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Thread: New A/C Panel Design Prototype - Thoughts/Suggestions?

  1. #1
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    New A/C Panel Design Prototype - Thoughts/Suggestions?

    Hello all! As there are more than several DeLorean AC panel/Double DIN design plans floating around that (in my own opinion) throw us in the direction of over-design or simply never get made, I thought I would have a little fun and attempt my own simple update. I'll skip the long step by step procedure and progress report I tend to love writing and try to just keep it simple

    So far... The decal is designed and have found a manufacturer ready to roll (graphic changes can still be made at this point) - the modified clear AC panel has been molded and ready for the plastic resin to be poured - the "el wire" lighting has been ordered and ready for install (this replaces the uneven "light tube" system) - lastly, the modification to the console bracket itself is the approaching next step (holding off until I decide on an HVAC mode switch direction - see below).

    Here is a brief breakdown on what I set out to do:

    a) Slightly update the look of the decal (get rid of the redundant word labels around the selector switch) while keeping with the overall design feel and integrity of the original car - more importantly, something I just personally liked
    b) Chuck the rarely operational "fan fail" light
    c) Add a back-lit DMC logo
    d) Improve the overall back lighting from light tubes to "el wire"
    e) Attempt to find and somehow integrate a more "common and dependable" HVAC mode switch - A super suggestion by Dave S
    f) Do all of this without major surgery and keep to something that others in the community could do to their cars if desired

    Here is what I came up with (see pic). I am very happy with it but wanted to share it with the community and welcome any suggestions or comments before I move onto actually producing a prototype.

    A couple of questions:

    1) Does anyone know of another HVAC switch that might easily work into this? Is it crazy or even possible to step away from the vacuum-type switch and somehow integrate a more modern non-vacuum switch?
    2) Thoughts on overall design?
    3) Unforeseen problems?
    Attached Images
    DeLorean VIN 16793 - 1983
    Loving my power steering!

  2. #2
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    Good job!

    I think it looks nice, but the only thing I'd change is to space the DMC letters closer together as per the original logo - I mocked up a revised version attached...

    ac panel.JPG

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmcjohn View Post
    Good job!

    I think it looks nice, but the only thing I'd change is to space the DMC letters closer together as per the original logo - I mocked up a revised version attached...

    ac panel.JPG
    That does indeed look better! Originally I was playing with even more space and ended up bring closer together - evidently not enough. Thanks!
    DeLorean VIN 16793 - 1983
    Loving my power steering!

  4. #4
    EFI DeLorean dmc6960's Avatar
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    How are you handling the multiple colors with the EL lighting? EL panels do not give off good colors like this panel should have.

    If you wanted to eliminate light pipes, an arranged array of appropriately colored LEDs coupled with a flat sheet of acrylic would be sufficient. I'm employing a similar method for back-lighting my electronic instrument cluster project.

    Also not a fan of the modified typeface. I'm really keen on keeping the nature of the appearance as 100% stock as possible.

    Interesting though the idea to move the door lock and defrost lights, along with elimination of the fan fail light.
    Jim Reeve
    DMC6960

    D-Status: - Getting some Spring exercise

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmc6960 View Post
    How are you handling the multiple colors with the EL lighting? EL panels do not give off good colors like this panel should have.

    If you wanted to eliminate light pipes, an arranged array of appropriately colored LEDs coupled with a flat sheet of acrylic would be sufficient. I'm employing a similar method for back-lighting my electronic instrument cluster project.

    Also not a fan of the modified typeface. I'm really keen on keeping the nature of the appearance as 100% stock as possible.

    Interesting though the idea to move the door lock and defrost lights, along with elimination of the fan fail light.
    Not everyone's cup of tea I guess! Thanks for the input though. I think the new symbols (needed after taking away the word graphics) are in line with cars of the time, just a tad updated. I personally think it stays in character with a possible option of the day. But understand people who want to stay stock! As far as lighting, I am having the colors put on the decal as per the original and using white light "el wire" to illuminate it. The plain white LED's are another option but was curious to try this first.
    DeLorean VIN 16793 - 1983
    Loving my power steering!

  6. #6
    EFI DeLorean dmc6960's Avatar
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    Careful using "white" light not produced by a filament. This light often will not be in a full color spectrum, leading to colored filters nearly filtering out ALL of the light! LEDs need to produce the actual light in the color you want, and I think EL is similar.
    Jim Reeve
    DMC6960

    D-Status: - Getting some Spring exercise

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmc6960 View Post
    Careful using "white" light not produced by a filament. This light often will not be in a full color spectrum, leading to colored filters nearly filtering out ALL of the light! LEDs need to produce the actual light in the color you want, and I think EL is similar.
    Did not know that with the EL... If I wanted to stick with the gels on the back of the decal as the original, what would you recommend? Would a bright LED strip (ribbon) not work well to back-light through the gels? Just trying to find the easiest way to do this as possible...
    DeLorean VIN 16793 - 1983
    Loving my power steering!

  8. #8
    Owner since 2007 Farrar's Avatar
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    Neat! I was thinking of something similar involving smoked acrylic and LEDs so that the panel would appear completely black until backlit. Any chance you could include that function and save me the trouble of manufacturing it myself? ;-)

    Farrar
    3.0L, automatic, carbureted

  9. #9
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    After feeling totally dizzy from back light research, I think I am going to keep it simple using light tubes like the original - and hope that a dash of reflective coating will give it that extra little boost!
    DeLorean VIN 16793 - 1983
    Loving my power steering!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kajcienski View Post
    After feeling totally dizzy from back light research, I think I am going to keep it simple using light tubes like the original - and hope that a dash of reflective coating will give it that extra little boost!
    I think that will give you the best results. It was always my plan to make a PCB with many colored surface mount LEDs and use it on the original clear plastic panel.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

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