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LEDs and Brightness

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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: LEDs and Brightness Reply with quote

I would like to re-interface my overhead panels using the FDS SYS boards. I am currently using FDT's old SIM Boards which are no longer supported. The main concern I have is that my wired leds are not of a similar brightness in their native state (for example, the blues are much brighter). This was not a particular issue with the old SIM Boards since there was a software feature that enabled brightness adjustment for individual banks of leds. My understanding is that this is not possible with the SYS Boards, and I really do not want to get involved with re-wiring leds in what is a very crowded and somewhat inaccessible environment behind my panels (although wiring resistors remote from the leds is possible).

Any other ideas on how to approach this problem or clarifications about my understanding of how things work with the SYS boards would be much appreciated.

Fred K
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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it best to describe my issue and pose my questions more specifically......

Again, the leds that are currently wired into my overhead are not of uniform intensity output. With the old FDT boards that was not at all a concern since there was a feature to adjust brightness via the software for each output port bank. In that regard I have all my high intensity leds wired into common port banks.

I really want to avoid replacing and rewiring leds in the panels at all costs. From what I am able to glean here about the FDS boards it appears that the voltage to each output port is a constant and operates in a matrix across the pin numbers. In that regard the recommended approach is to balance intensity by grouping like leds on the same pin numbers....for example, put all the high intensity ones on PIN#2 across the sockets which will nominally reduce their intensity. My current wiring scheme is just the opposite of that....I have like intensity ones grouped by socket.

So the way I see it I have two possible approaches with FDS. I can simply wire in resistors to individual leds that need to be dulled as required. Or I could follow the FDS recommended overhead wiring chart scheme which might require in my case(???) cross-wiring multiple ground wires from those wired groups of high intensity leds across the sockets where they are connected. Key questions regarding the latter approach: Is the ground connection for each socket common across all sockets? If so that would immensely simplify things. If not, do you see any issue in wiring multiple ground wire leads as I have outlined? I can't see why that would not work but I would like to be absolutely sure of course.
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 1235
Location: Newmarket,Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only commons (switches and LED's) are from the same 10 pin connector. You can not jump across different 10 pin connectors. In each 10 pin you have 1 common and 8 switches or LED's. 1 pin remains empty.

I am not familiar with FDT so not sure how they wire their LED's?
Steve Cos
Vice President and Tech Support
Flightdeck Solutions (FDS)
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Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 151

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding my wiring issue....The FDT LED output board has 4 separate ports, each port has 32 screw terminals for the "hot" wires and one for the "ground". Each port is separately configurable for brightness via the software. So I have all my blues wired to one dedicated port. The "hot" wires are wired separately from each LED to one of the screw terminals, but the ground wires are daisy-chained. The daisy-chaining is the problem since under the FDS system I would have to break all that up and reconfigure if I chose to distribute the blue LEDs across ports. The easiest (an safest) course of action I think is simply to keep it wired the way it currently is and solder in a resistor on the "hot" wire near the SYS board connection as necessary. As an alternative I was thinking that I could simply daisy-chain link the ground connections across all the ports. Based on my rudimentary understanding of electronics I was thinking that could also work since the circuit for each individual led would only be closed and active on the port where the "hot " wire was connected. But being that you indicated that is not a workable option, I'll just go the route of wiring in the resistors as necessary.

Splicing all my wires into the terminal plug connectors will be a bit of grunt work but all that is straightforward. I might just set up a terminal barrier screw connection bank arrangement to accomplish that.

Thanks Steve!
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