External LED Fix

System

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Last year I wrecked my external LED installing it in my VW. It worked in the VW, but once I pulled it out again, no bueno. I tried to order one but kmph wants $29.99 + shipping which is too expensive for my liking. Anyways, this afternoon I was pretty restless so I thought I'd give the repair a shot, nothing to lose and $45 all in to save if the fix is successful..

As you can see, it was pretty messed up. This is what it looked like when I removed the shrink wrap. I would have thought these joints were soldered, that's not the case:

20180714_161113.jpg

This is the LED on its own, you'll need to get #26AWG shrink wrap for a super easy fix; unfortunately I didn't have that.

20180714_161955.jpg


Here's how it looked after 5 mins of work, the pins go Green > Blue > Yellow > Red left to right:

20180714_165530.jpg

One big piece of shrink wrap like how they do it in the factory for aesthetics reasons:

20180714_165702.jpg


It works well, and it's definitely nice to have it back. Will really help me know what's going on with my encounters as it reflects off my windshield for a clear view from the dashcam:

20180714_170430.jpg


In short, if anybody else faces this issue I'd try to repair it before buying a new one. It's super easy and literally cost me less than $0.10 to fix!! I'm also willing to repair them if anybody needs a hand :) I hope this helps somebody eventually!
 

System

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Not even twisted. The aluminum (lol) wire is just touching the prongs inside the shrink wrap. I don't have a picture of it, but there is heat shrink over all the forks . It was super dodgy trying to troubleshoot for proper operation because there was no solid connection point. I kept tapping the red and yellow wires together by accident. It was making a laser alert green lol

Edit: my gf was out in the garage when I was fixing it and the quality actually bothered me. I told her that all other components I've seen from AL are top notch, but this whole assembly would cost under $1 to make. The profit margins are 1500% (going off AL USA's price) lol. I really did expect more
 
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beaker

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Wait... what? Do you mean the wires were just laying on top of the prong, and the shrink wrap was the only thing keeping the connection? That's... pathetic.

The weird part is that it would be more work to shrink wrap each prong along with the whole thing, than it would be to solder each prong and then just shrink wrap once.
 

System

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Wait... what? Do you mean the wires were just laying on top of the prong, and the shrink wrap was the only thing keeping the connection? That's... pathetic.

The weird part is that it would be more work to shrink wrap each prong along with the whole thing, than it would be to solder each prong and then just shrink wrap once.

Yup. Exactly. Not very secure, which is why 3/4 wires were ripped out lol. That's the only wire I've ever been hard on and it didn't hold up well. It would be super hard to solder those prongs nicely, there's 4 of them within 1/4" :(
 

beaker

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Yup. Exactly. Not very secure, which is why 3/4 wires were ripped out lol. That's the only wire I've ever been hard on and it didn't hold up well. It would be super hard to solder those prongs nicely, there's 4 of them within 1/4" :(
Oh, well... OK then. That explains the lack of soldering. I don't think I'd be able to do that. It would be nice if you could use some sort of barrel connector.

BTW: Nice job on the fix! Thanks for posting it.
 

System

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Barrel connector would have been wonderful. You can't really crimp of solder, so it's forced to be a "weak" connection. I wish I had smaller heat shrink because it is a little loose
 

Andrew21

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Good job! I'm going to do a project and will use this for reference
 

BestRadarDetectors

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Not even twisted. The aluminum (lol) wire is just touching the prongs inside the shrink wrap. I don't have a picture of it, but there is heat shrink over all the forks . It was super dodgy trying to troubleshoot for proper operation because there was no solid connection point. I kept tapping the red and yellow wires together by accident. It was making a laser alert green lol

Edit: my gf was out in the garage when I was fixing it and the quality actually bothered me. I told her that all other components I've seen from AL are top notch, but this whole assembly would cost under $1 to make. The profit margins are 1500% (going off AL USA's price) lol. I really did expect more

After you posted this I took a brand new LED apart and this was not the case, Maybe you had a unit produced incorrectly but certainly they are not all like that.. Each leg was soldered and you could not pull the wires out no matter how hard I pulled. The wire would snap before it would become separated.

LED Wire.jpg
 

System

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After you posted this I took a brand new LED apart and this was not the case, Maybe you had a unit produced incorrectly but certainly they are not all like that.. Each leg was soldered and you could not pull the wires out no matter how hard I pulled. The wire would snap before it would become separated.

View attachment 84284

Maybe mine was an odd batch. I've had ALP for a looooong time. I was able to easily pull out the still connected blue super easy. The LED has no signs of solder neither. If they are soldered now, kudos to them. Those links would be damn hard to solder (which is why I said I can see why they *don't* do it)
 

beaker

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After you posted this I took a brand new LED apart and this was not the case, Maybe you had a unit produced incorrectly but certainly they are not all like that.. Each leg was soldered and you could not pull the wires out no matter how hard I pulled. The wire would snap before it would become separated.
View attachment 84284
That's more like what I expected - that's a high quality connection. Thanks for checking & posting.
 

teton

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Im wanting to order a different RGB LED with different specs. Does anyone know if the LED has a common Anode (+) or Cathode (-)?
 

Flonase

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I know this is an old thread, but I've just been looking at my LED and since the forum is searchable...

Common cathode. Max voltage appears to be 3.3V from ALP CPU.
 

licwid

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I know this is an old thread, but I've just been looking at my LED and since the forum is searchable...

Common cathode. Max voltage appears to be 3.3V from ALP CPU.
Thank you. My LED pulled off the end and fell deep into the recesses of my dash. I can finally replace it with this info
 

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