UPDATE - Octopus for single lamp - less $$$

E28 technical advice asked and given! Troubleshooting, modifications and more.
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

UPDATE - Octopus for single lamp - less $$$

Post by MisterFixit »

Hey, I'm starting a new project designed to solve one of the E28's peskiest foibles- rear light power conductor corrosion and failure.

>>22 April 2019 -- UPDATE from this date forward <<


I have seen several methods of addressing the weak link in rear lights, wiring to run power from one part of the light to another to obtain greater light output from the higher voltage obtained when you bypass the crusty contacts. Your lights may have one or two corroded areas - look at your left brake socket, see what you find when you take it out.

I have seen several solutions, most with jumper wires galore, soldered, screwed, crammed into the space between bulb holders and contact strips, etc. Yankee Ingenuity takes many forms.

For this project, I will be building a harness that goes in between the lighting connector and the lamps, using all the same quality measures I use for my other kits. As this is a new project, comments and suggestions are welcome.

As designed, there are six contact points between the car and the bulb, three each for power and ground. Four bulbs per side, that's 48 weak points.
As with crashes between vehicles, most of the trouble occurs at an intersection (a wiring connector), and not often in the middle of a wire.

I envision two options -
1) Harness plugs in between the car connector and the bulb holder 'tabs' that rub against the contact strips; No changes to any wires or sockets.
2) Harness will plug in to car connector as above, only it will connect directly to the bulb base and shell contacts through soldered pigtails. This option will have new sockets and cost more.

Option 1 will bypass corroded metal strips on the back of the light, connecting the bulb holder tabs directly to the harness.
Option 2 will bypass ALL stock conductors and connections, and virtually eliminate all potential resistance points between switch and bulb.

As usual, wires will be color matched, sturdy gauge copper, heat shrink where needed, with crimped & soldered terminals. And of course, my usual great instructions will be included.

Here is the picture of my prototype for a basic US Light, four lamps per side.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/27475646@ ... ed-public/

To give credit where due, this idea came up during conversations with two forum members, Hey_You in his 'New to e28's (Budget Project)' thread, and c3p0. I owe many ideas to forum folks, thanks to all of you for the inspiration.

And thanks to Hella for all the business in keeping the lights working.
Last edited by MisterFixit on Apr 22, 2019 1:43 PM, edited 10 times in total.
cek
Posts: 8723
Joined: Mar 18, 2013 6:25 PM
Location: əʞɐl ʇlɐs puɐ əlʇʇɐəs
Contact:

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by cek »

I'm in for Option 2.
e28Sean
Posts: 917
Joined: Nov 23, 2007 3:07 PM
Location: Greenville, SC
Contact:

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by e28Sean »

cek wrote:I'm in for Option 2.
Me too! ... But only if you market and sell it as "Project Octopus"! :laugh:


No, seriously... Count me in!
ldsbeaker
Posts: 6127
Joined: Mar 25, 2007 10:14 PM
Location: Slicktop City, AZ
Contact:

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by ldsbeaker »

Thirded? Or whatever.
I need to hit you up for sockets, nice bulbs, etc.
Crazy_Canuck
Posts: 309
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Surrey

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by Crazy_Canuck »

Option two/deux/dos

Most important question is: Will this work with the rear fog light?
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by MisterFixit »

Crazy_Canuck wrote:Option two/deux/dos
Most important question is: Will this work with the rear fog light?
OK, I'll add you to the list. So far, nobody is interested in halfway measures...
if you want a rear fog light to work, the answer is Yes, Oui, Si!

I will also offer a dual tail light / dual brake light version of this harness down the road.
The harness will use similar hardware and identical principles for all the bulbs, so why not?

Is the car equipped with factory rear fogs? In this case, I could amend the harness as I do
for Euro cars for the dual brake light + dual tail light + working rear fogs upgrade
\with relays . This is to keep the check panel happy by powering extra lamps from another
power source through a relay.

Other options will be possible, so use your imagination.

And keep those cards and letters coming - anybody else have a suggestion?
ElGuappo
Posts: 8092
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by ElGuappo »

Are you talking about starting with wired sockets like this, but connecting to the harness instead of the harness connecting to the light?

Image
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by MisterFixit »

ElGuappo wrote:Are you talking about starting with wired sockets like this, but connecting to the harness instead of the harness connecting to the light?
Yes, sort of, but with some differences. I will also use colored wires that match the stock code:
Brown for all ground; Green for brake; Grey for tail; Blue/black or blue/red for turns; Blue for reverse.

From what I see in your picture, the wire is soldered at the metal conductor plate and the bulb contacts in the bulb holders.
I plan to solder wires directly to the lamp base and shell, with a spade connector in each wire to allow unplugging and changing bulbs when they burn out. This may be five or ten years down the road, but I'm not planning on going anywhere.

Another option (remember, this is prototype development) might be a single longer wire from the bulb directly to the harness plug, and a disconnect (spade connector) in the ground wire. This eliminates connections, and still allows unplugging the lamp when it fails.

Plenty of flexibility remains for adding my 'Plus Four' kit for double tails and brakes, using the rear fog reflector in US cars. What's your pleasure?
Crazy_Canuck
Posts: 309
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Surrey

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by Crazy_Canuck »

MisterFixit wrote:Is the car equipped with factory rear fogs? In this case, I could amend the harness as I do
for Euro cars for the dual brake light + dual tail light + working rear fogs upgrade
\with relays . This is to keep the check panel happy by powering extra lamps from another
power source through a relay.
Yes mine is a Euro car with factory rear fog, but I have no check panel to worry about.
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by MisterFixit »

Crazy_Canuck wrote:Yes mine is a Euro car with factory rear fog, but I have no check panel to worry about.
OK, send me an email when you are ready to discuss options, which for you include:
Dual tail lights
Dual brake lights
Working rear fogs
Project Octopus wiring enhancement
High Output lamps in any or all positions
e28Sean
Posts: 917
Joined: Nov 23, 2007 3:07 PM
Location: Greenville, SC
Contact:

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by e28Sean »

I too would want this kit to include the rear fog.
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by MisterFixit »

e28Sean wrote:I too would want this kit to include the rear fog.
OK, then. I assume both are Euro cars. I will work up two solutions- one with a single relay, one with dual relays.

For Euro cars with no check panel, the single relay solution may work fine. Max load under this option would be in the brake light circuit, with all HO lamps in brakes and rear fogs. Very small change (+1A) in the rear fog circuit. The dual relay option takes the load of additional lamps.

I'll need vehicle information to look at the wiring diagrams, to be certain of the solution given the starting point.
PMs or emails, please, with year, VIN, and your preferred email contact.

Happy Friday, all!
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by MisterFixit »

See first post for a picture of my prototype for a basic US Light, four lamps per side.
(I think this will show a full size, clear picture on flikr). Still working on pricing.

Since WorldPac apparently has only 30 of the bulb holders in the US I will be building three of these at a time.

Who is the worst off, and wants to be first (2nd, 3rd) in line?
e28Sean
Posts: 917
Joined: Nov 23, 2007 3:07 PM
Location: Greenville, SC
Contact:

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by e28Sean »

I'm interested, but would need pricing before I can commit.
cek
Posts: 8723
Joined: Mar 18, 2013 6:25 PM
Location: əʞɐl ʇlɐs puɐ əlʇʇɐəs
Contact:

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by cek »

Make me #3.
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by MisterFixit »

OK, here it is. Project Octopus Option 2 is complete.

It will include 8 sockets (six for turn, brake, and reverse, and two for tails), plus a new mini-harness that goes between the connector in the E28 to the lamps directly through the bulb holders. Plug in simple, no wire cutting or soldering, just stock operation with FULL VOLTAGE to all lamps. Wiring in the Octopus is all color matched to the colors in the harness. I knew you'd like that!

I have several requests already for Euro option 2, meaning 2 additional sockets and wiring for rear fog lights.

I am also offering an 'Upgrade Octopus' that includes my Plus Four kit for dual tail, dual brake lights on each side.

I have also been asked about a Plus Six upgrade, adding four tail and two brake lights, this one needs a relay setup.

I am still working in the laboratory to develop and design other fabulous upgrades that cleverly add more light, safely!
Stay tuned for more news - for instance, I just found a source for bulb holders (sockets) at about a dollar less per!
Price cut!

'Watch your mirrors'

Andy
Last edited by MisterFixit on Jul 23, 2016 3:55 PM, edited 1 time in total.
KrautnotRice
Posts: 386
Joined: Dec 28, 2014 3:32 AM
Location: South Carolina

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by KrautnotRice »

Very interesting. Following along Project Octopussy.
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by MisterFixit »

OK, We are ready for Prime Time now.

I have three names that would like to be 'first in line' (never mind how that sounds, I will make it work). They will be getting an email or pm from me. I will offer my usual 'product release discount' to get the first three sets out there, and get some feedback on the forum so other folks will know what to expect if they decide to become 'Octopussy'... oh, never mind. Must be the solder fumes ...

This system will include 8 (US) or 10 (Euro) bulb holders (sockets) from Hella, the original manufacturer, which run $16.64 (brake, etc.) and $17.01 (tail) from the dealer. List on these parts for US cars, $133.86 plus tax. For Euros, $167.14 plus tax. I do not get them from the dealer, so you save.

It will also include 8 or 10 new high output lamps, current price on these is $50 (US) or $64 (Euro). Let me know when you order if you have an 86 or newer, for an HO center brake lamp.

Of course there is a slick harness included, designed to make installation and bulb changes simple. Not to mention the benefit of bypassing all that corrosion-induced resistance and resulting dim bulbs.

You will now be fully able to blind them with brilliance!

And it will be perfectly simple to integrate with my other upgrade options that add more tail, brake, or both lamps, with or without relays, your choice of other options as well.

Compatible with US and Euro cars, rear fogs, everything.

So, who's next in line?
e28Sean
Posts: 917
Joined: Nov 23, 2007 3:07 PM
Location: Greenville, SC
Contact:

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by e28Sean »

I just sent you a PM. Very interested in buying a kit.

I'd also love to do an install & first impressions video & put it on YouTube.
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by MisterFixit »

OK, good for you and me too!

Just as long as that video includes those beautiful South Carolina Hills in the background!
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus goes LIVE

Post by MisterFixit »

First Octopus will ship next week, going into a German E28.
All ten sockets will be replaced, all ten lamps will be very bright.

Safety Feature Designed In -

The Octopus will not let you drive with a light out, he's got a heart you know!
When a lamp fails, you can replace it within a minute using an original bulb and holder.
It's as simple as unplugging 2 connectors, plugging 1 into another terminal, and swapping
the holder and lamp for a new one. Just like changing a bulb now.

This gets you back to 100% operational rear lights without tools, simply by having a
bulb and socket in the tool kit, and yes - instructions are included with the Octopus.

You might call it 'Care and Feeding of your E28 Octopus.'
Nebraska_e28
Beamter
Beamter
Posts: 8815
Joined: Apr 13, 2006 11:18 PM
Location: Council Bluffs, IA
Contact:

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by Nebraska_e28 »

This reminds me of the complex braking system on a volvo 240!

Keep thinking out the box! LED's soon?
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by MisterFixit »

Nebraska_e28 wrote:This reminds me of the complex braking system on a volvo 240!
Keep thinking out the box! LED's soon?
Well, I guess I anticipated that question.

http://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=140290
e28Sean
Posts: 917
Joined: Nov 23, 2007 3:07 PM
Location: Greenville, SC
Contact:

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by e28Sean »

MisterFixit wrote:OK, good for you and me too!

Just as long as that video includes those beautiful South Carolina Hills in the background!
That... can be arranged! :cool:
MisterFixit
Posts: 924
Joined: Jul 21, 2006 5:01 PM
Location: Golden, Colorado

Re: Project Octopus lighting solution (suggested by 2 member

Post by MisterFixit »

Just got a request for an Octopus with my 'Plus Four' upgrade - dual brake lights, dual tail lights, and everything bright as can be.

I shouldn't mention this, but with the Octopus replacing all the sockets, the Plus Four upgrade will be MUCH more reasonable... Half the cost of the +4 is two new bulb holders (sockets).

Having these on the parts list anyway makes the wiring a bit different, maybe add a relay if you want to be super fastidious, but way less than getting a +4 kit on it's own ... ever think about upgrading your upgrade? Shouldn't be too much money at all, considering the parts involved.

Thought for today - "You can't drive the car behind you, but you can make it easier for the driver behind you to see what you are doing, and hopefully avoid shoving your car into a ditch."
Post Reply