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Getting My Aux Back Up Light On A Switch

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by DeereFarmer, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    I've been searching on here and havn't found exactly what I'm looking for. right now I have four tractor lights mounted on my truck for reverse lights. I have them wired into a relay. They work great. What I want to do now is add a switch so I can have them on all the time, off, then on only with the stock reverse lights. I guess I need a single pole double throw switch? Anyway, I'm using the stock reverse light wire right now as the trigger on my relay. How involved would it be to add a switch at this point or shousl I just leave it alone? Thanks.
  2. BoyneCityGuy

    BoyneCityGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    It is really not too difficult at all...get a SPDT switch, use your current trigger wire on one pole and a 12V hot as your constant burn trigger on the other pole, then the center pole is your trigger to the relay where you currently have the reverse wire. mount the switch in the cab and your set!!

    it is REALLY convenient to have them as cargo lights too, or to be able to turn them all off. i have 4 as well, 2 in the hitch that are reverse only, and 2 on the rack that are switched like you say. havent gotten the relay on this truck yet as i was in a hurry, but my last truck had it, and its a huge difference IMO. my advice is grab a beer and go do it! :drinkup:

    hope that helps, feel free to shoot me any questions!
  3. wkahler

    wkahler Senior Member
    Messages: 250

  4. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Thanks guys. Just want to go over it a little... would I have to run a wire all the way from the reverse light into the cab or is there an easier way? So borken down I'll have one pole used for the stock reverse light wire, the opposite pole will have the constant 12V (from the battery I'd assume), and then the center pole will have a wire run back to the trigger on my relay (#85 on the relay). Should I fuse the 12V power lead? If so what amperage? What gauge wire should I use? Seems pretty simple otherwise! Thanks again.
  5. Dissociative

    Dissociative 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,066


    SPDT CENTER OFFswitch.....it goes ON-OFF-ON

    top terminal- in from reverse wire
    center terminal- out to trigger on relay
    bottom terminal- 12v source for forced on

    if i am right this will allow you to place switch in middle for a all dead and top for reverse action with bottom being the force on.

    NICE ADD ON.......find your DOME LIGHT wire....put a diode (one way valve) on a wire so the dome light can trigger the lights in the reverse action position without the reverse action turning on dome....that way when you unlock your truck....or open the doors your reverse come on too....kinda nice IMO....i love it...my reverse lights, under body lights, fogs all come on with key remote.

    If you grab your power, reverse, and add one extra wire to it for the return from switch..(pull 3 wires) to the rear if your relay is mounted back there.....

    HINT.....use a strobe wire.......works VERY nicely....
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    That should work just fine...

    Going to set mine up that way.
  7. BoyneCityGuy

    BoyneCityGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    Dissociative nailed it on the head...as for your wire guage question, i went 14 and it seems to be perfect. i had guys say i could do 16 or 18, but that just seems too tiny...JMO...but that should do it for ya! and as Dissociative said with the diode, its pretty slick to have them all come on. my NBS chevy does that automatically with the reverse and cargo lights, the only annoying thing is that i have 4 extra backup lights, so if i forget to switch off the 2 on the rack, it can be almost too bright just to walk up to...i love having my hitch lights come on though!

    one edit though if you set the wires up as Dissociative said, the center will be off, but up will be force on and down will be reverse. at least thats how my switch is, you have to put the wire you want to activate on the opposite terminal so it makes contact. not a big deal, but just a thought.

    ok, sorry for rambling on...go get those lights in!! post pics when you are done!!
  8. T&M SnowMan

    T&M SnowMan Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Im gonna change how my aux back ups are wired when I put in my new Whelen hide-a-ways in a few weeks...always wanted to wire it up to a toggle in cab...you gotta love this place...loaded with knowledge and useful info..!!
  9. Maine_Train

    Maine_Train Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    Not to hijack your thread, DeereFarmer, but after reading this, I went to searching for the setup I'd seen that has a "guide" behind a trailer hitch ball. I think there's one out there with lights as part of it. This item (the receiver bar, #7306) popped up on J.C. Whitney's site, so I got the manufacturer's part number and went direct to the source. KC HiLiTES 2x6 Back-Up/Flood Lights
    Item #6303 is the optional switch kit "that allows you to manually operate the lights in conjunction with coming on automatically with the back-up system."

    Whaddya think, guys?
  10. maelawncare

    maelawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    Awe a switch kit that comes with a manual for wiring. BUT IT NOW!!

    Well i just looked. And you have to buy the switch kit and the wiring harness. So its $60. Considering all the parts can be bought for $10 if you already have the wire it not that good of a deal. :( darn
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  11. c.schulz

    c.schulz Senior Member
    Messages: 202

    Here ya go. So simple a child like me can do it.
  12. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Thanks for the diagram. I've been looking for that for a while. I had it saved at one point, but lost it.
  13. maelawncare

    maelawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    So what does the 87A do?
  14. Thermos017

    Thermos017 Member
    Messages: 59

    that post passes power from the +12 fused supply when the relay is not energised. you can get a relay that doesn't have that pin (but works the same for this app.) and save a buck or two.
  15. Dissociative

    Dissociative 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,066

    that post would say go to a green light that says its safe.....then when you activate relay to turn on a dangerous item the green light goes off....and red comes on..
  16. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    The relays with the 87a terminal are SPDT. Single pole DOUBLE throw. The 87a term is the normally closed contact. So when the relay is not energized, the contacts between 30 and 87a are closed, allowing current to flow through. These are the type of relays used in the older Fisher MM headlight harnesses, for example. Headlight power goes into 30. Truckside lights are connected to 87a, plowside lights are connected to 87. When you connect the wiring harness, the relays are energized transferring power from the truckside lights to the plowside lights.
  17. maelawncare

    maelawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    So for us running lights we dont need one with a 87a. good to know
  18. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    you are correct sir
  19. Bernie Lomax

    Bernie Lomax Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    OK, help please.

    First off, whoever made that drawing, thank you very much. HUGE help.

    Now, all my connections are done, and lights mounted. I have power at the switch. I have power at the relay. The power is not going across the relay and out to the lights. If I remove the relay and use a jumper wire, then I have power but still not to the lights.

    Do I have a bad ground at the relay? 86 can just be grounded to the chassis, correct?

    The lights are mounted to my Back Rack and I grounded the lights to their mounting bolts on the rack.

    I'm frustrated....
  20. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762


    Does the relay work at all, either in reverse or when you flip your switch to the run mode?

    could be bad ground. could be bad relay.