Cole Hersee Switches

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
jimh
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COLE-HERSEE Switches

Postby jimh » Fri May 06, 2016 1:15 pm

This notice is a few years late, but I just became aware of the sale of the COLE-HERSEE company to LITTLEFUSE. According to the website at http://www.littelfuse.com/colehersee, Littlefuse in 2010 acquired Cole-Hersee. Fortunately, it appears that Littlefuse is continuing to provide the classic pull switches made by Cole-Hersee that are popular in marine applications. You can find a nice listing of the many models still available at the website

Marine Push-Pull Switches Series - 10A Marine Grade Brass Housing Push-Pull Switches
http://www.littelfuse.com/products/switches/push-pull-switches/marine-push-pull-switches.aspx

There is also newly provided documentation about these classic switches. See

Marine Push-Pull Switches 2D Prints
http://www.littelfuse.com/~/media/Commercial-Vehicle/2D-Prints/Switches/push-pull/littelfuse-switches-push-pull-marine-2d-prints.pdf

I got a smile from some of the mechanical drawings; they have dates from the 1940's. That is quite a testament to the longevity of these designs. In the articles that follow I review a few of the popular switches and their special application in boating, and in particular in control of NAVIGATION LIGHTING. I will do my best to make it simple to understand how these switches operate and what special uses for them are found on boats.

jimh
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M532 Switch

Postby jimh » Fri May 06, 2016 1:39 pm

COLE-HERSEE M532 SWITCH
The M532 switch is a versatile but also confusing three-position switch that controls three circuits in two combination (1+2 and 1+3). It can be used in several ways to control navigation lighting. I describe two common arrangements. First the more complicated and unusual arrangement of a dual-bulb fixture that serves as both an anchor light and a masthead light lamp. This arrangement is usually seen on larger boats, but many Boston Whaler boats of 18-feet or longer had this type of lighting. They also used this switch to control the lamps. This switch is detailed in a drawing available on-line in PDF format. The switch has four terminals, marked A, B, H, and R.

M532callout.png
Cole-Hersee M532 Switch with callouts
M532callout.png (18.24 KiB) Viewed 3530 times


M532 SWITCH for NAVIGATION LIGHTING with DUAL LAMP MASTHEAD AND ANCHOR LAMP
The switch designated model M532 is often seen used to control navigation lighting when a dual-bulb lamp is used for both an anchor light and a masthead light.
The action of the switch is described in a table:

M532 SWITCH
POSITION CIRCUITS CONNECTED
OFF NONE
ON-1/2 B, R, and A
ON-1/3 B, R, and H

Here is an ASCII drawing of the wiring of the battery and loads to the M532 switch terminals that may help in understanding the connections:
BATTERY ---- B
R ------forward facing lamp in dual-lamp overhead
A ------aft-facing lamp in dual-lamp overhead
H ------sidelight lamps and sternlight lamp

When the M532 is wired this way, the switch positions will provide the following outcomes:

--OFF will extinguish all navigation lighting;

--ON-1/2 or ANCHOR will illuminate both lamps of the dual-lamp fixture, showing an all-round white, for a vessel at anchor;

--ON-1/3 or UNDERWAY will illuminate only the forward-facing lamp in the dual-lamp fixture, the sidelight lamps, and the sternlight, showing the navigation lighting for a vessel under power.

Next, I describe a simpler and perhaps more common arrangement in which the navigation lighting consist of only two lamps, a combined sidelight lamp and a white all-round lamp. This type of navigation lighting is very common in small boats. It can also be controlled with the M532 switch.

M532 SWITCH for NAVIGATION LIGHTING with COMBINED SIDELIGHT and WHITE ALL-ROUND LAMP

The switch designated model M532 is can also be used to control navigation lighting when only two lamps are used, a combined sidelight lamp and a white all-round lamp. This arrangement of lighting is very common in small boats. In this application we will ignore the A terminal (the ON-2 circuit). Here, again, is the switch action in tabular form:

M532 SWITCH
POSITION CIRCUITS CONNECTD
OFF NONE
ON-1/2 B, R, and A
ON-1/3 B, R, and H

Here is an ASCII drawing of the wiring of the battery and loads to the M532 switch terminals that may help in understanding the connections:

BATTERY ---- B
R ------white all-round lamp
A ------(no connection)
H ------combined sidelight lamp

When the M532 is wired this way, the switch positions will provide the following outcomes:

--OFF will extinguish all navigation lighting;

--ON-1/2 or ANCHOR; the switch will illuminate only the all-round white, for a vessel at anchor;

--ON-1/3 or UNDERWAY;the switch will illuminate the combined sidelight lamp and the white all-round lamp, showing the navigation lighting for a vessel under power.

SIMPLE SUMMARY FOR NAVIGATION LIGHTING WITH M532

The battery positive power connects to B;

If using combined sidelights and an all-round light:
--the sidelight lamp wires to H;
--the all-round lamp wires to R;

If using separate sidelights, two-bulb lamp masthead fore-aft light, and sternlight:
--the sidelight lamps and the sternlight lamp all wire to H;
--the masthead forward lamp will wire to R;
--the masthead aft lamp will wire to A.

jimh
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M531 Switch

Postby jimh » Fri May 06, 2016 1:41 pm

M531 Switch
The M531 switch is a three position switch that can be used to separately control two circuits without combining them. The action is OFF, ON-1, ON-2. The switch can be used in various applications. In control of navigation lighting it can be used as described below:

M531 SWITCH for NAVIGATION LIGHTING with separate UNDERWAY and ANCHOR circuits
The switch designated model M531 is often seen used to control navigation lighting when a separate white all-round lamp is used, distinct from the sidelights, masthead light, and sternlight. The switch has three terminals, marked B, A, and H. The action of the switch is described in a table:

M531 SWITCH
POSITION CIRCUITS CONNECTD
OFF NONE
ON-1 B and A
ON-2 B and H

Here is an ASCII drawing of the wiring of the battery and loads to the M532 switch terminals that may help in understanding the connections:

BATTERY ---- B
A ------dedicated anchor light lamp
H ------sidelight lamp, masthead light lamp, and sternlight lamp


When the M531 is wired this way, the switch positions will provide the following outcomes:

--OFF will extinguish all navigation lighting;

--ON-1 or ANCHOR; the switch will illuminate the dedicated all-round white, for a vessel at anchor;

--ON-2 or UNDERWAY;the switch will illuminate the sidelight lamps, the masthead lamp, and the sternlight lamp, showing the navigation lighting for a vessel under power.

Jefecinco
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Re: COLE-HERSEE Switches

Postby Jefecinco » Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:17 pm

Jim,

Thanks you for this article and resource. I've recently been doing some clean up and maintenance of my wife's Sport 13 which has two of these switches. From their condition I assume they are original. They have not been working. One had no wires connected and the other had the lighting wiring connected but no wire to or from the battery. The lights are inoperable but we never boat after dark.

After removing virtually all the wiring, which was a mess of cobbled together cables of various colors, as part of my clean up effort. I removed the switches in order to remove the cables and they looked to be in bad condition. I now plan to replace them with new when I do the rewire in conjunction with installing a new rub rail and a new correct all around white light.

Thanks to this thread it appears to be easy to replace the switches.
Butch

jimh
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Re: COLE-HERSEE Switches

Postby jimh » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:06 am

JEFE--I am glad the information was helpful. Thanks for your kind comments.

Jefecinco
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Re: COLE-HERSEE Switches

Postby Jefecinco » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:39 am

The switches are now in-stock at West Marine.
Butch

wannabe
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:12 pm

Cole Hersee Switches

Postby wannabe » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:19 pm

Hello, have a 1988 Outrage 18 and my navigation light switch as well as the other two on-off switches on my panel are in need of replacement. Any good sources? Thanks, Drew

Jefecinco
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Re: Cole hersee switches

Postby Jefecinco » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:20 pm

West Marine stocks them in stores. You may find a better price elsewhere, but for me there is some value in seeing and touching them.
Butch

jimh
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Re: Cole Hersee Switches

Postby jimh » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:39 pm

This thread has been merged with another thread on the same topic.

jimh
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Re: COLE-HERSEE Switches

Postby jimh » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:19 pm

You can find many re-sellers of a Cole-Hersee M532 switch using a GOOGLE search like this one:

https://www.google.com/search?q=cole+he ... 2&tbm=shop

It looks like the average retail is going to be about $30 for this switch. West Marine sells it for about that price, as do several other marine part stores.

wannabe
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Re: COLE-HERSEE Switches

Postby wannabe » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:46 pm

Wow. Thank you very much. I have a local West Marine or there is the internet.

wannabe
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Re: Cole Hersee Switches

Postby wannabe » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:47 pm

Well, I obtained all three switches needed and successfully got the Navigation lights to work with the help of the explanation provided in this thread. Only disappointment is I had to use the knob provided that is bigger and cheap plastic. The shaft size is smaller on the new M532 switch from the original.


Thanks again

Drew

jimh
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Re: Cole Hersee Switches

Postby jimh » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:54 pm

Thanks for the update.

The change to PLASTIC from BRASS for the knob material seems unfortunate. Perhaps the use of an insulated knob was done for safety, although in a 12-Volt DC circuit there is not much risk of electrical shock.