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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through August 27, 2003 » Archive through May 13, 2004 » Ballast Switch Lights - HELP Please « Previous Next »
By FL SurfLover (flsurflover) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 6:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I ordered 3 DPDT switches for my Simer pumps from T&W Electric just like Ty and DC from this site did last year. They are DPDT, On-Off-On switches with 2 red lights in the front:

Front lights

And SIX quick-connect pins on the back:

Side and Back

I'm using relays with my Simer pumps, so I really only need them to function as SPDT switches, but I don't care how they get wired up as long as they work right.

My problem is that I can't figure out how to wire them so when I toggle the switch up, only the top light comes on, and when I toggle the switch down only the bottom light comes on, and when the the switch is in the middle, no light is on. Seems like that would be a simple thing to do, and how the switch should be made to work, but I can't figure it out and the company was zero help.

I have tried wiring it up like this:

DPDT wiring

but like this BOTH lights are on ALL the time. This is a waste of power (however small) and will just burn the lights out faster. And it just doesn't seem like they should be designed like that.

I have also tried putting + and - on the two center pins, and connecting the relays to the top and bottom pins, but like this, with the switch up, the bottom light comes on. And with the switch down, the top light comes on. Switching the polarity of the 2 center pins doesn't change anything. At least both lights are off though when the switch is in the center position though.

How can I wire it up so in the center position both lights are off, in the top position only the top light is on, and in the bottom position only the bottom light is on?

Please help.

By FL SurfLover (flsurflover) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 5:20 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
OK, I was up waaay too late last night, but at least I finally got both my rear Simer's wired up to the helm switches, through relays and breakers and all seems to work. Except of course for the light positions on these @#$* switches.

I've come to the conclusion with these particular switches that you just can't get them to light only the top light when the switch is up, and only the bottom light when the switch is down. I don't know if all dual-light DPDT switches are this way, but it's like these switches are assembled backwards. If the back pins are labeled like this:
1 2
3 4
5 6
when the switch is in the up position, you would think 1&3 along with 2&4 would be connected. But with this switch in the up position, 3&5 along with 4&6 are connected. Then in the down position, 1&3 along with 2&4 are connected. The lights are correctly connected between 1&2 and 5&6; but because the switch is essentially assembled backwards, the opposite side of the switch is connected from the position of the switch.

I can't imagine why they would do this? All 3 of my switches work this way. Are all double-lighted DPDT switches assembled backwards like this?

By TY-one-on (typhoon) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 6:19 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I am glad they helped. The switch lights are not on unless the switch position is up or down. Looking at your diagram you have them backwards. The pump should be the power in and the other 4 should be sent to two wires leading to the pump.
By Doug Gierosky (d_fresh) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 6:25 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
The problem is that the lights are across contacts 1 & 2, and 5 & 6. In your diagram you have power and ground across these contacts all the time. So they are always illuminated. You do not need the wiring configuration like that in your diagram. If you are using relays, wire one side of the relay coil to battery. Apply ground to pin 4, and battery to pin 3 of switch. Pins 2 and 4 are now considered switched ground. wire them to the other side of the relay coil in respect to switch position and function. Your lights should work properly.
By FL SurfLover (flsurflover) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 7:41 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks Ty and Doug! I see that swapping it so the power and ground go to 3 & 4, and then the pump goes to 1&6 and 2&5, makes it so the lights are not on when the switch is off. However, I think with 1&6 tied together and 2&5 tied together like that, this means that both lights would come on whether the switch was up or down. Right?

Doug, I'm encouraged by your idea and trying to get my little mind to follow it. :-) I'm using this relay wiring diagram that Dane posted a while back:


So using my switch numbers (1-6) instead of Dane's, and relay number (85,86,87,87a,30) could you tell me how you would wire up the switch to this relay diagram? The relay circuit is working great.

By Doug Gierosky (d_fresh) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 8:19 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
OK, if the diagram:
1 2
3 4
5 6
is what the back of the switch looks like?!

Then 1, 3, and 5 go together and 2, 4, and 6 go together. Pin 3 is the common for 1 and 5. Pin 4 is the common for 2 and 6. Think of the switch as a long lever. When switched up, it goes thru the center and conncts the bottom contacts to the common ones in the center of the switch.

By FL SurfLover (flsurflover) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 11:59 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
OK, let it be known, Doug is THE MAN. Along with Ty, and Dane, and Chris, and everyone else that has contributed great ballast info.

Doug actually called ME and helped me understand the concept of a "switched ground". I was used to the idea of turning a relay on and off by using a positive voltage switched on pin 85 of the relay. Doug explained how with these DPDT switches, you should switch the ground instead of switching the positive voltage, so the top light is on when the switch is up, and the bottom light is on when the switch is down.

So using my switch numbers from above and the relay numbers from Dane's drawing:

switch3 to +12V
switch4 to -12V
both relay85's to +12V
switch6 to top_relay86
switch2 to bottom_relay86

This will do exactly what I was looking for. Both lights off in the center switch position. Only the top light on in the up position. Only the bottom light on in the down position.

Thanks Doug! Genius!

By Holby (holbywan) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 2:11 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

I got the concept of the switched ground. Great idea and you only have to run half as many control wires to your relays to complete the circuit using the ground. The part I am having a tough time with is how the light on the top will be on when the DPDT switch is thrown up connecting 3-5 and 4-6:

1 2
+3 4-
5 6

Perhaps I am mis understanding how that light is wired into the mix??

Any help would be great and thanks for all the help thus far.


(Message edited by holbywan on April 21, 2004)

By FL SurfLover (flsurflover) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 5:17 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
DOH, I just realized I goofed in my last post. When I wrote -12V I meant ground, NOT -12V!

Holby, think of each light on each end of switch as having 2 wires. So for the top light it's two wires are 1&2, and for the bottom light it's two wires are 5&6. Each light is lit only when one of it's wires is grounded and the other is run to +12V. It doesn't matter which end goes to +12V and which end goes to ground, it will light either way.

So when you flip the switch up that connects 3 to 5, and also connects 4 to 6, so the bottom light is lit because 5 is now +12V and 6 is now ground. Flip the switch down, and that connects 3 to 1 and also connects 4 to 2, so the top light is lit because 1 is +12V and 2 is ground. I hope that is what you were asking? Sorry if it wasn't.

Doug also explained why when you flip a rocker switch up, it connects the middle pins to the bottom pins, instead of to the top pins. He said to think of as if was a toggle switch. The toggle is like a see-saw. When one end goes up the other end goes down. So you're flipping the switch up on end of the pivot point, but on the other end of the pivot point it is going down, so it makes the contacts (or closes the switch) at the bottom part. That is the easiest way mechanically to make the switches so it's the cheapest.

I'm going to go modify my wiring now. Cool circuit.

By FL SurfLover (flsurflover) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 5:33 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
OK, I promise to let this thread die after this post. I just don't want people who find this post in the future by searching for Simer, ballast, and switch posts to be led astray.

I tried the "switched negative" wiring last night and it works, i.e. it turns the pumps on and off just like the "switched positive" circuit does. But it doesn't help with the switch lighting problem. The bottom light still comes on with the switch up and top light still comes on with the switch down.

I should have realized this just from the description I wrote in my last post of how the switch lights work. I you put +12V and ground on the two center pins of DPDT lighted rocker switch, there is no way you are going to get around the lighting problem. That's just how the switches are built. As soon as +12V and ground are connected from the center pins (3&4) to either 1&2 or 5&6, that particular light is going to be lit.

I wonder if you would have the same problem with a dual-light SPDT rocker switch.

By Holby (holbywan) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 11:26 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
You know I was going to ask you to verify that because I diagramed every possible wiring solution out, scowered the internet and couldn't find a way to do it (get teh right light to "light" up). I do however like the switched ground idea though.

Oh well, it's not that big a deal. I wonder for what purpose those switches were built now. Kinda makes you wonder if the engineer of those was smoking too much wacky tabacky or maybe it was a highschool intern that designed it. Frustrating to say the least.

Thanks for all your posts thought, it has made my life a lot simpler. I am wiring my this Sunday so I'll let you know how it goes.



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