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Author Topic: 12V lights in a 24V system  (Read 1960 times)
Tikvah
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« on: September 27, 2013, 05:53:15 AM »

Am I crazy or did I read once that I can install two 12V lights in series in a 24V system? 

I'm wondering if I can do my trailer lights by simply doubling the bulbs in series. 

I'm okay with crazy.... but stop me before I waste my time.

Dave
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1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
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Tikvah
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2013, 06:32:11 AM »

MCI SERVICE INFORMATION
 

Headlight Wiring - 12-Volt Lights on a 24-Volt System
Early MCI coaches used 24 volt bulbs for all the exterior lights, including the headlamps. During the mid 1980's the 24 volt headlamps were replaced on the MC-9 coaches with 12 volt headlamps, beginning at unit 34901. By wiring the headlights in series, 12-volt lights will operate with a 24-volt system.



The problem with wiring lights in series is if one lamp fails, both lamps go out. To prevent this from happening, a "balance" wire was added. This wire is routed from the 12-volt post on the rear battery to the wire connecting the headlamps.



Depending on which headlight fails, the balance wire acts either as a power supply or ground connection for the remaining lamp. The balance wire has 12 volts of power on it, which supplies power for the headlamp connected to battery ground. For the headlamp with 24 volts attached, the voltage difference between the two wires will allow 12 volts to flow through the lamp illuminating it (24 volts on power side - 12 volts on ground side = 12 volts power flowing through light.)

      

Service Bulletin #1930 explains the procedure on converting your older MCI coach over to 12-volt headlamps. It also lists all the parts required for this rework. Beginning in April of 1992, the exterior lighting on MCI coaches was changed to operate on a 12-volt system. All coaches from that point on have been using 12-volt exterior lighting, so the above information does not apply to these later models.
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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
bevans6
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 07:15:49 AM »

MCi also sold, at one time, little 24v to 12v converter boxes, one per side.  I have them on my bus, and they don't work well at all.  Even with a Hella conversion the lights are dim.  Apparently the reason you want 12V headlamps, aside from the obvious, is that the tungsten filament is heavier and therefore more robust.  I read that on a headlamp manufacturer page.

To the question - yes, you can double up the lamps and put them in series to run 12v lamps on a 24v system.  It works better if you use LED's due to high current from the two 12v lamps.  I have actually done that on one of my marker lights, I had to put something in in a hurry so I got two LED marker lights and put them in series.  Works great, looks a little ghetto but it's up high so I don't worry about it.

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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belfert
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 09:22:01 AM »

MCi also sold, at one time, little 24v to 12v converter boxes, one per side.  I have them on my bus, and they don't work well at all.  Even with a Hella conversion the lights are dim.  Apparently the reason you want 12V headlamps, aside from the obvious, is that the tungsten filament is heavier and therefore more robust.  I read that on a headlamp manufacturer page.

Does this issue with 12 volt bulbs being better than 24 volt bulbs also apply to 24 volt bulbs used in H4 headlights?  I used 24 volt bulbs because the wiring from the batteries to the headlights could be #8 instead of #4 if I used 12 volt.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
sledhead
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 11:33:32 AM »

When I replaced my rear lights I used 2 led lights for each 24 v light . 6 years later and they still work fine .                dave
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1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide . home base huntsville ontario canada
Tikvah
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 11:36:38 AM »

I think it seems reasonable to simply double my trailer lights (actually just a tow dolly)
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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
Lin
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2013, 11:46:01 AM »

Why do you not want to just use 24v bulbs.  You can even get them cheap in LED.
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Tikvah
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2013, 11:48:16 AM »

Why do you not want to just use 24v bulbs.  You can even get them cheap in LED.

If I can find them that would be fine... probably better.  But, I never seem to have much luck finding the right thing for these kinds of projects.
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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
Lin
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2013, 12:07:32 PM »

if you need the standard bayonet mount bulbs, I have gotten them from NAPA.  However, depending on the counter person, you may have to ask for 28v bulbs.  I have seen LED's on Ebay that list the voltage as a range that includes both 12v and 24v.

We use those magnetic roof mount lights for our toad.  I replaced the 12v bulbs that came in the fixtures with 24v ones.  Works fine.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2013, 12:27:30 PM »

NAPA has those but they are listed as 28 volt on the computer and the counter people cannot seem to find one unless you ask for 28 volt
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sledhead
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2013, 12:36:57 PM »

I used these but at the time they were on sale for $7 each 2 for stop 2 for turn 2 for running lights  you can't miss them when there on. I have 2 spares in the coach    dave
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 12:42:14 PM by sledhead » Logged

1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide . home base huntsville ontario canada
Tikvah
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 02:01:19 PM »

Forgive my ignorance.....
The trailer lights are all set up for left signal/brake,  right signal/brake, tail
But the bus is separate both brake, left, right, tail

How do I merge the two designs?



Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk 2
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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
Lin
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2013, 03:10:41 PM »

This is, of course, another issue.  I think that there are electronic adaptors for making the transition.  The question is whether they will take 24v or not.  Some of our people have set up a system that uses relays to both trigger the 12v signal using the buses 24v signal and integrate the brake light.  At the time we were going to first use our magnetic lights, we were in the process of moving so I thought the simplest thing to do at least for the short term was to screw an independent light to the top of each magnetic fixture and wire that for the brake.  That was some 6 years ago.  Since it worked, I never got motivated to change it.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 01:21:29 PM by Lin » Logged

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Don4107
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2013, 08:34:20 AM »

I just did this to our 5B.  It had 12 volts available at the rear junction where the tail light connections are.  I used four 24 volt relays and Sean's print.  Solves both problems, separate turn and brake lights and 24-12 volt.

http://odyssey.smugmug.com/Other/Miscellaneous-Stuff/Trailer-Relays/4750590_JifrZ-O-1.gif

Used the harnesses for the relays so if one relay fails just plug in another.  They fit in the junction box, no fuss no muss.

I had magnetic lights and 24 volt bulbs from NAPA, $2 and change.  This way I can pull any trailer without needing the magnetic lights. Still use them for the toad(s) with 12 volt bulbs.
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Don 4107 Eastern Washington
1975 MCI 5B
1966 GM PD 4107 for sale
1968 GMC Carpenter
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