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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 09-13-2005, 01:25 PM   #1
TooFknLow
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Tips for easier DDE (Angel Eyes) Installs

Granted I've been working in the 12-Volt electronics industry for some time now, and wiring a car just comes naturally now.....I hope this can help some of you and not confuse you too much. FREE TIP for making installation of your own DDE kits a breeze without having to run extra wires and relays(unless the person you purchased them from MAKES you use their relay kits to honor their "warranty"). These wiring harnesses and relay kits that come with a lot of DDE/Angel Eye/Halo Kits are complete overkill, not to mention costly. DDEs draw such little current that you can simply tap directly into pretty much any power source in your car and it would power them just fine, such as your ECU power wire.

Relays are used for accessories drawing higher amounts of current, to where you want to be able to switch something on by means of a power source that cannot fulfill the needs of the accessory you want to turn on, therefore the Relay still allows you to use that power source to turn your accessory on, but actually draws power for that accessory from a different source of your choice, such as a direct battery connection. I know that sounds confusing, but back to the topic at hand.

When wiring up your DDEs, even if you want to get fancy and have them automatically turn on when the car is on, but also be able to activate them via your remote (most companies out there charge extra for this for some reason!!), just run a wire from your driver's side floor light 12+ Positive Wire into your engine compartment right near the ECU box, then tap a 2nd wire into the thick RED ECU wire with the yellow dots on it. Now you have two wires run to a common juncture point, each with its own separate power source. Now run the positive wire from you DDEs (it's easiest to ground each DDE ballast out as close to the ballast as possible (negative wire), then take the positive wires from both ballasts and join them into one wire for easier routing and less clutter in your engine compartment) up to the ECU box area. This will be your "junction point" where all your connections will be made, keeping things simple, neat, and hassle free. The key to connecting the DDE's power wire to the 2 separate power sources you now have at the ECU box (the interior light source and the ECU constant source) is to Diode Isolate the 2 wires. Diodes can be purchased at Radio Shack or any car audio shop for less than a dollar. Take 2 Diodes and twist the wires together (coming from the diode end with the silver band around it) and use a butt connector to attach the Diodes to your single DDE Positive Wire. Now you simply connect your 2 power sources to the other end of each diode (one power source wire per wire coming out of the diodes). This allows your Halos to be powered by either source, yet keeps the juice flowing in only one direction (to your DDEs) and prevents any shorts, if say your ECU power and your interior light power is both on at the same time. It may sound complicated to those that don't have much experience in 12-volt wiring, or don't know what a Diode is, but it's really quite simple. Coming from someone like me who has been in the Car Audio/Video & Security field for a while now, trust me, this is the way to go. Once you figure out how things like relays, switches and diodes work, the possibilities are endless as to what you can do with your car's electrical system. Anyways, sorry for the longa$$ writeup, but I hope this might help some people out, save you some money, and avoid the tedious and sometimes confusing Relay setups that everyone pushes with their DDE kits.
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Old 09-13-2005, 02:32 PM   #2
rayxi
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I like your idea of reducing the number and length of wires.

So you are piggy-backing on the interior light and ECU fuses? I'd hate to loose power to the ECU because of a faulty DDE ballast blowing the fuse. Also, with the lighting and ECU power in parallel you can potentially draw twice the current from the DDE before blowing either fuse. There really isn't any protection at all for the DDE wiring in the event of a short. Adding an inline fuse between the diodes and the ballasts would do the trick (2 Amps).

I read another DDE post somewhere with a circuit diagram using diodes. Put the two together (with the inline 2 Amp fuse) and you've got a great DIY.
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Old 09-14-2005, 01:03 AM   #3
TooFknLow
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Yes always use an inline fuse when adding an accessory such as DDEs, I pretty much assumed whoever was reading this already knew you should use an inline fuse ; ) Thanks for bringing it up though, incase we got some newbies that want to learn how to do it the right way. I doubt a ballast problem/short would blow the ECU fuse, since the ECU fuse is a pretty decent amperage if i recall correctly, so it's definitely a good idea to use a small fuse inline on the DDE Power wire (2-5amp), tapped in before your junction/connection points at the ECU Box area of your engine compartment. The closer the fuse is to the DDE Ballasts the better, so in the event of a short, the entire wire doesn't heat up and start to melt all the way up to the ECU Box before the fuse blows. I will post pics of my finished installation in a day or so hopefully.
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Old 09-14-2005, 10:34 AM   #4
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Something you forgot to mention is diode size. Most common diode size is 1-amp. For DDEs is best to use 3-amp diodes, protected by a 3-amp fuse. Although a 1-amp diode would probably work, you are really pushing the limits of the diode, as DDEs current surges over 1-amp at times and could cause the diode to "melt down".
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:41 PM   #5
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Ya I know Im really digging up an old thread here, but you have to at least respect the use of the search button right?

Can anyone verify this last bit of information about current surges above 1 amp?? Also at what kind of durations? If its just a few usec or msec than ok, but if not...

The reason I ask, is that the harness that came with my Predator Chromiums uses a 22awg wire for the Brown Trigger (footwell, remote app). This wire sources voltage to the ballasts provided the ECU isnt providing power to the relay (i.e Scenario: Normally Closed position). Stranded 22awg is rated for approx Nom Current: 1.28A and Max 1.45A. Seems like they would be cutting it a little close by using 22awg. 18awg would have been a better choice, provided theres enough room/space to fish it all the way to the footwell tap. I havent installed the kit yet so I dont know.

Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:56 PM   #6
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I have seen 1A fuses blow from DDEs regular operation. Never have measured max current though. I know it does not exceed 3A. In case of doubt, always use a bigger wire, especially for longer distances. We always use 18ga wires fro DDE instllation.
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Old 10-12-2006, 05:21 PM   #7
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Hmmmm.

Im going to conact Jlevi about this, since I got if from them. If no one can givea concrete answer, Ide rather use the 22awg to feed the coil of a 2nd relay with 18awg+ on the NO and COM contacts to source the voltage.

Im already a bit skeptical of the harness wiring in which all of the 22awg is rated for 80C when it should be 105C for automotive.

I dont mind redoing it, just want to make sure it doesnt void the warranty.
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Old 10-12-2006, 05:38 PM   #8
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Even if it does, remaking the relay is simple. The DIY guide is around the site, and it can easily be made in under 10 minutes.
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Old 10-12-2006, 06:49 PM   #9
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The best way to do it is with two 3A diodes (no relay necessary), 18 gauge wire and a 3A fuse. Have done many cars this way with no problems.
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Old 10-05-2007, 09:14 PM   #10
newbimmerguy04
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Tips for easier DDE install

Quote:
Originally Posted by TooFknLow View Post
Granted I've been working in the 12-Volt electronics industry for some time now, and wiring a car just comes naturally now.....I hope this can help some of you and not confuse you too much. FREE TIP for making installation of your own DDE kits a breeze without having to run extra wires and relays(unless the person you purchased them from MAKES you use their relay kits to honor their "warranty"). These wiring harnesses and relay kits that come with a lot of DDE/Angel Eye/Halo Kits are complete overkill, not to mention costly. DDEs draw such little current that you can simply tap directly into pretty much any power source in your car and it would power them just fine, such as your ECU power wire.

Relays are used for accessories drawing higher amounts of current, to where you want to be able to switch something on by means of a power source that cannot fulfill the needs of the accessory you want to turn on, therefore the Relay still allows you to use that power source to turn your accessory on, but actually draws power for that accessory from a different source of your choice, such as a direct battery connection. I know that sounds confusing, but back to the topic at hand.

When wiring up your DDEs, even if you want to get fancy and have them automatically turn on when the car is on, but also be able to activate them via your remote (most companies out there charge extra for this for some reason!!), just run a wire from your driver's side floor light 12+ Positive Wire into your engine compartment right near the ECU box, then tap a 2nd wire into the thick RED ECU wire with the yellow dots on it. Now you have two wires run to a common juncture point, each with its own separate power source. Now run the positive wire from you DDEs (it's easiest to ground each DDE ballast out as close to the ballast as possible (negative wire), then take the positive wires from both ballasts and join them into one wire for easier routing and less clutter in your engine compartment) up to the ECU box area. This will be your "junction point" where all your connections will be made, keeping things simple, neat, and hassle free. The key to connecting the DDE's power wire to the 2 separate power sources you now have at the ECU box (the interior light source and the ECU constant source) is to Diode Isolate the 2 wires. Diodes can be purchased at Radio Shack or any car audio shop for less than a dollar. Take 2 Diodes and twist the wires together (coming from the diode end with the silver band around it) and use a butt connector to attach the Diodes to your single DDE Positive Wire. Now you simply connect your 2 power sources to the other end of each diode (one power source wire per wire coming out of the diodes). This allows your Halos to be powered by either source, yet keeps the juice flowing in only one direction (to your DDEs) and prevents any shorts, if say your ECU power and your interior light power is both on at the same time. It may sound complicated to those that don't have much experience in 12-volt wiring, or don't know what a Diode is, but it's really quite simple. Coming from someone like me who has been in the Car Audio/Video & Security field for a while now, trust me, this is the way to go. Once you figure out how things like relays, switches and diodes work, the possibilities are endless as to what you can do with your car's electrical system. Anyways, sorry for the longa$$ writeup, but I hope this might help some people out, save you some money, and avoid the tedious and sometimes confusing Relay setups that everyone pushes with their DDE kits.
Awesome post. I recently bought a set of the E-bay Angel Eyes. I lost the bid and then the guy e-mails me back and gives me a second chance bid at $5.00!!! I jumped on it! They look great when I tested them on my 330Xi, but there was no wiring harness with them. It seemed like a big production to make a harness or even to find one, but this is a simply elegant and an elegantly simple alternative. Kudos to you, my friend!!
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Old 10-06-2007, 09:54 PM   #11
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Tips for Angel Eyes

Quote:
Originally Posted by TooFknLow View Post
Granted I've been working in the 12-Volt electronics industry for some time now, and wiring a car just comes naturally now.....I hope this can help some of you and not confuse you too much. FREE TIP for making installation of your own DDE kits a breeze without having to run extra wires and relays(unless the person you purchased them from MAKES you use their relay kits to honor their "warranty"). These wiring harnesses and relay kits that come with a lot of DDE/Angel Eye/Halo Kits are complete overkill, not to mention costly. DDEs draw such little current that you can simply tap directly into pretty much any power source in your car and it would power them just fine, such as your ECU power wire.

Relays are used for accessories drawing higher amounts of current, to where you want to be able to switch something on by means of a power source that cannot fulfill the needs of the accessory you want to turn on, therefore the Relay still allows you to use that power source to turn your accessory on, but actually draws power for that accessory from a different source of your choice, such as a direct battery connection. I know that sounds confusing, but back to the topic at hand.

When wiring up your DDEs, even if you want to get fancy and have them automatically turn on when the car is on, but also be able to activate them via your remote (most companies out there charge extra for this for some reason!!), just run a wire from your driver's side floor light 12+ Positive Wire into your engine compartment right near the ECU box, then tap a 2nd wire into the thick RED ECU wire with the yellow dots on it. Now you have two wires run to a common juncture point, each with its own separate power source. Now run the positive wire from you DDEs (it's easiest to ground each DDE ballast out as close to the ballast as possible (negative wire), then take the positive wires from both ballasts and join them into one wire for easier routing and less clutter in your engine compartment) up to the ECU box area. This will be your "junction point" where all your connections will be made, keeping things simple, neat, and hassle free. The key to connecting the DDE's power wire to the 2 separate power sources you now have at the ECU box (the interior light source and the ECU constant source) is to Diode Isolate the 2 wires. Diodes can be purchased at Radio Shack or any car audio shop for less than a dollar. Take 2 Diodes and twist the wires together (coming from the diode end with the silver band around it) and use a butt connector to attach the Diodes to your single DDE Positive Wire. Now you simply connect your 2 power sources to the other end of each diode (one power source wire per wire coming out of the diodes). This allows your Halos to be powered by either source, yet keeps the juice flowing in only one direction (to your DDEs) and prevents any shorts, if say your ECU power and your interior light power is both on at the same time. It may sound complicated to those that don't have much experience in 12-volt wiring, or don't know what a Diode is, but it's really quite simple. Coming from someone like me who has been in the Car Audio/Video & Security field for a while now, trust me, this is the way to go. Once you figure out how things like relays, switches and diodes work, the possibilities are endless as to what you can do with your car's electrical system. Anyways, sorry for the longa$$ writeup, but I hope this might help some people out, save you some money, and avoid the tedious and sometimes confusing Relay setups that everyone pushes with their DDE kits.
You are my new best friend. I followed your instructions, hooked 'em up, held my breath, and pushed the unlock button on my fob:Voila!!! So, let's recap: CCFL Angel Eyes from E-Bay:$5.00, Shipping and handling: $20.00, Miscellaneous parts for install: $12.00, Getting this advice for free and having it work:F****ng PRICELESS!!! You are a Steely-Eyed Missleman. I owe you a cold one if we ever meet! Thanks again!!!
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:12 AM   #12
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Thanks for the simpler way of doing it.. Well here's the finished product. I will put up a DIY for the non Umnitza angel eyes one if needed.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:19 AM   #13
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Would by any chance you have a wiring diagram? I think that would help out more than text...
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:51 AM   #14
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Would by any chance you have a wiring diagram? I think that would help out more than text...
Two common ways:

Just diodes (substitute "grey" with whatever color feeds your DDE ballasts):


Or using a relay just like the sponsors here:
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighVoltage View Post
Two common ways:

Just diodes (substitute "grey" with whatever color feeds your DDE ballasts):


Or using a relay just like the sponsors here:
Actually, you don't need the additional +12v wire. The ECU wire can feed both the relay coil and the n.o. contact. You still need a fuse though (3A)

Also, I would recommend 3A diodes and a fuse at the ECU tap feeding the diode as well.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:32 AM   #16
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Since I only used the ECU to power up my DDEs do I still need the Diodes? But I am using an Inline Fuse thought. Currently at 5amps. I am at work right now. But when I get home.. I will take pics of the stuff I did.. It is still not finished.. I.E. clean.. I still need to zip tie the wires and stuff.. but you will get the idea.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by wingzeroM3 View Post
Since I only used the ECU to power up my DDEs do I still need the Diodes? But I am using an Inline Fuse thought. Currently at 5amps. I am at work right now. But when I get home.. I will take pics of the stuff I did.. It is still not finished.. I.E. clean.. I still need to zip tie the wires and stuff.. but you will get the idea.
No you don't, diodes are used to isolate lights and ECU circuits.

Only thing you need is the fuse to protect the ECU (FAN) circuit from shorts in the DDE ballast or new wiring.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:56 PM   #18
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Actually, you don't need the additional +12v wire. The ECU wire can feed both the relay coil and the n.o. contact. You still need a fuse though (3A)

Also, I would recommend 3A diodes and a fuse at the ECU tap feeding the diode as well.
Unless the relay has a flyback diode installed I would avoid doing that to prevent potential damage to the ballasts when the relay de-energizes.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:46 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by HighVoltage View Post
Unless the relay has a flyback diode installed I would avoid doing that to prevent potential damage to the ballasts when the relay de-energizes.

Actually, not a bad idea to add the diode either way, since you have the current spike going to the ECU fan wire anyways.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1242 View Post
No you don't, diodes are used to isolate lights and ECU circuits.

Only thing you need is the fuse to protect the ECU (FAN) circuit from shorts in the DDE ballast or new wiring.
Should I go with a lower amp like 3 instead of a 5 that I currently have... Just curious. Thanks.
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