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Soldering Required to Replace Instrument Panel Bulb

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Nancy Golden
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Not Just Soldering - Getting To It
Nancy Golden   4/16/2014 6:35:08 PM
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And even more surprisingly is the extent you have to go through just to get to the bulbs:

"Not only that, but you have to remove all the needles from the gauges to disassemble the instrument panel enough to get to the bulbs."

What a nightmare for replacing a part that is known to have a finite life and may fail.

William K.
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Why are the bulbs soldered in?
William K.   4/15/2014 10:14:25 AM
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Soldered in and hard to replace incandescent bulbs are a pain, no doubt. But the improvement in assembly reliability by avoiding a socket is real, and the price of a baseless wire-lead bulb is a bit less, so they get soldered in. And most of them last a long time.

One large item that stands in the way of using LED illumination is color variability in white LEDs. Most incandescent lights are all the same color and dim in a similar manner, while white LED devices have quite a spread. That is one driver behind the intensly colored displays that do use LEDs. Stylists and other picky people demand that all of the light sources on an instrument cluster match colors, and that increases the costs of the LEDs quite a bit. Advances in production are reducing the cost, and brighter devices reduce the number that are needed, but it is a more recent change. That is why there are soldered in bulbs.

tekochip
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Not a good decision
tekochip   4/15/2014 8:36:55 AM
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I worked on a project where the decision was made to solder a bulb in place.  The sentiment was that the bulb was a super high reliability bulb rated for high vibration and an outrageous number of hours.  I was against it because if the bulb failed you knew full well that somebody was going to run down to Radio Shack and buy the first bulb that fit into the board, and it wouldn't be the best bulb.  Most units made it through the normal life span, however the unit was used outdoors and some units failed when the leads corroded off the bulbs.
 
Good incandescent bulbs are getting harder to find and the prices are going up.  Coin operated games used to use mountains of them, but now the game manufacturers are looking for alternatives.


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