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Old 26-09-2010, 08:19   #1
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Nav Lights on Single Switch ?

I would like to change my LED Nav lights from 2 switches ( Bow/Stern and Steaming) to 1 switch (On - Off - On)
where down would be for sailing and up for motoring. Would this circuit work? Have something better?
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Old 26-09-2010, 08:35   #2
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Old 26-09-2010, 09:06   #3
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The diode’s not required.
Remember that the double throw switch will make between the upper & centre terminals, when the toggle is down, and visa versa.

See thew similar app' ➥ S.P.D.T. Switch Cct - Same switch for Bilge Pump Auto / Test On, as for Combination (Anchor / Tri-Colour) Lights. Note that the toggle 'Up' (A) position, closes between the middle common and... Cruisers & Sailing Photo Gallery
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Old 26-09-2010, 09:24   #4
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Quote:
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The diode’s not required.
Remember that the double throw switch will make between the upper & centre terminals, when the toggle is down, and visa versa.
As the schematic is drawn, the diode is required (and yes, it will work). The diode powers the running lights when the switch is in the "steaming" position, but blocks the power to the steaming light when the switch is thrown to "running".

You could avoid the diode by using a double-pole, double-throw switch, but I don't know how easy it wold be to find one of these with a center-off design. The SPDT switch used here is commonly available.

Make sure the diode is beefy enough to handle the lamp current.
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Old 26-09-2010, 09:34   #5
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Why not make "up" be sailing and "down" be motoring? You "raise the sails or you motor with the engine "down" below decks.

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Old 26-09-2010, 11:14   #6
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Try a 4 position switch
Up is sails up
down is anchor down
and the 2 in the middle are off and motoring, which is which would be something to puzzle out.

Or a 2 position switch for on/off and a 3 position switch for sail/motor/anchor.

If you use a masthead tricolor then there is no issue with whether a diode is required since each case uses a different set of lights with no overlap
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Old 26-09-2010, 11:29   #7
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Your schematic will work. Yes, you need the diode. If your led’s are in the form of a masthead combo, then you will still need the combining switch in the running light line to get the nav/strobe/anchor functions to work.

um saudade
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Old 26-09-2010, 12:26   #8
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Indeed, the diode IS required for the “Both” function (I missed that).

Double Pole Double Throw switches, like Blue Sea Systems “Contura” #8232, are very common.

Ie ➥ Waterproof Contura Switches - Blue Sea Systems

DPDT Switch, M-ON/OFF/M-ON Positions, No Pilot Light, 6 Blade Terminals
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Old 26-09-2010, 14:00   #9
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Why change 2 switchs that work for 1 switch and a diode that could fail?
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Old 26-09-2010, 15:12   #10
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Why change 2 switchs that work for 1 switch and a diode that could fail?
Fewer parts AND fewer switch contacts to corrode.

For the lights in question, a garden variety diode (or a Schottky diode) would be cheap, dependable and easily acquired.
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Old 26-09-2010, 19:46   #11
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The diode can be omitted if you use a switch with double poles.

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Old 27-09-2010, 09:48   #12
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Thanks everyone.
I'll go with my design.
The reason for the single switch idea was that I am running out of space
for switches and don't want to do a total redesign of the electrical panel!
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Old 27-09-2010, 11:21   #13
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Thanks everyone.
I'll go with my design.
The reason for the single switch idea was that I am running out of space
for switches and don't want to do a total redesign of the electrical panel!
OK, but who says all switches have to be on the elictrical panel. ((grin))

You do know that you'll lose some power to the diode, right? Suggest you make sure it can handle the total current you expect and keep it away from other things (not wrapped up or pushed into a corner, for instance) so it can shed the heat.

However, I'm with Gord on using a DPST (STDP) switch.

Good luck with it and please post pictures.

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Old 27-09-2010, 17:54   #14
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Do you know what the ABYC standards are? I got dinged on dividing up Nav lights to their seperate breakers. Does anyone know the rule?
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Old 28-09-2010, 04:12   #15
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Do you know what the ABYC standards are? I got dinged on dividing up Nav lights to their seperate breakers. Does anyone know the rule?
Uhh....I am assuming that you still had only one Nav Light switch and you were dinged

Around here, surveyed vessels required separate protection for each Nav lamp (but they had to be switched by a single switch). Depending on the circuit, the switch could be multi pole or single pole.

Maybe the rules have changed .
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