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Old 10-20-2018, 07:09 PM   #1
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entry lights do not come on

this may be very model specific. it is a 2015 cardinal model 3825fl. this model has two doors and there are two entry lights for each door, one above the door and one below it in the area where the stairs fold up into. there is one switch on the control panel marked entry light with up labelled on and down labelled off. this switch has turned these entry lights on and off in the past.

i pulled the switch to test it. it has three tabs on the back. it appears to be a spring loaded return to center SPDT MOMENTARY switch. if it push the switch to either the on position or the off position i can get continuity between either tab 1 and tab 2, or between tab 2 and tab 3. the wires going to tab 2 are common with some other switches.

but what i can't figure out is the momentary nature of this switch. if the lights were wired directly to this switch they would not stay on as soon as you removed pressure and it returned to the center position. so i'm thinking that there may be a relay installed somewhere and this switch on the control panel is just pulsing the relay coil circuit.

i do not know. has anybody run into a light control circuit that is controlled by a momentary contract switch? i'll try forest river and the switch manufacturer on monday.
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:42 PM   #2
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Do the lights blink? Your right assuming a relay but there still should be an off position to release the relay. Mabe installed the wrong switch.
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:30 PM   #3
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I would think that the switch is bad. The only latching relays I've ever seen were 120vac, as they are pretty large. Even if the switch operated a relay it would be for a circuit that demanded more amps than the switch could safely carry. It would need to stay in the on or off position. The only way a momentary contact switch could operate lights is if it were connected to a logic circuit to control the lights. Can you read any numbers or diagram on the switch?
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:45 PM   #4
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yes the switch is made by sigma in elkhart indiana (where else?). it has the electrical specs for both a/c and d/c (10 amps @14vdc) molded on it. i've tried to find it on their web site. i'm going to call them monday to see if i can get the specific model number and how it is supposed to operate. it's certainly possible that it is broken and should remain on after the rocker is pushed to the on position and releases. but it doesn't (confirmed with meter). and it has three wire tabs on the back. it it were a simple SPST switch it wouldn't have three tabs with wires connected. i'm thinking that possibly it is an illuminated switch that has tabs for power in, power out to entry lights, and power out from internal illumination light. anyway just asked on the off chance that somebody know about this so a could have more information when i look at it again tomorrow. if not, sigma will get a call on monday.
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:51 PM   #5
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It doesn't have any NC (normal closed) or NO (normal open) markings on it?
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:37 AM   #6
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ok, the mystery deepens. i have searched the sigma catalog and i am sure i have a sigma model 1F series switch to control the entry lights. there is a 1F molded on the case. the specs for the 1F switch state that it is a momentary on - off - momentary on switch. it has three tabs on the back (labelled 1, 2, and 3 from top to bottom). if makes contact between tabs 1 and 2 if you push up on the switch and between 2 and 3 if you push down. without pressure it returns to the center off position with no connection between any of the tabs. so it looks like the switch itself is working.

i'll go over today and check all the bulbs. i wouldn't think that all four would be wired in series like the old christmas tree lights where one going out would take out all four.

but even so, i still don't understand how a momentary contact switch can be used to turn the lights on and off. there has to be a relay or something else between the switch and the lights! what would it be? and where could it be hidden?
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:03 AM   #7
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Just one thing to consider. The lights don't need to be wired in series to have a problem your describing. You may have had a mouse chew through a wire. That is what happened to my TT.

A mouse chewed through a pair of side marker wires and a pair of wires that operate my step lights, 4 wires grouped together. The step lights consist of an incandescent light next to the step and 2 LED strips, one at the top of the door and the other in the opening where the steps fold into. They are wired parallel to each other but in line with one another. The wires go to the step light to the bottom LED strip then to the top LED strip.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:15 AM   #8
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thanks, that's possibility. the forest here if full of furry little critters that have teeth and eat into every thing; cables, sprinkler lines, vegetables, plastic bins, and who knows what else. went to change the air filter on the wife's car and the squirrels had made a nest in the bottom of the air filter box full of hair and peanuts.

of course could be a connection that came loose. luckily it looks like the wiring will be along the inside of the frame, but i'll have to remove the coroplast to get to it. but i've been meaning to do that someday.

but one thing i want to find out is how a momentary contact switch controls the lights. there has to be a relay or module between the switch and the lights. this is resolvable. but it looks like it is going to take some effort. oh well, on the list of things to do
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:49 PM   #9
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Do are the lights controlled by remote also?
If, so the momentary switch is wired into the remote reciever. The remote and the wired switch control a relay on the reciever.
You will need to hunt for the remote receiver, it will be behind a panel (some places to look is the outside compartments, under refrigerator, kitchen sink, etc.). This reciever has fuses which may have blown.

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Old 10-21-2018, 09:26 PM   #10
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to RJHuser: yes there is a remote that controls the slides and it may also control the entry lights. i don't know as we never use it. but i'll look tomorrow. what you say fits the situation exactly. i knew there had to be a module somewhere. that momentary switch is only sending pulses to the control module. a remote transmitter could do the same thing.

thank you so much!!!!! at least i now have an idea what i will be looking for.
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