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 Adding Cold Cathodes to your Car!

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elcobra44
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Number of posts : 323
Age : 38
Location : Glendale Heights, IL
Vehicle : 2006 Dodge Charger R/T
Registration date : 2007-12-21

PostSubject: Adding Cold Cathodes to your Car!   Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:04 pm



You can add easy and affordable custom lighting to your car or truck, and here's how!

Dual Cold Cathode kits are inexpensive and easy to install. They can be purchased at many computer stores across the country, including Fry's, MicroCenter and CompUSA. They can not be purchased at Best Buy or Circuit City, so don't bother looking there. If you are a patient modder, than order your Cathodes from Xoxide.com and save more than 60% than what you'll pay for them in a store.

Once you have the kit, it should look like or close to this:



Undo the bundle of wires and look at what you've got...



Isolate the Inverter Connector and the red and black wires leading from it. The red wire will lead to the PC Toggle Switch, and the black will need to one of the PC Power Connectors, as pictured...



Cut both wires, giving yourself as much slack from the Inverter Connector as possible. These two wires and the connector to plug into the Inverter are all you need to wire the unit into your vehicle!



Now if you'd like to mount the cathodes under the dash, you will most likely need to place the Inverter inside of the center console of the dash and run the wire wires leading to and from each bulb to either sides underneath the dash. YOU MUST NOT CUT THE WHITE WIRES LEADING FROM EACH CATHODE BULB!



If you are having trouble extending the wires, buy yourself one of these extensions!!![/B]

http://www.pctoys.com/840556000198.html



Now use the Red wire leading from the Inverter and run it to the wiring of your Interior/Courtesy Lights. On the Dodge Charger/Magnum/300, for example, the with is Yellow/White and is easily accessible through the Passenger Side A-Pillar. Once this wire is found (and the color of the wire will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle) use a 'tap splice'(pictured below) to tap into it.



Now by doing this, your Cathodes will turn on every time you open a door or turn on the interior lights from the factory switch. Of course you still have the black with leading from the inverter to deal with. This wire is the Ground Wire for the Cathodes. You will need to fasten this wire to a screw that is used in the steel structure of the dash's interior. When I did mine, I first removed one of the screws, wrapped some of the bare wire around the threads and then reinstalled the screw into the dash, assuring that the connection was complete and contained. If this wire is not grounded properly, then your cathodes will not illuminate!



You can use this same processes to hook your lights up anywhere on the interior of the car. If you wanted them to run separately from the courtesy lights, or if you wanted to install them behind the grille of your car (see post #3), then all you need to do is find an alternate 12 volt power source. You could hook the wire directly to your Battery or to the power wire leading to your Cigarette Lighter. Before you do that though, install any type of basic rocker or toggle switch to the red wire (as illustrated below) so you have a means of cutting the power on and off.



You could also add the switch to the ground wire, so that when the switch is flipped, the ground is broken and the lights no longer function. The choice is yours for whatever best suits your installation...

Understanding these basics will help you be able to use these cheap, but effective lights to give your vehicle a unique and creative touch.



If you have any questions regarding this mod, please ask them here!


Last edited by on Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:17 pm; edited 3 times in total
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elcobra44
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Number of posts : 323
Age : 38
Location : Glendale Heights, IL
Vehicle : 2006 Dodge Charger R/T
Registration date : 2007-12-21

PostSubject: Re: Adding Cold Cathodes to your Car!   Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:01 pm

A good question and my response:

Quote :
I have done interior and exterior lights on a couple of my old cars, so I am comfortable with doing the wiring. Here's my question though. I don't know much about electric wiring so, if I am running 2 cathodes on the outside and 2 on the inside, and they all have the same power source ( the yellow wire in the c pillar) will the all get the same amount of power? Will the all light up the same? And will this draw too much power from the wire that is tapped?
Cathodes don't draw too much power and as long as you DO NOT CUT THE WHITE WIRES LEADING TO THE TUBES AND THE INVERTER you shouldn't have any issues with not getting enough juice. Also, I'm running the LED bulbs in all of the interior map lights and by doing so, I'm drawing less energy there than the stock incandescent bulbs were.

Previously, I was running both the interior dash cathodes and the grille/hood scoop lighting from the courtesy lights, but here's how I have it set up now:

On the interior of my car, I'm using two dual cathode kits and one SAM. The first kit is used under my dash with one tube on each side of the center console as described in the first post of this thread. The second kit is mounted to my rear window, just behind the headliner. Both cathode kits are running to the same Sound Activation Module located behind the glove box that is tapped into the courtesy lights. These cathodes all respond to the doors opening and the factory interior light switch on the dash - all without issue or noticeable drain.



For the sake of not having to run wires through the firewall, I would recommend following the instructions of Post #3 of this thread to wire any cathodes you want to use outside of the cabin.


Last edited by on Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:18 am; edited 3 times in total
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elcobra44
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Number of posts : 323
Age : 38
Location : Glendale Heights, IL
Vehicle : 2006 Dodge Charger R/T
Registration date : 2007-12-21

PostSubject: Re: Adding Cold Cathodes to your Car!   Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:26 am

There's one attached to each side of the horizontal bar of the grille using the velcro that is provided with the kits. You can also use double sided tape to hold them on.



The inverter is mounted under the Ram emblem, so it stays dry...



The power and ground for the invertor is ran to a sound activation module located just inside the engine bay. It's actually velcroed under the radiator support and hidden from sight. I pulled it down to take this picture...



The power wire for the inverter is ran directly to the battery terminal on the fuse box. The ground cable is ran to that little switch you see inside of the radiator support and then grounded to the body using one of the existing grounding points.

I keep the inverter set to "ON" and simply flip the switch to quickly activate the lights. If I want to really show off, I can reach under and flip the Sound Activater to react to noise.
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frdtch06gt
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Number of posts : 49
Location : Algonquin, IL
Vehicle : 2006 Mustang GT
Registration date : 2007-12-25

PostSubject: Re: Adding Cold Cathodes to your Car!   Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:06 pm

That is some slick stuff. I still have yet to add interior lights to the back seat of my car, but sometime soon I'll do it. The back seat of a Mustang is too dark, same with the footwells.
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