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Old 12-04-2012, 06:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Headache Rack lights/Swamp lights installation question

Hello i'm new to this forum. I have these lights that have been sitting up there on the headache rack for about 5 months now. How do I fire them up? There is 5 of them and I know it's got to go to a relay. I hooked them up with positive and negative wiring method without grounding them and used a fuse, a toggle switch, and a relay. It didn't work. I am not a fan of electrical work, but I am pretty sure i'm making it hard for myself then it needs to be. I also asked all the mechanics I know and nobody knows. Anyone got a detailed blueprint or something? I did a lot of research about this and nothing seems to work out.

Here is a pic:

http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/8776/dadge.png
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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find the wires, trace them out.

and WTF is a positive and negative wiring method?


one wire goes to a fused power source.

One wire goes to ground.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Fused power source -> switch capable of handling the load -> lights -> ground

<or>

Fused power source -> switch -> relay capable of handling the load with fused power source -> lights -> ground

All wiring capable of handling the load too.

And you should read up on series vs. parallel wiring.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Super Crude, MSPaint wiring diagram.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This is how I did it, but failed.

http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/4237/blueprints.png
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by shell57 View Post
you wired the lights in series rather than in parallel.


Those lights need 12 volts to work properly. You provided them each with 2.4 volts.

Wire them like I showed, you'll be fine.

edit: and if you wired the relay like that it won't work either.
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Last edited by apeters89; 12-05-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by apeters89 View Post
you wired the lights in series rather than in parallel.


Those lights need 12 volts to work properly. You provided them each with 2.4 volts.

Wire them like I showed, you'll be fine.

edit: and if you wired the relay like that it won't work either.
Thanks for the reply, could you provide me with a more detailed one? Like i said earlier, I am new to this and don't know which numbers the wires go on the relay with. I am going out to buy some new gear so I'll try again tomorrow.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Relay pins:

30: FUSED 12VDC+ from battery
85: Wire to ground
86: Switched power from... you guessed it, the switch
87: Power to lights
87A: Unused.

Send pin 86 to the lights, wire them in parallel like our angry moderator says and ground the lights to the headache rack or somewhere convenient.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As stated- These lights need to be parallel, but according to your drawing, you sent the negative from the lights to the 85 pin on the relay. The 85 pin has to go to it's own ground (-) and the Lights need their own ground (-).

ALSO, make sure you fuse between the relay and the battery. You can determine the size fuse you need by total watt draw (watt of all lights added together) divided by volts (12v in this case) = # maximum safe amp draw.

Last edited by ryan dcfs; 12-18-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ryan dcfs View Post
As stated- These lights need to be parallel, but according to your drawing, you sent the negative from the lights to the 85 pin on the relay. The 85 pin has to go to it's own ground (-) and the Lights need their own ground (-).
Ground is ground. Battery negative is ground. Where do you suggest?
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TheAlmightySam View Post
Relay pins:

30: FUSED 12VDC+ from battery
85: Wire to ground
86: Switched power from... you guessed it, the switch
87: Power to lights
87A: Unused.

Send pin 86 to the lights, wire them in parallel like our angry moderator says and ground the lights to the headache rack or somewhere convenient.
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Originally Posted by spreader View Post
Ground is ground. Battery negative is ground. Where do you suggest?
I am referring to the wiring diagram that the OP, Shell 57, linked in post 5.

The wiring diagram posted by apeters89 in post 4 is correct.

TheAlmightysam's relay wiring description is correct, The diagram that op has looks like; (depending on if the yellow or black battery terminal is positive)

If yellow is positive and black is ground.

30: Not fused 12v +
85: Negative to lights
86: Switched/fused negative
87: Positive to lights

If black terminal is +

30: Ground
86: Fused/switched 12v
85: Negative to lights
87: Positive to lights


Both the switch and relay need their own fused power source. OP's wiring diagram doesn't.

If pin 30 is wired to +12, then the switch is negative, and the output of the switch to pin 86 is neg, he then has the neg wire from the light attached to 85. There would be no + power from the switch to activate the relay.

If pin 30 is wired to ground, then 86 is getting + 12 volts, and 85 is wired to the negative side of the lights, running the + current through all of the lights, and then to the 87 pin of the relay, which is not connected to ground, because the coil is not activate to complete the circuit between 30 and 87.

The relay is either not grounded, and has +12 v sitting on pin 30, or if it is grounded, it's grounded at 30 and has +12v coming to pin 87.


Edit: I feel like this was a very confusing post.

OP: The relay that you have is basically a SPST switch activated by a switch... think of 85 and 86 as their own circuit, one is positive, one is negative. You have 12v from your battery's + terminal, to a low amp fuse, to a switch. When the switch is off, there is no power output, when it's on, you have +12v from the switch's output to the 86 terminal on the relay. The 85 pin is connected to the ground/negative side of the battery. When this circuit has power, it moves the electromagnetic coil within the relay to complete a circuit between pin 30 and 87.

30 and 87 are another switch, carrying + power. You have +12v from your battery, to another fuse (high enough to supply the lights), to the 30 pin on the relay. Then your lights' positive connector is attached to the 87 terminal. When the relay is not activated, there is no positive power going from 30 to 87, when you activate it, you do. Your lights' negative should then be attached to a ground location that would complete the circuit to the negative side of the battery.

Last edited by ryan dcfs; 12-18-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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