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  • Glow in the Dark Gauges

    Does anyone know what years had glow in the dark gauges?
    Does anyone renew the glow material, so they work better?
    Has anyone tried the ebay glow paint?
    I just bought the gauges in the picture, because they are better than the ones in the Land Cruiser I just bought, but you can see the oil needle is very dark, and no longer shows up at night. The "F" on the gas gauge also doesn't glow.

    Here is some information I found for glow paint on ebay:

    Glow Inc.'s glow in the dark paint is made from Grade 0 Strontium Aluminate pigments in a durable, high adhesion acrylic medium. Two pounds of top grade pigment per gallon of medium produces the brightest glow in the dark paint available. Glow in the dark paint absorbs bright light as energy. When placed in the dark, glow in the dark paint releases this energy as a glow. You can repeat this cycle millions of times. Applied properly, glow in the dark paint will lose 5% of its brightness every 10 years. Any light will charge the paint. Direct sunlight, high wattage bulbs, or black lights are needed to obtain the maximum glow.
    Glow in the dark paint is often used for professional murals and to paint glow in the dark stars on ceilings. Due to its durability, it is also perfect for painting glow in the dark fishing lures and outdoor signs.
    Each color has a different brightness and glow duration. The Green V10 is the brightest and will glow throughout the night. Glow Purple does not glow very brightly and requires a high wattage charging source. Check the brightness rating for comparison.
    Sealing coats are not needed. Paint over white surfaces when possible.
    It is critical that you apply this paint at least 1/16" thick (4 oz per sq. foot) for proper glow and a smooth appearance.
    Glow in the dark paint is shipped ready to use with a standard brush or roller. Thin with acrylic thinner or a tiny amount of water. Clean up with soapy water.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    I wonder how much weight 1/16" of paint will add to a gauge needle? It could alter the accuracy, if there is any, to a degree of being worthless.
    When I redo my 1950 Champion gauges, I'll figure a way to illuminate them also. I'm not concerned about authenticity as much as function. Small LED bulbs can be hidden almost anywhere and I'm converting it all to 12 volts anyway.
    sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

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    • #3
      I repainted my 51 Champion's speedometer needle many years ago. The paint was so heavy that the speedo did not read accurately - even worse than it was originally. So be careful.
      Last edited by RadioRoy; 12-31-2017, 01:43 PM.
      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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      • #4
        Clean the dirt off with denatured alcohol, and use ultra-violet leds without the glass filters. you will fix the problem forever.
        Bez Auto Alchemy
        573-318-8948
        http://bezautoalchemy.com


        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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        • #5
          I wish I could find 6 volt LED's but haven't found any in over 3 years of looking.
          In fact I just got home from Fleet Farm, and they didn't even have the #55 6 volt bulbs it came with.

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          • #6
            Well, there really are no 12-volt LED's, either. The basic diodes run at about 4.5 volts. The networks of diodes sold as automotive lighting usually have some voltage reducers in them. You can find circuits on the Internet for time-domain dimmer circuits for LED's used for dash lighting. The factory dimmer rheostat will be totally useless.
            Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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            • #7
              If I remember my electronic days, diodes turn on @ 1.414 volts. All of the ones sold for automotive lighting have resistors built into the assembly.
              Bez Auto Alchemy
              573-318-8948
              http://bezautoalchemy.com


              "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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              • #8
                Were the old gages painted with radium? Had a watch that was in HS. It is totally banned now,of course. B-17 had instruments that glowed when exposed to uv light. In an aircraft this was really neat because it did not compromise night vision. Always wondered way a system like that was never universally adapted to both aircraft and autos. Probably would cost a dollar or two more

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                • #9
                  But there aren't any ultraviolet LED's sold for automotive lighting. And the devices themselves need about 4.5 volts to turn on. Done this on the bench with bare LED's from a number of sources. Most of your little LED flashlights use three AAA batteries in a series circuit to run their diodes.Some of the tinier ones actually use a switching power supply to step up the voltage from a single cell to 4.5 or so.

                  The only Studebaker I have with real radium dials on its instruments is the Weasel. And the speedometer has radium paint on the numbers only up to 30 MPH. You can go out to the shop in the dark, and see them glimming away, faintly. Basically, you have two types of luminous coatings, phosphorescent and luminescent. The former "charge up" from exposure to bright light, and/or UV light, and glow for hours afterwards, although the intensity of the glow steadily diminishes. Typical use: watch dials, these days, and that paint sold on ebay as mentioned above. The latter will glow brightly as long as they are being illuminated by UV light, or charged particles, or gamma rays, but go dark as soon as the energy source goes away. Examples: the coating on the inside of fluorescent lamp tubes, and the coating on the screens of old CRT monitors and TV sets. The two properties are not so much completely different than they are at the ends of a continuum based on the duration of time they continue to glow after being energized.

                  The problem with the luminous dials in post-War Studebakers is mostly due to the paint deteriorating. What was once white is now brown, and it has lost a lot of its luminous properties. And also the purple glass filters on the lamps become dust-covered, reducing the amount of UV available to make the paint glow. I haven't personally tried it, but UV-emitting LED's sound like a good idea, because they would be a much stronger source of UV than a six volt bulb behind a glass filter.
                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                  • #10
                    Since finding a 6 volt positive ground LED bulb for my instruments is most unlikely, I was wondering if there is a small bulb the same as #55 but a bit brighter?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TWChamp View Post
                      Since finding a 6 volt positive ground LED bulb for my instruments is most unlikely, I was wondering if there is a small bulb the same as #55 but a bit brighter?
                      Funny this thread should come up just now. I am rebuilding/replacing my dash in my '51 champion using the best parts from 3 dashes I have.
                      Anyway, while rebuilding the instrument cluster, I found that the colored lenses for the turn signal and high beam indicator were deteriorated and the tube the bulbs and lenses are in was permanently attached to the cluster plate.
                      This got me thinking about LED replacements for the #55 bulb.

                      They are available through superbrightleds.com.
                      They are available to run on 6 volts and are not polarity sensitive.
                      The white ones are 16-18 lumens very close to the 1 1/2 candle power of the #55.
                      The red and green are less bright, but that is OK because they will not have to shine through lenses.

                      I bought 5 whites, 2 green and one red for $19.00 including shipping.

                      I have to run now, but if anybody needs, I can later post the item #s I purchased.

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                      • #12
                        The gauges in the dash of my '51 vary from slightly to imperceptible, with original filters intact. What little glow they have, does remain and diminish after they are switched off. I guess, as Gord indicated, that makes them phosphorescent.
                        These vehicles have NO rheostat, as the absence of an illuminated background made it unnecessary.
                        I have wondered if removing the black light filters and installing a rheostat might be the simplest solution. The entire gauge face would be illuminated, but could be turned down for night driving; and their background is dark anyway.
                        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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                        • #13
                          So if you can't figure out.... buy non automotive LEDs, and bias them so the power lead goes to the negative lead of the diode, and the positive goes to the case. Then there is no reason you cant make something work for the occasion. I though we Studebaker owners were more than capable of thinking outside the box? Just because a device is polarity sensitive doesn't mean you cant reverse the polarity of the object to suite your configuration. To run a non automotive LED on 12 volts, you generally need a 100K ohms resistor . For 6 volts should not require any more than 47K ohms. A GOOGLE search for Ultra-Violet LEDs turns up pages of links.
                          Last edited by bezhawk; 01-01-2018, 03:01 PM.
                          Bez Auto Alchemy
                          573-318-8948
                          http://bezautoalchemy.com


                          "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bezhawk View Post
                            So if you can't figure out.... buy non automotive LEDs, and bias them so the power lead goes to the negative lead of the diode, and the positive goes to the case. Then there is no reason you cant make something work for the occasion. I though we Studebaker owners were more than capable of thinking outside the box? Just because a device is polarity sensitive doesn't mean you cant reverse the polarity of the object to suite your configuration. To run a non automotive LED on 12 volts, you generally need a 100K ohms resistor . For 6 volts should not require any more than 47K ohms. A GOOGLE search for Ultra-Violet LEDs turns up pages of links.
                            Heck, we can't even figure out what way to turn the magazine to read it. LOL

                            I don't want to rig up something with full wave bridge rectifiers, diodes, resistors, and special mounts. I want "plug and play".
                            In Floyd Clymer's Catalog of 1950 Automobiles, he lists 34 makes and models of American built cars, and 22 of the 34 are positive ground 6 volt, so you'd think more bulbs would be available for these cars, including the stop and taillights.

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                            • #15
                              It's a really simple series circuit. Just resistor and a led with the stripe towards the negative side. Read the specs to figure out the resistor value. You subtract the Fw from 6.75volts. You take the resulting number and divide it by the If. You take that number and round it up to the nearest common resistor. To make things doubly good take [(6.75-Fw)^2/resistor value]x3/2 and round that up to a common wattage.

                              For example, the Radio Shack 276-0014. Get 'em while you can. Fw=3.5 and If=20mA. 6.75-3.5=3.25. 3.25/.020=162.5. Round that up to 180 ohms. That's the brown-gray-brown one. 3.25^2/180=0.05868055555556. 0.05868055555556x3/2=0.08802083333334. So round that up to 1/8 watt. Solder and shrink wrap as much as possible....
                              1963 Champ "Stu Bludebaker"- sometimes driver
                              1957 Silver Hawk "Josie"- picking up the pieces after an unreliable body man let it rot for 11 years from an almost driver to a basket case
                              1951 Land Cruiser "Bunnie Ketcher" only 47M miles!
                              1951 Commander Starlight "Dale"- basket case
                              1947 Champion "Sally"- basket case
                              1941 Commander Land Cruiser "Ursula"- basket case

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