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Old 03-16-2016, 11:35 AM   #1
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Question Wiring remote 12v to existing light

1st time posting.. so hope I do it right. I've attached a wiring diagram I made to show how I hooked up a 12v remote control to an existing light switch in my motor home. I want this because currently you have to go through the bedroom all the way to the rear bath to turn the bedroom lights on.
Anyway... I must be getting old or something because I cannot get this to work. When I connect the wires from the remote control as shown in the diagram, I can hear the "solenoid" engage and disengage when using the remote, but the lights do not turn on... and yes, the existing light switch is in the ON position. I figured the control box simply acts as an on/off switch and all I did was cut the 12v lead to the existing switch and place the control box "12v in wire" and "12v out wire" as shown.
I don't understand why there are (2) ground wires, but I connected both to the negative wire from the existing switch to the lights. Like I said, I can hear the solenoid inside the control box turning on and off when activated by the remote transmitter. Also I tried bypassing the existing switch altogether but it made no difference.
The unit came with no wiring instructions except to name the individual wires as "12v in", "12v out", (2) grounds, and the antennae wire.
I'm driving myself crazy as I thought this would be a simple job.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts any one has on this.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:42 AM   #2
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How many wires do you have going into switch FROM factory? Diagram does not show power feed to switch only leaving switch. Did you tie into the right wire?
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:47 AM   #3
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Thnx for getting back so quick.
Just two wires going into switch. When I put meter across them, one shows positive 12v and the other ground.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:02 PM   #4
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ekuhlman, much of what you have posed doesn't make sense.

The 12v red wire that feeds the remote box can't be connected to the same wire that goes to the 12+ side of the light. It is just a feed wire to the box to make it work.

I'm guessing you have two grounds because one is the 12- for the box and one is the 12- that would go to whatever you would be controlling (along with the 12+ white) In your case you wouldn't even need the ground side as that is done at the light.

Also at your switch, if you only have two wires it can't be 12+ on one side and 12- on the other. A single pole switch (two wires) only breaks one side of the light circuit.

I don't know what brand controller you have to be able to look it up but all you should really need to do is power the controller with 12 volts via the red in and probably one of those grounds. Disconnect the wires from the switch and hook the 12+ out (white) to whichever wire was connected to the load side of the switch.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:39 PM   #5
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Sorry... didn't know this was going to be this difficult.
1. The existing light switch in the MH has two wires connected to it. If I check for voltage using a multimeter, I read 12v across the two switch terminals, regardless of which way the switch is thrown. The positive side is noted in my diagram as (+)"to 12v lights".
2. So I cut that wire and connected it to the "12v in" wire on the controller to get power to the controller.
3. I then connected the "12v out" from the controller to the load side of the switch.
4. I didn't know what to do with the (2) ground wires, so I connected them both to the other side of the switch.
5. As I said, I can then hear the controller "click" on and off when activated by the remote device, but power is not getting to the lights.
It would have been nice to have some wiring directions for this device, but I have searched the internet and cannot find any. As I said earlier, the unit came with no wiring instructions except to name the individual wires as "12v in", "12v out", (2) grounds, and the antennae wire.
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Old 03-16-2016, 12:47 PM   #6
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If the switch was wired previously to the 12 v + and - wires shown above then just disconnect the two remote negatives from the - leads shown above and connect them to an actual negative/ground wire.....the - lead shown would be the + feed to the light from the switch.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:23 PM   #7
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Hi ekuhlman who manufactured this switch and what model is it so we can look it up and get instructions on the internet. There is most likely information on how to wire this there from the manufacture. We can guess all day long not enough information.

Hope this helps Tim
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:26 PM   #8
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The 2 ground wires are soldered to the same place on the board in the unit, so it doesn't matter which you hook to the negative feed from the battery. You can even hook both to it if you want.

The '12V in' has to be hooked to a positive feed from the battery that's hot all the time.
The '12V out' gets connected to the positive side of the light.

You said that you hooked the two 'Ground' wires to the load side of the switch. Unhook that and hook them to a known ground, then hook the '12V in' to one side of the existing switch and the '12V out' to the other side of the existing switch and it will work as long as the existing switch is off.

If you leave the existing switch in the circuit then it or the remote will turn the light on, but both will have to be off in order to turn the light off.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:27 PM   #9
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Could it be a three way switch ?
Its odd, theres not another switch for the bedroom.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:52 PM   #10
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Well it is really not difficult but again, what you have described, simply doesn't make sense. I'm not being sarcastic just trying to help.

Think about the switch... you said you have two wires and measured 12v across the switch. Maybe I'm reading incorrectly what you are saying when you read 12v "across the switch."

To get a 12v DC reading on a multimeter, you have to have one lead from the meter hooked to ground (-) and one side hooked to a power source.(+) Think of the posts on the top of a battery. If you hook one lead to the - post and one lead to the + post you read voltage but if you hook both meter leads to the + post you won't get any reading at all. Same thing if you hook both leads to the - post. No reading.

So... if you are reading 12v at the switch by touching one lead of the meter to one side of the switch and the other lead to the other side of the switch and it shows 12v, BE CAREFUL! If you flip the switch to the ON position there would be a DEAD SHORT between the two wires (positive and negative) and sparks will fly! Do you see why I'm saying some of this makes no sense?

You have also said you have 12v on BOTH sides of the switch no matter which way the switch is thrown. So that doesn't make sense either.

A single pole light switch (two wires) is designed to break one side of the circuit. Either the positive or the negative. In the case of light switches in a RV it is 'usually' the + side.

If you are testing the switch with the - lead of your meter hooked to chassis ground somewhere other, and only using the + lead to 'read across the switch', moving it from one pole to the other and you have 12v on both sides, that means the switch is bad.(makes connection all the time no matter the direction of the switch)

I'm guessing the switch worked OK before you tried to install the controller and I don't know when you were testing the voltage at the switch (before or after hooking up the controller) so without better information, I can't tell you what is going on here.

If you simply have 12+ coming into the original switch and back out to the light, (when the switch is thrown) remove the wire from the load side of the switch (which feeds the light) and hook your white wire (12v out from the remote box) to that.

Take the 12+ wire that goes into the switch and hook that to the red (12v in) on the box.

Find chassis ground (12v-) somewhere and hook the white wire on the box to ground (I can't say which one, you'll need to experiment) This is only needed to make the controller box function.

It should then work to turn on your light.

All you are doing is supplying 12+ to the light via the controller instead of the existing factory switch and wires. The 12- side of the light circuit is done at the light itself by the wires that hook to it.
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