

1979 300TD Auto - Parts car.

1985 300D Auto - Wrecked/Parts.


=========================

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". Lewis Carrol
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