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King of Smart Gadgetry
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I just got around to installing LED bulbs in my turn signals with white in the taillights and amber up front. I also bought the resistors to eliminate the hyperflashing problem. They are hefty resistors with large heat sinks on them and the wires from them are coated with an extra layer of cloth to protect from heat. Well I installed them and when I first activated the left turn signal it flashed slow for 2 flashes and then started hyperflashing. Then when I tried the right one it hyperflashed. Now the four way flashers blink at the normal rate, so no problem there. I know the resistors are working because I removed the LED bulb and put the incadescent bulb back in for test purposes and the incadescent bulb was noticably dim, so I know the resistors are working. I didn't bother to resistance test them before I installed them, and yes they are cheap China resistors with 102 smd bulbs that are very bright. So now I have very fast blinkers even though I checked the blinker fluid ! Has anyone else had this problem? If so how did you fix it? DCO.
 

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I have a suggestion. Even though I have not gone with front LED turn signals for that very reason.
With incandescent bulbs up front I have several times noticed intermittent hyperflashing and found in my case the bulb fixture wasn't securely tightened. Tightened it up and that solved the problem. But, I've never heard anyone else mention it ... so it's probably not likely the problem. Just something to check.
I actually bought a set of bulbs before I figured out what was causing it. Oh well.
 

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If/When I ever do a swap to LEDs, I won't care if they hyper blink, (at least I hope that's not illegal). Part of the reason for swapping to LEDs is to save energy, and adding the resistor to fool the system is just wasting the energy as heat.

I was just in the local AutoZone returning a faulty alternator, (technically it was the voltage regulator but they needed to swap the whole darn thing), and they have the Sylvania "LED Load Equalizer" in stock, a description of which is here:

LED Load Equalizer

Maybe Amazon has them for cheaper, just in case the resistors you have are the issue. I did note from reading the Sylvania page that it should be attached to a metal surface, for better heat dissipation I'm guessing. Maybe try removing the cloth and finding "a flat metal surface" to attach to might help...
 

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If/When I ever do a swap to LEDs, I won't care if they hyper blink, (at least I hope that's not illegal). Part of the reason for swapping to LEDs is to save energy, and adding the resistor to fool the system is just wasting the energy as heat.

I was just in the local AutoZone returning a faulty alternator, (technically it was the voltage regulator but they needed to swap the whole darn thing), and they have the Sylvania "LED Load Equalizer" in stock, a description of which is here:

LED Load Equalizer

Maybe Amazon has them for cheaper, just in case the resistors you have are the issue. I did note from reading the Sylvania page that it should be attached to a metal surface, for better heat dissipation I'm guessing. Maybe try removing the cloth and finding "a flat metal surface" to attach to might help...
By the very description of the product the "Load Equalizers" ARE resistors.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quoted from JZCHEN "Maybe Amazon has them for cheaper, just in case the resistors you have are the issue. I did note from reading the Sylvania page that it should be attached to a metal surface, for better heat dissipation I'm guessing. Maybe try removing the cloth and finding "a flat metal surface" to attach to might help... "

It's funny when I put the resistor in the first one I turned on the blinker and sat there for a good 2 minutes holding the resistor in my hand and it didn't even get luke warm. A single LED bulb per a resistor wouldn't draw enough current to heat a large resistor that is rated at 50 watts each.





Then I used the following bulbs which had 102 leds per bulb and that would give me maximum brightness. I know they were longer than the standard incadescent bulb because I had trouble getting the socket assemblies back into the holder on the rear taillights because of the limited access space.







I think today I'll unsolder one of the front resistors and drag out the ohmeter and read it's true resistance and check the draw of one of the LED bulbs and take it from there. I think I may have some 5 watt carbon resistors and I might try a couple pf those and see what resistance I really need. I will check the sockets and contacts like NCC1701 suggested. But I agree with JZCHEN that it seems counter productive to add LED's to save energy and yet have to install resistors to use more energy as heat.

Does anyone know if the turn signal relay is integral to the SAM or if it is external and triggered by the SAM? It seems strange the 4 way flashers don't hyperflash yet the turn signals do. I know that the 4 ways use a separate flasher from the 4 ways. Could the difference be that the 4 ways fire all 4 bulbs at once as opposed to the turn signals that only fire 2 bulbs at once? DCO
 

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Huh, did you wire the resistor in series or parallel? (I'm hoping this isn't a dumb question. ? )

kheran, yes, thank you, I do know they are resistors.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Huh, did you wire the resistor in series or parallel? (I'm hoping this isn't a dumb question. ? )

kheran, yes, thank you, I do know they are resistors.
Hi JZCHEN. I wired it in series. I hope that's right. If it should have been parallel maybe that's why they're hyperflashing. DCO
 

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Discussion Starter #8
JZ you got me to thinking so I went to this website about LED's and here's what it had to say about resistors:

Why are installing load resistors necessary for LED turn signal lights? If you don't install load resistors (also known as equalizers) with LED turn signal bulbs, you will experience the notorious hyper flash issue. Hyper flash is exactly what it sounds like, where the turn signal light flashes rapidly and is almost headache inducing. Not only is this ugly, but you may also attract the police who think your bulb is burned out. This sounds completely unnecessary and a huge hassle to boot.

You will need 50W 6 OHM load resistors and tap the load resistor to the stock harness in parallel. Load resistors also have no negative or positive, making it easier for you because you wouldn't have to worry about which wires goes to which side.

I thought it was series but with the CAN BUS system I've learned sometimes they thought outside the box, so I don't doubt any electrical fact about our Fortwo's. The above info told me the amount of resistance they should be in ohms so I'm heading out to troubleshoot and will post later tonight what I found. I sure don't want the police to think I have a burn out signal light due to hyperflashing. DCO
 

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Well, I'm glad it wasn't a dumb question after all!

Yes, I got a mighty suspicion when you said something about not much going through the resistor with the LED, which would be very true in series.
Since very little current goes through LEDs, in parallel I just carelessly divided 12 V by 6 ohms and got 2 amps. Please DO NOT be touching the resistors when you activate the flashers, JUST IN CASE they get HOT.
 

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Does anyone know if the turn signal relay is integral to the SAM or if it is external and triggered by the SAM? It seems strange the 4 way flashers don't hyperflash yet the turn signals do. I know that the 4 ways use a separate flasher from the 4 ways. Could the difference be that the 4 ways fire all 4 bulbs at once as opposed to the turn signals that only fire 2 bulbs at once? DCO
The front turn signals and the side repeaters are operated by relays controlled by the SAM. The rear turn/brake lamps are controlled directly by the SAM but the circuit goes through the relay contacts. Weird setup. Typical German nonsense. German engineering is the practice of making things complex just because you can, and using five parts for a function when one will do.
 

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I reckon that explains why I get hyperflashing from LEDs in the front & side, while my Rear LEDs are hunky dory.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I guess I'll be finding out and will let you know. I didn't work on it tonight as I had planned to do. By the time I got the yard mowed, the wife wanted to go to dinner and hit the local auction house, so nothing got done tonight.....but there's always tommorrow. And I promise to be careful and not get burned....and that's a funny thing for me to say because last saturday I went for a motorcycle ride and I'm still not allowed to put any weight on my hip replacement I just had done. The short ride went well and I parked it outside the garage to move the Smart car so I could ride it 15 feet into the garage. Well when I got on it and proceeded to the garage I got overcentered and at 1 mph I laid the bike down and scraped my good leg and now have 2nd degree burns to add to my surgery leg which also has foot drop at the moment. Went to the burn & wound center today and they SCRAPED it and bandaged it! My voice is STILL high pitched even tonight.So it's even funny to think about getting burned with a resistor! lol

 

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If/When I ever do a swap to LEDs, I won't care if they hyper blink, (at least I hope that's not illegal). Part of the reason for swapping to LEDs is to save energy, and adding the resistor to fool the system is just wasting the energy as heat.
Well.... TECHNICALLY you're not really WASTING energy by creating heat. Car lighting systems that are designed for incandescent bulbs are going to provide a certain voltage and wattage to the bulbs that are installed. If anything, you could say you're wasting potential light output by installing resistors, but not wasting energy. It's just converting the excess energy into heat instead of potentially killing your bulbs faster.

And DreamCarOwner..... might i add OOW! What the hell, dude? lol
 

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Ouch!!! It's good when we figure out what went wrong. I guess I'll have to wait for good news tomorrow....

I had the "bright" idea to save my battery by removing the light bulb from the trunk lid of my car, after having left the trunk open a while. It was an eye opening experience when I went to grab it. Lesson learned...

Sent from my MT2L03 using Tapatalk
 

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Well I guess I'll be finding out and will let you know. I didn't work on it tonight as I had planned to do. By the time I got the yard mowed, the wife wanted to go to dinner and hit the local auction house, so nothing got done tonight.....but there's always tommorrow. And I promise to be careful and not get burned....and that's a funny thing for me to say because last saturday I went for a motorcycle ride and I'm still not allowed to put any weight on my hip replacement I just had done. The short ride went well and I parked it outside the garage to move the Smart car so I could ride it 15 feet into the garage. Well when I got on it and proceeded to the garage I got overcentered and at 1 mph I laid the bike down and scraped my good leg and now have 2nd degree burns to add to my surgery leg which also has foot drop at the moment. Went to the burn & wound center today and they SCRAPED it and bandaged it! My voice is STILL high pitched even tonight.So it's even funny to think about getting burned with a resistor! lol

I guess I should say next time go to the hospital right away if at all possible. I think they did that to make sure there is no infection underneath the scabbing. (I'll ask my family when they are awake as they're MDs.)

So part of the issue when I was a CECS, (read EE/CS,) major at USC was that I was a little slow, the other part was that there was a lot of material to cover. This was after I finished the Biology degree, (realized that wasn't going to end in an MD), and I'm afraid I ended up dropping out. One thing that would happen was staying up all night to finish assignments. Another thing that would happen: So I'm here trying to gauge how hot that little resistor is going to get. (I don't have one to test personally.) And in the middle of the night, (which would happen sometimes while I was studying,) something pops into my head which would help. Obviously in the morning/daytime I'm going to be tired when I go to class!...

A Watt is defined:

W=V x A

Here we have:
V = 12 V
A = ?

I said I was being sloppy because a series circuit is a voltage divider, and a parallel circuit is a current divider. So some current will be going through the LED.

I previously sloppily ignored any current through the LED, and I'm not sure that is accurate!

A = 2 A

W = 2 x 12 = 24 Watts (W)

The 5W bulb in my trunk was darn hot! This thing's going to get HOT!

BTW- Another reason I got up in the middle of the night, actually THE REASON I DRAGGED MYSELF OUT OF BED even though I was darn tired, was I DON'T WANT YOU ACCIDENTALLY BURN YOUR EYES, since you divided the voltage between the resistor and the LEDs, you also may have divided the "brightness" between the two. Might be a good idea to either wear sunglasses or not look directly at the bulbs/lights!!!

ElementalDragon- You gave me a headache. The sole purpose of the resistor/load equalizer/error canceler/CANBUS fooler is to stop the bulb out message/hyper flashing. An analogy would be the terminals of a 1.5V battery. It is applying voltage to the air, or plastic container in which it is stored. But that energy is not being wasted. It is not being converted to heat, for the sole purpose of stopping an error. That is a waste of energy, at least to me. I wonder how the newer cars with LEDs built in check for LED bulb out? Don't confuse me, tell me how that works? :D

Sorry for the tangent!: (So I've been depressed lately. I've had a lot of issues with my parents, wife, AND son. I can't blame my son, as he's 10. Whatever is wrong with him is OUR fault, (beyond genetics I guess, but he seems to be leaning towards genius, got some report he's reading at the 12th grade level, while he's in the 4th grade). So I tell him one day as I'm heating/cooking something in a pot on the stove and it's about finished, that I'm going to get the insulating glove/mitten so I don't burn my hand on the handle, and the first darn thing he does is go up and grab the metal handle with his bare hand, and gets the surprising realization that it's hot! I definitely did something wrong.... :crying: ) I guess in the back of my mind is "how do I word this so that DCO listens since my own son doesn't listen."

Again, all I'm trying to do here is help. I'm here when I should really be trying to solve all the family issues.... :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
JZ you are brilliant and I love the way to think things through and see a problem through from beginning to end. I do the same thing to the point of obsession. I tend to be OCD about things and particularly my little red fortwo. But I know I sometimes drive people on our forum nuts with too many thoughts about things, but it's okay. I love your thoughts on this and I think it's most helpful, please continue and don't apologize for it because you are helping many of us.
I know I'm not the only person adding LED bulbs so it will help me today and tomorrow or the next day someone will read this thread and it will help them. And if it's really really really good Mr.JWight might even make a sticky of it. lol.
I just don't want to add resistors and burn the car to the ground.....The thing that concerned me is there has been talk on other threads about that the wiring to the light circuits is a little small and some had concerns about adding a trailer connector and trailer lights. The suggestion was to add relays from fused battery connections and just use the brake, turn and parking light circuits to just trigger the relays. That's what I did when I added air horns. If we are going to pull only 2 amps with a resistor/LED that is a little bit more than the original incandescent pulled.
I think the wires to the light assemblies are 16 gauge and the up to 15 feet in length should be good for 10 amps, and how long could that wire be in a car that's just over 8 feet long?
The wires on the resistor itself is only 16 gauge.




So I guess I'll gain a brighter whiter light and as a downside draw the same or more current and hope I can keep the resistor from the plastic/stryrofoam they pack in the rear cargo holds and the other wires. I doubt in reality though that the resistor would get hot enough to cause a fire. Maybe you and I need to design a small plastic box to mount each resistor that powers a small computer processer fan to cool it ! lol
I'll try to find my infrared thermometer that I packed away and get some temp readings on that resistor.Human skin burns to varying degrees of severity as the applied temperature rises. Humans begin to feel a burning pain when skin temperature rises to 111 F (44C), with first-degree burns developing at 118 F (48C) (just ask my leg!).

Now on a side note....I have 2 adult kids and 3 grandkids....I'm on my second wife.....in college my major was automotive technology and my minor was psychology (go figure).....my first wife was bi-polar.....I worked for the school system for 25 years as an IT guy so I've been around many kids and made many cirrculum decisions...so if you have a 10 year old that is very smart, he is taking after his father. You need to keep him challenged. If he wants to learn Einstein theory of relativity let him go for it and help him with it. Now what you're having to deal with is you have a child that is on some levels 16 or 17 but emotionally he's still a 10 year old at times. He's gonna be spontaneous (burning pan handle) and with time he will catch up emotionally, but it takes time and patients. He probably has trouble finding kids his own age to relate to knowledge type things, so be his hero and be interested in things he likes for him, but realize being stubborn and emotional and defiant is still a 10 year old traits. Patience is key and believe me it is not easy to practice, but staying calm and not feeding into nervous energy keeps you in control, even if it means just walking away from the situation and not allowing things to escalate. I learned to live by these tactics dealing with a bi-polar wife for 11 years.
Hope this helps and sorry for posting this type of thing on the SCOA thread, but we are family on this forum. We are all brought together by our little Smarts. If you want to own a Smart it means we are a special people or we wouldn't want a Smart car to begin with. So sometimes thoughts and ideas and help goes beyond nuts, bolts and wires. DCO
 

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I was hoping to take a break from here like I alluded. I too apologize for bringing outside topics, but I was hoping to explain my up and coming absence. Loose ends keep bringing me back, like the 453 grab handle not fitting issue! ?

I didn't even think about the wiring being thin for the 24 watts!!! ? . Not really something I ever covered while I was in school, to be honest. I'm glad you caught this!!!!

Weird/Neat stuff like time dilation was cool to learn, and (I must confess my son probably understood time dilation quicker than the rest of my family did when I tried to explain. I'm not even sure the rest even understand how running backwards faster and faster while looking at a clock what would happen to the time one sees. That was one great physics professor. Wish USC was able to keep him!)

Anyways, the resistor will probably get really hot with approximately that many watts going through it. Better to mount to metal I would think.

Thank you for the advice as well!!!!

I'm currently trying to get my son to go the the Smart Madness event. He's playing RoBlox on the iPad and I'm here setting a bad example on my phone typing on this forum....
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Okay JZ (and everyone else too). I have the LED resistor situation under control. I started on it outside about 2:00 but it was so hot that I had to move the car into the garage. The black "a pillar" was 138 F (59 C),so just too hot in the sun today even for me. I first started on the drivers front corner and took the resistor out of series and while I had it free I checked it and it came in at 6.2 ohms. I then soldered it into place parallel and used my infra-red thermometer to take temperature readings as it heated in use. Now bear in mind that with only the front one in parallel and the back one still in series the lights were still hyperflashing. Here's what I recorded:
First blink--- 89.1 F
30 seconds- 95.1 F
1 minute- -100.4 F
2 minutes- 115.3 F
5 minutes- 153.1 F

Now even with it hyperflashing 153 F is pretty hot and mounting the resistor was going to be a challenge because all that area around the headlight area is plastic. So I opted to mount the resistor on the coolant hose going to the coolant resovoir and I sandwiched a strip of metal in between just for good measure. I figured if the hose can stand up to coolant temps, the resistor couldn't do it any worse.



Now I redid the front passenger side by switching the resistor from series to parallel. But there was no coolant hose to attach it to, so I opted to cover a section of the wires in a hose and then fasten the resistor to that.



Now when I went to the passenger side rear to that cargo hold it is a crowded mess there for me. I added axle caps to my axle and mounted LED's to those for park, turn/brake, and dome lights, so all of those wires feed down from the passenger cargo hold. I also added the ultrasonic back up alarm and its head unit and wires to all 4 sensors are in there too. Also my trailer connector wires feed from there too. But I unwired the resistor from series and wired it in parallel. Now the right side wouldn't hyperflash so I could get a truer reading on resistor temps because at the normal flash rate the bulb stays lit llonger so there's more time for the resistor to heat at each flash. So here's the results of my temperature readings normal flash time:

First blink----95.7 F
30 seconds--102.1 F
1 minute-----109.4 F
2 minutes----128.3 F
5 minutes----180.1 F
I wanted to see what temperature the resistor would top out at so I let it run a little while longer.
6 minutes----184.4 F
8 minutes----202.1 F top temperature.....can you believe it? That's hot enough to deform plastic !
But most turn signals aren't on for that long unless you forget and drive with it on.

But with no space in the rear cargo hold and surrounded by plastic and foam rubber and no air flow (unlike the front) it's a reall concern. Yes the tridion is there but drilling a hole or two would be very difficult, so I improvised a little on each side. On the passenger side I decided to fasten it to the tridion. I had a piece of high temperature rubber weatherstrip and I used 3M spray adhesive to glue it to the tridion and then to glue the resistor to the weatherstrip too.







On the drivers side mounting was easier and there was more room for me to work with because I didn't have that side loaded with wires and gadgetry. I felt around and above the opening was a screw sticking through, so I bent a soft wire around the screw threads sticking through the inside and bent a hook on the other end and inserted that through one of the mounting tabs on the resistor so that it is suspended.



So now they no longer hyperflash and I didn't even have to top off the blinker fluid. Who could ask for anything better? So in all honesty I ended up with brighter lights, but the trade off is more current to the circuit and scorching temperatures if you leave you blinker on for an extended amount of time. If you drive with your turn signal flashing people following behind you might see smoke and resistor melting itself a hole out your back quarter panel. But the heat is contained to the resistor itself and the wiring stays perfectly cool. I suppose if you need to change a flat or make a panic stop to activate the 4 ways, you'll get hot resistors too. And lastly, sorry the date is wrong on some of the pics. I wish it was Febuary today, it would have been much cooler. DCO
 
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