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Old 12-18-2015, 12:09 PM   #1
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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Roof Mounted Searchlight questions.

My 345 did not have one, but I have bought a few on Ebay, and would like to plan to install one day!
The ones I have are Jabsco, and 4" I believe, but there are others out there from Ray-Line and also 8" and larger.

Here is one of them that I paid very little for, and in fact it cleaned up really well!


Then I snagged another with controller soon after, which workeds, albut the bulb is out on one filiment



And today, I got another for $8! Might only be ok for spares, but i am ok with that.

So, I have the light, and switch, and I know how to wire it.
Brad told me that there is or should be an extra plate in the roof under where it is mounted, so that's on my list for when I pull my cocpit roof down to smooth my dents.

My question is about performance...
How good is the stock spot/flood bulb... its a sealed beam unit, and looks to be almost unique, so they are $75 a piece...
Wondering if anyone has thoughts on the original, or if there is a LED or HID conversion out there?
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:18 PM   #2
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
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Mine is stock I believe and works ok. Takes a minute to get the hang of using it. Nice to have in parks where signage has minimal or no lighting to direct you to the correct campground. (Also used it this year in our outdoor holloween decor to light some ghosts up in the trees ). If I were starting from scratch as you, I would look for one that is brighter and whiter than the stock version. A bright white LED maybe.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:21 PM   #3
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Steve

I can't say about the bulb conversion other than to point you in the right direction. Bobmiller1 replaced his with a marine unit. First page down at the bottom. Maybe you bought his old one off Ebay.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...ne-129482.html

Mine doesn't work but is on the long list of things to do. I too would like to drop my cockpit and work out the dimples. What kind of structure support are you planning on using to try and beef up the front cap? High density spray foam?

Cheers
Tony
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:36 PM   #4
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I am planning to take a look at the bulb, they seem to be much like an aircraft landing light for which there are LED replacements. I believe they are PAR 31 replacements, but there are other sizes. Might be worth a check, try Aircraft Spruce.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:00 PM   #5
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Ham Lake , Minnesota
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Our original spotlight was a KH with 50K flood and 100K spot - khindustries.com, the NightRay hardwired spotlight in chrome is pretty much the same. Shortly after I bought the motorhome the aiming control switch broke. I tried for a while to find a replacement with no luck locally. Fast forward to last summer and... I broke the pivot bolt. My fault - I forgot to open the garage door all the way and tapped it... Parts were not available - the fine folk at KH at first did not seem to understand why I would want to fix the old light, and eventually told me that they had redesigned the light and none of the current parts would fit my old light.

I did the unthinkable and replaced it with a cheaper unit from Amazon.com. While shopping I found the previously un-findable control switches at very attractive prices. Too late to use with the big KH.

I have the old light and controls in a box just in case I ever find something I can harvest parts from on e-bay or in a thrift store. I even have the broken switch - it was still riding around in my car just in case I found something similar.

We really did not use our spotlight much before the switch broke, even less after the aiming switch self destructed. The cheap replacement is mounted over the same hole for the odd emergency lightning situation. Be careful - the aluminum skin up there is really thin.
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Old 12-18-2015, 02:57 PM   #6
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All good info.
Brad said it was a pretty stout piece of plate... maybe 1/4 aluminum, riveted between ribs.
The bulbs are available, but the newer units are either HID or LED, which consume lots less power of course.

I was thinking about mounting a second one over the rear, for fun... LOL.

If I could find one of those big old marine vintage units that would be awesome...
I saw a MH for sale with one on and it looked sweet...
Like this one, but with electrical control.
Vintage Jabsco Marine Ray Line Searchlight Spot Light 43630 0110 12V | eBay
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:09 PM   #7
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Unfortunately I didn't take very good pictures of how the spotlight was mounted, sorry about that

Here's a picture showing the shape and location of plate in regards to the mounting hole through the roof.
Click image for larger version

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The plate itself was 1/8" aluminum plate cut in an octagon shape probably about 10" across.

The plate was not fastened to anything, it was held in place strictly with vulcum. These next two pictures should give you an idea as to how much vulcum was smeared around the plate.
Click image for larger version

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Unfortunately that's this is about as much information as I provide. I thought I had more pictures and I'll continue to look for them but I wouldn't count on it.

Steve, I know I had promised to send you the plate but during all the demolition work on the 345 I misplaced it or else I scrapped it. I'll probably never know for sure. I just know I've looked for it several times without success. Sorry about that

Brad
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:17 PM   #8
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Brad, That is the most freaky view of an AS Motorhome cockpit roof!

No worries about the plate, you have provided plenty of info to duplicate!
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Old 12-19-2015, 07:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Brad, That is the most freaky view of an AS Motorhome cockpit roof!
Yep, that's a view none of us want to see of our own coaches

Quote:
No worries about the plate, you have provided plenty of info to duplicate!
Glad to hear it!
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Old 12-19-2015, 08:50 AM   #10
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My original is there and does work. Haven't had need to use it.
That and the allways extended rabbit ears TV antena are part of the throwback look of the classic in my eye.

Woun't mind being able to retract the antena tho. Maybe the fishing line is broken.
I think there is still one open line on the "getting under way check list"

Does anyone's inside / outside temp gauge still work?
Mine did briefly , then a little puff of smoke and it didn't
Kind of like magic in reverse.

Cheers Richard
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:35 AM   #11
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The one I just won on EBay was $8.... So I think it is gonna be my test bed!
Richard, my inside/outside temp gauge was not working either... I would like it to tho. I pulled it apart and figured out the thermisters were toast. It's in my "fix later" box.
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Old 12-19-2015, 03:53 PM   #12
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We used four ACL (30V) aircraft landing lights, wired in series on 120VAC service in lighting night exterior. (Old School) They are incredibly narrow, designed for a very long throw. They were what we used up in Ccndors to light trees in the distant background a block away. PAR 46 250W @ 28V -- absolute fire starters.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:09 PM   #13
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My $8 Jabsco searchlight arrived...
In a medium box, with NO packing... just rattling around.


Good news is, apart from a pivot bracket that had lost its screws, and fallen out(easy fix). Aside from a few minor scuffs, and a small ding, its in great shape, and possibly the best of the ones I have!



Now to the test bed...

FYI everyone, wiring for these is...
Lighting:
Thicker Black wire = Ground.
Thicker Orange wire = Power to Flood beam.
Thicker Grey wire = Power to Spot beam.
The grey and black wires maybe transposed dependent on how the controller is wired.

I used a larger KC Daylighter 55w spot bulb that I had laying around. Its larger diameter, but has the screw style terminals. It did get me thinking tho.... with an adapter, it might work well and look cool!



PASS, on both circuits!


Now onto the movement side.

Up and down movement is controlled by:
Brown and Green wires.
Brown Powered, and Green ground, moves lamp UP.
Brown ground, and Green powered moves lamp DOWN.

PASS both ways!


Pivot left and right is controlled by:
Blue and Yellow wires.
Blue powered and Yellow grounded moves lamp RIGHT.
Blue grounded and yellow powered moves lamp LEFT.

PASS both ways!
Right...


Left.


Interestingly, the lamp will pivot more than 360deg.
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:53 AM   #14
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Since they are rarely used in every day life, I really enjoyed using mine extensively at the Blanco Christmas parade. it must have been quite a sight from the spectators view.
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