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Newbie needs help with basics

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by rackem1899, Apr 10, 2014.

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  1. rackem1899


    Apr 10, 2014
    Greetings all!
    I am in need of some help. Here is the situation, I am a farmer and have a Polaris (side by side ranch vehicle) that we use around the farm. However, in order to legally drive it on the road, something we occasionally have to do to get our other farms, we are required to have flashing hazard lights. The problem is that the Polaris didn't come with blinkers or hazard lights. My thought was to pick up a cheap set of trailer lights and mount them to the roll cage, I know I'll need to use a flasher, but I'm unsure of anything else.
    So basicly here is what I'm thinking,

    +------(On/Off Switch)------ (Flasher)----- (Ground)

    I'm sure I'm missing something, your help is greatly appreciated.
    Sorry for the horrible schematic rendition...
  2. rackem1899


    Apr 10, 2014
    The spaces for the Lights didn't work right, they would come off the flasher, not the +.
    Also, would is it possible to somehow wire this into the trailer plug?
  3. KrisBlueNZ

    KrisBlueNZ Sadly passed away in 2015

    Nov 28, 2011
    Hello and welcome to Electronics Point :)

    Your circuit looks right to me.

    Each light will have a second connection (may just be the metal holder) which needs to connect to ground (the chassis).

    Both lights will be powered from the same wire from the flasher, unless you want them to flash alternately (in which case you'll need a flasher with two outputs).

    Obviously, the flasher and the lights need to be designed to run from the right voltage.

    Also, the flasher needs to be rated to power both light bulbs. This rating will normally be specified in amps (the unit for electrical current). You can work out the amount of current each bulb draws by calculating the bulb's wattage (power) divided by the electrical system's voltage. For example, the current drawn by a 12 volt, 30 watt bulb is 30 / 12 which is 2.5 amps. Then double it for two bulbs in parallel. The flasher should be rated for at least twice that amount of current, because light bulbs draw more current when they're cold.

    If you can find LED lights (instead of light bulbs), you won't need much current. But make sure the flasher is designed to run that kind of load. Some electromechanical flashers need a certain amount of load current otherwise they don't flash, or they flash at the wrong speed.

    You can get a flasher module from an automotive electrical supply shop. Go to one where the staff are middle-aged and dressed in dirty overalls, show them the lights, explain what you want to do, and they'll sort you out.

    Then you need to decide the practical issues - will it be a permanent modification? Where will you put the switch? Which fuse will you take the supply voltage from? Where will you mount the flasher?

    Be sure to use properly rated wire with good solid insulation. Put rubber grommets in any holes that the wires have to go through. Use heat-shrink tubing, or at least electrician's tape, to insulate everything. Mount everything really solidly so vibration won't affect it.

    Good luck :)
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