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Old 08-03-2008, 10:44 AM   #15
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Can't believe this, I'm working on these same switches this weekend on the Silver Dragon. I have a switch that killed the batteries deader than dead, in the last week. smoking when I turned on the charger yesterday.
Good to know if Andy has some of these switches. Radio Shack has nothing in a 12 volt rotary switch. Home Depot has no 12 volt stuff at all. The original 12 volt bulbs are 1.4 AMPs each.
Sometimes things are just meant to be.

We always have those switches.

Andy
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:50 AM   #16
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switch test

There is a simple test that can be made to check out the condition of the ceiling light switches.

Turn the switch so that "all" of the bulbs are on, preferably when plugged into city power, so that the voltage is at it's maximum.

Leave them on for at least 10 minutes, or more.

Gently, repeat gently, try to turn the knob "backwards".

If the lights flicker, "at all", then that little test tells you that particular switch, is on it's last legs, and should be replaced, ASAP.

Home Depot switches, usually in short order, will not pass that test, as reported to us by many owners.

Andy
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:57 AM   #17
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Looks like that switch in the picture is only rated at 6 amps. Not enough for all 6 bulbs. I would not use it.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:58 AM   #18
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I had one in my 75 that would flicker and also could be heard through the radio. During one of my work trips to Tucson, I bought one at Oasis RV.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:59 AM   #19
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Andy, do you have any of these switches?
Thanks
Perry

edit, He answered before I posted. That's Fast!
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:14 AM   #20
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Looks like that switch in the picture is only rated at 6 amps. Not enough for all 6 bulbs. I would not use it.
Pick.

Your absolutely correct.

A 3 amp rating at 125 volts AC, is 375 watts.

The DC formula for watts, is W=EI

However 375 watts at 12 volts DC, would mean a current flow of about 31 amps. Forget that all together.

Switch DC ratings are far remove from AC ratings.

Unfortunately, the DC ratings are not always stamped on the switch.

The original Airstream switches are still available, but they cost more than the Home Depot supposed replacements.

The switches that Airstream originally used are still available, and have a proven track record, of at least 20 years or so.

Not bad, we think.

Andy
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:08 PM   #21
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Ok question remains is there a after market switch .

That has same specs as the airstream switch that is cheaper than $26 I only ask because I have three and if I replace one I am going to replace all thats $78 with all the other things in my trailer needing fixing I need to cut and pinch hear and there if you know what I mean.
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:23 PM   #22
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how about using 12v relays (fog lamp type) operated by the under rated switch?

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/26-534
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:46 PM   #23
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That has same specs as the airstream switch that is cheaper than $26 I only ask because I have three and if I replace one I am going to replace all thats $78 with all the other things in my trailer needing fixing I need to cut and pinch hear and there if you know what I mean.
I don't think there is much to worry about, with the original switches.

Yours only lasted 32 years.

If you wish to make a substitute with an unknown switch, that certainly is your choice.

Keep in mind that when a switch overheats, they can start a fire.

The hardware store switches "DO NOT" have a DC rating, therefore they should not be used, in a DC circuit , especially one that can approach an 8 amp DC load.

Granted the Airstream switches don't have a stamped in rating, but Airstream assures that they are correct for the DC loads than can be imposed upon them. Certainly there many years of service that bears that out.

Just because two switches are stamped the same AC rating, has absolutely "nothing" to do with it's DC rating.

The prices of DC switches, "HAS EVERYTHING" to do with it's design, performance and ratings, in this case DC.

How AC components work, is very different than how DC components work.

Ever think of why your home is not powered by DC?

Cutting and pinching with electrical components, is a sure way to a problem, and/or a fire.

There are some ways to pinch when owning an Airstream, but it should never, ever, even be considered, let alone used, if in any way safety could become an issue. LPG systems and components and electrical system and components, for safety, must never be compromised.

Andy
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:14 PM   #24
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I bought a switch last year from Oasis RV in Tucson, around 12 bucks or so. The trip to the parts department cost me over $250 bucks, they have some neat stuff.
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:25 PM   #25
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If I remember, the switch changed between 1975 and 1976. The 75 and below (mine) is much cheaper then the newer one.
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:58 PM   #26
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I eventually replaced all 4 of the light switches in my Sovereign with the Home Depot/Hardware store variety of switches. They all burned up within a year of use.

My solution was to replace all with fluorescent lights rather pay $125 in switches for 35 year old yellowed lights.




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Old 08-18-2008, 12:18 AM   #27
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I eventually replaced all 4 of the light switches in my Sovereign with the Home Depot/Hardware store variety of switches. They all burned up within a year of use.

My solution was to replace all with fluorescent lights rather pay $125 in switches for 35 year old yellowed lights.
The lenses were yellow, not the lights.

That indicates a lot of cooking with grease and/or smoking in the trailer.

The lenses are available for about $15.00 each.

Andy
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:41 AM   #28
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Yellowing of Light Difusers

The plastic used in the 70's Airstream overhead light difusers will turn yellow and eventually orange and brown over long time periods, even if there was no smoke or cooking present. It is normal for this material to turn yellow/orange over time. I bought my replacement lens at the overstock Airstream Store at an International a number of years ago at a reasonable price.
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