Parts Arrived!!!! Building the first prototype

So both big shipments came early, so I decided to see how they are going to go together!

PolyCase enclosures delivered
Enclosures from PolyCase
Capacitors and diodes from Digikey
This is what $2000 in capacitors looks like…
First test fit of components into SKBOWE PCB Prototype
Test fitting components… Success!!
14AWG Marine Grade Red and Black wire
Here’s the marine grade wire and braid
Wire harness cutting jig, side view
Rigged up a simple jig for cutting the harnesses to the correct length
Wire harness cutting jig, top view
The wire threads through, then you cut where indicated to produce two different lengths of red/black and one length of braid
Output lead with 9005 connector crimped and assembled.
Crimped on the output lead. Will need to set this up assembly line style so I don’t forget the weather seals!
Male 9005 pins crimped with crimping tool
Crimping the male 9005 connectors. You really need this special crimping tool to do this correctly. It folds the ends of tabs over into the wires for a secure bond.
SKBOWE prototype soldered together
All soldered up (less the lead resistor, want to make sure it tests out first). Looking good!

The holes are a bit tight for 14AWG wire. I will go a size up now that I see how much extra room there is in the cases.

initial assembly, within case.
It all fits! Sort of. The diodes are wider than the case. I will be able to use the prototypes PCBs by grinding away some of the internal case, but for the production PCBs I’ll re-arange the diodes so that they sit entirely within the case.

Also, I’ll need to jig up the wire pass-through so that it is tighter-this one will leak epoxy like a sieve!

Heat sink with adhesive tape
Going to play with a few heat sink designs under load and see how well they do. This was my original idea, though I might wrap it around the bottom rather than around the edge.

Also, once I get going with the new PCB layout I will drill and rivet the diodes to the heatsink.

installed with heatsink
Here’s how the prototype heatsink sits when installed.
Back lid installed
Back lid installed – everything fits inside!

Remember this was the original design:

Drumroll please…..

Prototype #1A is complete!
Prototype #1A is complete!



Need to touch up the PCBs and I will get the main batch ordered. Back to work!!!

2 thoughts on “Parts Arrived!!!! Building the first prototype”

  1. Great job so far Shadow, i really want to do this but the part that to be honest that scares me silly is the fitting of the
    projector lens and digging into that housing and messing it up. Any input to this semi new 2007 S40 Owner? I have the stock halogen lamps and thought about doing the H11 to 9005 route but always wanted to do HIDs. wife’s wheels have them and they are great. Any and all help is welcome and thank you for thank the plunge in doing what you are doing.

    1. Hi Bob,

      You don’t need to replace the projector lens, or dig into anything, to retrofit HIDs! The process is the same as changing the halogen bulb.

      The only modification required to the housing is drilling a hole in the back of the cover (the part that comes off to change the bulbs) to feed the 12V and HV wires through. The hole is sealed to the wires with a grommet (that comes with the HID kit, pre-molded around the wires, you can’t mess it up!). You can reinforce the weather seal around this hole with some RTV silicon from any auto supply store. The whole process takes under 10 minutes!

      When you read about lens and projector swaps, this is only to get a better looking setup. The only advantage to swapping in a clear lens is a sharper cutoff line. The advantage of going with a bi-xenon projector swap is that you get additional light when flashing your high-beams. But like I said, neither are necessary – I have the factory lens and factory projectors and think that they are just fine!

      I would however recommend going with 50W (rather than 35W) in the all-stock setup, since some light is dispersed by the lens. The additional 25% brightness from the extra wattage more than makes up for the small loss.

      Hope this helps!

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