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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through January 14, 2005 » Ballast switch rocket science « Previous Next »
By Joe H (superairdawg) on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 1:51 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'm in the process of some ballast system upgrades and am looking to put in a couple of decent switches to run my reversible pumps. Radio Shack switches are a little too ghetto for my tastes. It looks to me like the trickest switches are available directly from Carling Technologies. You can pretty much order them however you want them. I was thinking a dual-light Contura III would be the action, but I'm not sure what the deal is between 8 and 10 termination/base style. The switch that comes std with Jabsco Water Puppys (and also on Mastercrafts) I think has 7 terminals but only a single on/off light. My guess is an 8 term would be the thing to order? Anyone electrical gurus out there that can help??

Just for reference, the Carling Tech info is here (

By Greg (cwbrider14) on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 4:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Joe if you look at the PDF it says the switches can be set up for single pole or double pole operation using pins 1 through 6. 7-10 are for the lighting circuit. So if it has eight pins you can use it for one lighting circuit, If it has ten you can use it for two lighting circuits.

7-8 for one circuit and 9-10 for the other. Unless both lights are fed from one voltage source and then you can have pin 7 for your hot leg and 8,9, and 10 go to three seperate lights.

It really depends on how you are going to use it in your circuit. If you know how you want it to run I could coume up with a schematic for you and how to have the switches prewired.

By Mike (mikeski) on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 6:04 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Be careful when ordering the switches directly from Carling. I thought I had the correct only to get momentary (on)-off-(on) DPDT rockers (like a trim switch). I ended up buying the correct switch from iboats, they have several varieties.

NOTE: (ON)/OFF/(ON) = momentary, ON/OFF/ON = holding switch, you need the holding switch.

Wiring: +12v/-12v source to center terminals, +12v/-12v pump to bottom, cross jumpers from top terminals to bottom. Search the archives for the diagrams if this is confusing. Both lights activate weather filling or draing with the lighted switches.

By Chad (healing) on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 6:34 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I wired my jabsco's and the lights work like they are supposed to one light to fill one light to empty. I would say that your wiring is off Mike? I bought my switchs from and the face plates from the Mastercraft dealer DPDT switches.
By Mike (mikeski) on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 7:02 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The switches have a common terminal to the lights, they are probably different than yours. I think I could get my switch lights to do like yours but I would need to make some modifications and maybe add a diode or two. They make the pumps work I can see if they are in the fill or drain position so I am not worried about it.

By Joe H (superairdawg) on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 6:29 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Good call on the momentary switches. I did learn that particular lesson the hard way but luckily for me it wasn't an expensive switch I ordered.

I'm pretty sure what I'm looking for is a double pole setup, with two separate lights. For two lights to operate opposite of each other, I assume I need two circuits, and thus the 10 pin setup? Basically, what I'd like is when I switch up to FILL I'd like for that to light up red, then when I switch to EMPTY I'd like for it to light up green. Two light circuits and thus, 10 pin setup?

Thanks for all the advice!!

By Justin Waterson (jwat142) on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 11:23 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Anyone know how much a DPDT lighted switch from carling would approximately cost? I am going to be looking for three of these for a system I'm putting in this winter.
By Chad (healing) on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 4:33 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Off the top of my head $12 or maybe it was $6 check their website.
By Chad (healing) on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 4:40 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
By Joe H (superairdawg) on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 4:58 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Let's get this thread BACK on topic. How many terms I need to run two independent lights? Anyone? Beuller?
By Jamie Close (yooper) on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 7:34 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

By Jamie Close (yooper) on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 7:37 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
actually, that is for a 2 pump system..... not reversible. 2 pumps are MUCH better. I've built systems both ways and there is no comparison. Similar price, but the livewell pumps are much faster, draw much less power so you don't need relays, and are very reliable.
By Justin Waterson (jwat142) on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 7:49 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Actually, that will work with a single reversible pump also. You just have to cross the wires from the bottom two terminals to the top two terminals so the polarity is switched. . .if that makes sense.

I have one other question. I was looking at and was wondering that if I got the carling switches, would I also need a resettable 20 amp breaker for each switch? Would that be the best way to do it?

By Justin Waterson (jwat142) on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 7:53 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
woops, I meant
By Joe H (superairdawg) on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 8:11 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Actually, isn't that diagram for a switch with a single light, like the one that comes with Jabsco pumps? I'd like to run dual-lit switches, different color for fill and empty.

By Justin Waterson (jwat142) on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 8:15 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Two years ago, when I purchased a 3-position on-off-on switch for my old boat, it only had six terminals. And yes, it did have two lights, one at each end. I don't understand what the extra terminal is for like in the picture shown above.
By ben (riverside) on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 8:43 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
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