Wanderlodge Owners Group  
BuyByeBlueBird.com
Donate

Go Back   Wanderlodge Owners Group > Mechanic's Corner > Electrical

Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

Site Search:
Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 04-30-2012
markusfmeyer markusfmeyer is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,672
Default Problem installing LED lights

Thought I'd start a new post instead of cluttering up the other LED post which was more of a "sale/buy" thread.

So I started installing my lights yesterday, ganging 2 lights to a regulator per the instructions. With wiring attached and the light housings hanging from the overhead compartments, everything was fine. However, when trying to attach the lights, I noticed they shut off and I saw a little bit of sparking between the housings and the overhead compartment. Thought it had to do with the fact I didn't have the housings bolted in yet to the compartments and the regulator stuck to the housings so I proceeded and all seemed ok with the one side.

Well today I continued to the other side of the living room. Same thing, so I decided to start poking around. When you take what I think is the aluminum fluorescent light housing and try to attach it to the underneath of the overhead compartment, where the vinyl doesn't fully cover the metal overhead compartment frame, if the two touch, I get light sparking and the lights go out. Separate them, light stays on? What the (*&^?

So first I started trying to trace wires to see if anything was loose. Couldn't find anything. Then pulled out the multimeter. To my surprise, with light switch OFF, the metal frame and screws holding it in show 0 volts (ok, this wasn't the surprise), but when I turned the light switch on, I got 0.7 millivolts at both the overhead compartment frame and the screws holding it in/up. This I don't understand at all.

Obviously I could make sure the metal on the frame was covered/wrapped and not have metal to metal contact. I don't think that is a good solution because to me its just patching or masking what could be another problem.

One other thing I noticed after taking the 8 fluorescent lights out of the living room was someone had already messed around with them. Half of them were already cut and not attached wiring wise, so no wonder I had no lights up there. On the driver's side I did go through and clean up the "extra wiring" as I don't like seeing that. On the passenger side, I took out all the extra wiring I could find except one. There was a ground wire that had already been spliced into, with a butt connector with 2 in 2 out. One of the outs had been cut real close to the butt connector but not taped off. I was going to do that, or get a larger connector and cut and redo it to a 2 in 1 out, but didn't have the right size on hand. I don't think that is causing my problems but I guess anything is possible?

I have stopped the project because now I'm confused and not sure what is happening and why. Suggestions, thoughts, comments?
__________________
Markus Meyer
Phoenixville, PA
1986 PT40 6V92
VB 1570

Last edited by markusfmeyer; 04-30-2012 at 12:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-30-2012
GreenBird's Avatar
GreenBird GreenBird is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Trufant (stump fence capital)
Posts: 1,122
Default

Don't know what you have because you haven't told us. Sounds like mounting hardware of your new lights is hot and grounding against the coach frame.
__________________
Leonard Campbell
Trufant, MI
1986 PT40
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-30-2012
markusfmeyer markusfmeyer is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,672
Default

Its an 86PT40 with fluorescent lights throughout most of the coach. I am following Mike's instructions to replace the fluorescent tubes with the LED strips that came with the kits. You cut the existing wiring, remove the fluorescent tubes (and if desired the mounting points) from the existing light housing, tape down the LED strip inside the housing, attach the new wiring to the coach wiring you cut (this step a little oversimplified), and remount the housing. Mounting hardware is the same as it always was. Just no more fluorescent tube, instead an LED strip.
__________________
Markus Meyer
Phoenixville, PA
1986 PT40 6V92
VB 1570
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-30-2012
GreenBird's Avatar
GreenBird GreenBird is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Trufant (stump fence capital)
Posts: 1,122
Default

I think you need advice from someone familiar with the new lights. Just geussing it sounds like you may have the polarity reversed if you're using the old Bird wiring. Kinda curious because we have the same coach and the flourescents do need help in a bad way. Do you have info on the new lights - manufacturer, part number, wiring schematic?
__________________
Leonard Campbell
Trufant, MI
1986 PT40
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-30-2012
G_man's Avatar
G_man G_man is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Litchfield
Posts: 786
Default

How many wires to the LED fixture? Is the voltage reversed so the hot is to the body of the fixture. Normally an LED will not illuminate if voltage is reversed but if the body of the fixture is hot and separated from ground, what you say can occur. Hard to diagnose long distance.
__________________
Rich D. Former Owner; '90 PT40, '99LXi43 & '06 M450 LXi (CT)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-30-2012
markusfmeyer markusfmeyer is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,672
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenBird View Post
I think you need advice from someone familiar with the new lights. Just geussing it sounds like you may have the polarity reversed if you're using the old Bird wiring. Kinda curious because we have the same coach and the flourescents do need help in a bad way. Do you have info on the new lights - manufacturer, part number, wiring schematic?
You can read up on the manufacturer/vendor and the group by here:

http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.co...ad.php?t=12669


Don't think polarity is reversed. I used a multimeter to test the wires that I connected to (which were connected to the fluorescent tubes before), and reversed showed negative 12 volts, not reversed 12 volts, so I knew which was ground and which was power, not to mention I traced the ground wire to a ground screw just to be 100% sure.
__________________
Markus Meyer
Phoenixville, PA
1986 PT40 6V92
VB 1570
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-30-2012
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: okc
Posts: 3,843
Default

You may have a hot skin issue. Do a search and several threads should come up.
__________________
John
96 WTOS 42'
OKC USA!


don't waste your time with a usa-spec ipod adapter- poor products with poor support
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-30-2012
markusfmeyer markusfmeyer is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,672
Default

Just got off the phone with Michael Putz and we figured it out....well he did and I confirmed it! For those of you who bought these kits, be real careful installing that LED strip in the metal housings. I know the directions say to press firmly down, but....don't press the last half inch or so down where the wiring comes off. Why? If you look closely, at least on mine, the wires come right off the edge and if pressed down, can make contact with the housing. Michael had me test the housing with it not attached to the overhead compartment and it was showing 12V (ground on housing to ground on bus)! Peeled the last little bit back and voila, no more power. Now to "fix" the 5 I already installed.

What's funny is I replaced an LED strip I had previously bought from this company. It is enclosed in a plastic casing so that problem won't occur. But with the ones we got, they are "open" and not enclosed.
__________________
Markus Meyer
Phoenixville, PA
1986 PT40 6V92
VB 1570
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-30-2012
Wsufans Wsufans is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Morrison
Posts: 370
Default

I recently pulled one of the florescent lights in my rig down and there doesn't appear to be a ballast to spark the light. I haven't dug for it but I had been told by the PO that there is a single central ballast for all of those lights and that it is located under a booth seat or the couch. This I will have to investigate further as I too would like to move to LED.

I know that the 6' units mounted in the bed room valances do have a separate valance. Had one apart yesterday but didn't look closely at the ballast box. Will have to look at that today.
__________________

Paul & Janice Olson
Morrison, Colorado
Mi-Vida-Loca
1984 PT40
KoWSU
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-30-2012
MRPutz's Avatar
MRPutz MRPutz is offline
Burnin Up in Az. :-)
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Mesa
Posts: 4,116
Default

Hey Everybody.

Got an email from Markus and called him back to look at the issue. Turns out one or the solder joints on an LED strip was a little too large and shorted the incoming regulated power to the fixture.

Fortunately we were able to put a slight bent into the solder joint which moved it away from the metal fixture. Lights are working fine now AND the regulator was not damaged.

Will have to look into this a little more and give feedback to Neutek so we don't see this issue anymore.

Markus, let us know how the rest of the project goes and if you have any other issues don't hesitate to call.
__________________
Michael & Tami Putz
78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

FMCA #236459, Good Sam #17270530, Vintage Birds #1509
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Installing TV in FC brianhinfl 'Bird Projects & Modifications 2 03-05-2012 03:21 PM
looking for some tips on installing hardwood pumper Ernie Ekberg's Remodeling and Repair 4 11-01-2011 12:46 AM
Problem with signal lights - parking lights. Skyway Electrical 4 08-01-2011 11:03 PM
Debugging a wiring problem with aux lights SGallaty Electrical 5 06-26-2010 03:24 PM
Installing Xantrex 20 Inverter / Charger Robmk2 Electrical 24 06-14-2010 10:59 PM

Web Search:

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.