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04-13-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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## Mine Lights problem

I was given the opportunity in my electrical class to figure this situation out, and am looking for help(which is ok).

It's about how miners wired up lights with 3-way switches for the tunnels. The problem is I need to setup 7 lights and 7 3-way switches to opperate in the following format.

Switch one turns on light 1 and 2
switch two turns off light 1, leaves 2 on and turns on 3
switch three turns off light 2, leaves 3 on and turns on 4
switch four turns off light 3, leaves on light 4 and turns on 5
switch five turns off light 4, leaves on light 5 and turns on 6
switch six turns off light 5, leaves on light 6 and turns on 7
switch seven turns off lights 6 and 7

I then need to be able to run thru them all again from the beginning. It also does not work by code and am using single conductor wires not romex. If anyone would be able to help me figure this out I would appreciate it.

Thanks

04-13-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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It would have to be done with digital circuitry.
Whilst it could be done anologue style it would be too complex.
A digital counter / sequencer using a flip flop to advance
the count, the switchs would connect to the flip flops.
Witch would be used to clock the counter.
Do you have any knowledge of digital circuitry ?

 04-13-2012, 09:11 PM #3 Member   Join Date: Sep 2008 Location: Oregon Posts: 1,497 Rewards Points: 500 Learn about "parallel" and "series" wiring. Then just a matter of wiring some in parallel and others in series. Hint: Two regular switches could be wired so either switch would turn on a light, but both must be off to turn off the light. Or two regular switches could be wired so they both must be on to turn on a light, but with either switch off, the light will turn off.
 The Following User Says Thank You to Billy_Bob For This Useful Post: PaliBob (04-14-2012)

 04-13-2012, 09:20 PM #4 Member     Join Date: Oct 2010 Location: Brisbane, Australia. Posts: 4,069 Rewards Points: 5,098 What about each light having a 3 way switch arrangement, At each position two switchs side by side, One switch upside down compared to the one beside it, That way you just move both switchs together. If your really keen, you could use a 4pdt switch, at each location, instead of two normal switchs of spdt. This type of set up would require more wires ! but it would work. I thought he wanted simple switch wiring ???
 04-13-2012, 10:16 PM #5 Member   Join Date: Dec 2011 Location: Livermore, California Posts: 272 Rewards Points: 264 That's a really interesting problem, with a surprisingly simple and elegant solution. Thank you for giving my brain something to munch on. As a hint: For each light, which switches affect the light? And how can you describe the relationship between those switches and the light. Billy_Bob, if you went all the way to a solution, would you mind PMing it to me. The solution I found doesn't involve any switches in series, so I'm curious how you did it.
04-13-2012, 10:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ryan2000 Switch one turns on light 1 and 2 switch two turns off light 1, leaves 2 on and turns on 3 switch three turns off light 2, leaves 3 on and turns on 4 switch four turns off light 3, leaves on light 4 and turns on 5 switch five turns off light 4, leaves on light 5 and turns on 6 switch six turns off light 5, leaves on light 6 and turns on 7 switch seven turns off lights 6 and 7
In this diagram the neutrals are not shown. When wiring it up use 2 wire cables so neutrals accompany the hots at all times.

(added later) Using single conductors, run white wires for neutral doing a simple daisy chain from one switch box to the next in numerical order. Then run white wires to the light fixtures accompanying each wire marked in red in the diagram.
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The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.

Last edited by AllanJ; 04-14-2012 at 06:17 AM.

04-13-2012, 11:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ryan2000 ...I then need to be able to run thru them all again from the beginning. It also does not work by code and am using single conductor wires not romex.
I'm assuming this bit means that the sequence should work regardless of whether all the switches start in the up or down position.

04-14-2012, 01:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ryan2000 7 lights and 7 3-way switches using single conductor wires not romex
Pretty sure this means single pole switches and double pole switches won't work here and use of 2 wire cable is irrelevant.

 04-14-2012, 06:41 AM #9 Member   Join Date: Nov 2007 Location: Nashua, NH, USA Posts: 7,906 Rewards Points: 1,418 In the following diagram there are 7 switch boxes each with two 3 way switches. Separate switches (separate handles) are preferable to double pole double throw switches since the latter will result in having unwanted combinations of turning other lights on when you wanted to turn both lights off. The red lines are single conductors to the switch common terminals (accompanied by neutral). The blue lines are paired travelers (accompanied by neutral). Attached Thumbnails   __________________ The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit. Last edited by AllanJ; 04-14-2012 at 06:46 AM.
 04-14-2012, 10:22 AM #10 Member     Join Date: Mar 2005 Location: Welland, Ontario Posts: 12,411 Rewards Points: 11,614 Blog Entries: 11 Question has been around for long time. Here is the solution I have seen.
04-16-2012, 02:36 AM   #11
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Alright, I figure the OP has had enough time to come up with his/her own solution. Here's the solution I came up with. I believe it meets the requirements of the sequence given, only 7 3 way switches, and the sequence holds true regardless of if the starting state is all switches up or all switches down. And as hinted, it's horribly code non-compliant.
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