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Dim LED Ribbon Strips

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tmidgett

Joined: Apr 08 2012
Posts: 5


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:09 pm

I wired 2 12" Green LED Ribbon strips straight to the battery with a 30A inline fuse, but they are only getting 7.5-8.5V (8.5V at the end closest to the power and 7.5V at the end furthest from the power), and are very dim. I am using 18g wire and have shrink wrapped all splices/connections. I have tested the switch by changing it out with another one and I have tested the ribbon strip by swapping it out with another one as well, and they are both good. When I unplug the ground wire from the switch (its a switch with an LED indicator) the ribbons get about twice as bright (although still not as bright as I would expect them to be judging by the pictures on here) and the voltage measures 11V at the plug closest to the power. Anyone have any idea what the issue could be and how to correct it?
Tdawgthegreatest

Joined: Jul 22 2007
Posts: 5093
Location: Florence, Oregon


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:05 pm

ditch the 30A fuse, and replace it with somelike like a 2.5A or 5A fuse.

EDIT: My 600w stereo amp had 2 30A fuses built into it, so that fuse is WAY too big for your two LEDs. That might be causing the voltage drop.
jmoddes

Joined: Apr 25 2011
Posts: 2142
Location: Kenosha, Wi


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:16 pm

woooooooooaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh

okay... look at this picture/diagram

User posted image

from what you're explaining when you take the ground off the battery, the lights should go off completely... so i'm curious do how you have the switch connected.

this is what you want to do first and formost.
take the strips along, and connect them to your 12V power source (aka battery). NOW. that is as bright as they go. Pictures are not 100% deceiving, but they kind of are because a camera lens is nothing compared to the human eye. (also 30a fuse is a bit extreme for this. I use 3a fuse and that runs 2 waterproof tri-chip strips and 2 ching chong products). anyways. back to your problem. Does this switch you are using have a built in resistor for the led? if not you could 1 fry the switch which will limit and hurt the power and strips, respectively. (learned that the hard way).

That is just what I have to offer. hope it helps, come back with anything else you may have done.
tmidgett

Joined: Apr 08 2012
Posts: 5


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:17 pm

Ok I'll give that a shot tomorrow. I used the 30A because thats what they told me to use for LEDs at the auto parts store. I thought it seemed like a lot for LEDs, but I know nothing about electricity so I went with it.

Love the gif by the way!
jmoddes

Joined: Apr 25 2011
Posts: 2142
Location: Kenosha, Wi


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:23 pm

tmidgett wrote:
Ok I'll give that a shot tomorrow. I used the 30A because thats what they told me to use for LEDs at the auto parts store. I thought it seemed like a lot for LEDs, but I know nothing about electricity so I went with it.


HOLY FAACKK. what's the number, i wanna call them and when they tell me that ask them if they're on crack.. lmfao!
tmidgett wrote:
Love the gif by the way!


Yeah... i'm pretty jealous of it. I can NOT find a better one though.. lol
Tdawgthegreatest

Joined: Jul 22 2007
Posts: 5093
Location: Florence, Oregon


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:26 pm

tmidgett wrote:
Ok I'll give that a shot tomorrow. I used the 30A because thats what they told me to use for LEDs at the auto parts store. I thought it seemed like a lot for LEDs, but I know nothing about electricity so I went with it.

Love the gif by the way!


A lot of people that work the counters at autoparts stores don't really know what they are talking about.

Kind of like most Bigger stereo shops.

And thanks, Tis why I've been rocking this sig for over a year now. haha.
tmidgett

Joined: Apr 08 2012
Posts: 5


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:30 pm

I used a pre-existing grounding post located in the foot well of my jeep. Im referring to removing the ground from the back of the rocker switch itself, not the battery. When I unplug the ground wire from the back of the switch, the lights get brighter.
Is it critical that the light strips ground be tapped into the ground wire for the switch? I have my switch grounded on one wire and my lights on another wire, but they are both attached to the same grounding point on the vehicle body.
As far as what switch Im using, it is the one sold on this site, the round rocker switch with a green LED indicator on the switch, which happens to be the one shown in the diagram. I have no idea how it is constructed, I just took it for granted that Oznium would sell components that are 100% compatible with each other!
They just seem extremely dim to me. I've seen the pic on the site with the strips on in broad daylight and they are visible, mine you cant tell are on at all in daylight. At night it is just a very faint glow and when I turn on the dome light you cant see their light at all. Does that make sense?
jmoddes wrote:
woooooooooaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh

okay... look at this picture/diagram

User posted image

from what you're explaining when you take the ground off the battery, the lights should go off completely... so i'm curious do how you have the switch connected.

this is what you want to do first and formost.
take the strips along, and connect them to your 12V power source (aka battery). NOW. that is as bright as they go. Pictures are not 100% deceiving, but they kind of are because a camera lens is nothing compared to the human eye. (also 30a fuse is a bit extreme for this. I use 3a fuse and that runs 2 waterproof tri-chip strips and 2 ching chong products). anyways. back to your problem. Does this switch you are using have a built in resistor for the led? if not you could 1 fry the switch which will limit and hurt the power and strips, respectively. (learned that the hard way).

That is just what I have to offer. hope it helps, come back with anything else you may have done.
jmoddes

Joined: Apr 25 2011
Posts: 2142
Location: Kenosha, Wi


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:43 pm

Then you're good. The switch I have i bought at a local electronic store and is a p.o.s. but i needed it that day and didn't wanna wait for shipping, although the dolphin's know what they're doing.


the ground doesn't HAVE to be the same, i guess depending on where the switch and strips are it might be easier. Also double check your ground points. for my underglow, i was having issues here n there and I found out it was my ground that was the issue.


gain, i'd check the strips straight on the battery. your gauge wire is MORE than good ( i use 24 gauge ) and the fuse is SUPER high, which I understand what tdawg said on dropping the voltage. and just to clarify (although doesn't make a difference) these are the waterproof lights or are they just the pure ribbon strips?

what really confuses me is how the strips get brighter when the switch is doesn't power the led inside of it. that ONE diode would not make that much of a difference where i'd like to know more on how the install was done. Just incase there may be a wiring error on accident.
Tdawgthegreatest

Joined: Jul 22 2007
Posts: 5093
Location: Florence, Oregon


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:46 pm

I'd shorten your grounds to as short as possible.
tmidgett

Joined: Apr 08 2012
Posts: 5


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:52 pm

The grounds are already as short as I can make them. They are wired up like the diagram, because thats the diagram I used to install it today, with the exception of having 2 separate grounding wires to 1 ground post verses the lights being spliced into the switch ground wire. And yes, the dimming/brightening with the ground on the switch thing confuses the hell out of me as well.
jmoddes

Joined: Apr 25 2011
Posts: 2142
Location: Kenosha, Wi


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Post Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:59 pm

#1 problem is your power going in though. should be at 12 volts. so replace the fuse. check the power, if still 7 volts check your battery. i know for a FACT.. that is where the issue is coming from... minus a possible **** ground... but i doubt there'd be 2 **** grounds unless you accidently put it in plastic which I know you're smarter than that.
bad venge

Joined: Jul 28 2007
Posts: 3550


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Post Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:19 am

I'd think the switch is defective, when you remove the ground the voltage jumps sounds like the lighted switch is pulling the voltage down.
tmidgett

Joined: Apr 08 2012
Posts: 5


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Post Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:26 am

Thanks for all the input guys! Problem resolved. It was a blown fuse. The fuse had an led indicator that is designed to "glow when it blows", and the circuit was pulling enough current across the led in the fuse to barely power the strips, but not enough to power the switch as well, so the strips would dim when the switch indicator was drawing power.
jmoddes

Joined: Apr 25 2011
Posts: 2142
Location: Kenosha, Wi


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Post Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:12 am

win. Glad it all worked out! icon_biggrin.gif
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