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Old 07-09-2020, 11:31 AM   #1
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Half 12volt Mystery

Okay guys here is a puzzler:

I have a 2010 Newmar Dutch Star and this morning wife says “bedroom lights won’t work”.

So I go to the switch and yep no ceiling lights (all 6) , but the two decorative lights below bedroom cabinet work fine.

So I take the double switch off and measure 13.4 volts on the two working decorative lights.

However, on the line going to the switch for the 6 ceiling lights I measure exactly HALF voltage at 5.7 volts.

So I head for the fuse powering this line and get about 12 volts across the fuse points.

Would appreciate response if anyone has run across this or has any idea of what it could be.
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Old 07-09-2020, 12:42 PM   #2
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Is the 5.7V only on the load side of the switch when it's on, or both input and output sides? Whether the low voltage is present at the switch input side or not will give a clue where the voltage is dropping. It could very well be right at the source fuseholder or a crimp termination behind it, so don't rule the fuse area out quite yet.

Mark B.
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:58 PM   #3
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Thank you for the response.
Just measured again and now it is 5.1 volts. I was Just measuring across the 2 wires I have disconnected from the back of the switch. I’m going to try find a test wire to attach to the house battery ground and measure each wire separately to ground.

Not sure which of the 2 wires connected to the back oh the switch is the load wire.
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Old 07-09-2020, 03:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Newmarfan View Post
Thank you for the response.
Just measured again and now it is 5.1 volts. I was Just measuring across the 2 wires I have disconnected from the back of the switch. I’m going to try find a test wire to attach to the house battery ground and measure each wire separately to ground.

Not sure which of the 2 wires connected to the back oh the switch is the load wire.
Yeah, measure to ground. Measuring the wires just puts the voltmeter in series with the load creating a voltage divider with the loads downstream. Leave the wires attached to the switch and measure the voltage in both the ON and OFF positions.
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Old 07-09-2020, 03:11 PM   #5
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Newmar, If you measure the voltage across the switch terminals in the off position is that the 5.7 volts ? what is the voltage if the switch is in the on position , zero ?

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Old 07-09-2020, 04:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by clifford j View Post
Newmar, If you measure the voltage across the switch terminals in the off position is that the 5.7 volts ? what is the voltage if the switch is in the on position , zero ?



CLIFFORD


Okay here are more clues:

Voltage measurements from back of switches:

Decorative lights which are working:
—-with switch off 13.2 volts
—-with switch on 0 volts

The 6 ceiling lights that do not work:
—-with switch off 43.1 volts
—- with switch on 0 volts
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Old 07-09-2020, 04:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Newmarfan View Post
Okay here are more clues:

Voltage measurements from back of switches:

Decorative lights which are working:
—-with switch off 13.2 volts
—-with switch on 0 volts

The 6 ceiling lights that do not work:
—-with switch off 43.1 volts
—- with switch on 0 volts


Correction: 4.3 volts NOT 43.1
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:02 PM   #8
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Does the coach use a Multiplex system? Asking as mine does and has a dimmed function built into the switches.
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:53 PM   #9
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No Multiplex in this coach
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:02 PM   #10
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OK , put away your multi meter and dig out your 12 volt test light .

It takes only milli amps to give a meter reading , the glow of a test light will be the true test of actual power available.
You've got a poor connection or a blown fuse , and depending on your fuse board ( if there are led, blown fuse indicators ) those leds can be giving you a false meter reading , they pass trace volts to ground ( through the circuit) to illuminate.
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:48 PM   #11
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I moved the same color orange wire to a completely different vacant terminal to the opposite side of the fuse panel. I’m reading 12 volts across the fuse panel where the fuse gets inserted, but when I test at the light switch I get 8 volts now still using the meter. Before was 4.3 volts ????

Getting late here so will rig up test light tomorrow.

Thanks for the input, appreciate the help.
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:03 PM   #12
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If you're reading across the fuse clip from one side to the other, you should get 0 volts unless the fuse has a bad connection or open.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:32 AM   #13
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If you're reading across the fuse clip from one side to the other, you should get 0 volts unless the fuse has a bad connection or open.


True.
The 12 volt reading at the fuse panel was without a fuse inserted.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:29 AM   #14
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Newmar, you said 12 volts across the fuse clips with no fuse in ,,,ok do the same test with the light switch off . If you get zero volts when off my guess is you have a high resistance connection in the circuit, either in the feed or return path. As Skip said the volt meter can give you incorrect information,,,'some times' , depending on the circumstance.

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