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Old 01-13-2007, 02:30 PM   #1
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Electrical Wire Colors Equals What Device

I got nothing but wires where a univolt once sat in my 1973 Safari 23' Foot Land Yacht (Rear Bath) (Serial# L23D3S1139) and have purchased a INTELI POWER 9100 CONVERTER and also a D/C distribution Panel to use in conjunction with the Converter. As you can guess, I have no manuals and I am no good at all reading electrical schematics. No Problem wiring the power from the converter into the distribution Panel. I need some help in identifying what each color of wire feeds to the the different D/C item onboard and what size amp fuse to put with each. Any and all help is appreciated.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:04 AM   #2
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Good morning Morris -- Let's see if we can get other member input for this question. I'm not the most stunning electrician myself. Any member have anything to offer? I've asked Randy from bestconverter.com to take a look at this thread. Morris, come back with any questions you may have.

Attached is a photo of my Argosy's Univolt (1974). This is the wiring per my owners manual (from right to left):
Black -- battery negative* / White (same terminal) is Chassis Ground
Red -- battery positive w "AGU - amp - Fuse 50" in photo
Blue -- Main Charge Line, 8 ga., to TV umbilical; w SFE 30 amp Fuse in photo
Yellow -- Circuit 3, w SFE 20 amp Fuse
Pink or Purple** -- Circuit 2, w SFE 20 amp Fuse
Purple or Pink** -- Circuit 1, w SFE 20 amp Fuse

* Out of picture - there is also an "AGU amp Fuse 50" on coach wall in Black line between univolt & battery.
** I can't get to my Argosy this week to tell which sequence but this shouldn't matter -- your choice of determining these 12v circuit distributions.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:27 AM   #3
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Better yet -- from the '74 Argosy manual. There should be no significant difference between the Argosy and Airstream installation of the Univolt's rudimentary electronics. The Argosy was made in a different factory (Versailles, OH), so I wouldn't absolutely guarantee wire colors.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:46 AM   #4
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I think Bob has you on the right track. His configuration is probably very similar to what you had before it was yanked out. Also, I do not know what type of fuse panel you purchased so I'm not comfortable suggesting what wire goes to what accessory. Also, the previous owner could have change something so test each circuit to be sure it powers what you think it does.
Fuse size depends on wire size. There are charts available online that you can reference.
If by chance you purchased a Parallax FB9 fuse panel, you can look at the "typical" wiring diagram for that fuse board. Airstream Univolt Click on wiring diagram and go to the second page of the PDF file.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:50 AM   #5
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from the '73 service manual:

purple: circuit 1
yellow: circuit 2
pink: circuit 3
brown: circuit 4
(these are all 20 amp circuits)

blue: charge and circuit 5 (wonder what that means?) appears that there are other fixtures on the same circuit as the battery charge line from the TV (?). anyway, in the diagram of the 12v distribution panel, it shows it as "car battery (positive and circuit 5) with a 40 amp fuse. + and - to the trailer battery are on 50 amp fuses.

(aside: I find it rather annoying that in neither the owner's manual, nor the service manual, is it listed exactly WHAT stuff is on WHAT circuit. "circuit 2"...WTF is that???? )


Red, black, and grey, the diagram shows them going to the control pannel...

looks like red and black go to the ammeter; not sure what the grey does...power on light? can't tell from the manual. not clearly documented...maybe its +12v for the control panel itself (?)

Do you still have the old univolt? I think each terminal is actually labelled with which wire color is supposed to go where...If I can get back out there, I'll try and take a picture and post it.
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Old 01-14-2007, 03:52 PM   #6
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Chuck,
Those diagrams come from the manufacture of the Univolt and not Airstream. Airstream likely just copies it to the owners manual without labeling each circuit. Individual models using the same Univolt might have different configurations of DC accessories so they keep it generic.
I still tend to agree they could have gone the extra step and put a sticker over the top labeling each circuit to what it powers.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:28 PM   #7
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Chuck,
What I meant to say first was thanks for posting that from the 73 manual. That helps everybody that searches later.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:40 PM   #8
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Here was the wiring that was on my '71 Safari. Maybe the colors will help you out.

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Old 01-15-2007, 12:29 AM   #9
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This was a great response. Thanks everyone and I am sure that I can handle it by the (one-at-a-time) process of elimination with testing each wire and circuit individually. I've printed this in entirety to take with me asIi sit in the floor on my quest. Question for Chuck at this point as he obviously has the identical unit as mine.. Upon exiting the door on the left, there are two (2) electrical rocker switches (one above the other) and also one further to the left of the two (2) mentioned. What do these operate?
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:43 AM   #10
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well...they're the same year and model, but don't assume that they're "identical". the hand-made nature of these things and generally poor documentation of details like this can make for differences, even where you don't think there should be any. So take everything with a grain of salt...

your trailer is a CA made double bed model; mine is OH-built twin. seems minor, but the different factories...well, they did things "differently".

like the 2 switches by the door; you said that on yours, one is above the other? mine are side by side.

anyway, one of those switches controls the "porch light". (the outside light over the door). The other controls power to the light over the galley. but its not a "3-way" switch, which is kind of confusing. There is a switch on the galley fixture, too. The door switch lets 12v get to the fixture; the switch on the fixture turns the light on and off. If you leave the fixture swtich "on", then you can turn the light on and off using the door switch. If the door switch is in the "off" position, the galley light won't work at all.

the other switch that is further forward controlls the "scare light", which is the big round light on the side of the trailer, just forward of the window. The switch on mine is adjacent to the fixture. (also forward of the window).
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:14 PM   #11
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Thanks Chuck, that cleared up a lot of answers and sparked my old brain. This old cracker box has yet a lot of hidden secrets yet to reveal.
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Old 01-16-2007, 12:11 AM   #12
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This is most interesting and fun. Getting some of the wires connected at this time and just hitting a few bumps here and there. All three (3) of the switches that Chucked pointed out are Bad... the "scare light", the "porch light" and the light over the galley switch that can also be operated from the front door rocker switch. They (Small Rocker Switches) must be scarce as hens teeth though to find as I searched Google and Yahoo for several hours with -0- results. Removed them (drilled rivets) and and they say Chicago Switch 10-AMP 120 Volt A/C although they use 12 Volt D/C. I was able to find the following replacements on Ebay that will fit and work perfect I think. Price is very reasonable since you submit your best offer and the merchant takes about 25% less than the asking price. If you need them.. Get them while you can. eBay: CHICAGO P166 ROCKER SWITCH SPST 10A 125VAC NEW (item 7594907391 end time Jan-15-07 20:35:35 PST)
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Old 01-16-2007, 07:07 AM   #13
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Jean,

Why would you replace those 'bad' switches with the same model. Ask yourself why they are bad?

Go to Radioshack or your nearest auto parts store and buy DC voltage rated switches. You might find one with a slightly different form factor, just enlarge the mounting hole.

The switches you have are probably only good for 5 amps at 12V DC, which is why they are toast.
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:24 AM   #14
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Not too sure about that 5 amps at 12V DC equals toast part. Using basic electric math, I=E/R (10amps=120Volts/12ohms load), a 12V DC circuit at the same 12 ohms load would only be 1 AMP. The problem here is a short somewhere in the circuit that exceeded the current rating of the switch, not the switch itself.
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