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Old 06-28-2015, 09:05 AM   #21
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

We used to get those long, cigar shaped, variable load flashers, with a pig tail wire on each end. They could be used with almost any amounts of lights, used a LOT by truckers, so when they unhooked their trailers, the lights still flashed the same.
Bill W.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:17 AM   #22
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

When I have had to "fool" bulb warning electronics when aftermarket LED lights are used I like the dual ballast resister from late 70s Chyrsler electronic ignition, it gives you 2 resistors to use, most times the 6 ohm one is emough--
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:53 AM   #23
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

The resistors go from the "powered", flashing / pulsing side of the bulb circuit to ground, normal LED lights do not draw enough current to operate a standard flasher properly. If the flash rate is too high you may find that the manufacture already added resistance to the LED assembly so normal flashers will work. On the point of the resistors, depending on what type of resistor you are using they will change value with heat. Some are positive coefficient, meaning when they get hot the resistance goes up, others are negative coefficient, meaning when they get hot the resistance goes down.

When you are trying to increase the current through the flasher circuit you place the resistor from the powered bulb side (this is the side that flashes) to ground, make sure you do not place the resister on the supply side or better known as the battery side as this side NEVER flashes, and is before the flasher. Most turn signals feed the power to the flasher, from the flasher it goes to the turn signal switch then out of the turn signal switch to the bulbs. You place load resistance on the flashing hot wire that goes to the bulbs, no place else.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:29 AM   #24
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

This is getting interesting! I've been away all morning and just now responding to some of these posts. Several things:

1. I referred to bulb wattage as there incandescent bulbs in the two front turn signal lights. These are the type that are mounted between the rails of the front bumper. I replaced one of the bulbs a while ago but didn't look too carefully at the wattage - so it's possible that the two bulbs now installed are different wattages. I need to check this out.

2. Each light unit in this car has a separate wire providing its ground.

3. Electronic flashers seem readily available for 12v neg ground systems but I've had trouble finding them for 6v pos ground systems. Thanks for the link, Mike V.

4. The resistors I added were soldered to the lines running from the turn signal system to the tail lights and then connected to ground.....so I believe they were installed as described in the last paragraph of jmeckel's post (#23).

5. The turn signal system installed in the car is the Signal Stat 900.

6. Perhaps I should wire an ammeter in series with the turn signals and find out how much current each is drawing when it flashes?

7. Tom, I think that the heat I was feeling at the lower steering column was heat radiating from the engine, not heat generated by current load.

8. It's still a little unclear whether there's agreement on how adding resistance in series vs parallel affects the flash rate and why.....perhaps if we can get THAT clarified the rest will become simple!

Thanks everyone for all your input!!
Dave
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:08 PM   #25
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

From post by Mike V on another (similar) thread that addresses #8 in Post 24:

"The LED's have a low current draw, so the (flasher) windings never get hot and the metal never bends. When this happens one needs to increase the current by lowering the resistance.

Not flashing, slow flashing place resistor in parallel. Fast flashing place resistor in series."

Which tells me that I need to add resistance in series with the wires running to my tail lights. Does this make sense? (I KNOW that The Dog will say "yes"!!)

Dave
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:19 PM   #26
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

If you add resistance in series with the brake/turn signal bulb/led you will decrease the current to the bulb. In series, resistance adds, and more resistance means less current. Less current through the bulb means a dimmer light and a slower flash because of less current through the flasher.

If you put the resistor in parallel with the bulb you will still get full voltage across the bulb and the same amount of current through the bulb so it will be just as bright. The parallel path of current through the resistor means more current through the flasher and a faster flash.

Put the resistor in parallel with the bulb and make sure it is on the bulb side of the flasher.
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:22 PM   #27
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilotdave View Post
Fast flashing place resistor in series."
While this will slow down the flashing it will also make the light dimmer.
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:24 PM   #28
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

Thanks, Dank. I'm looking for slower flash rate.......but I don't want to reduce brightness. Maybe time for some experimenting.
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:42 PM   #29
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

Dave,

Led's generally draw much less current than incandescent bulbs so the problem usually encountered with them is slow flashing. I don't understand why yours would be flashing faster if all you did was replace incandescent with led.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:04 PM   #30
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

My EF-32 is a 2 prong 12 volt electronic flasther, but when I bench tested it on my 6 volt car battery and led bulbs, it worked fine. 6 volts is the lowest it will work, but with the engine running the system voltage should be about 7.2 volts.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:31 PM   #31
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

Did you try to flush it with Vinegar?
Sorry, I couldn't resist....
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:37 PM   #32
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike V. Florida View Post
Get an electronic flasher and get rid of the resistors.

6 volt led flasher
agreed, whole benefit of using LED anythign is to save power while having brighter lights, adding resistors eats more power than light bulbs most of the time...

electronic flashers fix all that as they dont rely on current draw to determine flash rate
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Old 06-29-2015, 06:03 AM   #33
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

DanK - perhaps the mixture of incandescent bulbs in front with LEDs in the back explains the flash rate?

Tom - this system requires a 3-prong flasher; perhaps an EF-33?

PepeLoco - good idea - a vinegar flush cures most everything.

Dave
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:33 AM   #34
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanK View Post
Dave,

Led's generally draw much less current than incandescent bulbs so the problem usually encountered with them is slow flashing. I don't understand why yours would be flashing faster if all you did was replace incandescent with led.




It actually results in fast flashing. Adding higher wattage [ 10W] or CP bulbs in the fronts with a standard 535 flasher resolves the problem.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:33 AM   #35
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick L. View Post
It actually results in fast flashing. Adding higher wattage [ 10W] or CP bulbs in the fronts with a standard 535 flasher resolves the problem.
Then my understanding and experience with thermal flashers is all wrong. When I was going to college I had a job with an RV dealer and wired up a lot of tow vehicles for trailers. The added current of the trailers always made the flashing faster. To slow it down we changed the flasher to a heavy duty one. So, again, if the led's, which draw less current, cause faster flashing I don't understand what's going on. Can you explain it?
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:33 AM   #36
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

My curiosity got to me. I had to figure this out. I found this link with an explanation of the evolution of flashers. The one Dave has is a later one that can detect a burned out bulb and hyper flashes to alert the driver of the bad bulb. Led's draw so little current the flasher thinks a bulb is out. So, the fix in that case is a resistor in parallel. If he had one of the old thermal flashers the flashing would have been slower but the fix would be the same.

http://johnatchley.com/?page_id=196
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:53 PM   #37
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

Thanks for all the ideas and information. I'm going to reinstall one of the load resistors in parallel to the tail light line and see if that cures the problem. Will report back.

Dave
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:35 PM   #38
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

Dave, if adding that one resistor to one light doesn't slow down the flashing it may be that you are not increasing the current enough. To check, add both resistors in parallel to one light. If that works then a single 3 ohm resistor is what you need for each side.

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Old 06-29-2015, 09:17 PM   #39
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Default Re: Resistor Mystery

Thanks, Dan. It'll be easy to test once I get a chance to get back into the shop.

Dave
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