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DPDT wiring question

Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
Hello everyone.

I did some major rehaul on my 77' Catalina 30. One of the things I had to do was troubleshoot the LED Tri-Color/Anchor light on the mast, which I had pulled.

The light was fried, I suppose after 9 years, I shouldn't be too upset, but the light was almost $400 then.
I reordered the Signal Mate Tri-Color/Anchor and received it a few weeks ago.

I have a Blue Sea Weatherdeck panel in my cockpit that I have run all of the lighting for the boat. This way I don't have to go below to hit the steamer or spreader lights at night. It is the 6 rocker panel. I have it wired to the steamer light on the mast, spreader lights, the old incandescent nav lights, anchor LED light, LED tri-color lights and power for the compass/chart plotter.

When I got the new Signal Mate, they gave me the two wire version along with a DPDT switch. I DID NOT order this version, but I couldn't wait to get the right light and installed the new 2 wire version.

Is there a way to wire this using the current weatherdeck panel so that I can still pick either nav or anchor lights?

Or am I forced to find a place to install the DPDT switch inline and just turn on either of the nav or anchor light and then if I want to switch to the other one, hit the DPDT switch?

I just can't get my head around any other way.

Thanks for any thoughts here.
Chris
 

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Feb 21, 2019
26
Catalina 30 TR 3571 Cocoa, FL
Because of the way the 2 wire version of the light switches polarity to go from anchor to tricolor you have to use a DPDT switch to break and reassign polarity to both wires and it must be an either /or connection. In other words there cannot be 2 switches (DPST) with the possibility of being activated at the same time - you'd short circuit positive to negative. Not familiar with blue seas panels but I'd think you could find a DPDT switch to fit in place of either the anchor or LED tricolor (if the one provided doesn't) replacing the existing 2 switches with one. Wire switch per manufacturer, re-label and blank off or reassign the other switch position.
 
Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
Thanks Curtis, I was resigned to the fact that I would install the DPDT switch in between the light and the panel. Using the panel switch as another on/off switch. I'd install the DP switch in the port locker and leave it on the tri-color side and then I could just turn the light on or off on the panel. I don't use the anchor light much, so that may just work.

I never thought to see if Blue Seas offers a DPDT switch to replace...I doubt it, but that's a nice idea.

Thanks Curtis!
Chris
 
Last edited:
Feb 17, 2006
5,077
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
I would think it would OK to just wire the P/S nav lights if that is just what you want to do. If you have a nine volt battery give it a try. That will at least show the lights will turn on. The three wire system with DPDT is just to either have the anchor light or running light on. Both will never be on at the same time.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
8,050
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
Blue Sea #4155 for a start. BlueSea.com. Me, I would never trust crew to know the difference between a switch and a breaker by appearance.
 
Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
Blue Sea #4155 for a start. BlueSea.com. Me, I would never trust crew to know the difference between a switch and a breaker by appearance.
So I emailed Blue Sea after reading CurtisC's post...I thought that it just might be possible to replace one of the current switches with #4155.

I am waiting on a response from them. It might just be that easy!!!!!
 
Jan 22, 2008
396
Catalina 380 16 Rochester NY
Ok, still stuck. The DPDT switch DID fit into the panel.

I can't figure out the wiring now....I have emailed both Signal Mate and Blue Seas, they may be able to help.

There is a red and black wire from light. Depending on which side of battery they are connected, they light the anchor or the nav lights.
Originally, I had a 3-wire light and I ran 3-wire cable from the light to the panel. Easy enough, white for the anchor, green for the nav and black for ground.
Since this light only has 2 wires, I wired the white and green together with the red wire off the light.

So now, essentially, either the anchor switch of the running light switch on the panel will turn the light on. But only the anchor light because that is the one that lights with that polarity set up.

I removed the running light ST switch and installed the DPDT switch in the panel.
That switch has 6 screws in back. The corners are aleady pre-wired to create that reverse polarity effect (I assume!)
The manual says the 2 middle screws are to go to the + and - battery.

I am at a loss on how to wire this switch using the current wiring to the panel.
I know the panel is set up the way it is so that when a switch is on, it turns a panel light from red to green, I think that's why there are are 2 wires from each switch that go into the circuit board.

I don't really care if I lose that feature as long as I can work both lights.

I can and will add additional pigtails if needed, I tried that this morning and got nowhere.

Any thoughts?
Chris



Oh....and yes, I see that the one wire is bare on the negative bus bar. The current one isn't long enough to come out of the hole so I disconnected it and just used a temp wire to test whether things I was doing were working
 

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Feb 17, 2006
5,077
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Yes, the battery will be connected to the one of the center poles while the other goes to the buss bar. This will complete the battery path. You can wire either W/G or R to either the top poles or bottom poles. It depends on which light you want on when your throw the switch up. Down will turn on the other light since the LED is reverse polarized. But be very careful as you can easily short the battery because of the reverse polarization. So the panel indicator might have to go.

As for the panel indicator light you might have to install two small LED and reverse polarize one so it works with the DPDT. As is right now, only one side will light up. Depends on which one you want. You cannot have both,

I think you got this.
 
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Feb 17, 2006
5,077
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
OK, just be careful. Remember you are dealing with mix polarities here. The lights CANNOT be connected to anything else except the to two posts on the switch.

Good luck.