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PICList Thread
'Car LED lighting system; PIC filament monitoring'
1999\07\26@152706 by Mark Willis

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In a discussion with someone else, I was asked if all a car's
"auxiliary" lighting could be replaced with LEDs, and/or how to monitor
existing bulbs with a PIC (so you can tell when a turn signal bulb burns
out, etc.)

On the first point, I probably should go look & see if the federal regs.
about car lighting allow tail lights, turn signal bulbs, etc. to BE
LED-type, and how intense they'd have to be (I think I've seen local
buses with LED brake/turn lighting, though), I said I thought that
everything but headlights & Fog/Driving lights could be done in LED's,
nowadays, but would check.

On the second point, obviously you could put a series resistor in line
with the bulbs, swap bulbs to give you 6V bulbs, and monitor the top of
that dropping resistor, through a 1k resistor to the PIC (If it's at 6V
with 1mA temporarily injected through the bulb for turn signal etc.
bulbs, the filaments's good, if not, the filament's DOA.)  If you used a
comparator, could use a much smaller resistor in the ground line & do
basically the same thing (Compare to say a 1/4 Volt reference voltage,
drop 3/8 volt across the resistor.)  Same basic thing should be easier
to do with LED's - though you shouldn't NEED to, they have such a long
MTBF! <G>

 Mark

1999\07\26@154815 by Dmitry Kiryashov

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Mark Willis wrote:
>
> In a discussion with someone else, I was asked if all a car's
> "auxiliary" lighting could be replaced with LEDs, and/or how to monitor
> existing bulbs with a PIC (so you can tell when a turn signal bulb burns
> out, etc.)

In Russia, especially in Moscow there are alot of traffic lights made with LED.
They much more visible in the daylight and look more attractive against typical
that made with lamps.

WBR Dmitry.

1999\07\26@155155 by Clyde Smith-Stubbs

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On Mon, Jul 26, 1999 at 12:25:49PM -0700, Mark Willis wrote:

> On the second point, obviously you could put a series resistor in line
> with the bulbs, swap bulbs to give you 6V bulbs, and monitor the top of

If you use a very small series resistor and an op-amp you wouldn't need
to change bulbs, but there is another way I have seen used that
minimizes the voltage drop - use a reed switch inside a coil. You
then sense the applied voltage, and if the reed switch doesn't close
when the volts are applied, bingo!

You'd have to experiment with coils for different size lamps.

--
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1999\07\26@204942 by David Duley

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On Mon, 26 Jul 1999 15:43:53 -0400, you wrote:

>In Russia, especially in Moscow there are alot of traffic lights made with LED.
>They much more visible in the daylight and look more attractive against typical
>that made with lamps.
>
>WBR Dmitry.


Hi Dmitry!

I'm curious, Here in California the red stop lights are all LED but
the yellow and green are still incandescent.  In Russia are all of the
colors LEDs?
I am starting to see more and more trucks and busses using red and
amber LEDs for tail lights.  In Korea I saw much more LED usage that
here in the States.  In Japan everything had an LCD panel on it.
Small advertising on store shelves to large format panels spewing adds
in taxi cabs.

Best regards
Dave Duley

1999\07\26@212342 by Dmitry Kiryashov

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Hi David.

> Hi Dmitry!
> I'm curious, Here in California the red stop lights are all LED but
> the yellow and green are still incandescent.  In Russia are all of the
> colors LEDs?

All new traffic light are equipped with LED. I've saw two type of them:
1 eye - only changes the color from red through yellow to green.
It seems to be three groups of color LED's inside of one eye.
And three independed eyes ;-) Each for every color.

It is as incredible as it visible in comparison with usual lamps
especially in sunny day. And furthermore - those traffic units don't
use shadow cover - they shining very bright against the sun ;-)

And one more - it is very easy to implement arrows and other signs
without additional lamp - just show different picture on the same
projector.

WBR Dmitry.

> I am starting to see more and more trucks and busses using red and
> amber LEDs for tail lights.  In Korea I saw much more LED usage that
> here in the States.  In Japan everything had an LCD panel on it.
> Small advertising on store shelves to large format panels spewing adds
> in taxi cabs.

1999\07\26@225447 by Clyde Smith-Stubbs

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On Mon, Jul 26, 1999 at 09:18:32PM -0400, Dmitry Kiryashov wrote:

> All new traffic light are equipped with LED. I've saw two type of them:
> 1 eye - only changes the color from red through yellow to green.

How do people with impaired colour vision deal with that?
Or aren't they allowed to drive in Russia?

Regards, Clyde

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1999\07\26@233136 by Anne Ogborn

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you haven't proven the light's lit by measuring bulb current, only
that there's a current path through the bulb or socket to ground.

And, for what it's worth, I thought a lot of new cars HAD LED turn signals
etc.

Most of the stop lights here are LEDs now. And somebody who knows tells me
they're making the railroad signals LED.

--
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1999\07\26@233933 by Dmitry Kiryashov

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Clyde Smith-Stubbs wrote:

> > All new traffic light are equipped with LED. I've saw two type of them:
> > 1 eye - only changes the color from red through yellow to green.
>
> How do people with impaired colour vision deal with that?
> Or aren't they allowed to drive in Russia?

I don't know. But I definitely know that is very hard to obtain driver
license if you have problem with color vision. Probably they looking
around what other people doing. ;-)

WBR Dmitry.

1999\07\27@003656 by Pedro Drummond

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Isn't nice when we share information?  We learn things everyday.
:Thanks Des Bromilow.
:Wagner.


It sure is nice, and I'm glad not to see many Off-Topic flamers around. Some
people just want to talk about the processor pins, everything else is
off-topic. I understand we are here to:

1) Share information (i.e., teach a little, learn a lot)
2) Make friends (we are a large group with many interests in common)
3) Have fun (of course, always !)

Pedro.

1999\07\27@070702 by Clyde Smith-Stubbs

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On Mon, Jul 26, 1999 at 11:33:56PM -0400, Dmitry Kiryashov wrote:

> I don't know. But I definitely know that is very hard to obtain driver
> license if you have problem with color vision. Probably they looking

Hmm, it's certainly possible here - traffic lights here are *always* red
on top, amber in the middle, green bottom. I have seen some in the USA that
are arranged horizontally - I'm not sure if there is a standard for that.
But a single lamp would make it hard..

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1999\07\27@070829 by Clyde Smith-Stubbs

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On Mon, Jul 26, 1999 at 08:29:27PM -0700, Anne Ogborn wrote:
> you haven't proven the light's lit by measuring bulb current, only
> that there's a current path through the bulb or socket to ground.

Yes, but if there's a current path, and it's not a short circuit (or
the fuse would blow) and the current is above some minimum value, then
it's a reasonable bet the lamp is working.

--
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1999\07\27@073812 by Max Toole

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In a message dated 7/26/99 3:04:07 PM Central Daylight Time, RemoveMEclydeTakeThisOuTspamHTSOFT.COM
writes:

> > On the second point, obviously you could put a series resistor in line
>  > with the bulbs, swap bulbs to give you 6V bulbs, and monitor the top of
>
>  If you use a very small series resistor and an op-amp you wouldn't need
>  to change bulbs, but there is another way I have seen used that
>  minimizes the voltage drop - use a reed switch inside a coil. You
>  then sense the applied voltage, and if the reed switch doesn't close
>  when the volts are applied, bingo!
>
>  You'd have to experiment with coils for different size lamps.
>
There are current sense relays for telco applications that have 2 coils wound
in such a way as to assist each other so that there is very little voltage
drop across the relay coils.  I received a sample from, I think, Teltone.
This may possibly be a consideration.

Max

1999\07\27@093018 by Tom Handley

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  Mark, are you doing this for your own rig or is it commercial? Back
in the 80's I wanted to monitor the headlights, breaklights, and turn
signals in my old Ford F250 pickup. I ended up using low-cost plastic
fiber optics to monitor the lamps and used small, snap-in LED lenses,
in the cockpit. This eliminated the electronics and was very reliable.

  - Tom

At 12:25 PM 7/26/99 -0700, Mark Willis wrote:
{Quote hidden}

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Handley
New Age Communications
Since '75 before "New Age" and no one around here is waiting for UFOs ;-)

1999\07\27@095535 by Andy Kunz

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>Hmm, it's certainly possible here - traffic lights here are *always* red
>on top, amber in the middle, green bottom. I have seen some in the USA that
>are arranged horizontally - I'm not sure if there is a standard for that.

The red is always to the left, to enable it to be seen better.  It's more
"in your way" then.

Andy

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1999\07\27@110504 by ShadeDemon

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 Ha, go to New York..  You wouldn't believe how many stop
lights I sailed through before I noticed those little posts
on the right with the signals on them.  I haven't seen those
in ANY of the cities in NC, SC, or Virginia that I normally
drive in.  Was so tuned in to looking for lights overhead
that I completely didn't see the signals not being where
they were expected..

 Want to try something fun?  When the road's empty and you
have lots of room, lay your head over sideways and try to
drive.  Be expecting to go outside your lane if you have any
curves.  You'll get a real good feel for just how locked in
your brain's visual system is to the normal
horizontal/vertical attitude.

Andy Kunz wrote:
>
> >Hmm, it's certainly possible here - traffic lights here are *always* red
> >on top, amber in the middle, green bottom. I have seen some in the USA that
> >are arranged horizontally - I'm not sure if there is a standard for that.

1999\07\27@110509 by Adam Davis

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I'm curious, I'm partially color blind, and sometimes at night the only
difference to me between a blinking yellow and a blinking red is the position on
the light.  Is there another way to tell what the color is without being able to
see color on these lights that all all in one 'eye'?

-Adam

Dmitry Kiryashov wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\27@114219 by Nigel Orr

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At 11:04 27/07/99 -0400, you wrote:
>the light.  Is there another way to tell what the color is without being
able to
>see color on these lights that all all in one 'eye'?

I don't know if there is or not, but one of the things mentioned was how
easy it was to do different shapes- which could be very useful to the
sight-impaired, and also make the sign more noticeable to all drivers- the
green could be a flashing or 'moving' arrow, red could be a solid X, and
amber could be a flashing X.  Something like that anyway- seems a shame to
have the capacity to make shapes and not use it!

Nigel

1999\07\27@115415 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Probably a cheap RF low range transmitter directed only to the last 50
meters of the street towards the traffic signal, signaling specific tone
codes for RED and GREEN... imagine another cheap directional receiver
installed in your car telling you the next light status.

Now tell me, isn't the yellow lamp stupid?  why not flash the green lamp
during the last 10 seconds of the "green" status?  Can you imagine the
savings? Lamps, relays, wires, supports, weight, cables...

Here in Orlando, we have a traffic light, they installed a xenon lamp
flashing right in front the RED lamp... it is very difficult to see the
lamp in the middle of all of those flashy advertisements.

Wagner

Nigel Orr wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\27@121038 by Andy Kunz

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At 11:04 AM 7/27/99 -0400, you wrote:
>I'm curious, I'm partially color blind, and sometimes at night the only

I just found out that I'm beginning to have problems with green (my father
and brother have for years known).

I went for my annual eye exam last week, and he found that my ability to
see contrast against green (black/green was very bad) in my right eye was
much poorer in the left eye.  He sees it as directly related to the amount
of computer use I've been getting.  I was complaining about eyestrain
anyways...

Andy

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1999\07\27@122708 by Andy Kunz

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>Now tell me, isn't the yellow lamp stupid?  why not flash the green lamp
>during the last 10 seconds of the "green" status?  Can you imagine the
>savings? Lamps, relays, wires, supports, weight, cables...

Flashing an incandescent lamp decreases its life.  The startup currents
kill the filaments MUCH more than continuous on.

Wagner, I thought you'd have known that!

>Here in Orlando, we have a traffic light, they installed a xenon lamp
>flashing right in front the RED lamp... it is very difficult to see the
>lamp in the middle of all of those flashy advertisements.

They used them in NC at bad intersections, particularly on long straight
roads frequented by truckers but with an occasional plant entrance.

Andy

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1999\07\27@130235 by Harold Hallikainen

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       An idea I'd like to play with some time is an efficient way of
driving LEDs (with no series current limit resistor).  The method is
this:

       Postive supply thru an inductor to the drain of an FET to ground.
A series string of LEDs plus one standard diode (to increase the reverse
breakdown over what the LEDs could handle) across the inductor such that
they are reverse biased when the FET is on.
       Pulse the FET.  When it is on, the inductor current ramps up
linearly.  When the FET is off, the inductor current ramps down through
the FETs.  Since there is no current limit resistor, the circuit should
be pretty efficient.  You could put a bunch of LEDs in series across a
single inductor.
       Anyone tried anything like this?

Harold


Harold Hallikainen
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in LPFM proceeding at http://hallikainen.com/lpfm


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1999\07\27@130242 by Reginald Neale

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Andy said:

>Flashing an incandescent lamp decreases its life.  The startup currents
>kill the filaments MUCH more than continuous on.
>
>Wagner, I thought you'd have known that!
>

 Andy, I'd have thought you'd be paying attention! :-)

 Wagner did say flashing XENON light. This is a new technique.
 They installed one of these in my neighborhood too. The xenon
 flashtube is positioned in front of the regular incandescent
 lamp, only in the red position. When the light is red, a 2Hz
 flash superimposed on the red alerts you in case you're not
 paying attention. The green is just normal.

 Ours is on a long straight road that has new cross traffic
 and didn't use to have a traffic light at all. Impossible
 to ignore, very effective. Probably controlled with a PIC.

 Pedestrian traffic signals in some places have little icons
 of people walking, with the negative slash when the light
 is red for your direction.

 Don Norman in "The Psychology of Everyday Things" discusses
 the design of simple interfaces like traffic lights,
 faucets, door opener hardware, etc. Highly recommended for
 anyone who designs stuff that people use.

 Reg Neale

1999\07\27@132304 by Matthew Fries

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If there are new stoplights that just use one "eye", but multiple colors,
they could use different shapes of LED patterns to differentiate the
different signals. For example, not only have STOP be red, but also make
it a square. Green could be a triangle pointing upward, and amber, just a
circle. Then you could tell, colorblind or not.



On Tue, 27 Jul 1999, Adam Davis wrote:

> I'm curious, I'm partially color blind, and sometimes at night the only
> difference to me between a blinking yellow and a blinking red is the position
on
> the light.  Is there another way to tell what the color is without being able
to
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\27@132654 by Andy Kunz

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d
>be pretty efficient.  You could put a bunch of LEDs in series across a
>single inductor.
>        Anyone tried anything like this?

They use a technique similar to this (no inductor, no FET) for night flying
model airplanes.  They basically just use the multiple voltage drops to
limit current.  LOTS of LEDs in series.

Andy

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1999\07\27@132656 by Andy Kunz

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>  Andy, I'd have thought you'd be paying attention! :-)

I was.

>  Wagner did say flashing XENON light. This is a new technique.

Different paragraph.  The original said:

>Now tell me, isn't the yellow lamp stupid?  why not flash the green lamp
>during the last 10 seconds of the "green" status?  Can you imagine the
>savings? Lamps, relays, wires, supports, weight, cables...

That is NOT a good idea.  The incandescent GREEN LAMP would be flashed for
10 seconds.  The filament wouldn't last long.

>  Ours is on a long straight road that has new cross traffic
>  and didn't use to have a traffic light at all. Impossible
>  to ignore, very effective. Probably controlled with a PIC.

This is like what I saw used in NC.

Andy

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1999\07\27@134120 by Andy Kunz

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At 12:22 PM 7/27/99 -0500, you wrote:
>If there are new stoplights that just use one "eye", but multiple colors,
>they could use different shapes of LED patterns to differentiate the
>different signals. For example, not only have STOP be red, but also make
>it a square. Green could be a triangle pointing upward, and amber, just a
>circle. Then you could tell, colorblind or not.

If your vision were a certain level.  After leaving the office, I'm more
nearsighted than usual for about an hour.

Andy

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1999\07\27@134729 by Gary Crowell

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Reginald Neale wrote:
>
>   Don Norman in "The Psychology of Everyday Things" discusses
>   the design of simple interfaces like traffic lights,
>   faucets, door opener hardware, etc. Highly recommended for
>   anyone who designs stuff that people use.
>
>   Reg Neale


"recommended", hell, should be mandatory.  Every day I fume at doors
with one word instruction manuals and the 'new' vending machines that
are more difficult to use than the old.

Gary Crowell

1999\07\27@142906 by John Pfaff

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During a recent trip to Canada, I couldn't figure out why the green lamp was
flashing for the first several seconds after switching from red to green.
It turns out that is a signal that it is OK to make a left turn, opposing
traffic still has a red signal; much like a green left turn arrow.


{Original Message removed}

1999\07\27@144958 by Matt Bonner

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John Pfaff wrote:
>
> During a recent trip to Canada, I couldn't figure out why the green lamp was
> flashing for the first several seconds after switching from red to green.
> It turns out that is a signal that it is OK to make a left turn, opposing
> traffic still has a red signal; much like a green left turn arrow.

Tourists beware!  This is a generalization - every Canadian city I lived
in does something different.  Vertical lights, horizontal lights,
flashing amber (gives a little extra warning so that you speed up to
make the light)...

The only variation on left turn signals that I *haven't* seen is the one
John mentions.

--Matt

1999\07\27@145403 by Adam Davis

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I went to toronto and have seen these blinking greens.. I was told they indicate
the other side has yellow, and if the coast is clear, go, otherwise, wait until
it's steady.  I don't recall how reliable my source was though, so who knows...

-Adam

Matt Bonner wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\27@145618 by John Pfaff

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This was in Ontario around Hamilton.

-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Bonner <EraseMEmbonnerspamEraseMESUNADA.COM>
To: @spam@PICLIST@spam@spamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU <spamBeGonePICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 1999 2:50 PM
Subject: Re: Car LED lighting system; PIC filament monitoring


John Pfaff wrote:
>
> During a recent trip to Canada, I couldn't figure out why the green lamp
was
> flashing for the first several seconds after switching from red to green.
> It turns out that is a signal that it is OK to make a left turn, opposing
> traffic still has a red signal; much like a green left turn arrow.

Tourists beware!  This is a generalization - every Canadian city I lived
in does something different.  Vertical lights, horizontal lights,
flashing amber (gives a little extra warning so that you speed up to
make the light)...

The only variation on left turn signals that I *haven't* seen is the one
John mentions.

--Matt

1999\07\27@155125 by Mark Willis

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Just for my own rig, myself;  I figure that as I re-do everything on my
next Mustang-type car, (Dad found a '68(?) with a decent body), might as
well make it something rather fun.  I figure I'll do a complete re-wire
job on it, replace brake hoses & lines, etc., why not have the whole
beast's controls go digital as well?  That & I'll probably move the
battery to the trunk, as that's a healthier place than in the engine
compartment...  Could use Fiber Optics, though, might be more "in
period" than going completely digital.  I'll see as I get there (I want
to definitely improve a few things from stock.)

 Mark

Tom Handley wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\27@160806 by Dan Larson

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On Tue, 27 Jul 1999 13:04:26 -0500, Reginald Neale wrote:

>
>  Pedestrian traffic signals in some places have little icons
>  of people walking, with the negative slash when the light
>  is red for your direction.
>

Perhaps an icons of a car running down a helpless pedestrian,
or perhaps, an icon of a driver entering a courthouse would be
more persuasive in some cases <VBG>

All to often both pedestrians and drivers alike ignore signs
and signals by conscious *choice*, not from failure to notice
them.

BTW, IMHO, not only are the LED signs brighter, but the purer
colors are easier to pick out out of a wash of other
background light sources.

Dan

1999\07\27@162630 by PJH

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face
Hey Dimitry,


Dmitry Kiryashov wrote:

>It is as incredible as it visible in comparison with usual lamps

> especially in sunny day. And furthermore - those traffic units don't
> use shadow cover - they shining very bright against the sun ;-)
>

So how do the LEDS get the extra intensity? Are they a shop standard type
only lots of of them in the traffic light, or a special high efficiency
type? And are they available to PICers? I have a project in mind for a LED
spotlight ....

Spacibo - PJH

--

1999\07\27@164326 by kfinney

picon face
> I went to toronto and have seen these blinking greens.. I
> was told they indicate
> the other side has yellow, and if the coast is clear, go,
> otherwise, wait until
> it's steady.  I don't recall how reliable my source was
> though, so who knows...

It's called an 'advance green'. It is the same as a green left turn arrow,
except
it requires no additional hardware (ie. lights) to implement.

And no, the opposing traffic has a red light during this advance green, not
a yellow.

It is common across Canada.

-----------------------------------------
Kenneth C. Finney
=========================================
Wilkes Associates, Inc.
Software Engineering - Embedded Systems
Design & Development - Project Management
=========================================
Toronto, Ontario
Office:  (416) 445-9224
Mobile:  (416) 453-6400
-----------------------------------------

> {Original Message removed}

1999\07\27@171550 by Dmitry Kiryashov

flavicon
face
Hi.

> >It is as incredible as it visible in comparison with usual lamps
> > especially in sunny day. And furthermore - those traffic units don't
> > use shadow cover - they shining very bright against the sun ;-)
>
> So how do the LEDS get the extra intensity? Are they a shop standard type
> only lots of of them in the traffic light, or a special high efficiency
> type? And are they available to PICers? I have a project in mind for a LED
> spotlight ....

I've mentioned that some new LED's from HP are very bright too.
Probably some russian engineers have used the same approaches.
Anyway try to apply HP or analogous units that was designed
recently.

> Spacibo - PJH
Pozhaluysta ;-)

WBR Dmitry.

1999\07\27@175337 by Wagner Lipnharski

picon face
Nahhh Andy, you dont understand nothing about color lamps... flash the
light with a reversed polarity current, filament still heat but the
light goes black.... hehe :)
Wagner.
(ps: just keep a small current enough to keep the filament heat.)

Andy Kunz wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--
--------------------------------------------------------
Wagner Lipnharski - UST Research Inc. - Orlando, Florida
Forum and microcontroller web site:  http://www.ustr.net
Microcontrollers Survey:  http://www.ustr.net/tellme.htm

1999\07\27@181432 by Wagner Lipnharski

picon face
> I went to toronto and have seen these blinking greens.. I
> was told they indicate
> the other side has yellow, and if the coast is clear, go,
> otherwise, wait until
> it's steady.  I don't recall how reliable my source was
> though, so who knows...

I heard that now they will implement a coded system with different color
combinations and sequences.
For example, if you find a solid green lamp, and the yellow flashes only
6 times, it means you need to reduce speed, but if the yellow blinks
only 4 then the red blinks 3 and yellow return to blink 3 times, it
means you need to look to your left.  If the green flashes twice, and
(pay attention now) the red blinks 4 times with 2 seconds interval,
there is a police car in a 5 kilometers radius. If the Red is solid
along with 24 flashes on the green, it means the system is deffective,
so proceed with caution. If all lamps are off, it means "yuuupy", no
power at all.  There is a long list of codes and details, all of them,
of course, should be answered 100% correctly at the new driver's license
computer tests.  The only problem encontered up to now, is to teach all
the traffic officers about the new codes... it seems they are a bit
confused.

To facilitate things, I heard that they will implement a fourth color
lamp (blue) by this way the code list could be expanded.

:)

Here in Florida you can turn right everywhere, red or green, except when
a small sign is posted aside the traffic light saying "No Turn on Red",
or "No Turn if Pedestrians are Crossing", or if there is a right red
arrow light (LED lamps).
Wagner

1999\07\27@181442 by paulb

flavicon
face
Wagner Lipnharski wrote:

> (ps: just keep a small current enough to keep the filament heat.)

 And I trust we all realize that nearly *all* current-model traffic
light controllers using incandescent bulbs provide pre-heat to the bulbs
(probably continuous pre-heat whilst flashing).

 You may have noticed they "change" a lot slower than they used to.
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1999\07\27@183325 by Dennis Plunkett

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face
At 11:04 27/07/99 -0400, you wrote:
>I'm curious, I'm partially color blind, and sometimes at night the only
>difference to me between a blinking yellow and a blinking red is the
position on
>the light.  Is there another way to tell what the color is without being
able to
>see color on these lights that all all in one 'eye'?
>
>-Adam

<SNIP>

Yes, but you're not allowed to drive at night aren't you?

Dennis

>

1999\07\27@184212 by Matt Bennett

flavicon
face
At 05:13 PM 7/27/99 , you wrote:

>
>To facilitate things, I heard that they will implement a fourth color
>lamp (blue) by this way the code list could be expanded.
>
>:)

They already have blue lights- if you ever get the chance to see a regular
incandescent stop-light lens- the green lens is actually blue.   I guess it
is because of the yellow tinge that most incandescents have.  (The blue
lens thing is really the truth... Before he retired, my father worked for
the US Dept. of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and for a
while he was head of the division that was working on uniform signs and
signals.  This was before the advent of LED stoplights, however.)

Matt Bennett

1999\07\27@184612 by Dennis Plunkett

flavicon
face
At 14:53 27/07/99 -0400, you wrote:
>I went to toronto and have seen these blinking greens.. I was told they
indicate
>the other side has yellow, and if the coast is clear, go, otherwise, wait
until
>it's steady.  I don't recall how reliable my source was though, so who
knows...
>
>-Adam

In my book "green" means GO!
Thats the competative racing side comming out

Dennis

1999\07\27@184958 by Dennis Plunkett

flavicon
face
At 12:34 27/07/99 -0700, you wrote:
>Just for my own rig, myself;  I figure that as I re-do everything on my
>next Mustang-type car, (Dad found a '68(?) with a decent body), might as
>well make it something rather fun.  I figure I'll do a complete re-wire
>job on it, replace brake hoses & lines, etc., why not have the whole
>beast's controls go digital as well?  That & I'll probably move the
>battery to the trunk, as that's a healthier place than in the engine
>compartment...  Could use Fiber Optics, though, might be more "in
>period" than going completely digital.  I'll see as I get there (I want
>to definitely improve a few things from stock.)
>
>


BUZZT:
Don't put the battery in the boot, dangerous! Here in Oz you will need to
get a certificate to prove that the battery will not become an acidic
missile under crash conditions.
Audi, place it under the back seat!

Dennis

1999\07\27@190035 by Howard McGinnis

flavicon
face
At 06:13 PM 7/27/99 -0400, you wrote:
>To facilitate things, I heard that they will implement a fourth color
>lamp (blue) by this way the code list could be expanded.
>
The blue would be used to indicate that the traffic system has experience a
Blue Screen of Death under Windows NT and that someone should cycle power.

Howard
Howard McGinnis
TakeThisOuThmcginniKILLspamspamspamdigital.net
Electronic Visions, Inc.
1650 Barrett Drive
Rockledge FL 32955
(407) 632-7530
http://ddi.digital.net/~hmcginni
.....mcginnisspamRemoveMEe-visions.com

1999\07\27@192404 by Andy Kunz

flavicon
face
At 08:51 AM 7/28/99 +1000, you wrote:
>At 14:53 27/07/99 -0400, you wrote:
>>I went to toronto and have seen these blinking greens.. I was told they
>indicate
>>the other side has yellow, and if the coast is clear, go, otherwise, wait
>until
>>it's steady.  I don't recall how reliable my source was though, so who
>knows...
>>
>>-Adam
>
>In my book "green" means GO!
>Thats the competative racing side comming out

And by blinking it's telling me it's really important that I go NOW!!

Andy

==================================================================
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------------------------------------------------------------------
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1999\07\27@205243 by Mark Willis

flavicon
face
Dennis Plunkett wrote:
{Quote hidden}

 (Was going to mention, my lamp modules would probably include fusing
onboard, or just off-board.  Makes perfect sense, that.)

 How is putting it in the trunk dangerous?  If I battery box it in the
trunk, at the front end of the trunk, in a nice strong sealed box,
welded in place, it really should not be any problem;  Battery life's
increased greatly, by being away from the engine heat & water spray
etc.  I always tie down heavy lead objects in cars...  Aircraft
typically do the same exact thing I'm thinking of.

 Sadly, I've seen more than one situation where a battery under the
back seat gets "intimately involved" with seat cushion wires, causing a
fire.  As said seat cushions seemed to burn nicely, I was NOT
impressed.  I feel that batteries belong in a nice hard case <G>

 Don't ask me to carelessly route an oil pressure line (to a dash
gauge), either, as one car I bought (for pretty cheap) right after this
guy re-built it, was cheap because that oil line was air-blown against
the exhaust manifold, melted & sprayed oil onto the nice red hot
manifold, causing a nice oil fire to start;  The fire melted the
(illegal, cheap, plastic) fuel filter, so now the fire REALLY got going,
fueled by both oil & gasoline;  the engine soon quit.  When I got the
car the air filter was crispy, as was most engine wiring, hoses, etc.;
I replaced the air cleaner housing, radiator cap, a few plastic parts &
hoses, re-did the oil sender hose <G>, fuel filter, and all the ignition
wiring & 12v wiring, and suddenly I had a pretty inexpensive running
Wagoneer.  I've done that ONCE, don't want to do it again, particularly.

 Has anyone who's seen the film of the "Kee Bird" (IIRC) disaster?
This expedition rebuilt this aircraft that had sat in the Arctic since
WW2 or so, for 40+ years, only to lose the airplane when the APU
(Auxiliary Power Unit) which wasn't bolted in place properly, broke
loose during the takeoff roll, & set the beast on fire - and (of course)
all fire extinguishers were placed right next to the APU, so
inaccessible.  Horrendously sad to watch from a distance, must've been
really bad to be there in person...  I'd rather not experience anything
like that, personally.  Better to prevent mistakes, when you can, than
suffer their consequences.

 Mark

1999\07\27@211221 by miked

flavicon
face
>
> On Mon, Jul 26, 1999 at 12:25:49PM -0700, Mark Willis wrote:
>
> > On the second point, obviously you could put a series resistor in line
> > with the bulbs, swap bulbs to give you 6V bulbs, and monitor the top of
>
> If you use a very small series resistor and an op-amp you wouldn't need to
> change bulbs, but there is another way I have seen used that minimizes the
> voltage drop - use a reed switch inside a coil. You then sense the applied
> voltage, and if the reed switch doesn't close when the volts are applied,
> bingo!
>
> You'd have to experiment with coils for different size lamps.
>
> --
My Subaru had something like this. Each brake light went thru a
coil both around a reed switch. If a bulb was out the magnetic field
was unbalanced and a warning light came on.

1999\07\27@215145 by Peter van Hoof

flavicon
face
you might want to rethink placing the battery in the trunk
hydrogen gas might collect in case of a non sealed model. for a sealed one ,
there is as you mention always that chance something goes wrong. a vented
place is better.

Peter



>
>   How is putting it in the trunk dangerous?  If I battery box it in the
> trunk, at the front end of the trunk, in a nice strong sealed box,
> welded in place, it really should not be any problem;  Battery life's
> increased greatly, by being away from the engine heat & water spray
> etc.  I always tie down heavy lead objects in cars...  Aircraft
> typically do the same exact thing I'm thinking of.

1999\07\28@004323 by Gabriel Gonzalez

flavicon
face
And if you should decide to come to Mexico, you should not confuse this.
Here the flashing green light means it is about to change to yellow, so you
must start to break or step on it.

Gabriel


{Original Message removed}

1999\07\28@041108 by Clyde Smith-Stubbs

flavicon
face
On Wed, Jul 28, 1999 at 08:54:23AM +1000, Dennis Plunkett wrote:

> Don't put the battery in the boot, dangerous! Here in Oz you will need to
> get a certificate to prove that the battery will not become an acidic
> missile under crash conditions.

That's where the BMW Z3 has it. It is recessed into the floor, though, right
next to the really neat toolkit with molded plastic holders for all the tools.

--
Clyde Smith-Stubbs               |            HI-TECH Software
Email: TakeThisOuTclydespamspamhtsoft.com          |          Phone            Fax
WWW:   http://www.htsoft.com/    | USA: (408) 490 2885  (408) 490 2885
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---------------------------------------------------------------------------
HI-TECH C: compiling the real world.

1999\07\28@041317 by Eric Smith

flavicon
face
Gary Crowell <RemoveMEgacrowellEraseMEspamspam_OUTMICRON.COM> wrote:
> Every day I fume at doors with one word instruction manuals [...]

Are you having trouble with the PUSH ones, or the PULL ones?  :-)

Seriously, though, what kind of doors are you talking about?

1999\07\28@041940 by Michael Rigby-Jones

flavicon
face
> > Don't put the battery in the boot, dangerous! Here in Oz you will need
> to
> > get a certificate to prove that the battery will not become an acidic
> > missile under crash conditions.
>
Clyde wrote:

> That's where the BMW Z3 has it. It is recessed into the floor, though,
> right
> next to the really neat toolkit with molded plastic holders for all the
> tools.
>
That's where my Mini had it as well....until the battery box rotted and
jettisoned the battery onto the road.....

Mike Ribgy-Jones

1999\07\28@111110 by Adam Davis

flavicon
face
Dennis Plunkett wrote:
>
> At 11:04 27/07/99 -0400, you wrote:
> >I'm curious, I'm partially color blind, and sometimes at night the only
> >difference to me between a blinking yellow and a blinking red is the
> position on
> >the light.  Is there another way to tell what the color is without being
> able to
> >see color on these lights that all all in one 'eye'?
> >
> >-Adam
>
> <SNIP>
>
> Yes, but you're not allowed to drive at night aren't you?
>
> Dennis

I am allowed to drive at night.  I slow down until I can tell the difference.
Usually about 300 feet away.

-Adam

1999\07\28@113225 by Gary Crowell

flavicon
face
Eric Smith wrote:
>
> Gary Crowell <@spam@gacrowellRemoveMEspamEraseMEMICRON.COM> wrote:
> > Every day I fume at doors with one word instruction manuals [...]
>
> Are you having trouble with the PUSH ones, or the PULL ones?  :-)
>
> Seriously, though, what kind of doors are you talking about?


As pointed out by Don Norman in "The Design of Everyday Things", any
device as simple and obvious as a door, that requires an instruction
manual (even a one word instruction manual, 'Push' or 'Pull') is a
failure in design.  When a door handle is a horizontal bar, the natural
impulse is to push on it; a vertical bar naturally implies grasping and
pulling.  If you watch the traffic thru doors that oppose these natural
affordances, even if they have instruction manuals, you will see a
significant number of people attempt the 'wrong' action.  Even people
who have been through that door many times before, and know perfectly
well which way it goes, will still occasionally be overcome by the
natural impulse.  The usual reaction is: "Stupid me, I know which way
this door goes"; or "Stupid people, can't read the sign".  But the
proper reaction is: "Stupid designer, hasn't bothered to consider the
simplest human factors."

Norman's book is available in trade paperback,  ISBN: 0385267746, and
is, quite simply, a 'must read' for anyone who designs anything.

Gary Crowell
Micron Technology  <<  and yes, the doors on this building are screwed
up!

1999\07\28@115714 by Tom Handley

picon face
At 01:16 PM 7/27/99 -0400, Andy Kunz wrote:
>>  Andy, I'd have thought you'd be paying attention! :-)
>
>I was.
>
>>  Wagner did say flashing XENON light. This is a new technique.
>
>Different paragraph.  The original said:
>
>>Now tell me, isn't the yellow lamp stupid?  why not flash the green lamp
>>during the last 10 seconds of the "green" status?  Can you imagine the
>>savings? Lamps, relays, wires, supports, weight, cables...
>
>That is NOT a good idea.  The incandescent GREEN LAMP would be flashed for
>10 seconds.  The filament wouldn't last long.
>
>Andy

  Wagner's idea is still good. Use LEDs instead of incandescents, or
look at improved lamps that do not suffer from the thermal stress.
While green LED efficiency can not compare with red LEDs, there have
been major improvements. Obvioulsy flashing the red light would not work
since it has another meaning.

  - Tom

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Handley
New Age Communications
Since '75 before "New Age" and no one around here is waiting for UFOs ;-)

1999\07\28@115723 by Tom Handley

picon face
At 11:54 AM 7/27/99 -0400, Wagner Lipnharski wrote:
>Now tell me, isn't the yellow lamp stupid?  why not flash the green lamp
>during the last 10 seconds of the "green" status?  Can you imagine the
>savings? Lamps, relays, wires, supports, weight, cables...
>
>Wagner

  Wagner, this is a *great* idea! And it would still allow folks with
color vision problems to drive safely. Unfortunately, folks that tend to
run yellow lights would still interpret the flash as "speed up"...

  - Tom

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Handley
New Age Communications
Since '75 before "New Age" and no one around here is waiting for UFOs ;-)

1999\07\28@115726 by Tom Handley

picon face
At 12:34 PM 7/27/99 -0700, Mark Willis wrote:
{Quote hidden}

  Mark, sounds interesting. I used Heathkit displays and cruise control
in my old Ford. I had since upgraded to a 79 Ford pickup but now that
it's 99, I may upgrade but I don't want to go too far or I won't know how
to work on the engine ;-)

  I've been wanting to add a HUD and a few other things like the lamp
monitor I mentioned. I have a Futaba 20x2 line VFD sample that I've
interfaced to a PIC. This display is basically an Optrex/Hitachi LCD
clone with a few differences in software. It's actually easier to talk
to. I was going to use similar displays in the cockpit. The nice thing
about older vehicles is that you can strip the old wiring and instrument
panel and do your own `thing'. In my case, the body looks like hell since
I worked it on a farm for years but I kept the engine and chassis in
great shape. I'll find out about the engine this week as I need to renew
my tags and Oregon's (great and many foul words deleted) DEQ changed the
rules and raised the fees so I need to once again run the truck through
the DEQ test...

  - Tom


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Handley
New Age Communications
Since '75 before "New Age" and no one around here is waiting for UFOs ;-)

1999\07\28@120331 by Dave VanHorn

flavicon
face
> As pointed out by Don Norman in "The Design of Everyday Things", any
> device as simple and obvious as a door, that requires an instruction
> manual (even a one word instruction manual, 'Push' or 'Pull') is a
> failure in design.  When a door handle is a horizontal bar, the natural
> impulse is to push on it; a vertical bar naturally implies grasping and


What about signs on exit doors that say "DO NOT ENTER"....?
Are they telling me I shouldnt' have come in in the first place?

Maybe they should say "Not an Exit".


Here's another popular design flunk.
A rectangular, large-ish device, with a flat top, that says not to put
anything on top of it.
If it's big and flat, people are going to put stuff on it.   Rounding the
top will make that not work.

1999\07\28@121159 by Andy Kunz

flavicon
face
>If it's big and flat, people are going to put stuff on it.   Rounding the
>top will make that not work.

You haven't met my kids.

Andy


==================================================================
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------------------------------------------------------------------
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1999\07\28@121618 by Dave VanHorn

flavicon
face
> >If it's big and flat, people are going to put stuff on it.   Rounding the
> >top will make that not work.
>
> You haven't met my kids.


For you, the A-Frame model :)

Look on top of the average front-loading clothes dryer for example.

1999\07\28@125600 by Andy Kunz

flavicon
face
>Look on top of the average front-loading clothes dryer for example.

We have one.  It's piled high with clothes, some of which obscure the door.

It serves as the staging area between the inside of the dryer and the
middle of the living room floor (where they seem to get dumped for folding).

With 7 kids, there's a lot of volume moved there!

Andy

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1999\07\28@170610 by Clyde Smith-Stubbs

flavicon
face
On Wed, Jul 28, 1999 at 10:57:36AM -0500, Dave VanHorn wrote:
> What about signs on exit doors that say "DO NOT ENTER"....?

My favourite was a cemetery near where I lived as a kid that had a big
sign on the entrance: "NO EXIT". And sure enough, they used to go in
and never come out!

--
Clyde Smith-Stubbs               |            HI-TECH Software
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1999\07\28@203443 by miked

flavicon
face
> d
> >be pretty efficient.  You could put a bunch of LEDs in series across a
> >single inductor.
> >        Anyone tried anything like this?
>
> They use a technique similar to this (no inductor, no FET) for night
> flying model airplanes.  They basically just use the multiple voltage
> drops to limit current.  LOTS of LEDs in series.
>
> Andy
The helicopter guys put their LEDs(in the blades) in parallel across
a 3V Lithium or 2 Ni-Cads with no resistors.
 Mike DeMetz sect. Michiana R/C Choppers
 .....mikedRemoveMEspamtechnologist.com
 http://www.elkhart.net/~miked/

1999\07\28@215258 by Harold Hallikainen

picon face
On Thu, 29 Jul 1999 07:04:18 +1000 Clyde Smith-Stubbs <.....clydeSTOPspamspam@spam@HTSOFT.COM>
writes:
>On Wed, Jul 28, 1999 at 10:57:36AM -0500, Dave VanHorn wrote:
>> What about signs on exit doors that say "DO NOT ENTER"....?
>
>My favourite was a cemetery near where I lived as a kid that had a big
>sign on the entrance: "NO EXIT". And sure enough, they used to go in
>and never come out!
>


       The favorite sign for the us kids (a long time ago) was the
street sign that said "Dead end" just before the local cemetery.

Harold

Harold Hallikainen
haroldEraseMEspam@spam@hallikainen.com
Hallikainen & Friends, Inc.
See the FCC Rules at http://hallikainen.com/FccRules and comments filed
in LPFM proceeding at http://hallikainen.com/lpfm

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1999\07\29@055945 by root

flavicon
face
Hi,
I must disappoint you: there is nothing new on it. In Hungary (here),
this idea is implemented for the pedestrians' red/green sign. Formerly
(about 10 year or more) it was also for vehicles, but it is ceased due to
somewhat European Traffic Agreement or whatever it was...

Regards,
Imre


On Wed, 28 Jul 1999, Tom Handley wrote:

{Quote hidden}


'Car LED lighting system; PIC filament monitoring'
1999\08\02@133415 by Harrison Cooper
flavicon
face
I've been gone a week (wow...lots of deleting I can tell already).
Someone...is it TI or Mot makes a chip to monitor bulbs.  I remember seeing
it someplace in one of those special ap data books.  Ring any bells with
anyone?



In a discussion with someone else, I was asked if all a car's
"auxiliary" lighting could be replaced with LEDs, and/or how to monitor
existing bulbs with a PIC (so you can tell when a turn signal bulb burns
out, etc.)

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