Race track caution lights

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Old 04-22-18, 08:31 PM
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Talking Race track caution lights

Greetings all
I am the flagman at a local dirt track and need some help with the following. I have a control box that has three single wall switches wired in parallel and are wired to three individual female outputs on the end of the box This box controls the red, yellow and green lights at my local dirt track.

As it is wired right now, you plug three individual lamps into the box and control each of them independently of each other with their respective switch. These three switches are just common household light switches ....Just a basic on /off switch for each of the colored lights (Green, Yellow & Red).

What I would like to do is while I have the green lamp on (lamp 1) ... and the yellow and red lamps off (normal state), When I throw a caution, I need the green (lamp 1) to turn off automatically when either of the yellow or red lights are switched on. As it is now, I have to flip two switches at the same time….and I never get to look at the switches so my hand is on the controller 100% of the time while cars are on the track.
Flipping multiple switches via braille tends to allow turning on or off the wrong light. Having to just turn on a yellow or red switch which cancels the green one that is on is what I am looking to do.

Does anyone have any suggestions without building the whole thing over? There is no DC on board the box so if that is the direction I need to go, I will first have to create DC power internally to power any solid-state items. Hope I have not thoroughly confused everyone!

Thanks
Dan
 
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Old 04-22-18, 08:45 PM
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You need a 4 button one of these. https://www.cpesupply.com/2332772/Pr...gaAh78EALw_wcB

Off
red
yellow
Green

This type switch only allows one button at a time to be activated. When one button is pushed, all others will pop up to the off position. So, if the Green button is pushed, when you need the yellow or red light on, just push that button & the green will pop up.
 
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Old 04-22-18, 09:05 PM
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Not an electrician but I would think a position selector switch would work best.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AU4CS3M...a-351421599823

If 0 is off, and 1 is green. 2 could be yellow and 3 could be red. Just keep one hand on the knob.
 
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Old 04-23-18, 03:45 AM
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I think a simple on-on-on toggle switch would be simplest. Use a separate off-on switch to turn them all off. The lights would be wired so green is the center on position, yellow on one side, red on the other. So you could go instantly from green to red or yellow...but switching from yellow to red (for instance) would go fully side to side. You'd barely get a blink from the green...not enough to matter anyway, and it's better than accidentally having two colors on at a time, which is your problem now.

You haven't said what voltage exactly or how many lights total of each color for the total amps, but a simple on-on-on toggle would be around $10-15...and probably less on Ebay or Amazon You could continue to use a regular light switch for main power.

If I still had all my spares that I kept when I got out of the Navy, I'd give you one.
 
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Old 04-23-18, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dixie2012 View Post
You need a 4 button one of these. https://www.cpesupply.com/2332772/Pr...gaAh78EALw_wcB

Off
red
yellow
Green

This type switch only allows one button at a time to be activated. When one button is pushed, all others will pop up to the off position. So, if the Green button is pushed, when you need the yellow or red light on, just push that button & the green will pop up.
That looks like it would work but so far I have been unable to locate a 4 button switch, still looking..

Thank you for your reply
 
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Old 04-23-18, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
Not an electrician but I would think a position selector switch would work best.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AU4CS3M...a-351421599823

If 0 is off, and 1 is green. 2 could be yellow and 3 could be red. Just keep one hand on the knob.
This could probably work as well, and less expensive
I will look into it in more detail
Thank you for your input!
 
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Old 04-23-18, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
I think a simple on-on-on toggle switch would be simplest. Use a separate off-on switch to turn them all off. The lights would be wired so green is the center on position, yellow on one side, red on the other. So you could go instantly from green to red or yellow...but switching from yellow to red (for instance) would go fully side to side. You'd barely get a blink from the green...not enough to matter anyway, and it's better than accidentally having two colors on at a time, which is your problem now.

You haven't said what voltage exactly or how many lights total of each color for the total amps, but a simple on-on-on toggle would be around $10-15...and probably less on Ebay or Amazon You could continue to use a regular light switch for main power.

If I still had all my spares that I kept when I got out of the Navy, I'd give you one.
Thanks for your input. What you describe is what I have now....except green is not in the middle. Currently when I go from green to yellow, I have to use my thumb and one finger to move the green to off and illuminate the yellow, If I happen to miss one of them, I have to look at the actual lights to confirm the correct one is lit. If it is not, I have to look at the box and make the correction.

Bear in mind that my other hand has at least one flag in it and I am still watching the track. Something I didnt mention....the box with the switches is located at about 8 o'clock and the flags are at 3 o'clock so I am pretty much spread eagle.

I cannot move the box forward (about 10 o'clock) which would help but the wires are too short to move it more forward.

Everything is 110 and it controls two old style vertical traffic lights....one set inn Turn one and one set in turn 3 Sorry but I do not know the specs , Someone else built the system a few years ago
BTW, I cannot see the lights in turn 3 so I have to look at turn 1......which is at 2 o'clock.

It gets quite busy up there so simplifying everything is going to be a big plus.
 
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Old 04-23-18, 06:51 AM
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I cannot move the box forward (about 10 o'clock) which would help but the wires are too short to move it more forward.
I would create a junction box, leave it at 8 o clock, and extend those wires to get your new switches in front of you. That's got to be a real pain.
 
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Old 04-23-18, 02:44 PM
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I cannot move the box forward (about 10 o'clock) which would help but the wires are too short to move it more forward.

Install a junction box where the existing switch(s) is located, splice and extend the wires as needed.
 
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Old 04-23-18, 03:09 PM
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You misunderstood. My suggestion was a SINGLE switch with 3 positions, all of which would activate one color each. Like a regular toggle switch only with 3 positions that are on-on-on, unlike a typical on-off like a light switch. One finger is all it would take and then at the end of the race/day you could turn them all off with a separate on-off. You would wind up with two switches, only one of which would be used during an actual race.

Your lights are probably 120V and maybe 100-150 W...so a 5A rated switch should be plenty, but ideally, you'n need to verify wattage or measure current draw.
 
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Old 04-23-18, 05:24 PM
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Ahhh you are right, i mis understood what you were saying
This could be a viable option as well

Thanks!
 
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