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Old 08-21-2018, 08:30 PM   #1
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Want my generator on/off switch to illuminate only when generator is running

Hi all;

My Onan generator on/off switch illuminates when I have my headlights turned on so that the switch can be seen at night. However, I have driven down the road one too many times, thinking that I shut the generator off hours ago, only to find when I pull over and shut my engine down that the generator is still running . Consequently, Iíd prefer it if the switch only illuminated when the generator was actually running, day or night. That way when my RV is traveling down the road, I can tell if I remembered to shut the Genny off or if I forgot.
I assume thereís a wire running from the generator switch to the headlight switch. Iíll disconnect this wire, but want to doublecheck with all of you as to what/where I should splice this wire to so that the genny switch light comes on whenever the generator is running.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:52 AM   #2
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If you give the model we could look up the schematic and be sure but on mine there is a remote run signal that goes to the total time meter and a light I presume.
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Old 08-22-2018, 05:04 AM   #3
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FloridaCanuck-

With your coach sitting, engine and headlights off, start the generator. Does the switch light up? Now, turn the headlights on. Does the switch light change appearance?

If your 2003 Neptune is wired similarly to my 2008 Admiral (and it should be), there are separate contacts on the rear of the switch for the dash (lights) illumination and the generator signals. That means you should be able to remove the former without doing anything else to keep the latter.

Getting access to the rear of the switch, now that's another matter...

Please post a picture of the switch.
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:18 PM   #4
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If you give the model we could look up the schematic and be sure but on mine there is a remote run signal that goes to the total time meter and a light I presume.
Itís an Onan ďQuietĒ 7500 watt diesel generator. I have a feeling that the solution is very elementary. However, I am far from being mechanically inclined in spite of the fact that I have forced myself repeatedly to work on various vehicles over the years to try to get better at it. It seems like Murphyís Law (ďWhatever can go wrong, will go wrong.Ē) is alive and well in my life whenever I try to work on things. Iím sure that I know how to connect this correctly, but experience tells me to check with others who have done this before.
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:28 PM   #5
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FloridaCanuck-

With your coach sitting, engine and headlights off, start the generator. Does the switch light up? Now, turn the headlights on. Does the switch light change appearance?

If your 2003 Neptune is wired similarly to my 2008 Admiral (and it should be), there are separate contacts on the rear of the switch for the dash (lights) illumination and the generator signals. That means you should be able to remove the former without doing anything else to keep the latter.

Getting access to the rear of the switch, now that's another matter...

Please post a picture of the switch.
Iíll try to get a pic posted. I crawled underneath the dash yesterday and as long as I figure out how to unclip the switch correctly, I should be able to unclip it and get a clear pic of the back of it. Unfortunately, whatís making me hesitant about hooking it up the way I think it should go is that itís not an oem switch. The oem switch quit working years ago, so this is an aftermarket switch. Common sense tells me that I should simply be able to cut the wire running from the generator switch to the headlight switch, find a wire on the generator switch thatís powered only when the generator is running, then splice the wire from the generator light bulb thatís in the switch to this live wire. But I would like to get confirmation that Iím on the right track before I start cutting and rerouting wires. I have a bad habit of forgetting ďone tiny thingĒ when I work on things and that ďone tiny thingĒ ends up costing me more work
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:12 PM   #6
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FloridaCanuck-

For now, a picture of the front of the switch and another picture of the "OEM" switches that are on the dash will be enough. We can study the contact side of the switch later.

In my experience, setting things back to factory condition is the best way to reduce those "one tiny things."
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:50 PM   #7
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Plug a lamp into a generator powered outlet. Light on = generator on.
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:58 AM   #8
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Plug a lamp into a generator powered outlet. Light on = generator on.

Twinboat would have closed another thread if I didn't respond...... well done! This would definitely follow the K.I.S.S. principal.
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:55 PM   #9
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Twinboat would have closed another thread if I didn't respond...... well done! This would definitely follow the K.I.S.S. principal.
I didnít respond to Twinboat because I couldnít remember how my inverter works. Iím thinking that when the generator is shut off, the inverter automatically comes on and starts changing the 12 volt power from the house batteries to 120 volt to power the outlets, meaning that when you shut your generator off, you would still have power to the outlet that the light was plugged into. Off the top of my head, the only outlet that I recall that will only work on shore or generator power, but not via the inverter, is located in our RV bedroom.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:02 PM   #10
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FloridaCanuck-

For now, a picture of the front of the switch and another picture of the "OEM" switches that are on the dash will be enough. We can study the contact side of the switch later.

In my experience, setting things back to factory condition is the best way to reduce those "one tiny things."
Itís been quite some time since I replaced the switch, but if memory serves me correctly, the oem switch didnít illuminate at all. So, in this case, setting things back to factory condition wouldnít work. I guess thatís one of the drawbacks to not replacing oem parts with the same type of oem part. I think I replaced it with this switch that lights up thinking it would only light up when the generator was running, not realizing that it was only meant to illuminate at night so you could see the switch.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:11 PM   #11
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FloridaCanuck-

For now, a picture of the front of the switch and another picture of the "OEM" switches that are on the dash will be enough. We can study the contact side of the switch later.

In my experience, setting things back to factory condition is the best way to reduce those "one tiny things."
Hereís a pic...
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:13 PM   #12
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Hereís a pic...
Hmm...
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:32 PM   #13
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Hmm...
So the orange part on the middle switch (which is the generator switch) is a light that comes on whenever the headlights are turned on, irregardless of whether or not the generator is on. I thought it would be nice instead if the orange part only illuminated whenever the generator was running. I donít need the light illuminated when the headlights are on in order to see the switch. Iíd much rather use the orange illuminated part to indicate when the generator is running.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:35 PM   #14
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Our Onan 5500 has a little green light that flashes while starting and illuminates green when running.
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