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  • Wiring multicolored LED

    Guys,
    Was curious if you could use those multicolored LED and have the green lit when the power is on, and have the red flicker to show hard drive activity?? I know how to wire simple LEDs, but never done the 3 wire multicolored LEDs?? Anyone??

  • #2
    depends on which type you get. there are 2-lead LEDs which change color with current direction, these are not the ones you want.

    the 3-lead LEDs have a common ground and one lead for green and another for red. You won't be able to get it to change from green to red, but it will be able to go from green to orange.
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    • #3
      I have red/green 3 pin LED. Thats what screwed me up, the lady I bought them from said that the longer pin of the 3 was a common power and then one pin was grounded for green and the other pin for red. So I guess the long pin is the common ground, and the two shorter pins are for the separate power feeds. I know how to wire the feeds but how are the two separate grounds connected to the one pin of the LED??

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      • #4
        Oddly enough, for what you are attempting a three pin, dual LED is the exactly what the doctor ordered. The only thing that you may consider undesirable is that you wont have pure red flicker during HDD activity, that is you will have red superimposed with green (giving a yellowish colour as opposed to red). This is becuase there are two seperate diodes in same casing, and if one is to indicate power (G) and the other HDD activity (R) then then the Green LED will be on as the Red LED flickers giving a yellowish Flicker instead

        If this will suffice then the process is simple. Grab the two LED cables that join to the motherboard and identify the cathode of both (usually white in my experience), cut these two and twist them together and solder to the common cathode of your new three legged friend (the longer one i believe). You now have to wires left to the two different LED's left. Cut these and solder them to the either remaining leg. That's it plug it in and enjoy your dual status from a single LED masterpiece
        Caputer Mk. II
        '02 VX Holden Commodore Series II Executive
        MII12000, 512MB RAM, 60GB HDD (5400rpm), 16X DVD, TS200V
        Morex 60W DC-DC, Custom S/SDC
        OS/Software: Developing...

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        • #5
          Thanks alot, just what I was looking for.

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          • #6
            No...you cant use 3 legged LEDs.

            The reason why I said no is because the HDD LED are driven by ground and not by +V from the motherboard connector. The 3 legged LED you mentioned are common cathode type. Meaning both LED ground are tied to ground, and each LED are to be driven by the +V.


            If you look at your motherboard manual you find the HDD connector :

            +V
            HDD Active (goes to ground to light up the HDD LED)


            The power connector :

            +V
            Ground


            As you can see you it cant work with common cathode LED.

            I dont know if you can get a common anode tri colour LED. The LED +V are tied and its to be driven by grounding the legs.

            Hope that make sense

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ricky327
              No...you cant use 3 legged LEDs.

              The reason why I said no is because the HDD LED are driven by ground and not by +V from the motherboard connector.
              You learn something new everyday

              I was keen to see how it would turn out myself, the effect of displaying both power and HDD status with one LED, and as I could only find three legged dual coloured LED's with a common cathode I used an additional PNP trannie (BC558) and a 1k resistor to invert the active ground triggering of the HDD signal.

              So don't dispair syclone477, with a couple of extra components from your junk box you can still achieve your effect.
              Caputer Mk. II
              '02 VX Holden Commodore Series II Executive
              MII12000, 512MB RAM, 60GB HDD (5400rpm), 16X DVD, TS200V
              Morex 60W DC-DC, Custom S/SDC
              OS/Software: Developing...

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              • #8
                So did you try it with an inverter then?

                Yes you can still achieve it as "OdysseyPC" unless you can really find a common anode 3 legged friend

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ricky327
                  So did you try it with an inverter then?
                  Inverter as in the IC variety, no i decided to go a little old school with the PNP and a bit of free form soldering, wrapped it up in some heat shrink to clean it up. I took a little time to make it small and neat and have integrated it into my carputer this afternoon.

                  At first I was against putting anything like that in my setup, that is flashing LEDs and the like. But I must say it provides some piece of mind on those occasions when you think the carputer has frozen but the little LED is flashing away furiously ... "aaaahhhh" i say, "it's just thinking"
                  Caputer Mk. II
                  '02 VX Holden Commodore Series II Executive
                  MII12000, 512MB RAM, 60GB HDD (5400rpm), 16X DVD, TS200V
                  Morex 60W DC-DC, Custom S/SDC
                  OS/Software: Developing...

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                  • #10
                    I don't know about the ITX boards but the ATX ones have pins that connect to a HDD and Power Led. Why not just tap into that instead?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by azcowboy
                      I don't know about the ITX boards but the ATX ones have pins that connect to a HDD and Power Led. Why not just tap into that instead?
                      You must exuse if any of the above was unclear but that's what we are referring to. I know of no other way to get the above functionality than by tapping those four header pins (2 per LED)
                      Caputer Mk. II
                      '02 VX Holden Commodore Series II Executive
                      MII12000, 512MB RAM, 60GB HDD (5400rpm), 16X DVD, TS200V
                      Morex 60W DC-DC, Custom S/SDC
                      OS/Software: Developing...

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                      • #12
                        Hehe...

                        Wow did I say inverter? I just couldnt be bothered to say NPN transistor with resistor. I only just realised inverters to most poeple in heres means DC-AC PSU

                        Glad you got it working and I wasnt talking BS

                        I thought the idea is good so Im thinking of reprogamming my shutdown controller so it indicate PURE green for power and PURE red for HDD activity

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                        • #13
                          Thanks guys, but found out that my mobo just has pin outs for HD LED?? Go figure. So Ill probably just be hooking up the green LED for HD activity. Fern

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