OK, where are we with automotive lighting and similar?

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 17, 2007
Just noticed that this thread was locked:

I am wondering if the Moderators and Staff have decided upon a policy for automotive-type projects?

My thoughts are that if a thread is to be locked, there should be a rather comprehensive list of points made to the OP as to why they should abandon their idea.

I feel that simply closing the thread with a brief statement is not sufficient; the hapless n00b may try their ideas anyway without guidance, and meet disaster (possibly with their passengers, and perhaps others as well) or at least cause big problems for themselves.

If n00bs get ideas in their heads, they will think that since someone else did it, they should be able to do it too. They don't realize all of the engineering, legal stuff, reliability research/testing and qualification trials that the thing they saw that they thought was "cool" had to go through.

My point is to well and throughly discourage neophytes to attempt something that has such safety issues by giving a more thorough explanation why what they wish to attempt is folly, rather than simply close the thread - and they may try it anyway, with no guidance.

It might be helpful to post links to threads where wishful experimenters who thought they could "do it" with "just a little help" finally realized that it was well beyond their skill levels to attempt such a thing, and be within the safety and regulation guidelines of their area of residence.

Just my thoughts...


Joined Mar 24, 2008
That was one of the reasons I'm pushing a more comprehensive list of projects we won't support and why (especially why). Near as I can tell this has been dropped, not sure if it due to lack of interest or if the mods simply disagree with the approach.

There are elements of Catch 22 in this, those people who can do certain hazardous things safely don't really need help, those who do need help shouldn't be doing it.

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 17, 2007
I'm not questioning the authority or reason why to lock the thread, as the Moderator both had the authority and good reason why to lock it.

I am simply suggesting that rather than simply saying the equivalent of "NO!" as if to a small child, that we attempt to provide a bit more education on the subject; the regulations alone might be enough to make their eyes glaze over and to give up in disgust (Thanks, Joe - just the kind of stuff that's needed).

I'm trying to be realistic here. These things are going to keep coming up, and we need to keep giving some gentle guidance as to why it is not a good idea to do so, with examples.

To those of us who have been on here for awhile, it's common knowledge that things like that are not a good idea - but to someone who just logged on yesterday, they have no clue.

I'm just suggesting that we should take a bit more gentle approach in this type of thing. The new member with 1 post will probably now go elsewhere, and get terrible advice for their idea and perhaps get themselves and their passengers injured or worse.

These kinds of decisions are a PITA for Moderators. I'm just suggesting that in this application, more explanation was definitely desirable.


Joined Apr 26, 2005
Maybe explaining the costs of the commercial products includes meeting all those requirements of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Not too many hobbyists have the equipment necessary to measure the viewing angles and candlepower to ensure compliance.

The CFR is required reading for those seeking an insomnia cure. :)


Joined Apr 2, 2009
If we just locks the thread then the OP will definitely find someone else, and it would be really bad experience, it will happen, cause it's how humans behave and act.
We need to give advice before locking a thread.
OP with 1 post is always asking for trouble, we cannot just get him out of the way, telling it is dangerous.we need to tell the OP why?

This is where everyone else stops and this is where we come in.
I stand by Sgt, you have my vote.


Joined Feb 10, 2009
With the Sarge on this. However I would be wary of quoting such things as regulations mainly as the tend to be country specific. A "Thou Shalt" regulation in the USA may not be applicable in the UK.

I quite agree that people should have the pitfalls of their potential project.


Joined Apr 25, 2008
Stepping Into deep water,I have an old p.u.that I like to ask a question about
now and then.Most of our most respected members take on these questions.
They have the experience and knowledge to make the call on how to handle
such request on an automotive request. The young members that sign In and ask
questions must be judged on there experience which most members have a
choice to answer or not. If there Is a liability It should be known,If not the
questions could me montiored Moderators,there Is not that many.The way the
question Is asked and the motive can be considered by a member wishing to answer.
The boom,boom law and blue light have been addressed by law enforcement.
We have a lot of young members that come forward with diagrams drawn by
hand,asking questions.I am Impressed at photos being posted by young members
and there experience. There has to be reason to close the door on the young and
older members that ask auto questions.All question gets looked at and judgements made,
they get an answer maybe or a source of humor.So on behave of our most respected
members consider this request.The members are your best judges on these questions.
Look at all the unanswered post because of a lot reasons.
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Joined May 11, 2009
I remember we had a discussion about which car project we should tolerate in this forum. If I remember correct we reached some conscientious about a list. But then the whole thing died out. What I miss in this forum is a sticky with the title. "Why my thread has been closed" As I think many newcomers see the mods behavior blunt in many cases. They think they are asking a legit question, and suddenly they find out that the thread has been closed before the discussion even have started properly. With just a short "no cant do" statement. I think this forum has loosed many potential valuable members this way.


Joined Apr 25, 2008
A car battery can cause great harm and death,a few wires without fuses can
burn a cars dash and the entire vehicle.I have had a battery explode and knock
me out,that happen just checking oil. Positive to ground looks like arc welding If
they come Into contact. A lot more danger than sitting over a computer monitor.
I have seen a lot of people test there battery by touching positive to ground,
which tells you nothing,just a spark.I stand by my prior post,but the power of
a auto battery has to be condsidered also. Most people will never engage there
car battery,which Is more likely when experimitting with there car.I was lucky
to be at service station to get e.m.s. help which I declined to go hospital,click
and you wake up on the pavement.


Joined Apr 20, 2004
The policy statement is late being posted. that is being worked on, so some coherent statement will be up in a couple of days.


Joined Apr 26, 2005
However I would be wary of quoting such things as regulations mainly as the tend to be country specific. A "Thou Shalt" regulation in the USA may not be applicable in the UK.
Everyone here is aware there are differing regulations in each nation. Each nation, however, probably has the equvalent of the U.S. regulatory agency and the OPs have been advised to seek the regulatory information in their own country.

Therein lies the non-specificity of the advice given, simply because the responders here are unfamiliar with the regulations of every nation, and sometimes their own nation. The responders do, however, have some knowledge of the safety issues involved with such endeavors, and as such, try to express those concerns.

The U.S. regulations are posted. Now if those residing in other countries post a copy of the equvalent regulations, we could point the OPs to a sticky post placed by our moderators holding all those regulations, to become familiar with their countries regulations. Therein lies our challenge. Can we, as a group, make it happen? We shall see.


Joined Apr 2, 2009
Speaking about having members from different nations, I am sure you guys have no idea on a Maldivian regulation on automobiles.
What we have is road regulation. Fiddling with the harness is done by everybody and their have been lot's of dangerous issues.
Still we do not have a governing body for these kind of things like the rest of the world.

All I can say is that I know the safety features which should be practiced.
So if any OP is asking for automobile circuits, find out where he is from, and if from Maldives, tell the OP to contact me through the forum if OP wishes to go on with the project.
At least this way I can fight on my side to educate the senseless practitioners here.
The rest of the world is up to u to decide.


Joined Apr 25, 2008
We don't need to make something happen,we need to do the right thing.
I am sure the Moderators will come out with the right policy. Common sense
Is world wide,we all understand that.


Joined Apr 2, 2009
common sense is world wide.........but
I don't see n00bs using them

Mod's are taking a bit soon to justify a thread.
Should give us a chance to see where experienced members lead an OP.


Joined Jun 7, 2010
While looking out to find info for my project, here on this beautiful forum, I got the chance to find the automotive ones, cause they are similar to mine. And I've read most of them.

It seems that some people just want their dreams to work. It doesnt matter the current, voltage, heat, danger. I dont believe that type of people are doing reliablity tests before putting their circuits on their cars bikes etc. In most of the posts by SgtWookie, I saw that he is giving particular information about the regulations which is very very nice indeed. But also I saw that, the person who is given that information by SgtWookie, doesnt seem to care that much which is very sad...

From my point of view (which I got reading those posts) most of the people are in such a rush that they dont care what will happen if they do something wrong. People are need to be educated. We need to educate them. I believe like SgtWookie, that just giving a simple "NO" as an answer makes everything worse. People got to be warned and educated, after that they should be given information about their projects. And if someone is trying something crazy like the one-only one led per brake and tail light project- they shouldnt be given any information and must led to a way so they stop doing whatever they are trying to complete.

Hiding information won't educate anybody, leading to the right path will do.

I've also made a very simple led conversion to my bike's tail light, long before I found myself here. It is a really simple one, but even it is that simple, I used voltage and current limiting, tried to make the less in series much in parallels method to make sure if one led dies I still got others lit to be seen. I tested to system before putting in my bike for 7 days 24 hours in my workshop. After I made myself sure, I put the system on my bike.

Why I did all of this for a simple circuit? Because I care about the regulations? Because I care about the laws? No. Of course I do care about them but first of all I care about myself, and the people in the everyday traffic. The people I carry behind me. The people I pass on a highway. Nothing is more important than a peoples life. Regulations and Laws are here to make sure of this.

So I believe, if you tell someone what she/he is doing is illegal, they may not care about it and may go on. But if you give a simple scene of what might happen if they dont do the project right, this may have more effect on that people.

I think giving samples is a more good education method than just telling them to obey the rules.

People should have the information they ask for, but only when the answerer believes that they are going to use it/do it right.

I hope that I didnt bothered you brilliant people with my long posts. I am just trying to add something to this beautiful forum.


Joined Jan 18, 2008
Whatever rules are adopted, let's be sure they are reasonable and address real issues of safety, not some hypothetical fear.

Most important, they need to be applied consistently and objectively. Take two current threads that deal with making an ignition HV spark:

This one got locked before it got very far: http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=39336

This one is still open and up to 4 pages: http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=39162

I find very little difference between the two to justify the different treatments. Please believe I am not in any way criticizing the moderators by these examples. The rule on HV is simply ambiguous enough to make consistent application difficult. BTW, ignition systems can give a nasty jolt, but I personally would not restrict their discussion here because of safety concerns.