Smoked lens PL 400 LED upgrade question.

VSAT88

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#1
The PL 400 I have has the smoked lens on the meters. I kind of like the green or blue lights that some amps have better that the normal bulbs. Was thinking a kit from WO of course. They have two blues, diffused and bright if I recall correctly. How do I determine which of the two to order ? Do I need to remove and replace (somehow) the tinted lens to make it all work out ? Is there a way to go with green LEDs ? I think I like a similar color to Marantz or Mcintosh .
 
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WOPL Sniffer

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#2
Go into the WOPL Build/ For Sale section and look at all the upgrade projects. Find a color that suits your eye and talk to Joe or the builder as to what you prefer. Joe can accommodate you (I've ordered almost any color except black) and has the calculations already done as the value of a few resistors depends on what color you decide on. Leave the smoked lenses in place, they look great before and after illumination.
 

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#3
Question to ya though, not being a dick but since the parts cost about the same to build a 400 or a 700B/Series II, why would you not take the double horsepower of the 700? If you have to sell down the road, the 400 will be worth a fraction of what the 700B/II will be IF you can sell it.... At roughly $600 for backplanes/control board/bulk caps/output transistors/DCP/RCA's/Speaker jacks etc, you get ALOT MORE bang for the buck. 700 cores tend to be more expensive but well worth it and it is possible to get a $199 700B with free shipping in this day and age.... Just asking. No offence on the 400 besides the fact I would go with the BIG HAMMER.


P
 

62vauxhall

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#4
Re the smoked meter lenses.

Some months back I got hold of a 400 with meters like that. The tint was so dark it was hard to notice that the original incandescent bulbs were even lit.

The new light board I put in had blue LED's that did not look good at all behind the tinting. After swapping out the blue LED'e for "Bright White" LED's all was good.

Just my opinion, but I don't think coloured LED's would look right except with clear lenses.
 

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#5
Re the smoked meter lenses.

Some months back I got hold of a 400 with meters like that. The tint was so dark it was hard to notice that the original incandescent bulbs were even lit.

The new light board I put in had blue LED's that did not look good at all behind the tinting. After swapping out the blue LED'e for "Bright White" LED's all was good.

Just my opinion, but I don't think coloured LED's would look right except with clear lenses.
I second this... If you guys recall, I was looking for ways to get rid of the smoke tint for this very reason having blue LED's that looked.. well.. quite unimpressive. : )
 

marcok

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#6
Remember my old thread :
Improving Pl 4000 light board kit .
I would like to add this simple method to find the colour you prefer :
-use a variable power supply ( eg . a model train DC power supply )
-connect a led with 470 / 680 Ohm in series to the power supply
-insert only one led into a hole of the VU
-try many leds till you find what you like
-calculate the right resistor for your leds
Joe uses 180 Ohm for white led ( 20 mA ) and I used 360 ( 10 mA) ( starting from approx. 8V )
-locate the leds and right resistors on the board and "voila' "
Don't forget to sand the leds to avoid shades .
At this point you can obtain everything : green , blue , red , yellow , sunny white , cold white ,and so on .
To find the right colour took me 3 days , because you have to
test the brightness during the day and during the night .
Ciao
Marco
 

VSAT88

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#7
Question to ya though, not being a dick but since the parts cost about the same to build a 400 or a 700B/Series II, why would you not take the double horsepower of the 700? If you have to sell down the road, the 400 will be worth a fraction of what the 700B/II will be IF you can sell it.... At roughly $600 for backplanes/control board/bulk caps/output transistors/DCP/RCA's/Speaker jacks etc, you get ALOT MORE bang for the buck. 700 cores tend to be more expensive but well worth it and it is possible to get a $199 700B with free shipping in this day and age.... Just asking. No offence on the 400 besides the fact I would go with the BIG HAMMER.


P
No, I agree with you no offense taken. I do not intend to WOPL the 400 I have but I have considered putting a light kit in. When I can I am going WOPL 700 no doubt on that one. I want one so I will eventually have it. The only two questions I would have in that respect are these. How long will it take me to come up with the cash to start the project, or what shall I sell to go ahead and get started right away. And...Do I build it myself or just buy one from you.
 

VSAT88

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#8
E mail sent to WO. I think I like the water blue. We will see. Either way I should be able to change the LED's-resistors if needed to fix it up nice. Thanks all.
 

Northwinds

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#9
The ice blue/white is my favorite for the meters. I did not like the Marantz/McIntosh blue at all. Made the registers look weird

Here is Silvara (400) with the color I am referring to

 
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Bradrock

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#10
I have 'Clear blue' on order, along with control board & backplane for a 400. Is that the same as 'Ice blue'?
 

Gepetto

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#12
The ice blue/white is my favorite for the meters. I did not like the Marantz/McIntosh blue at all. Made the registers look weird

Here is Silvara (400) with the color I am referring to

Ron shows Clear White up top and old burned out incandescents in the bottom :)
 

62vauxhall

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#13
The 400 has the tinted lenses with "bright white" LED's which I installed.

The 700B has clear lenses and LED install was Jerry's doing, but I picked the color. Back then, I was told "white" was an option. I wanted amber which were N/A at the time and did not want blue. Consensus then was to use white as there would be a hint, and only a hint of blue.

But the 400 shows what uncolored LED's look like through tinted lens.

IMG_3588.jpg
 

VSAT88

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#14
Remember my old thread :
Improving Pl 4000 light board kit .
I would like to add this simple method to find the colour you prefer :
-use a variable power supply ( eg . a model train DC power supply )
-connect a led with 470 / 680 Ohm in series to the power supply
-insert only one led into a hole of the VU
-try many leds till you find what you like
-calculate the right resistor for your leds
Joe uses 180 Ohm for white led ( 20 mA ) and I used 360 ( 10 mA) ( starting from approx. 8V )
-locate the leds and right resistors on the board and "voila' "
Don't forget to sand the leds to avoid shades .
At this point you can obtain everything : green , blue , red , yellow , sunny white , cold white ,and so on .
To find the right colour took me 3 days , because you have to
test the brightness during the day and during the night .
Ciao
Marco
Mr. Marco, do you mean literally take sandpaper to the LEDS ?
 

VSAT88

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#15
The 400 has the tinted lenses with "bright white" LED's which I installed.

The 700B has clear lenses and LED install was Jerry's doing, but I picked the color. Back then, I was told "white" was an option. I wanted amber which were N/A at the time and did not want blue. Consensus then was to use white as there would be a hint, and only a hint of blue.

But the 400 shows what uncolored LED's look like through tinted lens.



View attachment 30927
Those uncolored LED's look great to me and Joe said he used clear white as well. Looks like clear white is what I will order. Still, I want to see what the clear blue would look like here in the unit and I want to see what green would look like. So, I have ordered some LED's and I am going to order the kit. I am going to experiment with the colors as in Marcos post below. So what may happen is that I get myself into some kind of a mess (as I have before) but I will post images as I go along with the colors I use. Thanks all and I will post back.
 

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#16
I just put this 700b together and I will have to reduce the bulb voltage as you can see it is mega bright through clear lens. This is what is great about the forums. Lots of different ideas come up. I will try Perry’s defuser idea as well
 

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marcok

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#17
Yes,
I used sand paper # 230 .
2 or 3 seconds per Led are sufficient .
Leds become opaline , so no shades .
Read my old thread . Everything is clear .
The effect is like a Mc Intosh , colour apart of course .
This is a " trick " used by modellers .
For normal bulbs white paint is used .
Ciao
Marco
 

VSAT88

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#18
Yes,
I used sand paper # 230 .
2 or 3 seconds per Led are sufficient .
Leds become opaline , so no shades .
Read my old thread . Everything is clear .
The effect is like a Mc Intosh , colour apart of course .
This is a " trick " used by modellers .
For normal bulbs white paint is used .
Ciao
Marco
Found the thread here : http://forums.phxaudiotape.com/show...led-board-kit?highlight=Improving+light+board
Thanks Marco. I will try that as well. Placed the order with White Oak and soon the kit will be on its way. This is going to be a good winter project for me as it is freezing down here ! Yes, to us Southerners anything below 60 deg. is freezing ! Lol.
 

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#19
Marco is a real asset with many interesting threads! Good thing I don't still have my 72 Fiat 850 spyder! I'd be bugging him for parts!

Here in South Mo, 15 degree's tomorrow night!
I need a few more warm days to get some outdoor spray painting done on my car lift. Alway's a few dollars short & a few days late.................
 

62vauxhall

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#20
Marco is a real asset with many interesting threads! Good thing I don't still have my 72 Fiat 850 spyder! I'd be bugging him for parts!

Here in South Mo, 15 degree's tomorrow night!
I need a few more warm days to get some outdoor spray painting done on my car lift. Alway's a few dollars short & a few days late.................
Really, a Fiat 850 Spyder?

I had a 1960 something 850 coupe for a while in the late 1970's - 843cc's - 47hp.
 
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