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Author Topic:   Diagnosis of Bad Switch
Mambo Minnow posted 05-11-2006 04:29 PM ET (US)   Profile for Mambo Minnow  
How do you tell when one switches goes bad? If one is bad, will that keep all the other switches immediately wired in series from functioning as well?

My Conquest helm has [Carling] brand rocker switches that are about six years old. I have [performed some type of diagnostic procedure] all the way to the instrument panel. I have two accessory switches on panel and approximately six additional rocker [switches] immediately above these for the various individual accessories installed. All accessories are in good working order, with apparent exception of the windshield wiper. I have seen several old Conquests where the wiper is inoperative. It seems to be first thing to bite the dust.

Chuck Tribolet posted 05-11-2006 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
If the switches are truely in series, then yes, if either
one fails open, the device can't get power.

Switches are easy to test: If you have +12V on both sides of
the switch when it's on, and only one side when it's off,
the switch is good. Note that whaler usually has a pilot
light in the switch, so there will be third lug for a ground

So keep on metering.

I've had more trouble with those 1/4" flat quick disconnects
coming loose than the switches.


Mambo Minnow posted 05-11-2006 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
Yes, still playing with the disconnects too. That's how I solved it last time. They are all on but one or two loose fitting than others. How tight does the fit need to be?
bsmotril posted 05-11-2006 10:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Each one of those switches has its own circuit breaker right below it. The power to the panel and to the breakers comes in on a common hot wire at the stern end of the panel. But on the back of the panel, the hot wire is jumpered between each of the breakers which in turn then feeds each switch. If one of those red jumpers between the breakers is loose, then all the switches down stream from that will also be dead. That's how it was on my 98 conquest
jimh posted 05-11-2006 11:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In any electrical circuit where there are devices wired in series, the current flows through all devices. An interruption in one device causes an interruption in the whole circuit. That is the definition of a series circuit.

To diagnose a bad switch, test the continuity of the switch using the usual trouble shooting procedures.

Chuck Tribolet posted 05-11-2006 11:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The quick disconnects should be tight or they will eventually
come off, or start being intermittent. The ONLY good thing
about those things is that you can tighten them up by
squeezing them with a pair of pliars. The pliars should be
across shortest dimension of the QD. If you squeeze them
a little too much, no problem, pushing it back on will open
it back up.

As you can tell, I'm no fan of those things.


Mambo Minnow posted 05-12-2006 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
Chuck, Thanks concur QDs are the problem here. Did you replace them with some other connector? Open to alternatives.

I got it working again, but have zero confidence problem will not return. I am starting to suspect that when I am hosing the boat down, perhaps the pressure on the panel is jarring a bad connection loose. Only thing however is I bounce over plenty of waves and never lose power underway to the switches.

Chuck Tribolet posted 05-14-2006 08:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I eventually got the loose ones traced down and don't mess
with them, and they've been fine for a long time.
Unfortunately, there's no real alternative.


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