How To Fit Lights to your Mini-Z
I love my Mini-Z. I also love improving it. One of my improvemenst - te lights - however, was not completely to my satisfaction. Sure, they were lit, and they gave a constant amount of light, and they were only lit when I turned the power on, but I still had to plug a connector into the chassis. When removing the shell, most of the time I would forget about the plug, and it was about to break. I had already adapted my monster (pics below) in a fairly easy way, but the Mclaren still had this annoying problem. So here's what I did:
As a first step, here's an overview of what my car looks like now. Note the wires running along the middle to the front of the car.
These are the lights inside my McLaren shell: I soldered them to fit, and used a drop of superglue to keep them in place.
Some more wires: this time they're glued to the shell, and attached to the front chassis attachment spot with screws. (see below) For wires I used very thin wiring I cut out of a battery-operated-christmas-lights-set
This is where you should attach the wires: solder the negative one to the spot where the negative from your batteries is soldered to the PCB. The positive one should be soldered to the contact which is connected to the positive. Here you have a choice: you can use the one I used, which makes the lights go on only when the switch is turned on, or you can use the one next to it, which will make the lights work whenever batteries are in the car. I chose the switchable solution.
The screws in the shell: these should be long enough to go through the entire platic bit, without being too long so they stick out of the front of your shell. I used original Kyosho screws ;)
The contact part on the chassis. It's pretty straightforward, I just drilled the edge off a bit, and put 4 holes in the black bumperbit: 2 for the tie-wrap, and 2 for tightening down the wires. As you can see, the bare contacts fit into the drilled slots. This is where the screws will be, once the shell is put onto the chassis.
The completed connection: Let There Be Light!
This is what I did with the connector for my monster. Basically the same as the McLaren, but the contacts are located in a completely different spot.
The lights. It's very hard to take decent pics of this because of the chrome shell. Same as the Mclaren, only with white LEDs and in th front of the car...
Contacts in the bodyclip: a screw straight through, with a wire soldered to the back of it.
The wires coming out of the electronics box and going into the chassis-body clips.
A bit of wire nested inside the hole. This comes into contact with the screw on the shell, and supplies the power for the lights...
Ofcourse, my new Lamborghini body had to be equipped with lights as well. Unfortunately, the holes are too small to fit LEDs. So I wanted to use Fibres. I bought one of those cheap UFO-lights (3.50 EUR at Blokker) and killed it to use the fibres. 4 pics below will make all this a bit more clear. I'll show you the read red LEDs first.
The way the fibre is connected for now.
One side of fibres: the small lights need 17 cores, the large ones 30 - Per side! Getting these lined up was pretty tricky - and frustrating at times!
The 'lights' as seen from the other side. Unfortunately, there is no space to guide the fibres to a spot where a LED can be mounted without getting in the way of the wheels or chassis. So I will have to find another solution. Too bad, after all this trouble...
I also adapted the wires from the chassis. In the first version they were attached solid to the chassis. I had to make some sort of connector which will connect to the different bumpers. Another pic ;)
I Finally got it to work - With normal LEDs. Don't know what the effect of this is on the battery-consumption (6 LEDs on 4 AAA cells...) but it looks pretty damn cool...
I had to adapt the 3mm LEDs to fit the 2 and 1.5 mm holes of the lambo headlights. I did this by inserting the LEDs in my Dremel and using a file to scrape the plastic off...
The complete LED-set: 2 LEDs and 2 resistors. For size comparison: an AA battery in the background...
The same complete set in the car. Nice fit ;)
With the second set and screws for power transfer from the chassis.