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Wiring bow and stern light to 3 position switch

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  • Wiring bow and stern light to 3 position switch

    Hello, I am wondering if somebody can give me instructions on how to do this and run to the battery. I am planning on using an in line fuse, but am very inexperienced in wiring diagrams. I looked at a few on here and it is still a foreign language to me. This is the switch I bought and if you can show me what to connect to what I would appreciate it. Thank you

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  • #2
    Re: Wiring bow and stern light to 3 position switch

    Lines on a diagram are wires. Pick a starting point -- any point. Attach a wire at one end and run it to the other end. When you've attached all wires you are done. No diagarm with that switch? Then you need to determne which terminal is the +12 volt INPUT. That terminal comes from the fuse and the other end of the fuse goes to +12 volts wherever you find it. Then one of the other terminals goes to the bow light and the other to the stern light. Ground wires from both lights DO NOT go the switch. They go to ground -- again wherever you find it. Ultimately ground is the NEGATIVE terminal on the battery. One position of the switch should light ONLY the stern light (ANCHOR). The other position should light both lights (NAVIGATE). In should turn everything off.

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    • #3
      Re: Wiring bow and stern light to 3 position switch

      One of the screws should be marked with a "+". This would be the 12v+ power into the switch. For arguments sake, let's say it is the center terminal/screw. Run a fused wire from a 12v+ source to this screw. When pulling the switch out to the first position, this will send power to one of the side terminals (you'll have to use a test light or multimeter to see which screw). This would go to your anchor light 12v+. You can always touch the wire from the light to the screw to see which one lights up. The second position supplies power to both terminals and the bow lights would be wired to the other terminal. The 12v- (ground) wire goes directly to the lights themselves.
      2001 Carver Voyager 374 'Stick's Competition'

      Something tells me I should be on the water....

      If I answer your upholstery questions, it's only because I've been doing it 20+ years...

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      • #4
        Re: Wiring bow and stern light to 3 position switch

        Be careful what 3 position switch you have. There are two kinds.
        Off/circuit 1/circuit 2
        The other is
        Off/circuit 1/ circuit 1&2. This is the one you need for nav lights.
        Circuit 1 would be the anchor light, circuit 2 would be the red/green nav light.

        In the first example, you could turn on either the anchor or nav light, but not both.
        Don S.

        sigpic

        Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
        That is what the forums are for.
        Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

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        • #5
          Re: Wiring bow and stern light to 3 position switch

          +1^^ But you can run a jumper wire for the first example and make it work. You just need to add a diode as the jumper wire. From circuit 1 to circuit 2.

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          • #6
            Re: Wiring bow and stern light to 3 position switch

            so when running the ground, will I run one wire from each light to the - terminal? Also, for the 12 volt wire will I run that from the battery or from the hot wire on the ignition switch harness?

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            • #7
              Re: Wiring bow and stern light to 3 position switch

              Im not an expert, but, I dont think any neg wires go to the switch, you are switching the pos (hot wires). The neg wires from each light would run to the neg buss, on the fuse panel, and your pos should be coming from the fused side the the panel, then switch, then lights.
              1987 16Ft F/S Yar-Craft
              1987, 90HP Johnson/ (3) 1971-1972, 7.5HP Merc/ 1991, 4HP Mariner/1985, 2.2HP Merc (new never started)

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              • #8
                Re: Wiring bow and stern light to 3 position switch

                Originally posted by etracer68 View Post
                Im not an expert, but, I dont think any neg wires go to the switch, you are switching the pos (hot wires). The neg wires from each light would run to the neg buss, on the fuse panel, and your pos should be coming from the fused side the the panel, then switch, then lights.
                +1

                Only time there is a negative wire is when the switch is illuminated.

                There is a thread with a wiring diagram, I'll see if I can find it.

                [edit] D'oh - It's the sticky right up top - "generic boat wiring diagram by Silvertip PLUS navigation Switch"
                Boat 1: 1993 Lowe 185 Pontoon w/ 1993 Evinrude 50HP 2-stroke & a Volvo Penta QL 3 x 12.5 x 13 prop
                Boat 2: 1986 Lowe 10' "Littlejon" w/ 1982 Suzuki DT2 (needed new condenser) & a 3 x 188 x 115 prop
                Motor 3: 1951 Western Auto 6HP "Wizard" (made by Kiekhaefe) - Currently not running, maybe someday.
                My first foray into boating, all acquired June 2009 (so yeah, I'm still learning).

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                • #9
                  Re: Wiring bow and stern light to 3 position switch

                  From the sticky at the top of the forum.


                  Originally posted by Silvertip View Post
                  A three pole switch (On-Off-On) cannot be wired correctly unless a diode is incorporated into it. Nav/Anchor lights must be operated as follows: Under way both the bow and stern lights must be on. When anchored ONLY the stern light should be on. You cannot wire the switch correctly unless the switch includes the previously mentioned diode or unless a six terminal switch is used.

                  Switch with three terminals:
                  Don S.

                  sigpic

                  Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
                  That is what the forums are for.
                  Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

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