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Old 03-06-2012, 08:09 AM   #1
Canine_Rescue_Pilot
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Default Turn Signals, Electronic Flashers, and a pilot light

I came across a little problem and a solution, I hope this helps someone out if they run into the same problem. There's no rocket science here, but it is a solution.

Here's the background: I installed a turn signal switch on my cart. I used a $28, generic golf cart turn signal level (from Amazon-dot-com), and decided to use an all-electronic flasher (because I use LED turn lights and brake lights on my cart). You may know that "standard" thermal flashers don't always work well with LEDs due to their much lower current draw. The turn signal switch I bought has a single built-in light just at the base of the lever. It's used as an indicator that your turn signals are on.

Here's the problem: Standard thermal flashers have 3 pins. (1) Battery, (2) Load, (3) P - pilot light. However electronic flashers, like the EP35, are different. They have three pins but they are different: (1) Battery +, (2) Battery -, (3) Load. So if you hook up the pilot light of the turn signal to the load pin, it will activate the flasher just like any of the turn signal lamps do. How do you hook up the pilot light? Sure, you probably don't need it. But if you're anal and like everything to work... or just simply like more blinking lights... here's one solution.

One Solution: You can add two 45-cent diodes to the circuit. This creates an "OR" array that so you can connect your pilot light to both front lamps. The pilot light will be powered by the left lamp "OR" the right lamp whichever is activated. The diodes will prevent the lamp, opposite to the one that is blinking, from also blinking when it should not be.

Remember, for this built-in pilot light to work you must ground the case of the turn signal lever.

There is a drawing and schematic attached below. I hope this helps someone.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Turn signal.pdf (16.73 MB, 13 views)
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #2
villajoe
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Default Re: Turn Signals, Electronic Flashers, and a pilot light

i have the generic turn signal too and a flasher from the auto parts store.

i originally had regular bulb brake lights but switched to LED, everything works fine still.

thanks for your info though!
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Turn Signals, Electronic Flashers, and a pilot light

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Originally Posted by Canine_Rescue_Pilot View Post
Remember, for this built-in pilot light to work you must ground the case of the turn signal lever.
I have to toss a RED FLAG on this idea.

For safety reasons. NEVER ground the frame of an electrical golf cart, either directly, or as in this case, indirectly.

High current cables and terminals are in close proximity to the frame and all of them only need a return path to complete a current loop.
The arc could blind you, the white hot pieces of metal the used to be a wrench will burn you and so will the sulfuric acid ejected from the exploding batteries.

Why not just power the pilot light from the "L" terminal on the solid state flasher and connect a wire from B- to the second wire on the pilot light?
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Turn Signals, Electronic Flashers, and a pilot light

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I have to toss a RED FLAG on this idea.

For safety reasons. NEVER ground the frame of an electrical golf cart, either directly, or as in this case, indirectly.

High current cables and terminals are in close proximity to the frame and all of them only need a return path to complete a current loop.
The arc could blind you, the white hot pieces of metal the used to be a wrench will burn you and so will the sulfuric acid ejected from the exploding batteries.

Why not just power the pilot light from the "L" terminal on the solid state flasher and connect a wire from B- to the second wire on the pilot light?
Easy there, Trigger. Before you throw up the red Flag. You're right. You never ground a cart chassis. However I did not suggest you should ground the chassis of the cart.

You will, however, need to ground the turn signal lever for the pilot light to work. What I failed to print, is that you isolate the case from the steering column. I did this using a wrap of rubber. It also served a dual purpose because it keeps the lever assembly from swiveling with too much force.

You cannot simply wire the pilot light to the "L" (load) terminal of the flasher. These electronic flashers activate when they sense a slight current draw on the "L" terminal. And since the built-in pilot light is not switched (by factory design) when the lever is in the center-off position, it will draw current and cause the flasher to activate when the lever is in center position.

If you use an electronic flasher, and you must have the pilot light, this is the only way to do it with this type of lever switch assembly.

Johnnie - Thank you for pointing out that I failed to note the ground isolation of the lever assembly from the steering column. This "idea" is currently in operation. I would never post something I have not actually done.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Turn Signals, Electronic Flashers, and a pilot light

I must admit I am more OCD about electrical safety than most forum members and guests.

Electrically isolating the turn signal control box from the steering column will avoid grounding the frame.
However, I find it unfortunate that a turn signal assembly sold for use on a golf cart uses automotive wiring (hot wire with frame return) for the pilot light.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Turn Signals, Electronic Flashers, and a pilot light

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Originally Posted by JohnnieB View Post
I must admit I am more OCD about electrical safety than most forum members and guests.

Electrically isolating the turn signal control box from the steering column will avoid grounding the frame.
However, I find it unfortunate that a turn signal assembly sold for use on a golf cart uses automotive wiring (hot wire with frame return) for the pilot light.
I had to do the same for my headlights. My lights have two pigtails, but one was internally grounded, so I had to go through some effort to isolate them from my frame.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Turn Signals, Electronic Flashers, and a pilot light

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I had to do the same for my headlights. My lights have two pigtails, but one was internally grounded, so I had to go through some effort to isolate them from my frame.
That's not too uncommon when picking up accessories for the cart at the auto parts house. They do make plenty of 2 wire light kits, though. You just have to open the box before you buy.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Turn Signals, Electronic Flashers, and a pilot light

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Originally Posted by scottyb View Post
That's not too uncommon when picking up accessories for the cart at the auto parts house. They do make plenty of 2 wire light kits, though. You just have to open the box before you buy.
Mine are 2 wire lights, but when I opened them up I saw that they were negative grounded, and there was no practical way to insulate them inside the housing, so I had to insulate the mount from the frame. PITA, but it works.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Turn Signals, Electronic Flashers, and a pilot light

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I must admit I am more OCD about electrical safety than most forum members and guests.
Never apologize for this. I appreciate this as much as I appreciate a well considered counterpoint.

You do make a fairly profound statement that we should all take to heart; when considering to "Go Cheap" and select an item that was not specifically designed for your cart, you should know exactly what you are doing and what you are buying, else you potentially risk safety.
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