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Author Topic:   Dim all around light (anchor Light)
Newtauk1 posted 09-07-2008 01:07 PM ET (US)   Profile for Newtauk1   Send Email to Newtauk1  
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?
seabob4 posted 09-07-2008 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
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.
Newtauk1 posted 09-07-2008 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
Thanks. Time to check all the wires this fall.
kwik_wurk posted 09-08-2008 12:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     

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.

good luck.

jimh posted 09-08-2008 12:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
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.

AZdave posted 09-08-2008 01:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for AZdave  Send Email to AZdave     
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
kwik_wurk posted 09-08-2008 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     
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?

jimh posted 09-08-2008 09:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
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.
Newtauk1 posted 09-08-2008 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
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.
kwik_wurk posted 09-09-2008 01:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     
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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