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If you have wanted to add lighting to the interior of your Box and have chosen to go the Cold Cathode route (which I think is the best) here are the directions to wire them up to the 12 volt system in your Box.

I purchase all of my cold cathodes on line from computer case modding sites. The prices are great and you can get just about any color you might need. The cold cathodes are brighter than the LED lights in my opinion.

Disclaimer: As always, if you screw it up don't come crying to me. Take your time, follow the directions and if you have questions ask me.

Here are the cold cathodes (cc's) fresh from the UPS man. Each of these kits contains two lamps, a converter and all the wiring required to hook them up in your computer. We, however, are not going to wire them up in our computer so we will need to do a little customizing in order for them to work in a 12 volt auto system.



Cut the zip ties and separate the three individual parts, lamps, converter and wiring which includes a PCI switch.



Since we are not going to use the lamps for a computer we will need to remove the power/ground leads for the converter from the PCI switch. Find the red lead that goes from the converter plug to the PCI switch and cut it. Then locate the black ground lead connected to the Molex connector and cut it.


When you have cut both wires this is what you will be left with.


The remainder of the wiring is not needed for our mod so you can either throw it away or save it in your ever growing junk drawer.


Here are the three components we will be using. The lamps, power/ground lead and the lamp leads.


This is not done in the order of installation, rather to show you how to prepare the items for installation. The red/black lead for the power and ground plugs into the single port on one end of the converter.


The white leads for the lamps plug into the dual ports on the other end of the converter.


Once all of the leads have been plugged in your set up will look like this.


The open ends of the red/black leads will be connected to a power and ground source to provide juice for the lamps.


That is the basic wiring mod for cold cathode lamps. There are some things to keep in mind as you wire these into your vehicle.

1. Don't connect the lamps to any power source without a fuse and a switch. The cc lamps will drain your battery much faster than the LED's.

2. Be sure your polarity is correct before connecting red/black leads. If you reverse them the converter will blow and your lamps won't light.

3. The white leads that come with the cc lamps are not to be lengthened. If you extend the wires the lamps will dim or not light at all. Mount the converter as close to the lamp as you can to avoid extending the leads. One exception is the 4 inch cold cathodes. You can extend the wire leads by about six inches and still get good quality light from the lamps.

I hope this helps explain the process for using computer lighting in your Box. If you have any questions feel free to PM me.:D
 

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Time to rename you Mister DIY ................ Where was this when I needed it..... Why could you have gone on Vac about 3 wks ago........ Doing a great job helpin all the XB peeps...........KEEP IT UP........

Taz on Vac = More DYI Threads.....
 

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are the computer cc cheaper than say randode? where did you get them at? I must have cheap cc setup.... can you get replacement convertors?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RAIDERBEAST said:
are the computer cc cheaper than say randode? where did you get them at? I must have cheap cc setup.... can you get replacement convertors?
I think Randode has some awesome stuff and this is NOT a diss on him but if you know how to do the wiring yourself it's cheaper to buy the kits from computer case mod companies on line. You can find a set of two 12 inch cc's with converter for between 6 and 8 bucks. 4 inch sets can be found between 5 and 6 bucks plus shipping. If however, you can't or don't want to do your own wiring, the Randode stuff is "plug and play" and I have heard nothing but good stuff abut him. I've ordered stuff from him myself, just not the lighting products. Yes you can find replacement coverters, they usually run about 5 bucks.
 

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great write up. I had just gotten my cold cathodes about 2 days before you posted this.
Randode is a great online store but if you can do it yourself its much much cheaper. I bought 16 of those exact same 12 inch CC's you have above for $10 on ebay....and they work great!
 

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quick question. is it alright to hook the power and ground directly to the battery or is that ill advised.

Also, im a bit confused as to how to run power from the fusebox. I mean im completely cluesless as to how people hook things up that way.
 

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I guess its alright as long as you have a fuse and a switch on it...But then it gets cluttered under the hood.

Wrap the + side to a fuse and put it back in the slot.

BTW, have you guys seen the fuses that when they are blown they light up?
 

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Big_Kokujin said:
I guess its alright as long as you have a fuse and a switch on it...But then it gets cluttered under the hood.

Wrap the + side to a fuse and put it back in the slot.

BTW, have you guys seen the fuses that when they are blown they light up?
As far as interior cathodes go, I bought something called "mini add-a-circuit" which plugs into an empty slot in your interior fuse box (bottom row, 2nd from the left is hot all the time). It is designed to be plugged into an exsisting circuit and holds two fuses, one for the exsisiting circuit and one for the new circuit. Then hook it to the invertors power wire.

I dont know how clear that was, but ask me if you have further questions.

Slainte!
 

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heathenbrewing said:
As far as interior cathodes go, I bought something called "mini add-a-circuit" which plugs into an empty slot in your interior fuse box (bottom row, 2nd from the left is hot all the time). It is designed to be plugged into an exsisting circuit and holds two fuses, one for the exsisiting circuit and one for the new circuit. Then hook it to the invertors power wire.

I dont know how clear that was, but ask me if you have further questions.

Slainte!
I have a question: Can you do mine when I get them?

Another SD install party!!! :D
 

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DTRAIN619 said:
I have a question: Can you do mine when I get them?

Another SD install party!!! :D
Anytime man. I can show you my set up on Sat. if you want. No need to do any drilling into the dash like I see many people do (and the factory drills as well).

You know me...clean,clean,clean.
 

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backseatchris said:
so is what i need something on this site here? If so, what is it that i need? And how much amperage do cold cathodes use? And thanks for your help guys...i just read a DIY and im pretty confused.
Nah, not on this site (that I know of anyway) but you can find it at any auto parts store...heres a pic:

http://www.anythinggps.com/browseproducts/ATC-Add-A-Circuit-Fuse-Tap-System---10-Pack.html

They are about $5 or $6.

JUST MAKE SURE THE PACKAGE SAYS "MINI"

I have 4 12" 'thodes (I dont want it too bright as I drive with them on :eek::D ); 2 under the dash, 1 under each seat. I am using a 5 amp fuse and I seem to remember you can run up to 10 sets of 'em (thats 20 'thodes) with a 7.5 amp fuse.

I found the cheapest place to buy 'em is here: http://oznium.com/
Plenty of LED's and if you are not electrically inclined, they sell whole UB kits and stuff'
 

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i went right to autozone after work last night and i found the 'mini add-a circuit' for $6 each (4 fuses included). I installed it this morning and i must say that it is not lighting up but half the tube (2 tubes)...and its very dim. its not a connection problem because when i use a battery it lights up both tubes very bright. I tried different fuse spots and none of them light up the tubes even half way.

Any clue as to why this is happening. Ive tried a 5 and 10 fuse to see if it made a difference, no it did not
 

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backseatchris said:
i went right to autozone after work last night and i found the 'mini add-a circuit' for $6 each (4 fuses included). I installed it this morning and i must say that it is not lighting up but half the tube (2 tubes)...and its very dim. its not a connection problem because when i use a battery it lights up both tubes very bright. I tried different fuse spots and none of them light up the tubes even half way.

Any clue as to why this is happening. Ive tried a 5 and 10 fuse to see if it made a difference, no it did not
Yes, not enough power for sure.

A few questions first:

1) Did you lenghten the wires that run from the 'thode to the transformer?
2) What year is your box? (shouldnt matter though)
3) Do you have BOTH fuse slots in 'add-a' filled?
4) Try installing/turning it upside down. Install the prong on the left side of the circuit on the right instead. If I remember correctly, that was a problem I had.

When you get them working, do not use a 10amp fuse...much too high IMO.
 

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heathenbrewing said:
Yes, not enough power for sure.

A few questions first:

1) Did you lenghten the wires that run from the 'thode to the transformer?
-nope
2) What year is your box? (shouldnt matter though)
- 2006.0

3) Do you have BOTH fuse slots in 'add-a' filled?
- i tried it with a single one and also with both slots filled, made no difference

4) Try installing/turning it upside down. Install the prong on the left side of the circuit on the right instead. If I remember correctly, that was a problem I had.
- i tried the 'mini cicuit' both ways and that made no difference.
-i did not try the fuses themselves going different directions but i will.

When you get them working, do not use a 10amp fuse...much too high IMO.
thanks for the response i will definately try that out when i get a chance
 

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One last thing....when testing w/ the battery, are you using the ground on the battery or just the positive terminal?

If you have not already, try using just the positive on the battery. If it doesnt light up, then you have a bad ground on the car.
 
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