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still plagued with strobe problem?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mdb landscaping, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    Ok, went to the dealer today, and he swapped out my 90watt strobe pack for a new one. everything worked fine. i get home, and try the strobes again, and they work for a minute, and then the box humms. i fiddle around and figure out, if i run three strobes, the box works fine. the minute i plug the 4th one in, the box hums and wont flash any strobes. my box before turned out doing the same thing, telling me its not the power supply. i called whelen and they think the ground may not be grounded well. anybody have any other ideas for me to check?
     
  2. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I dont know much about the strobe systems, but is it possible that one of your bulbs is shorting out? or maybe wet or shot even?
     
  3. nben

    nben Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    Does it matter which bulb you unplug to make the other three flash?
     
  4. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    nope. i have tried all combinations. its no specific bulb. all of them work. its just when you plug the 4th connector in, no matter what slot, the box wont run em all.
     
  5. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    You say the 4th connector, you mean any 4th, or a specific one? We are trying to eliminate the possibility of a specific flash tube, cable, connector problem. If its any 4th one, then how about checking the ground. Remove the ground connection, temporarly splice a good 12G wire and run right to the battery. If that doesnt make any difference, leave that connected and run a temp 12G power feed right to the battery. It seems like the problem is power related. The extra current draw of the 4th strobe head is too much for your ground or positive power connection.
     
  6. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    nope. it can be any fourth one. all strobe heads work fine. i looked everywhere for the ground, and followed all the cables, and cant seem to find it, so in the morning, im going to have the place that installed em take a look at it.
     
  7. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    One of the white plugs on the power supply has a red + and a black - wire. Usually installers just attach the black wire to a mounting screw. This is usually the bad ground problem. We always run the ground wire to one of the body grounds under hood. ( look for the braded grounding strap) If this isnt the problem I'll buy ya a beer!:drinkup:
     
  8. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I agree on it being a grounding problem. I have seen the same thing happen. For some reason added to the load will at some point overwhelm the ground. I would rerun the ground using 8-10 guage wire to a good chassis ground location.
     
  9. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Just to rule it out,id run a new ground,but an 8-10 guage is totally unnecessary and wil not owrk any better than a 12 guage wire.My 90 watt whelen system draws under 10 amps,no reason to run thick wire for such a short run.My strobes are frustrating me too,I wonder if they are worth the hassles.I still have a magnetic mount on the roof,and often need it.
     
  10. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Just to rule it out,id run a new ground,but an 8-10 guage is totally unnecessary and will not work any better than a 12 guage wire.My 90 watt whelen system draws under 10 amps,no reason to run thick wire for such a short run.My strobes are frustrating me too,I wonder if they are worth the hassles.I still have a magnetic mount on the roof,and often need it.
     
  11. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    thanks for the tips guys. i dont think running a new wire will be necessary, but i shall see. im hoping its just a grounding problem that can be fixed quickly. i hate haveing to plow without strobes. i know what you mean by the red and black wire, and will check that tomorrow.
     
  12. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    Matt, just run the new ground temporarly thru the door and under the hood. Its a diagnostic check. John's right, 12 Ga wire is plenty big. It will flow 24 amps. The wire on the 60 and 90 watt power supplies is only 16 G. Theres no need for 10 G unless the run was over 50 feet.
     
  13. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Believe it or not there is a noticeable difference in the speed of the strobes when the jump is made from a 12 guage run to a 10 guage within a typical 8-12ft power run.

    I did not believe it either until I had the same problem and ran bigger jumper wires and saw a huge speed increase. After playing around with it I found the pack operated the best with a 10 guage feed and ground. Much better then the 12 guage.

    The next day I rewired my lightbar with 8 guage supply to the switchbox (Whelen edge bar with halogen flashers) and again saw a noticeable speed increase.

    Just my $.02
     
  14. chris k

    chris k Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    I had a power supply doing the same thing. The connections were getting wet. If there was a strobe grounding out you would know. I had one and it makes this loud popping sound from the strobe. That humming I would say is moisture in the connection.
     
  15. pbeering

    pbeering Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    In addition to the ground, check to be sure all the strobe contacts are properly seated in the white plugs. We fill ours with dielectric grease and then put silicone on the outside to keep them dry. Be sure that the power supply itself is grounded and check to see where it is mounted, sometimes you can create a gounding problem by mounting it onto metal and then not having a good ground lead.
     
  16. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    You may also want to try mounting the box to clean sheet metal.I don't know if it's heat or ground related,but it has solved problems quite a few times for me.It's worth a shot.

    You may have still have one bad bulb,cable,or connection with slightly higher resistance than the others.It may not be enough to trip the power supply when it is plugged in alone,so it will be hard to trace.When added in with the other three,it overloads the box.
     
  17. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    thanks for all the tips. turned out to be a small slice in the left rear turn signal strobe wire. all is fixed and working well.