Hey, it’s finally here. I had been threatening to do this mod for a couple of years, Everybody knows that the clock light on the Model Three is just too damn bright in a darkened bedroom. Here’s the story as to why it’s too bright.
when other people had time on their hands and were doing the Getty Museum Challenge….
I was working my ass off doing IT support from home. This is what I do in real life when I’m not helping Bruce out with the Rockport Radio repairs. Then a customer asked me yet again if it was possible to dim the clock light. But wait. I needed a bit of therapy so I took a break from staring at a PC screen and got out my soldering iron and got to work on a project to put a potentiometer into a Model Three to dim the Clock LED. Fortunately I had a customer willing to be the test subject and wait for a few weeks for me to get the project done.
Rumor had it that one of Tivoli’s European dealers had done the same thing 10 or 15 years ago (and not for free) , so I figured “how hard could it possibly be?” Then I asked Bruce how much resistance I should use to dim it substantially, and he was off by an order of magnitude, but at least I had a good starting point.
It was a lot of trial and error soldering a bunch of regular carbon film resistors together in series, and soon I had good number for the resistance values needed. Then I had to wait a couple of weeks for some pots (volume controls) I bought on eBay, then I spent a whole day rummaging around the house for heat shrink tubing I bought 3 years ago. Lots of measurements were taken and lots of sitting in a dark room waiting for my eyes to adjust to nearly complete darkness…
And now this can be done to your very own Model Three! Assuming you’re sending it in for service anyway, I can add the dimmer for $30! Warning: LED’s don’t dim in a linear fashion like a regular light bulb, so at the lowest setting the LED doesn’t go completely out… but it gets plenty dim enough to make every one happy!
I’ve raised the price from $30 to $40 on 8/1/21, Sorry but this takes me about 2 hours if I include the time I sit in the dark to let my eyes adjust so I can test properly. Why? Inflation and the de-facto minimum wage around here has settled at $15/hr and I think I deserve more than minimum wage. But I don’t want to be greedy so minimum + $5 (25%)