Bring in a little light! (ST2/ST1 center console) | The Focus ST Network Forum

Bring in a little light! (ST2/ST1 center console)

Discussion in 'Focus ST Interior Upgrades' started by saucymuffin, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. saucymuffin

    saucymuffin Member

    So some of you may have seen my "Center Console too Dark?" thread where I complain that the center console compartment is way to dark to see the hook-ups at night, I mean this dark:
    So today with the help of a good friend of mine we went about changing that problem so now you can see!
    When we set about this we had no idea how stupid simple it actually was since we had no idea how to get to the wires or how to even run the lights or where to put them. But here is how we did it and here is how you can do it super easy and quick! Now I used LED lights for this and will not be including how to wire the lights up or what lights and resistor I used you can size them yourself when you go to buy your LEDs at and it will show you a nice little wire diagram as well.

    What you need:
    16-18ga Copper wire stranded (I went with black and red to make it easy)
    Shrinky Dink wire insulation (the kind that you heat and it shrinks tight makes it easier than taping)
    Electrical Tape (for the splice to the power port)
    LED(s) (I used two, one for each side of the box)
    Resistor (make sure to use the website to size the resistor you will need!)
    Small rocker switch (I'll post a link to the type of switch I used something like this:

    Solder Iron
    Wire cutters
    Wire strippers
    Torx set (since I can't remember the torx screw size)
    Lighter or heat gun (to shrink the wire insulation)
    Super Glue Gel

    First thing first removing the back panel of the center console (this is for the ST2/ST1 center console)
    There is only one screw to remove and its tucked under the arm rest in the little divet part by itself shown here as an empty hole:
    Once that screw is removed you can press back on the outter tabs of the rear panel on either side of the arm rest until it pops out of the pressure clips like this:
    Then making sure to slowly pop the remaining clips out you now have the back panel free and can unplug the rear power port:
    Now here is a picture of the two wires we are going to attach to, the brown/white (or orange/white I couldn't really tell) is going to be the supply power and the black/white will be the return or ground:
    Now the way I went about preparing my LEDs was to have wire leads soldered to each lead of the LED and wire leads coming from my switch to cut back on soldering once everything was located. Now believe it or not but there is two pre-made holes on each side of the box in the upper corners that lead to the inside of the compartment just under the little rolled over lip. Perfect spot for mounting the LEDs, I was lucky enough to have had sealed them with the Shrinky Dink stuff so that I didn't have to glue or tape them but push them through enough and they stayed into position:
    As for mounting the switch I had to do a little modifying of the switch and the hinge that the arm rest swings on, for the switch mods I removed the little roller arm on it to reveal the small red button underneath (it can be seen here:[​IMG]) and as for the hinge, I had to file it down on the top and bottom to get the switch to fit snug into position where once the arm rest was closed the switch was compressed:
    To hold the switch in place I super glued it on both sides, if this comes loose later I will go back and epoxy it in but for now the super glue gel is holding great.
    [​IMG] Once your switch is mounted and you checked that the arm rest is compressing and releasing the button like you need you should have something looking like this:
    Time to tuck those wires! Since I wasn't aware how much physical space is between the console and this panel I opted to melt some holes and notches into the console with my solder iron to keep the wires out of harms way, You will also notice two pockets on each side of the console this is a perfect spot to tuck the LED wires until you get to underneath the hinge:
    They were later secured with some small pieces of electrical tape to keep them from flopping out. Now its time to make your connections. Take the positive wire from your first LED and solder it to the brown/white (orange/white) wire and tape that connection securely, you don't want crap getting in there. Next take the negative wire and solder it to one of the wires from the switch, take the positive wire from the SECOND LED and solder that the remaining wire from the switch. And lastly take the Negative Wire (which I soldered directly to the resistor and the resistor directly to the negative side of the LED) and solder that to the black/white wire and tape that connection securely. If you make your channels like mine and leave your wires neatly trimmed and Shrinky Dink wrapped it should look like this:
    Now you will notice I did not fuse this little off shoot, two LEDs do not grab that much power so there really is not a concern of frying anything. Now that you have all your connections this is a good time to check to make sure everything is wired correctly and that the LEDs turn on when you open your arm rest and turn off again when you close it.

    All that is left to do is plug the wires back into the power port, pop the rear panel back onto the center console and replace that screw. The only noticeable feature you will see from the outside is maybe where the button is and if your LEDs have short leads or wont stay up they may sag a little and be seen.

    Here is a video to show the lights turning on and off with the arm rest opening and closing.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  2. maskeet

    maskeet Member

    Excellent write up it looks awesome!
  3. saucymuffin

    saucymuffin Member

    Someone is going to have to use a switch like the one I linked to, the one I used my father had laying around in his garage and was pretty old. The blade with the roller was attached with two screws, if someone gets the one I linked they may have to cut that blade off or it may work with the blade I don't know and that needs explored.
  4. Gfxjamie

    Gfxjamie Member

    I May have to do this as at night mine is dark too for fiddling with USB plugs

    I use little micro switches like those at work and have a stock pile of small ones so I likely have almost all the materials

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. saucymuffin

    saucymuffin Member

    the hardest part is getting that switch to fit and making sure you let the glue dry once its in place. As for getting the LEDs I got mine at Radioshack and once I picked the color I wanted (blue since they didn't have white) I got on my phone and did the calculator and got my resistor at the same time.

    I used LEDs like this:

    not the exact one I used but same shape and size.
  6. saucymuffin

    saucymuffin Member

    anyone else do this mod yet?
  7. maskeet

    maskeet Member

    I will be doing it soon just haven't had time
  8. saucymuffin

    saucymuffin Member

    Anyone else do this yet?

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