REAL fix for ARC blinking lights - Page 5 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #61 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-05-2009, 01:29 PM
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Questions after a trial run

Got my iron, got my de-solderer, got all my other tools, a "practice" ARC, and an old circuit board for practice. Everything went slowly but steadily until I got to the rivet which holds the chip to the board. Then it all went pear-shaped, but I did eventually get the practice stuff apart. In the process, I mangled the standoff (I think that's what it's called... the brass tube which holds the heat sink away from the board) pretty badly.

I have rivets which will work when I start on the "real" ARC. However, there's no way said rivets will fit through the existing standoff. I'm quite puzzled how to set things up so I get separation between the heat sink and the circuit board, as well as the "best" way to remove that blasted rivet. Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated!

1971 1750 Spider, 1988 Milano Verde
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post #62 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-05-2009, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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To remove the post, I heated the bottom of the post (on the underside of the board) with the iron to loosen the solder, then pried between the post and the board with a small screwdriver. If you desolder the pins to the old regulator first, you should just be able to grab the heat sink and twist to pull out the post after heating the post base a bit.

To remove the heat sink, I mounted the sink in a vise, drilled out the rivet head a bit, and then snapped it off with a pair of pliers.

To remount the new regulator, I got a small screw (#6 maybe? I can't remember, but whatever fits through the hole in the new regulator) with three nuts. I used a nut to hold the heat sink and the new regulator tightly together against the screw head. I then drilled the hole in the board slightly larger to accommodate the screw. Put the screw through the board and used one nut on each side of the board to hold it in place.

It requires a bit of test fitting to get the pin positioning and regulator height off the board correct. But once you get it all set up, you should just be able to attach the screw to the board tightly and then solder the three pins right into place.

Tom

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post #63 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-05-2009, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a pic of how I mounted it.
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Tom

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post #64 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-10-2009, 12:59 PM
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How *I* Did it

And now for my standard cautionary tale:
  • Remove ARC from dash. This requires removing the ash tray, then undoing just 2 screws. Whole thing'll come out then.
  • Use sharpie to mark orientation of all plugs as have read these can sometimes be put in backward.
  • Note one of past three clever previous owners have helpfully removed ABS light. Hooray for previous owners!
  • Bring ARC inside, grateful for finally having job that a) doesn't get me greasy, and b) does not require jackstands or me crawling under anything.
  • Take apart ARC per instructions at the top of this thread. Easy-peasy.
  • Peer at guts. "Ook" at them a few times. Re-assemble and re-install in car.
  • Note voodoo is weak, as such waving dead chicken at ARC has no effect.

Next week
  • After consulting here, order this, this, and this.
  • Poll AlfaBB, acquire helpless victi... rrr... "donor" ARC for practice.
  • Wait for tools. After arrival, wait for weekend.
  • After all mail order parts arrive, wheedle wife on errand run to pick up this.
  • Gather all items. Read "find old electronics to practice on." Recall that bipolar wife on manic high is incompatible with collecting spare and dead parts. Start scrounging.
  • Find old IDE RAID controller cowering helplessly in dark corner. Chuckle darkly & acquire next vict... rr... practice item.
  • Note modern Taiwanese electronics bear very little resemblance to old Italian electronics.
  • Find exactly one connector which resembles what's on ARC boards. Practice 3, 4 tries on that.
  • Realize two ribbon connectors on top represent DOZENS of practice opportunities.
  • Get pretty good at this solder/desolder.
  • Get reminded the hard way that a soldering iron is not a paintbrush. Trying to get more precise by holding it closer to the tip is BAD.
  • After holding fingers under water & with ice for 15 minutes pat self on back for owning lightning reflexes... not even a 2nd degree burn!
  • Work self up, de-solder donor voltage regulator. Place tool on joint, count slowly to three, release bulb, SWWIP! No solder, no damage. Get suspicious because that was too easy.
  • Nod sagely to self as solder covering rivet is maddeningly different from any other solder encountered.
  • Manage to carefully de-solder this anyway by applying heat to the sides of the rivet.
  • "OOK" a few times as chip & heat sink do not obligingly fall out like everything else previously.
  • Twist unit back & forth until rivet works loose
  • Have really stupid idea
  • Eventually realize that, no matter how hard one tries, it is not actually possible to press out a rivet to save it.
  • Drill, chisel, hammer, & pry on things until it all snaps apart.
  • Look out window and blink because suddenly the sun is gone.
  • Pack it all up until next weekend

Next weekend
  • Remove for-real ARC
  • Gather all gear
  • As expected, all items practiced previously go smoothly. What took 4 hours last weekend takes 20 minutes today.
  • Go to hardware store to pick up tiny screws & nuts per advice above.
  • RETURN to hardware store to pick up sizes bracketing the wrong size purchased on first run. Settle on 4(something) x 3/4", very smallest screws Lowes had.
  • Attempt to drill out rivet on for-real heat sink. See this is going about as smoothly as practice did.
  • Use already prepped practice heat sink instead.
  • Using old regulator (henceforth: chip) as guide, very carefully bend prongs to correct angle.
  • Attempt attachment to heat sink.
  • Very VERY carefully re-bend prongs 180 degrees because, per usual when presented with two choices, prongs were bent wrong way.
  • Test fit to get everything oriented correctly & prongs in correct sockets
  • Repeat test fittings for next 20 minutes
  • Once everything goes together smoothly, remove one last time & clean all prongs, surfaces, and sockets w/ rubbing alcohol.
  • Carefully solder first connection. Touch tool such that it touches both prong and surface, count slowly to three, then QUICKLY touch solder where all three meet until joint is obviously filled. The stuff flows like water, so it happens very quickly.
  • Carefully solder second connection, slip at the end
  • Twist off solder now firmly stuck to prong
  • Heat bit left over. Sigh a bit as it smoothly fills in joint
  • Carefully solder third prong
  • Spend next fifteen minutes trying to make 3/4" screw fit in 5/8" space.
  • Use dremel tool to turn 3/4" screw into... well... something smaller than 3/4".
  • Re-assemble & return ARC to car
  • Note that assembly goes together much easier when ash tray bin is installed right-side-up.
  • Close eyes, insert key, turn.
  • Open eyes
  • NO BLINKING LIGHTS! WOOT!!!

Of course, now that I have an ARC which tells no lies, I have several mysteries. But that's for another thread.

Hope this helps, if by nothing else for providing instructions on what NOT to do, for anyone coming after me.

1971 1750 Spider, 1988 Milano Verde
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Last edited by dscottj; 01-14-2009 at 09:17 AM.
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post #65 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 09:14 AM
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Below freezing behavior?

One thing I did note was that on the back of the bag the regulator came in, the bottom of the "rated temperature range" (something like that) was listed as 0C. Sure enough, now that it's below freezing around here the blinkin' lights pick up for a bit on morning start-up, presumably until the chip is warmed above freezing.

This is definitely a nit-picky thing, since otherwise it's been working fine. But I was wondering if a) others have observed this and b) if there is an alternate regulator rated for a lower temperature? I most likely will never change it, but Alfisti in the Northern US or (brrrr) Canada may want to start out with the right chip .

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post #66 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 09:29 AM
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Yes, I get the same thing. If it's cold enough, I still get lights. After a few minutes I can turn off the ignition and restart and everything is back to normal. Just takes a few minutes I guess to warm up.
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post #67 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 09:29 AM
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Sounds complicated. I just pulled the relay out when mine went mad. Ok, so none of them worked at all but then most of the time they were telling me lies anyway!


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post #68 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dscottj View Post
And now for my standard cautionary tale:
[LIST][*]Get reminded the hard way that a soldering iron is not a paintbrush. Trying to get more precise by holding it closer to the tip is BAD.[*]After holding fingers under water & with ice for 15 minutes pat self on back for owning lightning reflexes... not even a 2nd degree burn!
[*]Using old regulator (henceforth: chip) as guide, very carefully bend prongs to correct angle.[*]Attempt attachment to heat sink.[*]Very VERY carefully re-bend prongs 180 degrees because, per usual when presented with two choices, prongs were bent wrong way.
Hahaha

Hats off to you and your now functioning ARC!

ROCK ON
R~R
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post #69 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dscottj View Post
One thing I did note was that on the back of the bag the regulator came in, the bottom of the "rated temperature range" (something like that) was listed as 0C. Sure enough, now that it's below freezing around here the blinkin' lights pick up for a bit on morning start-up, presumably until the chip is warmed above freezing.

This is definitely a nit-picky thing, since otherwise it's been working fine. But I was wondering if a) others have observed this and b) if there is an alternate regulator rated for a lower temperature? I most likely will never change it, but Alfisti in the Northern US or (brrrr) Canada may want to start out with the right chip .
Yes, I noticed that when I did the install. I considered ordering a regulator with a lower temperature range, but this being California I was more concerned about it overheating than freezing.

Mouser.com has regulators by ST with different temperature ranges. The L7805ACV has a 0 to 150C temperature range and is pretty equivalent to the Radio Shack part. The L7805ABV goes from -40 to 125C so it might be a better choice if you live somewhere it gets cold.

Tom

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post #70 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 07:04 AM
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Ah, perhaps that explains it! When I did this fix it was working great but then for the month before I put the car away for the winter it was the usual light show. Thought perhaps I did something wrong or the grounds were messed up, maybe not...

Kevin

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post #71 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, probably that's your problem. I remember thinking about this when I first did the mod, but I could get the normal regulator locally whereas the low temperature one was only available via mail order. Since I was both impatient and not sure the mod was going to work, I just went with the local one and then promptly forgot about the whole issue.

Like I said, I haven't had any problems out here, but the coldest it's been is freezing.

Tom

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post #72 of 156 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 11:33 AM
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G'Day All,

For those of you living in colder areas, an LM2940T-5 would be a better choice than a 7895. I works down to lower input voltages and down to minus 40C.

There's currently some on eBay cheap, see item 270309312057

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post #73 of 156 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 06:40 AM
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hey everyone
i changed the regulator but problem remaind and i had big problem removing heatsink so i ended up not re using it i dont really know if i can get anyhelp
thanks
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post #74 of 156 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 06:47 AM
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I also made the fix and it worked great for a while but a few of the blinking lights are back now :-(.

Kevin

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post #75 of 156 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 07:21 AM
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Some of the ARC panels have other issues. I had one that if the e-brake was on I had several blinking lights. Changing the regulator fixed some of the problems but not all. One other ARC worked fine after changing the regulator. I used that one in the same car so I know it wasn't a ground problem but was in the ARC panel itself. Don't chalk up all the blinking lights to just the regulator.
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