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Paint the needle?

Discussion in 'General CB Services Discussion' started by El Kabong, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. El Kabong

    El Kabong Active Member

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    I have a tough time seeing the meter on my base. I have been thinking of painting the pointer some bright fluorescent color. Safety green or orange.

    Has anyone else tried this? Did it help??


    Thanks all.


     
    Slowmover and Shadetree Mechanic like this.

  2. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    Can't see why not as long as the paint is not too heavy and change the meter ballistics. I know it made a HUGE difference when I painted sights on my two pistols. Black front and rear sites just didn't cut it.
     
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  3. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Do Your Research First, Then Decide...

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    Hmm. In two words, Yes and No.

    I tried this with a PDC 300 meter - the 3-meter face...

    Took some Day-Glo paint (that Neon UV light stuff) and it WORKED but it won't "stick" well and tends to "weigh" the meter needle if you use too much paint to "dot" the tip.

    The effort works but too much paint or if you bend the needle trying to dab on paint, the drag on the face from it - will have an affect of the readings.

    The UV light shining on it at night made a wonderful display of motion - but the plastic cover tends to shade some of the UV light from reaching the paint than to use it without the plastic protective bezel panel.

    Hey, to me, it was worth it. Got a few laughs from the effect it has while using it when you have friends over to talk and chat on the radio.
     
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  4. r carl

    r carl Active Member

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    Brighter light bulb?
     
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  5. Rwb

    Rwb Sr. Member

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    They sell spedometer needle paint. Never tried it but might work ok
    And i agree captain killowatt i use fforney weldeers paint tubes ,puts thosse sights on target much easier
     
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  6. walterjn

    walterjn Well-Known Member

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    I used a toothpick to pick up a drop of florescent orange paint and slide that drop along the needle of my Grant XL meter. It helps as long as the needle is not bouncing back and forth, or only lit by the backlight. During the day, with plenty of ambient light I can see it the needle just fine.
    I sprayed some paint into a plastic container, got a decent puddle, then I dipped the toothpick in got a good drop and slid that drop along the needle from bottom to top.
     
  7. sunbulls

    sunbulls Sr. Member

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    I’ve used the toothpick (sewing needle) method also with fair success, but if you own an airbrush, that’s the ultimate solution. You will commonly see paint flaking on vintage needles, but that’s actually a good thing because the old paint is usually easy to scrap off with an Exacto blade. If possible I like to have a shiny clean service to start with. I then mask off the needle by placing a small sheet of paper behind it. Keep in mind that thinning the paint down is the key to success by either method.
     
  8. Slowmover

    Slowmover Sr. Member

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    I get the ultra-tacti-cool machined-aluminum, blinding-bright LED hand torch out of the hidden shirt pocket and light that mother up!!


    Or, I just read the backlit cross-needle meter on the tuner.


    .
     
    #8 Slowmover, Sep 18, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
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  9. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    I would be careful doing this, I have seen more than one meter face or case/enclosure melted due to extra heat.
    All the Best
    Gary
     
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  10. r carl

    r carl Active Member

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    I was thinking LED.
     
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  11. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    Again Carefully...some LED lamps or strip panels generate more heat than the standard incandescent or fluorescent types.
    This is partially due to the resistors attached to drop the voltage from the source voltage down to the low voltage (1.5vdc +/-) needed to fire the LED's.
    Not saying it is not done, but be aware of where that heat is focused.
     
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  12. r carl

    r carl Active Member

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    Thx, I just had a LED installed in the meter of my Washington, I will check it when I get my radio back.
     
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  13. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    Carl: Don't let me mislead you. Common practice anymore replacing those.
    Most of the guys that do that work on regular basis, are very much aware of this.
    They know the correct way and proper LED to use.
    My caution to someone on a DIY is to be cautious of using the "Ultra Bright" or 5000K+(Daylight style/high output colors) those are the ones that can do that(extra heat). The High intensity or High output LED's or the multi LED "panel strips" are the ones to watch out for.
    Those certainly may be used also, one just has to be aware of the "heat" factor and placement as to not "trap" the additional potential heat.
    Case in point: LED replacement bulbs (for lamps/ceiling lights etc.) you look at most of those replacements...most contain a "heat sink" on the base to dissipate the heat generated by the "multi LED or panel type strips". Installing those High output LED's or a small multi LED strip, care must be taken to allow those to "breath" and not "trap" that inside a meter face housing or behind a tight front panel in your rig/meter etc.
    I have used the small panel strips in rigs and amplifiers, I just mount them on little aluminum/sheet metal "L" bracket and/or use a short "Bakelite or mica standoff" to keep them away from anything as to not allow that extra heat to get caught next to something that could result in damage.
    My 2 cents...for what's it's worth.
    All the Best
    Gary
     
    TM86, walterjn, Rwb and 3 others like this.

: Paint, Meter

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