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Retrofitting lights the digital way

The first thing about the Scalextric C7006 digital chip is that it's the only chip of the 4 available Scaley chips that has the facility to quite easily solder in head and tail lights.

If you only solder in the lights without doing any firmware upgrades then only the brake lights and head lights will work. If you do upgrade the firmware with the "MIH" code then, the rear lights will work and the car will have brake lights as well.

Let me explain that again, if you do have the MIH code in the chip, then with NO throttle the brake lights will be on - as if the driver has his foot on the brakes - as soon as you pull some throttle, the rear lights will dim. As soon as you depress throttle again i,e. you are actually "braking" this time, the brake lights will come one again....I think it's very cool and love seeing my cars braking for turns and curves on my track.

NB - Please watch this video on You Tube on how to solder if you are unsure.

Here is video of me testing the brake and rear lights on a car from one of the members on slotforum, reprogrammed with MIH code:

Lets go:

Step 1: Soldering the wires for lights to the correct pads

Locate the 4 pads at the top right hand corner of the chip. The 2 top pads are the brake light pads. The 2 pads below are the head light pads.
The 2 left round pads are the negative poles and the 2 right square pads are positive.
I usually solder about 5-7cm worth of colour coded wire onto these 4 pads. 
The most difficult pad to solder wire to is the negative pad for the headlights. Do it first to save you some time and cursing. Pictured below with the green wire soldered to it.

Step 2: Checking to see if the pads need to be jumped

There are 6 pads that need to be "jumped".
They are pads R1; R2 and R4.


You might get an older chip - there will be 3 resistors in these places. If so, leave them in. PS - These chips are very rare these days as it's old stock.

Step 3: Tinning the pads and jumping them

Remove 8-10 cm of plastic sheath from a piece of the 4 core wire that I used in the "Chipping a Carrera car" thread. Wind it up a bit so you don't have copper strands of wire all over the place. Tin (that is the process of covering and item with solder) the piece of wire heavily with solder. Lightly tin the 6 pads on the chip as well.

Heat the tinned wire just a little over the pad that you want to jump. I usually do pads R2 first as that is the most awkward one of the lot to do. 
There should be little to no effort doing this. If you are having issues during this you either have not tinned the pads or wire enough. You should barely warm up the wire and it should "take" to the pad immediately. Be warned. If it does not work after a few attempts rather stop and check what you doing wrong....and then try again. This is the second most reason I have lost chips. Trying over and over again to get the pads jumped and after a while the pad just removes itself from the board and then you're really stuffed.
When I started doing this a few years ago, I stuffed up a lot of chips because:
The soldering iron I used was FAR to big.
I didn't understand the theory of soldering - watch the video I mention at the start if you are unsure.

Now snip off the wire as short as possible and make it all nice and tidy. Complete these steps for the other 4 pads.

You should end up with something that looks like this...make sure the "jumpers" you soldered on isn't shorting out anything else........and that completes the most difficult part of retrofitting lights!

Step 4: "Building" light fittings with hot glue...that is, if the the car's default light fitting won't take your LED's

I use small drops of hot glue to build up a light fitting for the LED's.

Step 5: Installing the LED's

I use LED's from Rapid Electronics - 

Please note these are quite bright - if you're looking for a car that looks like it has it's lights on high beam then these are the ones to go for!

I also test the LED's before I start anything - I have found a few duds before and this little tester has helped me a lot.

After testing them for the front lights I usually build little sub-assemblies. What I have found after several attempts of experimentation is to glue the LED's onto the previously glued drops or "fittings" with a little bit of hot glue. LED's are sensitive to too much heat and will stop working. So glue small and quickly. Glue them in with the legs unbent.
Once the glue has dried, bend the legs into position. Remember long leg needs to go to the other long leg and short to short - check you have glued them in correctly so the legs will align correctly. Once they line up correctly snip them to the correct length as shown below. These legs can really only be bent once. If you bend them more than that they tend to break. Test fit, test fit and more test fitting!
Spot the mistake in the photo below...the LED on the right is not flush mounted against the cars transparent light assembly and therefore the lighting "bleed" will be increased. Always try and fit them as flush as possible. The nice thing about hot glue is you can remove it again after it has dried without causing damage to the car or the LED. So I re-fitted the one on the right correctly - I just didn't take a photo of it...

I also do the inside legs "Negative" and the outside legs "Positive"...but that is just a personal preference. Once everything is lined up, solder the legs together.

You might want to do the rear lights differently. This usually depends on the car's body shape. You'll have to check if the LED's will clear the the wheel arches and wheels. Once again test fitting is the way to go. In the case of the Ferrari 575 I keep the legs as long as they are because they clear everything quite well. I like doing it this way because there are no wires close to the wheels or motor. In a Porsche GT3 for example, this will not work and you will have to bend the legs like the head lights.

Step 6: Wiring it all up

Well, this is the best part. To hook it all up and see if it all works....or if it will all go up in smoke....he-he-he!!

All you need to really do now is solder the wires from the chip to the corresponding lights in the car. You will see why I said keep the wires 5-7cm long on the chip. It's to allow for opening the car up and having enough spare capacity to work on the car if needs be.

NOTES: The last step really is to paint the glued areas matt black - this is to stop the light bleeding all over the place.I have not done this myself but I know it works fine. Regular Humbrol or Testors model paint will do the job. What I also realised with this Ferrari is that the matt black paint should have gone onto the areas where the glue was put onto in the first place as there is horrendous light bleed through the bonnet and tail area.... Aaaah well...you learn these things as you go along.

The final product:


Any comments; corrections or suggestions please email me.

On the other hand if you don't have all the tools etc. and want me to install and/or upgrade chips at a small fee send me an email - I charge for my time not for profit.