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  1. #1
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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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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  2. #2
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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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

  3. #3
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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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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  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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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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  5. #5
    Hopeless Romantic chadasm's Avatar
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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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  6. #6
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Diode! That sounds like exactly what I need. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Your circut has the light wired in series, shouldn't they get wired in paralell as per...
    Last edited by Stacey; 02-03-08 at 11:07 AM.

  8. #8
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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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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  9. #9
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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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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  10. #10
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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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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  11. #11
    Hopeless Romantic chadasm's Avatar
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    cuda2k's original circuit here does have the lights in parallel.

  12. #12
    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    Every schematic on this page is parallel.
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  13. #13
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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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>

  14. #14
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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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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  15. #15
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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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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  16. #16
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Both lights are Halogen MR16 bulbs.

  17. #17
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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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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  18. #18
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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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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  19. #19
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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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.

  20. #20
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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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)...

    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-14-06 at 05:36 AM.

  21. #21
    Hopeless Romantic chadasm's Avatar
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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.

  22. #22
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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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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  23. #23
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I think I have showed you this before Cuda

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  24. #24
    unofficial roadie DirtPedalerB's Avatar
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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

  25. #25
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    Jsharr - over kill perhaps.

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