installing lopolight tricolor/anchor light w/2 wires - SailNet Community

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Old 02-06-2010
Paul Cossman
 
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installing lopolight tricolor/anchor light w/2 wires

I currently have only an anchor light at my masthead, not a tricolor, so I only have two wires to that spot. I know that some LED tricolor/anchor combinations can be wired using only these two wires, by utilising a switch to reverse the polarity to illuminate either the tricolor or the anchorlight function. Lopolight's tricolor/anchor combination (#200-207) installation instructions say it will only function if the polarity is correct, and it comes with three wires. Has anybody successfully installed one of the combination lopolights using the two-wire method?

Thanks,
Paul
S/V Sabina
Hunter Passage 42
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Old 02-06-2010
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You must use a polarity-reversing switch. It works the same as the power windows in your car. Put the switch in one position and one of the wires is positive polarity and the other is negative. Put the switch in the other position and the two wires change polarities. I'll go see if I can find a diagram.

Guy
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Old 02-06-2010
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Link to info

SailBoatStuff LED Anchor Light, LED Anchor Light with Strobe, LED Anchor Light with Photodiode, and LED Anchor Light with Strobe and Photodiode.

Guy
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Old 02-06-2010
Paul Cossman
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyfromiowa View Post
You must use a polarity-reversing switch. It works the same as the power windows in your car. Put the switch in one position and one of the wires is positive polarity and the other is negative. Put the switch in the other position and the two wires change polarities. I'll go see if I can find a diagram.

Guy
Thanks, Guy. I have also seen the web info on the OGM reverse polarity switch for the two-wire method. What I don't know is if OGM manufactures their LED combo masthead lights in a particular manner which allows that to be done, or if all LEDs will work with that same switch mechanism. As I understand it, that switch does nothing more than switch the polarity of the two wires; i.e., when the switch is thrown, the two wires switch from positive to negative and vice versa. So I'm wondering if OGM has modified their diodes at the masthead light, or if the Lopolight masthead diodes will function exactly as the OGM ones function. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-06-2010
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wiring "diagram"

Here is another link that illustrates the wiring method. But again, this is for an OGM light.

LED lighting, soundproof, Sailor's Solutions Inc.
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Old 02-06-2010
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There are a few masthead lights that can do more tricks with just two wires, but unless you need a 'yellow showing aft' towing light or a mast-top strobe I favor the two-wire units that can be either 'white-all-around' or the tricolor scheme. Also, watch that you keep nav lights at deck height. Motoring at night is safest when you have a white steaming light above your red and green nav lights. You'll find different opinions based on which national waters you are floating and the length of your boat and date of manufacture and on and on, but sailing at night is safest with a masthead red-green-white and a deck light illuminating your sails. When motoring at night you should look more like a motor boat so when you encounter traffic they don't have to go look up your light display. Of course, an anchor light is, well, to be used at anchor. The LED's are easy on the batteries and when equipped with automatic day/night operation they'll stretch your batteries even more.

Guy
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Old 02-06-2010
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Paul,

Getting back to your original question, I do not believe that it is possible to wire the Lopolight to power your tricolor, XOR your anchorlight with only the two wires leading up the mast. One of the Lopolight wires is a dedicated negative, shared by both lights, and the other two are used to power select either the tricolor, or the anchor light.

Using a set of diodes, and a DPST switch, you can reverse the polarity going to a fixture with two bulbs, but this requires using the negative lead for one circuit as the positive lead for the other. I don't see how you can do this with the three wire Lopolight setup.
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Old 02-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Paul,

Getting back to your original question, I do not believe that it is possible to wire the Lopolight to power your tricolor, XOR your anchorlight with only the two wires leading up the mast. One of the Lopolight wires is a dedicated negative, shared by both lights, and the other two are used to power select either the tricolor, or the anchor light.

Using a set of diodes, and a DPST switch, you can reverse the polarity going to a fixture with two bulbs, but this requires using the negative lead for one circuit as the positive lead for the other. I don't see how you can do this with the three wire Lopolight setup.
Thanks very much for the specific info; that's just what I was wondering about. If the negative leads are connected and sealed together such that I couldn't get a diode in place for each individual circuit, then "that's that."
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Old 02-07-2010
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Using a set of diodes, and a DPST switch, you can reverse the polarity going to a fixture with two bulbs, but this requires using the negative lead for one circuit as the positive lead for the other...
Ooops... I meant to say; "Using a set of diodes, and a DPDT switch..."

Here is a great schematic, thanks to Bebi Electronics: On the left, how this is done with filament bulbs, On the right, how this COULD be done IF the Lopolight fixture were designed (wired) to work with only 2 leads.
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Last edited by eherlihy; 02-07-2010 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 02-07-2010
Paul Cossman
 
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Thanks, Eherlihy, I figured you mean DPDT switch. And I also have a copy of the Bebi drawing (which is really excellent). Maybe you have the answer to a question I have about it. WHAT exactly is the difference in the two diagrams between the LED and incandescents? They look identical to me, except that that the diode direction is changed for the bottom and top circuits. What difference does that make?
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