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Interior LED help

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by camhawk03, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Jan 14, 2013 at 11:20 PM
    #1
    camhawk03

    camhawk03 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So I need some more help guys. I tried installing it today and I kept shorting the fuse. After some more research, I think I have figured out how to do it, but I want to run my plans past you guys.

    So basically I have two led lights that are pre-wired. I have already mounted them above the cup holders. I also have a switch that has an led on it. Lastly, I also have an inline fuse.

    So here is how I was thinking about wiring it
    -I will take the two power wires from the LEDs, strip them and twist the exposed wires together, then crimp them to a male connector. Then I am going to crimp a female connector to a separate 18 gauge wire which I will connect to the male connector from the LEDs and run the other end to one of the prongs on the switch. From the other power prong on the switch I will run another 18 gauge power wire to an inline fuse. On the other side of the inline fuse I will run another power wire to the power wire for the shift indicator light. I have more questions on that below.
    -For the ground wires for the LEDs, I will also crimp them to a male connector, then attach a female connector to a separate 18 gauge wire and connect them. The wire will then run to the ground for the shift indicator light.
    -For the ground for the switch LED I will run it to a bolt on the chassis using 18 gauge wire and a ring terminal.
    -Does this sound good so far?

    So now on to the questions.
    -How do I connect the wires from the LEDs to the wires for the shift light? Right now it is my understanding that I completely cut both of the wires that go to the shift light. From there (Once I have figured out which one is the power wire) I strip the ends that I cut on the shift light and twist them together and crimp them to a male connector, which I will then connect to a female connector I have attached to the power wire. I then do the exact same thing but with the ground wires from the shift light and the LEDs. Will this work?
    -Lastly, is a 5 amp fuse enough for the inline fuse?

    Sorry for the wall of text, but I am confused on these parts and can't find anything online. You guys are very knowledgeable and helpful and I would love your input.

    Thanks for your time!
     
  2. Jan 15, 2013 at 5:07 AM
    #2
    Me Likey TRD

    Me Likey TRD Well-Known Member

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    Don't know that I can answer your questions, but I have a couple of thoughts.

    I would be very reluctant to cut any existing wires. Use a quick splice wire tap appropriate for the wire gauge.

    A 5 amp fuse is likely too much. You are working with a very low amperage circuit - that is - the 22 gauge wire going to the indicator light would melt before the fuse would activate. Also, the circuit you are using already has a fuse.

    I personally don't care for the unreliability of most crimp connections I generally solder every connection (where appropriate) and use shrink tubing.

    You might be making this project too complicated. I recently completed the same project without using a switch to complicate things.
     
  3. Jan 15, 2013 at 5:36 AM
    #3
    mutilatedjak

    mutilatedjak n00b waffle

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    I know this can be hotly debated but a properly crimped connection is better than a soldered one, and one reason is it has less resistance than a soldered one. Even aircraft usually have crimped connections, where reliability is paramount.

    I do agree that the 5 amp fuse is overkill. You can run the ground from your LEDs straight to the chassis like you are doing with your switch. The quick splice is another good idea.

    Are the LEDs you have rated for 12 volts?
     
  4. Jan 15, 2013 at 5:54 PM
    #4
    camhawk03

    camhawk03 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes the LEDs are rated for 12 volts. And I would like to use a switch so I can turn them on and off. The switch is not a difficult thing to add at all.
     
  5. Jan 15, 2013 at 6:07 PM
    #5
    senojeelnodnarb

    senojeelnodnarb Well-Known Member

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    i have never seen a crimped connection on an aircraft lol
    usually cannon plugs
     
  6. Jan 17, 2013 at 6:14 AM
    #6
    easler24

    easler24 Well-Known Member

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    Just run a 12-14 gauge wire directly to the battery, put an inline fuse in it (smaller than 5 volts if you just have LED's. There is no chance of screwing other accessories up when you do it this way. And by running that bigger wire, you can have power at all times, but can also get power for other lights if you need it later on.

    I solder everything, but could not tell you if it makes any difference in connection.

    Power goes to switch pole, positive goes to another pole on switch, and the ground is the other. You also have to ground the power itself.
     
  7. Jan 17, 2013 at 6:22 AM
    #7
    Shaunsquatch

    Shaunsquatch Well-Known Member

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    The pins inside a "cannon" plug are usually crimped to the wire. Granted the crimp tool used costs $$$. There are mil-std crimp connectors though. The problem with most crimps are people do not use the proper crimp tool, which includes the $20 hardware store junk crimpers. Crimps are standard in most industrial and automotive applications, but I can't speak from experience about aircraft.
     
  8. Jan 17, 2013 at 6:42 AM
    #8
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free Since 1983

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    You generally have the right idea but are over-complicating things a bit. The LED's can be grounded to the chassis, not need to cut the ground wire from the shift lights. Just ground the LEDs locally and you'll be fine.

    If using crimp connectors, it's a good idea to put heat shrink around the connection to protect it. Make sure you're using good crimpers and have a solid connection (give them a good tug after you crimp them to make sure it's tight. No connection is better than a loose connection). Keep in mind that those thin shifter light wires are going to be very difficult to put a crimped connection on without the proper tool for that thickness of wire.

    Look at the draw from the LEDs but if they're just 2, tiny single LEDs like those used for your dash lights, you can tap into an existing circuit (like the one that powers the shifter lights) and will have no need for an in-line fuse. Run the tapped power wire from the shifter lights to the switch, from the switch to the LEDs (this is only if they are the really small, low draw LEDs, like the ones you see lighting a switch). Even if they are larger LEDs, 5A is way too much. They likely draw way less than 1 amp.

    You wouldn't cut a wire but you'd use those vampire taps?? Those things are horrible and can damage the host wire (especially when the host wire is a very thin wire like the shifter light wire).
     
  9. Jan 18, 2013 at 10:34 PM
    #9
    camhawk03

    camhawk03 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Just to let you guys know, I finished installing everything today. I did it almost exactly the way I posted and everything turned out great! Thank you guys for taking the time to help me!
     
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