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Strobes "POP" when being used..

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by Dodge Plow Pwr, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    I have done a search and can not find an answer. So forgive me if there is one out there, I couldn't find it.
    Ok, I have an 05 Dodge and have a 6 way Whelen strobe head. I have bulbs in the tail lights, truck headlights and under the plow head lights (sealed units). When I run any of the strobes, I get like a static zap or Popping noise. It is very loud and very often. The popping doesn't follow the same pattern as the flashes so I think it has to be some kind of static charge?? I am running shielded cables if that makes a difference. The main unit is grounded well too. Does the metal sheilding mart of the cable need to be grounded to something? If so where would you ground it to in the fixtures as they are all plastic.
    Thanks for any help.
    Mike:yow!:
     
  2. kitn1mcc

    kitn1mcc Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    sounds like u may have water in the connections or water getting on the tubes
     
  3. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,998

    I agree with above post
     
  4. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    I agree... try unplugging one bulb at a time and see if it's still popping. That way you will know which bulb might have the water in it.
     
  5. sparksrides

    sparksrides Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    i had the same problem first noticed it out plowing didn't know what it was and then i was at the car wash and with the strobes off it started popping. i looked in my grill and noticed an arching and burning at the couplers. the connections were almost completely melted so i cut out the couplers and hard wired them with shrink boot. strobes have some serious power ( i have bin shocked :dizzy: ) water and electricity don't mix. I hope this helps
     
  6. SafetyLighting

    SafetyLighting Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    The commonly used Amp connectors are prone to failure. I stopped using them four years ago because they fail more often than not. Salt and water get inside, corrode the terminals or wires and then short them out. The result is a high voltage arc, which can cause extensive damage. Even covering the Amp connectors in silicone does not seal them properly. Find an installer in your area, and have them install Deutsch or Metripack Sealed connectors. Check all the wires where they exit the external insulation to make sure they haven't corroded.
     
  7. kitn1mcc

    kitn1mcc Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    what i have found is a good way to keep water out is fill the amp connector with dialectric grease and tape the connections with 3m Super 88
     
  8. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    It seems to be the rear tail light strobes. There is deff. no water in there. I pulled them out and the connectors look good. One thing I did notice is that the strobe tubes are vVERY close to the brake light bulb. Maybe about an inch away from each other. Could this maybe be my problem?
    Thanks for all the replies so far everyone.
     
  9. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,998

    Have you tried pulling all the wires out of the power pack? Plug one in at a time and see which one causes it to pop.
     
  10. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    I thought I said that on post #4 ???:nod:
     
  11. SafetyLighting

    SafetyLighting Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    The bulb location isn't your problem. If you hear an arcing sound, then you definitely have a short. So when you disconnect the rear strobe wires from the power supply, the sound stops and the fronts work fine?

    I'll be available all day if you want to call me to see if we can identify the problem quicker, 508-989-2103.
     
  12. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    I think Disassocitive is in your area. He does good work from what I hear. Look him up and give him a call. I'm sure that he can get your situation fixed. (he'll even put in a fuse/fuseable link in your system! )
     
  13. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,998

    You did but reading his post above it sounded as though he did not try that yet. :waving:
     
  14. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    I did the disconnect thing. It is only the rears right now. There is no water in there and the connectors are up out of the way. I did notice that the led on the strobe unit in the truck was flashing red not green when this is happening as well. I know that they are programed to flash patterns when there is an issue. There have also been times when none of them work at all. I am going to run a new ground wire to the main unit and see if that meay be part of it.
     
  15. SafetyLighting

    SafetyLighting Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    I suspect that there is corrosion in the end of one of your cables, where the outer insulation is cut away.
     
  16. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    Where do you have your Strobe Power Pack mounted? The red LED is indicating you have a problem and if the power unit is where the weather can get to it, your looking at corrosion (sp) or possibly a problem in the power pack. Could be simple as the connector at the power pack corroted.
     
  17. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    power pack is mounted under the drivers side back seat. I think I may start from scratch this summer and get some new stuff. It just get frustrating.
     
  18. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,998

    OK lets start at the beginning. First unplug all of your strobe heads. Plug them in one at a time, removing the one prior. See which one is causing the popping noise. Once you figure out which one is the problem first unplug the head from the cable. Check to see if there is any signs of corrosion. If no corrosion then check the cable from the plug to the strobe pack for nicks, cuts, ect. If you can't find anything then try switching cables and see if it's the head itself or the cable. This will narrow down which it is. It really sounds like it's a cable problem. Make sure once you find the problem to seal all connections with silicone and I recommend lots of electrical tape to ensure a good seal. Keep us informed as to what you find.
     
  19. Dissociative

    Dissociative 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,066

    bring it over to me and i will fix it all for you.....all the easy stuff has been posted...time for an expert
     
  20. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    I think he needs someone recommended to him! I dropped your name to him but I guess the "Expert is NOT in!" :drinkup: