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post #1 of 15 Old 01-07-2010, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Question Relays, diodes, capacitors -help a newb

OK, I read the threads and understand that using a relay in the CANBUS wiring causes spikes from field collapse and I should put diodes, capacitors, mosfets, and flux capacitors all over the relay coils. I truly appreciate the expertise available that you technically competent folks bring. Thing is, I don't know a coil from a colon.

But I want to ask: if I have a 10 amp rated light, or any amp lights, and the switches and wire guage can handle it, why can't I just run a fused wire from battery to switch to light to ground? No canbus, no relay, etc. I know this is not technically elegant, but what is the harm to the Jeep? I don't want to use any existing vehicle switches, wiring, etc.

What if I add a few of these on separate circuits? I am not challenging your expertise, but it seems like every solution needs another solution, and a PhD in electrical engineering to slap on some lights. One light I bought comes with a cig plug to run it. It has no diodes, I just want to hard-wire it. How stupid am I? Really?

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post #2 of 15 Old 01-07-2010, 02:29 PM
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As long as you run everything independent from the canbus, your good to go. That's where sPod and some others come in. Fuse it off the battery and run your own switch. What most people are talking about is running their lights off the OEM light switches.

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post #3 of 15 Old 01-07-2010, 02:39 PM
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Id get a 12volt guy or sPod panel I have both and they are both great and will keep your acessories far away from the stock canbus

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post #4 of 15 Old 01-07-2010, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostCreek View Post
OK, I read the threads and understand that using a relay in the CANBUS wiring causes spikes from field collapse and I should put diodes, capacitors, mosfets, and flux capacitors all over the relay coils. I truly appreciate the expertise available that you technically competent folks bring. Thing is, I don't know a coil from a colon.

But I want to ask: if I have a 10 amp rated light, or any amp lights, and the switches and wire guage can handle it, why can't I just run a fused wire from battery to switch to light to ground? No canbus, no relay, etc. I know this is not technically elegant, but what is the harm to the Jeep? I don't want to use any existing vehicle switches, wiring, etc.

What if I add a few of these on separate circuits? I am not challenging your expertise, but it seems like every solution needs another solution, and a PhD in electrical engineering to slap on some lights. One light I bought comes with a cig plug to run it. It has no diodes, I just want to hard-wire it. How stupid am I? Really?
Somebody smarter than me will come along shortly and help I'm sure, but here goes my try. EDIT> my slow posting, they are already chiming in.

Most of the diode and flux capacitor stuff I've read is only for if you are upgrading to high powered headlights using the existing headlight harness to trigger the relay and/or time travel of course.

Think of the relay as just an electrical switch. It allows you to use tiny wires and very little power to your mechanical switch in the cabin to the relay. Then you can run a fairly short big fused wire from the battery to the relay to your light(s).

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post #5 of 15 Old 01-07-2010, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks- this forum rocks

Ah, that's great! That is what I hoped to hear. Thanks for all the replies (and those that may yet come). to you all!

I agree that SPOD and 12VGuy have very cool, ideal solutions for adding electric accessories (drool). It's just that I already spent my accessory budget just getting the lights/bar. So it is DIY until I build up more $$. At least now I have proper respect of the almighty CANBUS system.

Thanks

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post #6 of 15 Old 01-07-2010, 06:13 PM
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You can do exactly that "run a fused wire from battery to switch to light to ground" and that is the way to do it just to stay away from any other OEM electrics. You will be just fine with the set-up you described...as NIKE says
"just-Do-It"
If your lights came with a switch, just finding a place to mount it would be the only hurdle you'll have! Some people don't like cutting holes in the dash, some find really cool spots for them.

The other reason why people purchase after market switch consoles, power distribution units and alike is for the following:
What happens is later on when you start adding more electrical accessories..things just start to grow, (it's a really weird Jeep kinda thing) your battery will start to look like it was just dragged through a "seaweed" patch and you will start to accumulate large amounts of wires coming into your cab.

Like I said, you'll be fine on your set-up! Send me an e-mail if you need anything like tips on running wires, fuses, relays and if you need any wire wrap or connectors, I will give them to you free.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LostCreek View Post
OK, I read the threads and understand that using a relay in the CANBUS wiring causes spikes from field collapse and I should put diodes, capacitors, mosfets, and flux capacitors all over the relay coils. I truly appreciate the expertise available that you technically competent folks bring. Thing is, I don't know a coil from a colon.

But I want to ask: if I have a 10 amp rated light, or any amp lights, and the switches and wire guage can handle it, why can't I just run a fused wire from battery to switch to light to ground? No canbus, no relay, etc. I know this is not technically elegant, but what is the harm to the Jeep? I don't want to use any existing vehicle switches, wiring, etc.

What if I add a few of these on separate circuits? I am not challenging your expertise, but it seems like every solution needs another solution, and a PhD in electrical engineering to slap on some lights. One light I bought comes with a cig plug to run it. It has no diodes, I just want to hard-wire it. How stupid am I? Really?

-John the sPOD guy
switches jeeps panels jk-forum carling contura led switch windshield
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-07-2010, 08:53 PM
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My only suggestion would be to not have any type of coil interact with your colon...

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post #8 of 15 Old 01-07-2010, 09:20 PM
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Funny you bring this up. I am in the same boat as you and can't purchase the very nice stuff yet. I am actually in the process of building my own "brain." From my understanding of the research I have done so far.

Relays- Important so you are not running your high powered "juice" back and forth from the cab just to power your lights and such in the engine bay. Cuts back on the thickness of wires you need to run through the cab. You can get away with a small gauge wire to trigger your relay. Very important to have it you want to have your electrical turn off when the engine is turned off as well.

Diodes- Gets bridged between the + and - of your relay to prevent the spikes, from the coil inside the relay, messing with your canbus system. Most important if you are not running a switch.

Switches- Unless you get the proper switch for your setup you can fry the switch by running too much juice through it. The relay, if setup properly, requires very little current to trigger.

Mosfets- Tend to get very hot and I didn't bother looking into that route because of that mainly.

Flux capacitors- Very important if you plan on fixing wiring problems after a major incident. Cool to have just in case you forget to buy your wife a birthday/wedding gift also.

I am no expert but this is what I have learned in the last week or so. Please correct me if my general explainations are incorrect.

Last edited by WeGo4x4; 01-07-2010 at 10:06 PM.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-08-2010, 01:22 PM
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add to that
capacitor (non flux) won't travel through time but needed to prevent flicker if using the stock headlight wires to drive a relay or some HID ballasts because the headlight power is pulsed.
the pulsing doesnt show on a standard headlight bulb as its too fast for the filament to react. When you turn your headlights off, they take a little time to 'fade' out. That little residual light keeps them shining between the pulses.
Relays and ballasts react fast enough that the pulses show as flicker/dimming.


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post #10 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Great to get all the responses you all! Thanks for the help! I did wire my first light in- works! I have a pair of Lightforce offroad lights that will be the big amp load of the bunch. I got their harness, and it looks like I can separate it from canbus, and wire the headlight trigger wire to battery instead of highbeams, which I prefer anyway.

I got a wiring terminal block thingy with a large fused wire to battery so I can then tap off that for the other lights instead of having 4 wires "octopus" off the battery (thanks sPOD John for the concept!). Still separately fusing each circuit too.

I am DIYing this because I have more time than money, but my advice is to get one of the nice setups available from our fine vendors, mine will look dorky to anyone with wiring sense (and even me). I really need to get these operational pronto as I use the vehicle for search and rescue and the other lights I am wiring are emergency flashers. We go out on closed highways in blizzards and if we can't be seen by the plows, we can't be there. Or won't be after the plow comes thru...

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post #11 of 15 Old 01-09-2010, 01:43 PM
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LostCreek, where at in CO are you, may need to pick your brain...

Ready to install my PIAA's tomorrow (Santa finally delivered ) and I'm questioning the need for the lighted switch. I'd like to go to a non lighted single throw sealed switch (heard glare can be an issue). My thought is I can take out the third power wire (one that's supposed to go to high beam) and wire in another after market switch. Anyone else done this? Plan is to mount the switch in the windshield molding on the drivers side...
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-11-2010, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=PmknJK;311670]LostCreek, where at in CO are you, may need to pick your brain...

Denver area south end...

Quote:
My thought is I can take out the third power wire (one that's supposed to go to high beam) and wire in another after market switch. Anyone else done this? Plan is to mount the switch in the windshield molding on the drivers side...
Thinking that you should still power the high beam wire from battery ...or somewhere. I have a harness going in that has the same instruction to wire into high beam. If I understand this right, it goes to the relay, so it is designed to allow your driving (off road) lights to come on only when high beams are powered (on). But I think that wire will need power from somewhere, to let the relay trip. I'm just running it to a block I added powered directly by the vehicle battery.

Please consult first with others here to verify all this before going with my ideas. I have no real knowledge or understanding of electrical devices. Don't pick my brain on electricity, it could lead to unfortunate results

But I will report my results here, good and bad, so you will know what not to do. EXAMPLE: DON'T leave your key in the ignition, turned one click toward "on" because you want to leave your auto trans in neutral (to access the lower center console). It will drain the battery if you leave it too long. I know.

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Last edited by LostCreek; 01-11-2010 at 01:20 PM.
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-11-2010, 07:40 PM
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So 8 hours and three trips to Autozone later, I got them mounted and on. I think it would have been much easier if they would have sent the lights, relays, switches, etc and no wire. I had to add wire for the fog lights to reach and hacked off a couple of extra feet from the windshield lights. I used shrink tubing around the connections and will get some "special" stuff from work we use on the helicopter wiring to make sure it stays sealed.

I ran out of butt conectors for the switches (didn't use PIAA's), so I'll have to clean that up on another random weekend. All in all, pretty happy with how it came out...
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-11-2010, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by PmknJK View Post
So 8 hours and three trips to Autozone later, I got them mounted and on. I think it would have been much easier if they would have sent the lights, relays, switches, etc and no wire. I had to add wire for the fog lights to reach and hacked off a couple of extra feet from the windshield lights. I used shrink tubing around the connections and will get some "special" stuff from work we use on the helicopter wiring to make sure it stays sealed.

I ran out of butt conectors for the switches (didn't use PIAA's), so I'll have to clean that up on another random weekend. All in all, pretty happy with how it came out...
Glad to hear it!

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post #15 of 15 Old 01-16-2010, 12:54 PM
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Finished product...



Switches (LEDs are a little too bright)...I wanted to put them on the windshield trim, but couldn't figure it out (8 hours after starting)...this worked out better.



Fog lights



Glad its over...
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