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Old 06-17-2009, 10:25 PM   #1
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1973 31' Excella 500
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Excella Fluorescent Light Mystery

I have a 1973 31' Excella 500. There are fluorescent lights in the troughs above the curtain tracks in the front lounge. I can't find ANY mention of them in either the owners manual or the service manual.

Now for the question.... Does anybody know where the switch is to turn them on!!!! :-) I have looked and looked and can't for the life of me figure out where it is.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:00 PM   #2
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They are an addition from a PO. We have the same (120 volt) fluorescents in the same spots. The switches may be on the ends of the fixtures.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:46 AM   #3
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I have a 1973 31' Excella 500. There are fluorescent lights in the troughs above the curtain tracks in the front lounge. I can't find ANY mention of them in either the owners manual or the service manual.

Now for the question.... Does anybody know where the switch is to turn them on!!!! :-) I have looked and looked and can't for the life of me figure out where it is.
That was standard for your Excella.

I will not be back in my office until 6-22, and I will search for the info for you. I have that info in one of my books.

Andy
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:25 AM   #4
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Excella Lights

Hmmmmm, they really do look like they are factory installed... The 1975 owner's manual lists the fluorescent bulbs in the buld replacement section, but the 75 service manual doesn't show ANY 120V light fixtures either. ( I'm using both the 73 and 75 manuals, since the 73 manual doesn't even show a floorplan matching my Excella! ) The end caps of the troughs look original and have no switches.

I'm chasing some other wiring problems at the moment, so I have the center roof section removed. Maybe I'll take one of the curtain trays off and see if I can trace the wiring.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:40 AM   #5
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Look behind the front curtain next to the street side couch arm. There should be both an electrical outlet there and the switch for the florescent light fixtures over the windows.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:21 AM   #6
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Look behind the front curtain next to the street side couch arm. There should be both an electrical outlet there and the switch for the florescent light fixtures over the windows.
GStephens
That's where the switch in my 1983 Excella is. There is another electrical outlet, but no switch, on the curb side.

Oh, just because you have them and a switch doesen't necessarily mean that they are working. Mine didn't. I have Cold Cathode Fluorescents (CCFL) over the street side, but don't like the color of light. I plan to get three matching fluorescents that I can fit with warm white tubes.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jjfitzy View Post
Hmmmmm, they really do look like they are factory installed... The 1975 owner's manual lists the fluorescent bulbs in the buld replacement section, but the 75 service manual doesn't show ANY 120V light fixtures either. ( I'm using both the 73 and 75 manuals, since the 73 manual doesn't even show a floorplan matching my Excella! ) The end caps of the troughs look original and have no switches.

I'm chasing some other wiring problems at the moment, so I have the center roof section removed. Maybe I'll take one of the curtain trays off and see if I can trace the wiring.

Thanks for your help.
By the way, those flourescent light fixtures are 12 volts DC.

Andy
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:11 AM   #8
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Aren't the light fixtures 120 volt bulbs, with a step down transformer? That is how my thin lites operate.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:18 AM   #9
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Aren't the light fixtures 120 volt bulbs, with a step down transformer? That is how my thin lites operate.
I forget the voltage fluorescent tubes operate at, but it is significantly more than 120 volts. The high voltage excites the gas in the tube, causing it to glow.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:26 AM   #10
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Aren't the light fixtures 120 volt bulbs, with a step down transformer? That is how my thin lites operate.
The 12 volts DC, is electronically "chopped" to create AC, then the transformer "steps up" the voltage to a higher AC voltage so that the bulbs will work.

Transformers don't work on DC.

Usually, the electronic circuit board goes bad. Years ago replacement boards were available, but I think they are gone.

The easiest fix, is to replace the entire fixture.

You may have to be a little creative to make them fit within the drape valance.

Andy
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:58 AM   #11
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Andy is right. Replacement is the way to go!

They are very strange fixtures. Same for those around the ceiling vents. Odd tube size that is difficult to find and only seem to exist in cool white, even searching online. Interestingly enough, I found remnants of Thin Lite labels on some of them.

I will post photos of the one remaining label on my ceiling vent fixtures soon. I am replacing that vent in the bedroom with a FanTastic Vent this weekend. I'll look for the remaining, not functioning, Thin Lite over the windows at the same time. One had been replaced with a fixture from Maple Light that I like a lot. It still works fine, but I can't find anything about it. I would like to have some more, but they are apparently no more.
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:41 PM   #12
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First off, thanks to everyone for their input, it has been extremely helpful.

But the mystery deepens, these bulbs are F15T8-CW, which I believe are AC lights. At least they are the same as the ones in the mirrir fixture in the bathroom of my house! Still haven't found a switch, yet though. Nothing near the outlet on the street side end of the couch.

There is what looks like a replacement plate on the curbside underneath the AC outlet there, and next to the porch lite switch. I had assumed it was covering where the antenna rotate controls were originaly, but perhaps that is an errroneous assumption. I will drill out the rivets on the plate and see what's behind there tonight. I know it's an afterthought plate, because the rivets are aluminum colored and not white like the rest of the original rivets.

Joe
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:08 PM   #13
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First off, thanks to everyone for their input, it has been extremely helpful.

But the mystery deepens, these bulbs are F15T8-CW, which I believe are AC lights. At least they are the same as the ones in the mirrir fixture in the bathroom of my house! Still haven't found a switch, yet though. Nothing near the outlet on the street side end of the couch.

Joe
They should be 12v lights, because you want light when you're running on battery, right?

Perhaps the PO put in the wrong bulbs, or the fixture died and they replaced and rewired for AC lights. Regardless, tracking down the weird things in an old airstream is part of the fun.

Just last week I learned I had a laundry hamper hidden behind the toilet.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:26 PM   #14
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the bulbs are the same but the ballasts are either 12vDC or 120vAC.
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