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YC1 06-09-2011 08:54 PM

Lighted entry handle
I always wondered why they didn't light our entry handle. I am glad I decided to do this because I found water trapped behind the top part and it made the fiberglass bubble. With tiny weep holes now that won't happen again. It turned out to be a very easy mod. I already had a bag of led lights and changed the porch light out to led at the same time.

I removed the handle and drilled out the bottom hole with a stepper bit. The led was a standard 1 pin type bulb that replaces the standard automotive bulb. Like a 1157 or such. I soldered a wire lead to it and then used some plumbers goop to hold the bulb snugly in place. A small hole was drilled right through the side into the passenger arm rest area where finding power and ground was easy.

The job was so easy I took the little eye type lights that light up the steps out, popped the bulbs out of them, drilled the back plastic with my stepper bit and glued the same bulbs to them. Nice crisp light and very little current draw.

Here are some pictures. I didn't take one after dark with it lit up so I will add that tonight.

Mike Canter 06-10-2011 07:32 AM

Wow, that is a big LED light for that handle. I just fixed mine and used one LED bulb that I bought from Radio Shack with a 875 ohm resistor in series. Your handles are going to be the brightest on the campground.

TEDDE 06-10-2011 08:16 AM



Mike Canter 06-10-2011 08:26 AM

Mine came with lights in them already but two of the three handles went dark on me. Hard to believe that LEDs can fail.

YC1 06-10-2011 08:37 AM

I can't seem to figure out how to edit my original post and add pictures I took last night. The handle is not all that bright.
The last picture is showing the eyeball lights with new led's instead of the finger burners that were inside.

YC1 06-10-2011 08:38 AM

I may add a yellow filter lens after testing it out for a few days.

Mike Canter 06-10-2011 08:40 AM

Wow, mine are just a soft glow. Yours light up the whole area which is good.

Dutch Star Don 06-10-2011 08:34 PM

YC1..... I saw your post on this did a nice job. I didn't initially respond because I didn't want to take anything away from your post until you posted about dimming it down some. I did something similar a few years ago. I had some LED's and bought several others and set out soldering many together to make the perfect light. (When I made mine, LED's were not as prevalent or cheap and I knew nothing about working with them). I'm guessing I spent $20.00 on experimentation. I figured since mine didn't come with a lighted handle, I would have to design the light assemblymounting on my own.

Finally, I went to my local Moanco dealer and he had the stock LED that comes in the Monaco handles. It was $9.00 :banghead:. Several of my experiments were either too bright, too dull or look like a whore house. The stock one was "just right".

Finish up the lights and get busy on the steering control.....:thumb:

YC1 06-10-2011 10:29 PM

Thanks. The linear actuator has been ordered for the steering. My wife was amused by that and remembered how I used electric trim in the airplane I built. Maybe I will couple it to the gps and have an autopilot. Kidding of course. Maybe not. Hmmmm?

We are going over the Sierras tomorrow so the fan and steering will get the first real road test.

wa8yxm 06-11-2011 09:17 AM


Originally Posted by Mike Canter (Post 875551)
Mine came with lights in them already but two of the three handles went dark on me. Hard to believe that LEDs can fail.

My rig has just one lighted grab handle, Like yours I was surprised at how fast it failed. I replaced the LED from stock (I dabble in electronics and am certified in the field) and it lasted, About a week.

So I measured the resistor that was in the assembly 150 Ohms. I did the math with the new JUMBO LED I put in to replace it.. I think it's now 650 OHms. I see you went with 850 OHms.

The small resistor is what fries them faster than you can say "REPLACE IT"

For non-electronic types in the forum....

Think of a water system.. A "resistor" is a bit like a flow restrictor (you know that washer in the shower head with the tiny hole)

The "Bigger" the resistor, the smaller the hole.

Mike Canter 06-11-2011 09:43 AM

Most LEDs seem to handle about .015 amps safely. So if you have a 12 volt power to the LED you use Ohms Law and divide 12 volts by .015 amps and you will come up with the size resistor needed. R=12/.015 which the answer is 800 ohms. Most LEDs come in a package that will have the current handling written on it.

wa8yxm 06-11-2011 01:08 PM

Well, two things wrong with your math Mike

1: The voltage drop across the LED has to be subtracted from not 12, but 13.6. I actually used 14 for my calculations when I picked the resistance I used.

The LED I use is a Jumbo, High Brightness, Takes higher current.. Which is why the difference in resistance.

Mike Canter 06-11-2011 01:52 PM

Nothing wrong with my math,12 or 13.6v will not make much difference to it, 800 ohms or 900 ohms either one. One normally assumes 12 volts for all. Yes a Jumbo LED will be a little different but it is written on the package as to what the current handling is. Still Ohms Law to compute it out.

fillbert 06-13-2011 04:57 AM

I would like to do this mod...but why is a resister required? The origional post made no mention of it. Also I have replaced a number if my interior coach lights with resistor and they seem to work fine. What am I missing here?

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