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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, so here's the problem: The Premium 7 radio display colour does not match the new style instrument cluster. In fact it is a really dark blue and the text is sometimes difficult to read. Now, I'm a fan of blue but it just doesn't look right here.
Solution: Change the LEDs!
Tools required:
T-20 torx driver
#1 Philips driver
small flat blade screwdriver or other non-marring pry tool
Good soldering tools and the knowledge of how to use them
12* 4mm*4mm right angle LEDs (part numbers at bootom of post)

STEP 0:
- the original setup. My camera isn't too good at night without the flash but you get the idea.


STEP 1 (remove radio):
- Remove radio as outlined in this thread:
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2186433

STEP 2 (remove front panel):
-There are 4 clips on the each of the top and bottom, plus 2 clips on the each side that need to be released and then the whole front panel comes off.




STEP 3 (remove PCB):
-Remove the 5 philips screws that hold the circuit board to the plastic with all the buttons.

-The circuit board should just come off.


STEP 4 (get access to LEDs):
-Next desolder the the 2 points that hold the display cover to the circuit board (circled) and bend the 6 tabs so they are straight (arrows). I forgot to take a proper picture with the board out at this point.

-The display should come away from the front of the circuit board now. DO NOT TRY TO DISCONNECT THE CONNECTOR ON THE BACK!! Fold it gently up and behind the circuit board. The LEDs we want to work on are circled.


STEP 5 (change LEDs):
-Remove the old LEDs. I found using a pair of solder tweezers worked really well, ideally you want apply heat to both pads at the same time.

-Clean up the pads with some solder wick and alcohol. If there's too much solder on the pads, it will be more difficult to place the new LEDs. The alcohol just makes the board look pretty...

-Put on the new LEDs. I found that if you had one pad completely clear of solder and one with just a tiny amount you could hold the LED in place while melting the "soldered" side. Then once it's properly in place, you can add some solder to the "clear" side and it will sit perfectly.


STEP 6 (reassemble):
-Essentially, reassembly is the reverse of disassembly. Take the time to clean the display now while it is apart (you can slide the metal piece off the display). Don't forget to rebend the clips and add the 2 points of solder to the metal piece surrounding the display.

-Put the 5 screws back in place and the whole piece should snap back onto the radio without much force.
STEP 7 (enjoy):
-Here are some pics of the finished project.


EXTRA NOTES:
-I tried white and light blue LEDs to see which would look better. I decided to go with the white but the light blue would have looked pretty good as well.


Of course, you can change your other LEDs as well. The ones for radio buttons are 3.5mm*2.8mm and come in a wide range of colours.
All LEDs are from Kingbright USA. http://www.kingbrightusa.com/default.asp
Specs:
light blue = AA4040QBC/D, 470nm, typical intensity 150mcd (seem brighter than stock)
white = AA4040RWC/A, typical intensity 300mcd (don't seem that bright in radio)
I believe the stock dark blue LEDs are 465nm and 280mcd
I have some extras for sale if anyone is interested. Light blue $12us shipped, White $15us shipped. I can also mod your radio for $50 plus shipping.
 

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Re: DIY: 2009 Premium 7 Radio display colour change (angelico)

I can't believe that VW changed the instrument cluster and not the radio, steering, and door buttons.
In my opinion it looks very bad.

Great job on the DIY for this, it's a perfect mod IMO. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Looks good. I may even do my 07.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: (SWES2006)

Quote, originally posted by SWES2006 »
WHY.............................. ??// get a navi please


haha, company car, don't want to put too much of my personal money into it. The nav would be cool though!
 

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Re: DIY: 2009 Premium 7 Radio display colour change (angelico)

First off, WOW - great write up.
Second off - glad to see I'm not the only one that is bothered by the fact that VW's cheapness messed up the mood/feeling/ambience. The first time I saw the new white-light cluster I liked it. When I looked to the radio and saw it was blue, I thought "This just isn't VW's style. They spend lots of time (money) to make sure the interior details are just right. Times must be tough..." Of course that was the Passat 2009 MY running-change. Now that I see the plan was to migrate to the Premium 8 it all makes sense (and works visually). But man, cheaping out on all those cars just wasn't right.
Thanks for pointing out a way for folks to "fix" this. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: DIY: 2009 Premium 7 Radio display colour change (type17volkswagen)

Wow, fantastic change. It looks so much better. Does it still dim with the rest of the panel (I assume it does)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: DIY: 2009 Premium 7 Radio display colour change (Double-V)

Yep, it dims just like factory. Finally drove it at night tonight, I think it's a little brighter than it should be so I think I'll take it apart and make an adjustment or 2.
 

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Re: DIY: 2009 Premium 7 Radio display colour change (angelico)

How did switching to dimmer LEDs work out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: DIY: 2009 Premium 7 Radio display colour change (Double-V)

I haven't been driving around after dark very much (10pm this time of year), so I didn't get around to this until today. I just changed the inline 820 Ohm resistors to 1000 Ohm to reduce the current to the LEDs. They seem just a little bit dimmer, a good match anyway. I really happy with matching colour now.
 

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With the text was in red and pointers blue

What I have noticed is that the red is much easier to focus than the blue. Human eyes are not very good at focusing bright blue, much better with red, and red doesn't blow your night vision as much as a lot of blue. I like the look of the red and blue, but if I had my choice, I would like to see red digits and words on the dash and blue pointers on the dials. Lot of work to convert it all over, but that would be more functional.
 
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