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Old 07-02-2013, 06:25 AM   #1
bruce69camaro
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Default 3 way toggle switch wiring.

I got a question for you electricians, I want to install a 3 way toggle switch in my race car (12v system), then in the bottom position, it will power up my running/ tail lights and then in the up position, it will power up my head lights as well as the other lights.

I have two switch's, a 3 way, 6 pole and a 3 way, 3 pole switch, which one would be better?

If it's easier to scan a schematic, I could PM you my email address.

Thank you

Bruce
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:04 AM   #2
astroracer
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

Street driven "race" car? Turn signals involved? Stock wiring harness or custom? Do you have a wiring schematic for the car, stock or otherwise? Lots of questions, as you can see.
Plan to run relays with the switch to power up the lights. Makes for an easier time of it for the switch as it only has to carry a small load to energize the relays.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:07 AM   #3
bruce69camaro
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

Hi Mark,

Custom wiring harness/ fuse block, race car only, and I have no issues using a relay, my other items (fuel pump, water pump, electric fan) are run off of them.

I have a schematic done up on Word of how things are currently wired.

Here is what I was told so far, use a 3 way, 6 post switch, middle post to battery, bottom post on the same side to running lights, top post on opposite side to headlights, then a jumper to the bottom post on the same side.

Thank you.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

"Here is what I was told so far, use a 3 way, 6 post switch, middle post to battery, bottom post on the same side to running lights, top post on opposite side to headlights, then a jumper to the bottom post on the same side."

That doesn't quite make sense to me, but maybe I am not catching what you are saying.

A DPDT switch like that has two separate switches inside, one left and one right.
In either "on" position it connects the two center poles to the two end poles, and in the other "on" position, the center poles to the two opposite end poles.

When you wire the "middle post to the battery", you want to wire it to both middle posts.
Then wire tail/running lights to one end post, and headlights to the other end post in same end of the switch.
Then, run a jumper from the tail light post to the end post on the same side.

Now, when you flip it one way, it is powering just the tail/running lights.

When you flip it to the opposite side, the power is applied to both the headlight connection, and the tail/running light connection.

I'll try to draw it and post it shortly.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DPDT Head-Tail Wiring.jpg (42.2 KB, 38 views)
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Last edited by Steevo; 07-02-2013 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

Quote:
Here is what I was told so far, use a 3 way, 6 post switch, middle post to battery, bottom post on the same side to running lights, top post on opposite side to headlights, then a jumper to the bottom post on the same side.

Sounds correct. One side controls the head lights and only one wire connected to the outer post. For the tail circuit jumper the top and bottom together and then off to the tail lights.

You will need a three position toggle switch that has a center off position.





Please ignore the wiring above and just look at the terminal id's

C&D to 12v
B&F (jumpered together) to the tail lights
A or E to the headlights

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Last edited by larry_g; 07-02-2013 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

So basically Steevo's drawing is correct except for missing the one wire on the 12V power supply, correct?

Using the drawing the Larry posted, I was told that to run a 12v wire to C, then E goes to my running/ tail lights, B would go to my head lights and I was to jump B & F together.

When I was told this, I questioned to myself why D wasn't used?

Let me ask this question, using Larry's method, if I wanted the running/ tail lights to come on when the switch is in the bottom position, would I run the wire off of "B" and when I put the switch in the up position for the head lights, should I use "E"?

Thanks guys....
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steevo View Post
"Here is what I was told so far, use a 3 way, 6 post switch, middle post to battery, bottom post on the same side to running lights, top post on opposite side to headlights, then a jumper to the bottom post on the same side."

That doesn't quite make sense to me, but maybe I am not catching what you are saying.

A DPDT switch like that has two separate switches inside, one left and one right.
In either "on" position it connects the two center poles to the two end poles, and in the other "on" position, the center poles to the two opposite end poles.

When you wire the "middle post to the battery", you want to wire it to both middle posts.
Then wire tail/running lights to one end post, and headlights to the other end post in same end of the switch.
Then, run a jumper from the headlight post to the end post on the same side.
Did you mean to say "tail light" post?
Now, when you flip it one way, it is powering just the tail/running lights.

When you flip it to the opposite side, the power is applied to both the headlight connection, and the tail/running light connection.

I'll try to draw it and post it shortly.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

Yes
Fixed it.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce69camaro View Post
So basically Steevo's drawing is correct except for missing the one wire on the 12V power supply, correct?


Let me ask this question, using Larry's method, if I wanted the running/ tail lights to come on when the switch is in the bottom position, would I run the wire off of "B" and when I put the switch in the up position for the head lights, should I use "E"?

Thanks guys....
Steves is correct in that he shows 12v going to two terminals. Look again at what I said, use A OR E . Which ever works in your world of up and down. I am assuming your up and down is when the toggle is down then the upper terminals are connected to common and visa versa . I have problems with up/down, right/left, or other references to directions is situations like this as your frame of reference may be quite different than mine.

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Old 07-02-2013, 10:47 AM   #10
bruce69camaro
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

You're right Larry, when I mentioned up, the toggle switch is up, but the bottom poles are being used and visa versa but I think we are all on the same page.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

Great little schematic program...and it's free!

http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawik...?title=TinyCAD
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

I wouldn't wire the load (lights) right to the switch myself. I would use the switch to operate relays. That way you have some isolation between the low current switch network and the high current light network.
But that's just me......
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:02 AM   #13
bruce69camaro
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

Laser,

Relays plan to be used.

Thank you.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:51 AM   #14
bruce69camaro
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

I just wanted to update everyone that helped me out with this. I got everything wired up and used a realy for the headlights and verifed that that worked. I hooked up the switch and well, it didn't work. What I had was, the parking lights worked with the switch in both on positions, but no headlights.
To get the switch to work, I had to run power to both of the middle posts and it now works just fine.
This was a 6 post, on-off-on and I thought that if you put power to one of the middle posts, it would power both sides, just like how it is shown in the above drawings.
Is my switch something different?
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:11 PM   #15
laser3kw
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

usually both "sides" of a double pole, double throw switch are independent of each other, the centers are not "common". sounds like you did the right thing.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:07 PM   #16
bruce69camaro
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

Thanks.
I just had this gut feeling this was the problem, so what I did was, I switch the power wire to the other post on the other side and guess what, the head lights worked but the parking lights didn't. BINGO, made a jumper and now they all work.

Thanks again to all that helped.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #17
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce69camaro View Post
Thanks.
I just had this gut feeling this was the problem, so what I did was, I switch the power wire to the other post on the other side and guess what, the head lights worked but the parking lights didn't. BINGO, made a jumper and now they all work.

Thanks again to all that helped.
You should of had that feeling as that is what Steeves diagram shows. Good on you for getting all going.

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Old 07-22-2013, 02:03 PM   #18
bruce69camaro
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Default Re: 3 way toggle switch wiring.

You know, I completely skipped over Steevo's description and was looking at his drawing. I didn't take noticed that he "informed" me to wire both sides...

I looked at the drawing and to me, it appears you wire just the one post.

Guess if I would have read what he said, it would have saved me some time...

Anyhow, here's to Steevo and his discription, that I should have read...
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