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Work on lighting lift gate appliqué begins

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by artsci, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    A number of us are interested in lighting the the chrome strip on the back of the lift gate, what Tesla calls the liftgate appliqué (part #1008856-00-C). The goal is to light the Tesla letters on the appliqué. Thanks to ZAX123, who bought an extra appliqué for this purpose and shipped it to me for testing, I delivered the piece this afternoon to PCS Engineering here in Maryland and discussed with their technical staff how we can get this done.

    Before we had the actual piece we thought that we'd 3d print a copy and work with that. But once we saw the actual piece we decided on an less complicated and costly solution. We'll use the actual piece and cut out the Telsa letters, then light them with a red EL sheet on the back side. PCS is starting work on that approach. I'll post here as progress is made.

    Assuming that this approach is successful, we'll operate this on a swap basis. Interested buyers will purchase a modified appliqué, install it on their cars, then return the original for a credit. Or they can keep the original but forgo the credit. Exchanged appliqués will then be modified for other buyers.

    That's the plan for now.
     
  2. Tacket

    Tacket Member

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    Very cool! Are these pretty easy for the end user to install themselves? I think I read somewhere they are only on there with double sided tape?
     
  3. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    It looks pretty simple. There's double sided tape at each end around the red reflectors (which the appliqué covers but are not part of it)
    and 5 or 6 pegs and clips that align it and snap it into place in the middle sections. The back surface behind the letters is flat. And as it's plastic it's quite flexible. It should be easy to remove and install.
     
  4. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    Rick,

    This is awesome! Your mailbox is full... the applique is yours to do whatever you like with. :)

    Rob
     
  5. NoMoGas

    NoMoGas Member

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    TEASE!
     
  6. ccbldg

    ccbldg Member

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    Go artsci!
     
  7. nkohlimd

    nkohlimd Member

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    Rick-You the man!!!!!
     
  8. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    Rick,

    If you have any pics of the backside of the appliqué, I'd love to see them. I never even opened the box I got from Tesla, I just forwarded it on to you. :)

    Thanks!

    Rob
     
  9. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I'll get some snaps tomorrow am
     
  10. umuhk

    umuhk Member

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    I'd be more interested if you went with a LED solution instead of EL -- I've had a lot of bad experiences with poorly-sealed EL degrading under humidity intrusion, which is bound to happen here in the Pacific North-Wet.
     
  11. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Interesting you should raise the question. I feel the same way and I'm working on an LED solution. I'm pretty sure it can be done. LEDs will be much brighter, provide better control, and be far more durable.
     
  12. drtko147

    drtko147 Member

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    artsci, can you share what you are thinking of? Maybe in a draft picture? I am trying to understand what you are trying to accomplish.
     
  13. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    I was thinking about this today.

    What I think would be cool is if we could develop a quick circuit that gave the LED-lit (or EL) letters two degrees of brightness. One for when the car is normally "on", and another for when the brake lights come on. That would the TESLA name would light up more brightly when brakes are applied. Even makes it safer...

    The circuit would be relatively simple I assume. Could even just be a relay-switched resistor that is put in parallel with the LED/EL when the brake lights come up. I believe the liftgate should have access to the brake light since the strip of LEDs that come on at the top of the rear windshield is there.
     
  14. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    #14 artsci, Dec 12, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
    That's exactly what I want to do. A relay triggered by tapping into the leads that turn on the LEDs at the top of the rear window is the way to go.

    - - - Updated - - -

    A thin sheet of side-lit red plexi behind the cut out TESLA letters is what I have in mind. The letters would be engraved into the underlying plexi sheet, aligned perfectly with the TESLA letters cut out of the appliqué. When the LEDs light up the sheet the engraved letters glow a bright red. But I want to add another feature: emboss a set of TESLA letters out of red plexi so they sit on top of the engraved sheet and fill the void of the letter spaces cut out of the appliqué. This will create the same three-dimensional effect of the chrome letters, but in red. When it's all lit up it should be pretty cool. Is that clear?

    Here's are some examples of side lit letters engraved in plexi I have to think if you added embossed letter on top of the engrave ones they'd light up as well.

    edge-lit-led-sign-engraved-bespoke--2515-p[ekm]300x225[ekm].jpg edgelit.gif

    I'm going to try to set up an experiment this weekend to test the concept. Imagine this kind of design:

    lc_38.jpg
     
  15. Luder94

    Luder94 Member

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    WOW! Love some of the stuff you come up with. You remind me of another guy from your neck of the woods from another car club/forum by the name of Rick Hesel. He engineered/fabricated stuff for S2000s early-on....the lighted "Tesla" idea is very much like a lighted "S2000" windscreen he came up with. To this day it's still one of my more favorite mods on my S2000; I'll try to see if I can't find a good picture of his solution there.
     
  16. zax123

    zax123 CDN Model S P308

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    Lol!
     
  17. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I'm the same Rick:) Sold the S2000 last year. Having the same fun with the Model S.
     
  18. Shumdit

    Shumdit Member

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    Wow . Coincidence !
     
  19. Luder94

    Luder94 Member

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    Huh...what are the chances?!!! Looks like a few of us early adopters for the S2000 are here....I still have my S2000 and have added another one in the mix alongside the Model S. I look forward to seeing what more you have cooking for the Tesla; is everything going to be available through the Ricks2K site (is the site still up)?

    BTW, I'm wondering if you remember me. Aside from meeting at S2KDays01, you and I have had lunch a couple of times I had come into DC/Maryland area for business.
     
  20. achaar

    achaar Member

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    This sounds interesting. What is the anticipated price?

    - - - Updated - - -

    This sounds interesting. What is the anticipated price?
     

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