Have I got the wrong switch.

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  #1  
Old 02-05-06, 08:40 PM
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Have I got the wrong switch.

Today while wiring flourescent lights into a 110v system in my work van, I kept running into the same problem. When I energize the circuit, I get nothing. If something else is plugged into the source, it goes off, and I still get no lights. My question is: have I got the wrong switch? I believe I have a 3 way switch. Should I be using a Single? Any help here is much appreciated.

cuedude
 
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Old 02-06-06, 05:40 AM
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You need to provide more information.
 
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Old 02-06-06, 09:01 PM
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Specifically, what info is needed? When it comes to 'trons, I am in the dark. (No pun intended). I will add this though. I am wiring lights into a 2006 Chevy Express Van. I am running a dual battery system, with a 145 Amp Alt. and a 2500 Watt Vector Inverter. I plug the lights into the inverter. From there it goes to the switch, (which I believe to be a three way), and I want to split the cable and run two lights from one switch. Can this even be done? Do I have the wrong switch?

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Old 02-06-06, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cuedude
a 145 Amp Alt. and a 2500 Watt Vector Inverter.
Let's do the math.

12V times 145 amps = 1740W

Okay, so this thing can drain your battery if you load it up.

> From there it goes to the switch, (which I believe to be a three way)
You need a two-way (SPST); three-way is SPDT.


> I want to split the cable and run two lights from one switch.
You need an electrical tee.


> Can this even be done?

Yes, you need some wirenuts (electrical tees).


> Do I have the wrong switch?

Yes, though in a pinch, it can be made to work.



Whether the inverter can start a fluorescent light is another matter.
Does the inverter produces a nice sine wave, or a chopped almost square wave?
 
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Old 02-07-06, 05:14 AM
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Thanks Bolide, now were getting somewhere. The inverter produces a "clipped" sine wave. It seems to work pretty well with electric motors, but I'm not sure it will work with the lights. I'll head over to the big orange box store today and see about the "T", and a spst switch. I thought I had the wrong one.

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Old 02-18-06, 04:25 PM
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OK, I finally got back to working on the light switch. Here's what's going on now. First of all, I know the wires are reversed, as the circuit completes when the switch shows off. No big deal. If I plug the lights in, switch the inverter on, with the switch in the new off position, I get a red light on the inverter, and cannot get lights when I turn the switch to the new on position. If I turn the inverter on with the switch in the new on position, I get lights. Is the trouble I'm having in the wiring for the switch? or could the inverter be installed improperly? Any help with this would be appreciated.

cuedude
 
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Old 02-18-06, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by cuedude
I know the wires are reversed, as the circuit completes when the switch shows off. No big deal.
How is this not a big deal? Did you get a two-way switch? A three-way does not show OFF. Reversing wires on a two-way doesn't change a thing. OFF is still OFF. Always.


If I plug the lights in, switch the inverter on, with the switch in the new off position,
What's the new off position? There is only one OFF position on a two-way switch.


Is the trouble I'm having in the wiring for the switch?
Can you explain exactly what wires from where are hooked to where?
 
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Old 02-18-06, 06:25 PM
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A fluorescent ballast may not like the very distorted wave shape from the inverter. Check with the light fixture manufacturer to see if they approve this installation,
 
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Old 02-18-06, 06:30 PM
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I think you wired the switch wrong. Tell us how you wired this entire portion of the circuit.
 
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Old 02-18-06, 08:48 PM
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I have the normal black, white, and green coming from the inverter via a cord. I have the lights wired to come directly to the switch. (Each has it's own cable). I'm using the switch as the junction for both lights. (Now I have 3 whites, 3 black, and 3 green in the switch box). I have the white wires to one post, the black to another post, and the green I have split. The green from the lights are connected via a wire nut, with a jumper going to ground on the switch. This in turn is grounded to the switch box as well. I can't figure it out. You may be right about the lights not liking the clipped sine wave. But if it wasn't compatable, why would I get the light to come on at all?

When I say the new position on the switch, it is for lack of proper terms. The new position is reversed to the way the switch is labled. Off is really on, and on is really off. Could the switch be bad? All this and more is running through my head. Any help is appreciated.

cuedude
 
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Old 02-18-06, 09:49 PM
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May I give it a shot?

Sounds like you have 3 cables in the switch box, correct?

#1) cable, black, white, green. from the inverter, correct?
#2) cable from light, B,W,G,
#3) cable from light, B,W,G,
If this is correct then try this... cable # 1,2 and 3, Splice the whites together, use a wire nut and tuck them in the box, DONE.
Now on cable #1 place the black wire on the bronze screw of switch,
Now with the 2 blacks from cable 2 and 3 splice with a pig tail and wire nut,
Put the end of pigtail on the other bronze screw of the switch.
Now splice all 3 green wires together with a pigtail and wirenut ,Place the end of pt on the green screw of switch and to the metal box.
This should do it barring any incompatability with the inverter.

Your discription now sounds as though, with the sw.off you have a ckt. But when you close the sw. you creat a short thru the sw.

IE: now sw on, white and black are shorted. The new way , power comes from inverter and when sw. closes goes out the other side to the lights.
Hope this helps.
 
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Old 02-18-06, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
May I give it a shot?
I think you hit the bull's eye.
 
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Old 02-18-06, 11:42 PM
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Post # 11 would work if you are using a single pole switch.
If your using that 3 way switch.
you should have two screws the same color and one screw a different color, that different color screw is the common screw.
you would connect only the black wire from the inverter to the common screw.
Then do everything the same way as stated in post #11
the pigtailed black can go to just ONE of the other screws.
 
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Old 02-19-06, 12:16 AM
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If you're using that 3 way switch.
Hey, a 3-way switch is single-pole too (SPDT).

Since the switch says "OFF", I think he got a two-way (SPST).

The problem is that he put both poles (black and white) on his single pole switch.
 
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Old 02-19-06, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
May I give it a shot?

Sounds like you have 3 cables in the switch box, correct?

#1) cable, black, white, green. from the inverter, correct?
#2) cable from light, B,W,G,
#3) cable from light, B,W,G,
If this is correct then try this... cable # 1,2 and 3, Splice the whites together, use a wire nut and tuck them in the box, DONE.
Now on cable #1 place the black wire on the bronze screw of switch,
Now with the 2 blacks from cable 2 and 3 splice with a pig tail and wire nut,
Put the end of pigtail on the other bronze screw of the switch.
Now splice all 3 green wires together with a pigtail and wirenut ,Place the end of pt on the green screw of switch and to the metal box.
This should do it barring any incompatability with the inverter.

Your discription now sounds as though, with the sw.off you have a ckt. But when you close the sw. you creat a short thru the sw.

IE: now sw on, white and black are shorted. The new way , power comes from inverter and when sw. closes goes out the other side to the lights.
Hope this helps.
Thanks lectriclee, I'll redo it today. Sounds simple enough, and I understand it. (Most important). Suprisingly, nothing has blown in the way of fuses. Thanks to all who helped with this project. All I've ever done in the past is swap things out, never starting from scratch. I've learned something.

cuedude
 
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Old 02-19-06, 06:41 AM
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CUEDUDE Glad WE could help,
You did not blow any fuses due to the inverter having its own independant
overload/short protection. That was the red light you saw.

Curious, after installing all that extra power and battery stuff,
Why did you not just go with some 12v dc lights made for this?
 
  #17  
Old 02-19-06, 06:50 AM
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In retrospect, good question. I went with the larger lights so I could see at night, and the lights I found are waterproof. (OK, water resistant). I must say, they really throw off the light. I'm tired of pinning locks in the dark using a flashlight. The eyes are getting bad enough without struggling to see.

I do appreciate the help with this. When it comes to 'trons, I make a good ditch digger.

cuedude
 
  #18  
Old 02-20-06, 03:46 PM
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Hey lectriclee,

Just wanted to let you know it works like a dream. Thanks for the help. And just for the record, when I said that it was no big deal with the switch wired wrong, I didn't mean it wasn't important, I meant that I could redo it with no trouble.

cuedude
 
 

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