astradyne wrote: ↑
17 Dec 2018, 12:38
I'd agree with using a small rotary cutting tool. Much safer and a considerably tidier appearance. Alternatively (and the method I'd prefer) would be to insert the LED strip from the front of the plastic housing while it's removed, then feed the supply wire out through the existing bulb holder hole. The LED strip will find its resting point inside the holder as it's fed toward the narrower rear of the unit. A touch of hot glue or superglue would be enough to hold it in place. No cutting, no melting, no mess and this latter method would enable you to return the display back to stock should the need arise.
I agree that a tidier appearance would be beneficial. When you burn things, it gets a little messy. This is where the Dremel tool can come into play. It can be used to clean up the edges. Using the tool to cut a narrow notch as I have would prove to be difficult. I would have concerns about cracking and bits flying off that I don't want to fly off. Maybe masking would alleviate, I do not know. As the saying goes "Like a hot knife through butter". You could use a Dremel tool on that butter but which is the better tool for the job?
The idea of inserting the strip from the front is plausible but does come with issues. A "resting" point comes with the strip being bent in a concave manner and the lighting not being distributed evenly. The power wires would be better fed off through a side cut hole. Securing the strip with some hot melt glue "may" work. Issues of the glue not securing to the housing or the strip would have to be experimented with. If one wanted to replace a strip mounted like this (to put in another color or replace defective), one would have to go through a complete disassembly to get to the strip. All of this to protect the sanctity of "the housing".
Whereas, a installation of the strip in the manner shown would allow for easier removal in the future. My method being crude but effective. This is my first attempt at getting this strip installed and there is always need for improvement. The strip slides into the notch and is secured in a flat manner by the edges of the housing. Light is dispersed evenly on the front panel. The strip can be easily removed in the future. Once the housing gets its edges cleaned up with the Dremel and installed back in the radio, one has to look hard to see what little is exposed under the front bezel and wires to see any of the housing. For the purists, this type of work is cringe-worthy and one could still install the original wheat lamp if desired. I am not concerned about keeping everything stock and original with "matching serial numbers" sort of thing. I look to improve upon by using modern technologies in vintage gear.
I posted my work expecting feedback and you gave me things to think about. I appreciate that. In this case, I will remove the rough edges and get a tidier appearance. I have another strip to install. I will use my hot-knife method and notch out the housing. With the covers back on and looking at the radio from an operators view, the LED strip looks great. When I'm done with this first strip installation, I'll post photos to confirm.