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Rear Fog Lamp For Vintage Cars

According to current legislation in many countries, vintage cars must also be fitted with a fog lamp at the rear. In modern cars, there is a bit of circuitry associated with the fog lamp switch to prevent the fog lamp from going on when the lights are switched on if the driver forgot to switch it off after the last patch of fog cleared up. The circuit described here extends that technology back in time. The circuit is built around a dual JK flip-flop (type 4027). T3 acts as an emitter follower, and it only supplies power to the circuit when the lights are switched on.

For safety reasons, the supply voltage is tapped off from the number plate lamp (L2), because it is on even if you accidentally drive with only the parking lights on. The wire that leads to the number plate lamp usually originates at the fuse box. As the states of the outputs of IC1a and IC1b are arbitrary when power is switched on, the reset inputs are briefly set high by the combination of C1, R1 and T1 when the lights are switched on (ignition switch on). That causes both Q outputs (pins 1 and 15) to go low. IC1a and IC1b are wired in toggle mode (J and K high).

The Set inputs are tied to ground (inactive). The driver uses pushbutton switch S1 to generate a clock pulse that causes the outputs of the flip-flops to toggle. The debouncing circuit formed by C2, R4 and T2 is essential for obtaining a clean clock pulse, and thus for reliable operation of the circuit. C1 and C2 should preferably be tantalum capacitors. The Q output of IC1b directly drives LED D1 (a low-current type, and yellow according to the regulations). The Q output of IC1a energises relay Re1 via T4 and thus applies power to the rear fog lamp L1.

Circuit diagram:
rear fog lamp for vintage cars circuit schematic
Rear Fog Lamp Circuit Diagram For Vintage Cars

Free-wheeling diode D2 protects T4 against inductive voltage spikes that occur when the relay is de-energised. In older-model cars, the charging voltage of the generator or alternator is governed by a mechanical voltage regulator. These regulators are less reliable than the electronic versions used in modern cars. For that reason, a Zener diode voltage-limiter circuit (D3 and R9) is included to keep the voltage at the emitter of T3 below 15 V and thus prevent the 4027 from being destroyed by an excessively high voltage.

The supply voltage for the circuit is tapped off from the fuse box. An accessory terminal is usually present there. Check to make sure it is fed from the ignition switch. The pushbutton switch must be a momentary-contact type (not a latching type). Ensure that the pushbutton and LED have a good ground connection. Fit the LED close to the button.

The following ‘Bosch codes’ are used in the schematic:
Author: Eric Vanderseypen - Copyright: Elektor Electronics Magazine