12 November 2013

New LED Door Light Kit for the DeLorean

LED Door Light Kit by Tom Niemczewski
About a month ago, I got this cool LED Door Light Kit from Tom Niemczewski at deloreana.com.  I finally found time to install these lights.  Not that this took a lot of time.  But like all my DeLorean projects, I like to document the process whenever I can.  Here are my first impressions, quick review, and installation process.

Great packaging
The kit comes a custom foam box.  Just by looking at the box, you know these are going to be quality items.  I have to admit, I was hesitant at first to get these, but the box sold it.  Perfectly cut foam, with recessed pockets for the lights.  The cover has a (I would guess) laser gut logo.  Just beautiful...like a box of chocolates.

Close up of one of the LED assemblies
Remove the cover and you see all six lights laid out (see image at top of post).  Four surface mounted LED's make up each assembly, along with some techy-microchipy things.  In other words, these are really nicely made.  You can tell that Tom spent a lot of time and took at lot of care in making these.

LED bulbs from DMC
One of the reasons I hesitated in purchasing the kit was, I had already swapped out the original incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs from DMC.  This was one of the first modifications I did when I first got the car to make it 'more modern'.

DMC replacement LED rear (red) door light
Here we go, one of the easiest mods you can do to your car.  As easy as changing a light bulb.  For comparison, here is a shot of the rear DMC LED bulb in the light.  Notice the hot spot, not very good displacement of light.  Can you even 'displace' light?  You know what I mean.

Removing the lens
In order to get to the bulbs, you need to carefully remove the lens.  I used a flat head screwdriver to carefully pry out the lens.

New surface mounted LED bulb installed
The new LED's are directional, so make sure you have them in the right way.  There is only two ways, so it is just a matter of plugging it in and seeing if it lights up.  Oh, you will know when it lights up.

Nice grid pattern
With the lens placed back in, it creates a nice grid pattern.  I like this since it matches the grid like tail lights.  Tom sells the kit with a set of diffuser lenses to 'correct' the grid pattern.  I elected to keep the grid look.  I could always have some lenses cut if I ever decide to have a defused look.  This project should only take 10-15 minutes to do.

DMC replacement LED front (amber) lights
For comparison, photos of the rear lights show what they look like in bright daylight.  Above is photo of lights in semi light.  The hot spot is more apparent in these photos.

Sexy grid pattern is so eighties
I should note that I have my lenses in backwards.  The textured side faces in, smooth side out.  Not sure if it makes any difference, but I think the light gets dispersed better if the facets are closer to the light.  I could be totally wrong.

Bad photo of the new LED lights complete darkness
The LED's are very bright.  Above is a bad photo of the lights in complete darkness.  All photo here are taken with an iPod.  Not the best camera, but good enough.  You can still see the grid pattern at night, note the lens flare to the left of the main light.  The camera was not able to pick this up.

Comparing size and shape of the different LED bulbs
One of the design feature that I love about Tom's LED kit is the low profile design.  Having the light source further away from the lens give the light more time to spread.  The taller 'standard' LED bulb is right up against the lens, resulting in that hot spot.  Also, having four surface mounted LED's spread out in the corners help with better light distribution.  Even with the optional defusing lens, the standard LED bulbs would cause hot spots.

This is a great set.  Although a price a little high, I think it is well worth the price, even at $80.  They are really well made and they look great.  For an extra $20, you can get frosted lenses from Tom.  We must not forget about the packaging...just awesome.

If you have not upgraded to LED's, I highly recommend this set.  But you better hurry, there are only about 20 left.  The alternative is getting LED bulbs from your favourite DMC vendor or LED specialist. 

It is good to know that there are people like Tom out there...all the way out there in Poland.  He makes a great product.  Not only that, he makes sure that you get your item by providing tracking number and email updates.  I even got an email telling me that my package had arrived at the post office.  That is great customer service.  He is also working on a kit for the side marker lights.  Once he has those ready, you can bet that I will buy a set.

For technical information and specifications, and how to order, please visit Tom Niemczewski's site at deloreana.com.

07 November 2013


Wow, over a week between calls.  That time change must have messed up their internal clocks.  Which is the only 'benefit' to setting clocks back and forth - fucking up everyones' internal clocks.  That is a lame argument, since I get calls at various times during the day and from multiple time zones.

7 November 2013
   304-988-4693  WV, USA - Hey, first call from West Virginia.  Not that it matters, I still wish ill will on your sorry ass.  Why is there not an East Virgina?  There is a North and South for Carolina and Dakota.  I think Virgina should change its name to East Virgina.  Obviously, West Virgina was an afterthought.  Oh, better yet...change West Virgina to Next to Virgina.

   414-232-5011  WI, USA - Hello, Wisconsin...fuck off, Wisconsin!

11 November 2013
   617-273-8317  MA, USA - I looked up the nunber.  Could be a legit wrong number, or it could be a fucking telemarketer.  Either way...just to be safe...fuck you.

26 November 2013
   925-420-1433  East San Francisco Bay Area - I bet you are wondering why there was a big gap in between calls.  Well, I was out of town and I turned off my phone for the entire trip.  So, no calls received...but the automated telebot kept rambling while my outgoing message played and they sort of left a message.  I am on vacation, fuck you.

27 November 2013
   925-420-1432  East San Francisco Bay Area - Wow, such an innovative tactic.  Call me from another line that is just one number off.  Brilliant!  Too bad, I am still on vacation.  Even if I was not on vacation, I still would not pick up...and, fuck you.

30 November 2013
   325-423-0276  Llano, TX - One last call before the end of the month.  Saturday morning calls are the best.  A chance to sleep in and some fucker calls you, trying to sell you shit you do not need.  Fuck you. 

05 November 2013

Mounting Bracket for MOLLE System

I happened to stumble up on this great design by Peak Design.  The Capture Camera Clip allows you to mount any camera on any strap.  The optional mount accessories, like the POV Kit,  also lets you adjust angles of the mounted camera.  I love this simple design

POV Kit by Peak Design
Only two things kept me from getting one.  One, it is on back order.  Two, I am cheap and I think I can make a cheaper one.  By cheaper, I mean both financially and quality.

I recently got this cool backpack that uses the MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) System.  I may write more about my Triple Aught Design FAST Pack Litespeed backpack.  This is a military grade pack, there are a bunch of straps for you to mount addition pouches using the MOLLE System.  For now, here is a photo for your reference.

FAST Pack Litespeed by Triple Aught Design
The MOLLE System is also incorporated into the shoulder straps.  Here is a chance to design a simple mounting bracket that will work for both the vertical shoulder straps and horizontal straps throughout the rest of the pack.  So, I came up with this design.

Rough sketches of mounting bracket

My design is loosely based on Peak Design's bracket.  I just have two simple plates with a square footprint.  The slotted plate slides into the MOLLE straps.

Simple bracket for MOLLE Sytem
The upper plate just screws on to the slotted plate.  On the slotted plate, there is a 'bar' that keeps the plate from shifting when slid into the MOLLE straps.  A GoPro mount is stuck on using double sided tape.

Slotted plate slid between the verticals shoulder straps
Mounting the plates is simple.  Just slide the slotted plate in between the straps.  Place top plate, secure with four screws.  The plate were laser cut from a 0.100" styrene.  Not the strongest, but you get what you pay for...this cost me nothing.  The holes on the bottom plate (slotted) was tapped using a 10-32 tap.  Holes on the top plate are slightly larger so the plates can be 'pulled' together.

Plate screwed together
Once the four screws are in place, the bracket is secure.  I chose screws that I can hand tighten, no need for tools.

GoPro camera mounted on bracket
With the backpack on, and the curve of my manly chest, the plate points outward about 10 degrees.  Unfortunately, the angle of the camera is not adjustable for left and right, only up and down movement.  Again, you get what you pay for.

Bracket can me mounted on horizontal MOLLE straps
My design also allows the bracket to be mounted anywhere around the backpack.  The mounted object can be vertical or horizontal, depending on the direction one mounts the top plate.  While there is no need to mount the camera on back of the backpack, unless I happen to want a rear view camera, the bracket will work with any MOLLE system, such as a vest.  The bracket can be used for other purposes other than for a camera.  So, it just adds to the MOLLE system.  I may just have a few more sets cut out for future use.  Maybe I can mount lights or make an MP3 holder with my bracket.

There maybe something like this out there, right how.  I am too lazy to research that.  Perhaps someone will see this post, or me with the bracket, and steal improve upon my design and bring something like this to market.