Navigation Light Wiring for Dual Stations

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

  1. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    You guys have to consider that I'm rather new at this electrical design. I can read part of CDK's schematic, but am unfamiliar with some of the symbols. I can see that it is a more functional design than mine.

    For now I'll use the switches. I still have more wiring to do, plumbing, shaft installation and engine alignment and lots of trim and other little chores before this boat gets wet sometime later this year.

    I've printed out CDK's schematic and would like to pursue it once I have the time but for now it's a little over my head.

    I appreciate you taking the time to post it CDK.

    Regards,

    MIA
     
  2. mikeb123
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    mikeb123 New Member

    Shame I only found this forum today. I've been spinning my wheels over the same issue for a few months.

    For what it's worth I spent far too many hours pouring through switch catalogues from electrical suppliers and was unable to find a SPDT switch that could be "actuated" - ie physically switched remotely. This would have been ideal for your setup, and like you I was concerned at the physical position of the switch not reflecting the status of the light.

    In the end I couldn't find one. The solution I went for was the standard "hallway" dual switch, but with an LED next to the switch indicating whether the circuit is live. The other switch in my case is an automotive relay which will be computer controllable.

    The disadvantage is the switch position doesn't reflect it's state, the advantage over a non-latching pushbutton setup is that (I understand) switches are less likely to fail than push buttons, and they also carry a higher current which allows me to make the load directly switchable - I think that's important myself, if all the remote control aspects fail I still want to be able to turn the lights on.

    Oh and cheers for the link to that atwood masthead light, that looks like a nice unit.
     
  3. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    It does exist (on a planet as crowded as ours, everything exists), but it is ugly and incredibly expensive.
    An example: Siemens makes safety switches, circuit breakers and ground fault interrupters for large installations. These are normally located in the basement of the building, so people have to use the stairs if there is a power failure.
    For these cases there is a remote actuator with a tiny electric motor that pushes the lever of the device into the required position.
    And I recently bought something similar to open and close a central heating valve in the attic.

    But you don't want these on your dash.
    There is one alternative to the relay circuit I posted here, it is called an SCR (silicon controlled rectifier). A tiny, inexpensive circuit with 3 terminals (gate, input and output). A short pulse on the gate causes the device to conduct, interrupting the current momentarily returns it to the non-conductive state.
    Lots of manufacturers and types, the first that come to mind are Texas Instruments TIC106, TIC116, TIC126, all developed more than 40 years ago.
     
  4. Ron Alexander
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    Ron Alexander Seattle Vice

    Specifics on the diode used

    I hope I can jump in here and ask a quick question. I have a 1985 42' sport fisher that I volunteered for a USCG inspection this past weekend. They failed me because my masthead light and nav lights don't function properly. I have one rocker switch for Nav lights and one rocker switch for the Anchor (Masthead) all around light. The masthead light is windshield mounted and has two bulbs in it. Only three wire hookup. Nav lights work fine but the anchor light switch only turns on the aft bulb in the masthead fixture. Researching on line and on this thread I believe that all I need to do is to install a diode between the switched positive leads out of each rocker switch. So I read that Radio Shack has everything I need. Sure, there is a drawer full of various diodes but nobody there knows anything about them. That figures! Can one of you please give me details on size, voltage etc? I believe I can easily splice the diode into a jumper wire and attach spade terminals to each end for connection to each switch's positive out terminal. Or am I missing something? I only understand basic electrics so please keep it simple for my old mind. Any help is greatly appreciated. Ron in Seattle
     
  5. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    Types 1N540x, where x can be any number (breakdown voltage class).
    This is a 3 Amps family with many equivalent types, all suitable for your purpose.
     
  6. Ron Alexander
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    Ron Alexander Seattle Vice

    Thanks CDK. Much appreciated. I'll give it a try tonight.
     
  7. Ron Alexander
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    Ron Alexander Seattle Vice

    Worked like a charm CDK. Much appreciated.
     
  8. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    You're welcome!
     

  9. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

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