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LED Upgrade: Bad Switch or Bad Wire?

Old 10-11-2011, 05:59 AM
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Default LED Upgrade: Bad Switch or Bad Wire?

I suck at electrical hookups so any help would be most appreciated.

I just upgraded to new port and starboard LED running lights and a combo LED Masthead/Anchor light (all by Attwood).

Like most boats, mine has an "on/off/on" switch. The up position controls the running lights and the masthead light. The middle is off. And the down position is the anchor light.

I installed the red and green running lights and they worked great...but the Masthead/Anchor LED light won't light up when I do a test contact of the three wires (black, grey, and white). I tested the new combo unit with some spare wire straight off my battery - and it works, so the light is not malfunctioning.

Since all these lights run off the same 3-way switch, seems like the switch is not the problem, because the navigation lights are indeed working.

What could cause this? Bad wiring? A fuse? Part of the switch?

Any suggestions or ideas are appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:35 AM
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Any LED assembly that does not have an internal driver circuit (you don't need to know what that is) will be "polarized". That is to say, it needs to have the positive and negative connections to specific terminals.

If the original light worked and the replacement does not, my guess is, reversing the wires to the anchor light will make it work.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Any LED assembly that does not have an internal driver circuit (you don't need to know what that is) will be "polarized". That is to say, it needs to have the positive and negative connections to specific terminals.

If the original light worked and the replacement does not, my guess is, reversing the wires to the anchor light will make it work.
Thanks, I think I tried different connections, but will try again in reverse.

As for the original masthead/anchor light, it was not working - at least not in the past few months. I accidentally left it it the "rotated-down" position and rainwater seeped into the bulb housing. Before that it was working fine for about 4 years.

I wonder if that rain water might have cause a short or a fuse to blow? ...but again, the new port and starboard LED navigation lights are on the same switch and they are working fine...seems like they, too, would be out if that were the case.

I just purchased a 12v tester this morning and I will probe around to see if I have a section of bad wire. I'll also try reversing the connections.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:20 AM
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Found the problem, loose wire connector in T-Top.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Rex C. View Post
Found the problem, loose wire connector in T-Top.
Great. Everything working now and you can spend the night on the hook without draining your battery.
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