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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Dim all around light (anchor Light)
|Author||Topic: Dim all around light (anchor Light)|
posted 09-07-2008 01:07 PM ET (US)
The telescoping navigation/Anchor light on my 1988 Newport center console shines bright when one bulb is lit for navigating. When I switch the light to the Anchor position with both bulbs lit the lights are dim. Is this a wiring problem or short some where?
posted 09-07-2008 02:03 PM ET (US)
Check the ground for your anchor light. A poor ground can often lead to this situation, as the voltage applied to the light is not all going to the light, but searching, and eventually finding, a path to ground.
posted 09-07-2008 08:09 PM ET (US)
Thanks. Time to check all the wires this fall.
posted 09-08-2008 12:03 AM ET (US)
Does the dimming occur only with engine off or does this occur with the engine running (hence charging/providing a DC power source)?
If a drastic dimming is occuring with the engine on, then you do have a moderate wiring issue.
Likely a bad connection, a ground (as stated), or the positive voltage is going somewhere else. If the wiring is really old, the crusting wiring can add significant resistance.
I am not sure how the second bulb is wired, but sounds like a something to do in the off season.
posted 09-08-2008 12:31 AM ET (US)
The wiring for this combination masthead light and anchor light is a bit tricky. See:
The most likely explanation is there is a high resistance in the circuit, probably in the ground connection as that is common to both bulbs. When only one bulb is illuminated the voltage drop across the high resistance is not too much, but with two bulbs illuminated the current doubles and so does the voltage drop across the high resistance. The drop becomes high enough to dim the bulbs.
Check the ground lead at the lamp sockets and all the way back to the negative bus or wherever it goes to get to the battery negative. Some WD-40 can work wonders.
posted 09-08-2008 01:49 AM ET (US)
Start by checking jimh's link. His drawing of the nav light circuit is excellent. It is possible that your Whaler has an intermediate type wiring with one masthead light. His second drawing should still give you a good idea of what you will find. If the switch has been wired incorrectly, you may be getting a series circuit when both white bulbs are lit. This would definitely cause a perceptible loss of brightness because voltage drop and current are both decreased in a series circuit. I do not mean to contradict the earlier posters, but when problem solving it helps to consider all the possibilities. Good luck. Dave
posted 09-08-2008 04:50 PM ET (US)
I am confused as to what Newtauk1 says he has and what we all expect.
From the verbiage, it appears to me that there are two bulbs that are lit when on "anchor".
This would differ from the standard BW wiring that we expect and as jimh linked to.
So either I am wrong, or there is something else/different in his electrical system.
If I had to guess the 2 position, 2 throw switch has the anchor/navigate positions/wiring swapped.
What do you guys/gals read/think?
posted 09-08-2008 09:00 PM ET (US)
You are wrong: Two lamps are illuminated to make an ANCHOR light in the standard Boston Whaler set up which uses a MASTHEAD and STERN light configuration. Scroll further into the Reference article and this is clearly shown.
posted 09-08-2008 09:12 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the info. This is the two bulb set up. Telescoping from the center console as seen on Outrages.
The dim light occurs when the motor is running AND when off.
There is some old wiring along with new. I certainly could have wired the the switch wrong as well. I think I will replace all wires and connections this winter. I do litte to no night boating. I also noticed yesterday that the bow light is not going on. The mast dim light has been a problem for 2 years. I do not think the two problems are related.
posted 09-09-2008 01:00 AM ET (US)
Yup, I was totally wrong, and confused.
I checked out my friends Newport, which is brand new to us. (Another winter revive project.) Just another thing we were hoping to find original but isn't.
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