Navigation Light Wiring for Dual Stations

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by missinginaction, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 684
    Likes: 40, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 512
    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    I'm wiring (from scratch) my 73 Silverton 27. For this exercise I'm using separate port and starboard navigation lights and an all around light.

    For the navagation lights I'll install a DPDT rocker in the lower helm station. I understand how to wire this DPDT switch to my lights (see diagram below). I'd like to add a second switch on the flybridge, specifically a SPDT push/pull switch (Cole Hersee 531 - as in photo below). I just want to make sure I'm doing this right.

    Assuming that the lower helm switch is installed as in the diagram below, I need to control the lights from either location. The push pull switch is (off - on A - on B) circuit A will be the anchor circuit, circuit B will be the Nav/Anchor circuit).

    My thinking is as follows:

    From the push pull switch I can connect a feed from output A to the lower right terminal on the DPDT switch on the lower helm, controlling the anchor only circuit.

    I can connect a feed from output B to the upper left terminal on the DPDT switch and the lower right terminal thus feeding power to both navigation lights and the anchor (all around) light when the push/pull switch is in position B, the Nav/Anchor circuit.

    It seems to me that since I'm using a DPDT switch on the lower helm this wiring scheme will work but since I'm learning and by no means an expert I thought I'd run it past you guys here. If there is a more elegant way to accomplish this, I'm all eyes and ears.

    It goes without saying that all of the wiring will be properly protected with appropriate fuses/breakers.

    Regards,

    MIA
     

    Attached Files:

  2. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 144, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Using a DPDT switch for anchor and running lights is quite clever. I always took the easy way out by using SPST rocker switches and a diode.

    How you can make a true double station circuit by adding just a single pole switch I do not grasp. If the lower helm switch is in running lights position you cannot influence that with the additional switch, the lower helm is master (I think).
    I could only make a true dual station circuit using latching relays or electronic switches.
     
  3. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 684
    Likes: 40, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 512
    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    HI CDK, when I was researching this idea I realized that I could use a diode as an electrical 1 way valve. That's less expensive, but I wondered about the life span of the diode.

    I agree with you that my little design isn't truly a 3-way. The way I see this:

    1. I can control the lights from the push-pull switch (flybridge) when the lower helm DPDT rocker is in the "off" position.

    2. If the lower helm DPDT rocker is in either of the "on" positions, it will act as a master switch.

    My goal was to be able to control the lights from either position. I'm most of the way there (I think). If it's a nice evening and I'm on the upper helm I can control the lights without going below, assuming the lower helm DPDT switch is "off". If it's raining I can do the same from the lower helm, assuming the upper helm switch is "off". I just need to remember to turn the switch off when I move from the upper helm to the lower. Otherwise I'll be making an extra trip.

    These projects are doable, but I see now why it's often written "If you are unsure about what you are doing consult a qualified electrician". It took me quite a while thinking about this and bench testing some other options (that didn't work) before I came up with this.

    I'll test this set up before I make an installation.

    Thanks for the feedback CDK!

    MIA
     
  4. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 684
    Likes: 40, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 512
    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    This might help clarify things.........
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    I learned in school how to do this.

    It's common in hallway switches where you want to be able to turn it on/off from either end of the hall.

    I recall it's not difficult and rather clever.

    It requires running one or two wire(s) between the two switches.

    I'll put pen to paper but in the meantime, Google wiring hallway switch and it should pop right up.
     

    Attached Files:

    1 person likes this.
  6. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 144, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    That's the classic hotel circuit Tom. It has the disadvantage that the directions for ON and OFF depend in the the other switch, something I (and a lot of others) do not like with dashboard switches. Up must be ON, down must be OFF.

    MIA's wishes complicates thing even more because his switch controls both anchor and running lights. If the functions change place every now and then he has to step outside to make sure which lights are on or off.

    The only way to achieve what he has in mind is using spring loaded switches (on)-off-(on), a pair of latching relays and pilot lights, plus a confusing amount of wires.
     
  7. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 684
    Likes: 40, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 512
    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Thanks for the replys Tom & CDK. You're right Tom, I could wire two separate circuits using the double switch technique. CDK's right as well though, as often the switches are in the "up" position even with the lights off. Not a big deal in the house but I'd rather not have that on the boat.

    I ordered a lighted DPDT rocker for the lower helm. I looks to me that I can wire that switch such that if the upper helm switch is inadvertently left on the switch light on the lower panel will luminate. This will eliminate the need to step outside and check the lights. I'll be able to see what's going on from inside the boat.

    I'll also post a link to a youtube channel that provides videos explaining how various Carling rocker switches are laid out and how navigation and other lighting circuits can be built. Unfortunately my specific design isn't covered. This is probably because as CDK said, my specific problem cannot be solved using just switches.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/FPmarine

    I'm going to go with what I have here provided it tests out OK. It's relatively simple and gets me almost all the way to where I want to be with this.

    Thanks Again to you both,

    MIA
     
  8. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    You are most welcome.

    Sorry it wasn't of more help.

    You could mount the switch 90 degrees off the others to avoid on/off assumption due to position.

    An indicator light would be a necessity.

    While you're in the wiring mode, I would highly recommend a light sensor switch in series with your anchor light.

    It can be nice when at anchor to just flip the panel switch on and forget about it until you raise anchor.

    Again, an indicator light on the switch panel is nice to let you know the circuit is energized.

    Edit: Ah, now I see what you want to do. Sounds like a diode may be the way to go.

    Good luck.
     
  9. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 144, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Dual station circuit

    The attached circuit uses two simple automotive relays and push button switches. Spring loaded rocker switches combining the functions can of course also be used but may be hard to obtain.

    I agree with Tom it would be nice to include a sensor, but have read that after the drawing was ready.
     

    Attached Files:

    • mia.jpg
      mia.jpg
      File size:
      59.5 KB
      Views:
      26,305
  10. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 684
    Likes: 40, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 512
    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Hmmmm, I'm going to have to study this one.....thanks CDK.
     
  11. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 684
    Likes: 40, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 512
    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    After a few hours of study, design and testing I'm finished with my navigation / anchor light wiring.

    I found a beautiful combination masthead / anchor light from the Attwood company that works perfectly on the flybridge. This combination light (225 degrees forward running light and all around light) works well with a separate transom light. The masthead light won't blind me when I'm running the boat from the upper helm as the light projects forward only and not into my eyes.

    http://www.attwoodmarine.com/store/product/7812

    This light was a little challenging for me to wire up but I ended up with a workable design that's not too complicated. I'll attach a wiring diagram below that might help someone out who's attempting something similar.

    The red/green nav lights and transom lights are Aqua Signal 33's.

    Measuring current draw with a known good multimeter I get the following.

    Total current draw masthead/red/green/transom light = 0.90 amp
    Total current draw anchor lights = 0.50 amp

    Thanks CDK and Tom for the encouragement and help.

    NOTE: If you're just going to wire red/green navigation lights and an all around light you can still use the diagram below with a couple of modifications.

    1. Since you won't have a transom or masthead 225 degree light ignore these in the diagram. The "masthead rear" is your all around light
    2. Replace the diode between tabs 5 and 6 on the lower helm switch with a jumper wire. You will want current to flow from tab 6 to tab 4, illuminating your all around light, when you turn on your navigation lights from the upper helm. The diode is not needed.
    3. You will STILL need the diode on the jumper from the upper helm "nav" tab to tab 3 on the lower helm switch. This prevents back feeding through the upper helm switch wiring.

    MIA
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    E X C E L L E N T ! !
     
  13. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 1,634
    Likes: 65, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 851
    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member

    my comment will be anti-climatic.
    The pair of 2 pole switches submarine Tom suggested in the hallway circuit can avoid the up/on down/off objection by CDK, if switch throw orientation is made left/right or port/starboard rather than up/down. :)
     
  14. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 684
    Likes: 40, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 512
    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Last post on this one I guess. Took a little time to simplify the wiring by adding a terminal strip. If a switch ever fails, replacement will be much easier with this design. Functions the same as previous design. Perhaps this will help someone else.

    Diagram is below...

    Regards,

    MIA
     

    Attached Files:


  15. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2,117
    Likes: 113, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1082
    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    Probably too late, but one other thought. If you don't like CDK's system of momentary switches and latches, which is the most direct electrical solution, there is another way that lets you have control from either station and still use those push-pull switches, which are handy and cheap and provide real physical feedback without needing an indicator lamp for each nav circuit.

    At each station, install a momentary mode sw that controls one DP latch relay as in CDK's sketch. One switch causes latch, the other breaks latch. The relay's output sends power to the main station nav switch from the NC contact and to the alt station via the NO contact. Only one station is powered at a time. Use a momentary rocker with a light for the mode switches and feed the light from the appropriate contact on the relay. Each station would have an identical arrangement. You might want to use a momentary key switch for the alt station mode switch depending on its accessibility to kids and clueless guests.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.