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Old 09-12-06, 03:52 PM   #1
cuda2k
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12V DC Wiring Diagram

Need a little assistance guys. My battery for a home brew bike light setup should be arriving tomorrow and am in need of a check on my wiring setup for these lights. I've purchased a single ON/OFF/ON toggle switch to control my dual 20W lights. Thing is I want the setup to be ONE LIGHT/OFF/BOTH LIGHTS. Its been a while since I've done my electro-physics class with batteries and such so I need a check on this wiring diagram.

Some how I think this is wrong...




thanks in advance, brain has been fried lately.
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Old 09-12-06, 04:21 PM   #2
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The more I look at this... the more I think I'm screwed with this switch... what say ya'll smart Foo'ers
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Old 09-12-06, 05:38 PM   #3
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Can't help without knowing more about that switch. If the middle position is "off" and the others are like on1 and on2, then it might work.

It has 3 leads, but is it a simple on/off?

You also need to make sure the switch is spec'd to take the power source you'll be providing (e.g. Don't get a 1V switch if you'll be putting 3V from batteries into it).
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Old 09-12-06, 05:59 PM   #4
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You have the positive side hooked up twice. You need to cut on of the positive connections probably the one right above the switch.

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Old 09-12-06, 06:12 PM   #5
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Assuming that is a single pole double throw switch, you are going to have either no lights or both lights. You can add either a switch to the wire connecting the positive leads on both lights and switch that for both or just one, or put a diode instead. The diode will allow the current to only flow in one direction.

I marked where I'm talking about with a red box.
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Old 09-13-06, 08:40 AM   #6
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Diode! That sounds like exactly what I need. Thanks!
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Old 09-13-06, 09:44 AM   #7
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Your circut has the light wired in series, shouldn't they get wired in paralell as per...
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Old 09-13-06, 10:21 AM   #8
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Yes, wire in parallel! Also, as was mentioned, in your current schematic, if you will either have both on or both off. If you want simple, you can always just add another switch.
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Old 09-13-06, 10:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
Diode! That sounds like exactly what I need. Thanks!
A zener diode will work best for this application.
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Old 09-13-06, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacey
Your circut has the light wired in series, shouldn't they get wired in paralell as per...
A paralell circuit would work also, but this diagram is both lights or none. Placing a diode betwen the two lights will enable one or both lights to work.

Both a paralell and a series circuit will work. Both have their positive and negative attributes.
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Old 09-13-06, 10:39 AM   #11
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cuda2k's original circuit here does have the lights in parallel.
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Old 09-13-06, 12:11 PM   #12
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Every schematic on this page is parallel.
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Old 09-13-06, 12:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edp773
A paralell circuit would work also, but this diagram is both lights or none. Placing a diode betwen the two lights will enable one or both lights to work.

Both a paralell and a series circuit will work. Both have their positive and negative attributes.
Doh! <slaps forehead>
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Old 09-13-06, 02:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capsicum
Every schematic on this page is parallel.
Bingo. We have a winner!

QUOTE=edp773]Both a paralell and a series circuit will work. Both have their positive and negative attributes.[/QUOTE]

If the light bulbs are LEDs then a series circuit would not work. This is because Light Emitting Diodes will only light up wired in one direction.
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Old 09-13-06, 03:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edp773
Bingo. We have a winner!

QUOTE=edp773]Both a paralell and a series circuit will work. Both have their positive and negative attributes.
If the light bulbs are LEDs then a series circuit would not work. This is because Light Emitting Diodes will only light up wired in one direction.[/QUOTE]

sorry, try again. LEDs can be wired in series, but one will be very bright and the other dim. Same with a regular bulb. Think voltage drop.
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Old 09-13-06, 05:10 PM   #16
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Both lights are Halogen MR16 bulbs.
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Old 09-13-06, 09:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falkon
If the light bulbs are LEDs then a series circuit would not work. This is because Light Emitting Diodes will only light up wired in one direction.
sorry, try again. LEDs can be wired in series, but one will be very bright and the other dim. Same with a regular bulb. Think voltage drop.[/QUOTE]

LEDs are diodes that glow. What happens when you wire a diode in backwards. There will not be enough current flow for the circuit to work, unless it is a properly working zener diode which allows no current flow in one direction.

In series, each progressive bulb will only be slightly dimmer than the bulb before it. Think of the old Christmas tree lights wired in series.

In paralell the bulbs are the same brightness as long as there are good connections between them.
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Old 09-13-06, 09:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
Both lights are Halogen MR16 bulbs.

Wire the lights like chadasm,s wiring diagram. You will not need to worry about which direction you install the diode.

Stacey's diagram will work also, if you place the diode between the two positve sides of the bulbs.
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Old 09-13-06, 10:39 PM   #19
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Thanks all, just got to figure out what size diode I need. Battery is a 13.2V, 5Amp. Bulbs are both 20W.
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Old 09-14-06, 02:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falkon
sorry, try again. LEDs can be wired in series, but one will be very bright and the other dim. Same with a regular bulb. Think voltage drop.
Nope, if both LEDs or bulbs are the same impedance/wattage, they will both be equally dim in series:

Total current through circuit is:
I = V/(R1 + R2)

Voltage-drop through 1st bulb/LED is
V1 = I*R1

Voltage-drop through 2nd bulb/LED is
V2 = I*R2

Since R1 = R2, then V1 = V2 = 0.5V or V = V1+V2

Basically the voltage-drop is 1/2 the total through each bulb/LED. Try it out yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
Some how I think this is wrong...
Yeah, it won't work because both your lights will be on in either positions of that switch. You don't need to get so complicated with diodes and stuff, just use a DPDT switch (with centre OFF position)...


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Old 09-14-06, 08:28 AM   #21
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Danno is right. If the LEDs or bulbs are the same, the voltage drop will be the same. And and DPDT switch will work if wired up correctly.
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Old 09-14-06, 03:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Try it out yourself.
I did DC wiring for 24 years. I believe that is enough.
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Old 09-14-06, 03:28 PM   #23
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I think I have showed you this before Cuda

http://www.lasertagparts.com/lightbrain/2002_twin.htm

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Old 09-14-06, 07:34 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edp773
Think of the old Christmas tree lights wired in series.
If one goes out do they all go out
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Old 09-14-06, 08:43 PM   #25
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Jsharr - over kill perhaps.
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