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Switchback Issue


Best Answer smb56 , 03 August 2014 - 08:56 AM

Thanks Wiz, I just figured at my age I wouldn't want something like this but once I saw them, had to have them. She who must be obeyed thinks I'm crazy anyway. I appreciate the education and hopefully will keep learning all the new stuff out here. My group was all Holley, Headers and Cams :)

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#1 OFFLINE   smb56

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:12 AM

I wander around reading here mostly but have a problem with switchbacks I can't figure out. I have a 2014 Edge Limited and installed switchback LEDs last night. They stay orange all the time and don't blink when the turn signal indicator comes on. Is it because I bought 2 EL CHEAPO bulbs or because of the year model on the 2014 that things have changed. Any help would be appreciated, great place to learn things here. 









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#2 OFFLINE   candurin

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:35 AM

Did you wire in resistors?

#3 OFFLINE   smb56

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 10:27 AM

No sir, I had gotten the impression (maybe falsely) that this was a plug n play item. Correct me if I am wrong please!



#4 OFFLINE   TheWizard

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 02:14 PM

You won't know if you need resistors until you can get the turn signals to flash.  If they flash too fast, you need resistors, otherwise you don't.  It seems to be a matter of luck whether you will have the hyper-flash issue requiring resistors but you are more likely to need them when using the cheap bulbs sold on eBay.

 

That said, the problem may be as simple as a polarity issue.  Try reversing the bulbs in their sockets.  Also, check that the wire contacts on the bulb base are aligned properly and protrude enough to make good contact in the socket.  I have found that Ford sockets tend to be slightly loose and that giving the bulb's wire contacts a slight outward bend will let them make better contact in the socket.


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#5 OFFLINE   smb56

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 03:52 PM

Ok. with what I have learned so far, is there a place to go and purchase "Qaulity" bulbs I won't have to use with resistors? Also, I'm learning a little bit about CAN bus LEDs and is the 2014 Edge a vehicle that can use these type bulbs or is it still predominantly a European car item. I know I'm asking a lot of questions but I haven't really found a tutorial on this so far. Again, thanks to all who provide support. 



#6 OFFLINE   TheWizard

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 08:49 AM

Actually, buying quality bulbs adds better construction including reverse polarity protection, over current protection and better heat dissipation but it's still a crap-shoot whether they will cause hyperflash or not.  Some do and some don't.  It has been said that the higher power LED bulbs eliminate hyperflash but I have seen 50W CREE LED bulbs still hyperflash without resistors.

 

As far as a place to buy quality bulbs, there are several but you may be shocked at the prices.  V-LEDs.com sells high quality bulbs but unfortunately doesn't back them up with a corresponding warranty.  Diode Dynamics has great bulbs with three year warranties but they cost as much as $90 a pair.

 

CAN Bus bulbs have the resistor built-in so that they appear as a normal incandescent bulb to cars that have the CAN Bus system monitoring bulb outages.  The built-in resistor does the same thing as an external resistor except that it is connected to both sides of the circuit (parking light and turn signal) which is not necessary on a non-CAN Bus vehicle.  The Edge only needs the added resistance to eliminate hyperflash on the turn signal circuit.  Having the resistance internal to the bulb and connected to both circuits causes additional heat in the lamp housing where it can't dissipate as easily.  This causes shortened bulb life - heat is the worst enemy of electronics.  So the short answer is that yes you can use CAN Bus LED bulbs in non-CAN Bus vehicles and they will work fine (including eliminating hyperflash) but they will not last as long.  In some cases, I've seen them die in as little as about nine months to a year.  They get expensive to keep replacing at that rate.  One of the advantages of LED bulbs is their extremely long life compared to incandescent bulbs but CAN Bus bulbs often eliminate that advantage.


Edited by TheWizard, 03 August 2014 - 08:52 AM.

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#7 OFFLINE   smb56

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 08:56 AM   Best Answer

Thanks Wiz, I just figured at my age I wouldn't want something like this but once I saw them, had to have them. She who must be obeyed thinks I'm crazy anyway. I appreciate the education and hopefully will keep learning all the new stuff out here. My group was all Holley, Headers and Cams :)



#8 OFFLINE   smb56

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 09:02 AM

On another note, I keep seeing Type 1 and Type 2 as well as A Type and B Type. What is the difference? 



#9 OFFLINE   TheWizard

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 11:53 AM

Incandescent dual filament bulbs such as the 3157 have two separate filaments that are on different circuits although they share a common ground.  The dim filament is used for the parking/running lights controlled by the headlight switch.  The bright filament is used for the turn signals (and in some cars the DRLs).  But both are the same color because the color is determined by the glass globe of the bulb rather than by the individual filaments.

 

Switchback LEDs take advantage of the unique ability to combine different color light sources in a single housing.  They have white LEDs connected to the parking/running light circuit and amber LEDs connected to the turn signal circuit.  Since they distinguish the two circuits by color, it is not necessary to have one brighter than the other so most switchback LEDs have the same output level for both white and amber.

 

The two types of switchback bulbs are known as Type 1/Type 2 or AW/AO based on how they function when the turn signals are in use.  If the parking/running lights (white LEDs) are off, both types operate identically.  When the parking/running lights are on, Type 1 or AW switchbacks will alternate amber and white when the turn signals are flashing.  Type 2 or AO will flash amber only until the turn signals are finished and then switch back to solid white.  (AW = amber white and AO = amber off).  I have not seen the terms A Type and B Type but I would assume they mean the same thing.  Type 2 (AO) function the way factory LED setups are designed while Type 1 (AW) seems to have originated with import car "tuners" (also known as "ricers").

 

There are a few unique switchback bulbs that have special circuitry designed for use in factory DRL applications.  They are usually Type 2 (AO) but have additional circuitry to switch to white when the turn signal circuit shows constant (not flashing) power.  This gives white DRLs while still retaining amber turn signals.  They only work in vehicles that use the front turn signals for DRLs as well.


Edited by TheWizard, 03 August 2014 - 08:33 PM.

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#10 OFFLINE   smb56

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 05:34 PM

Ok, Thanks. I owe you a beer so next time I'm in town for the Ga/Fl game, I'll get it to you



#11 OFFLINE   Jeff Westley

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:33 AM

I recently installed some cheap Type 1 switchbacks in my 2011 Sport.  They stayed orange.  Hmmmm...   I paid some more money and bought some Type 2.   They also stayed orange.  I tested the LEDs on a bench.   They were working fine.   The inner two contacts are white, the outer two are amber.  Time to get my multi-meter. I opened the hood and pulled the bulbs, and tested the socket.  It turns out the voltage for the low filament (or in this case the amber color) never goes below 9V.  When you put the turn signal on it alternates between 12V and 9V.   When you turn the turn signal off, it goes back to 9V.  9V is not enough to turn the LEDs off, so they stay lit.   9V wont light the incandescent bulb, but it will light the LEDs.  Hence, the white never get the signal to come on.  

 

Aside from a solid state relay or a voltage regulator, I don't know how to solve the issue.  


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#12 OFFLINE   TheWizard

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 07:47 AM

I question your diagnosis...  9 volts is more than enough to light a standard 12V incandescent bulb (although dimly).  And the dim filament corresponds to white not amber.  A switchback bulb is designed to have white parking/running lights (dim filament) while retaining amber turn signals (bright filament).  The parking light circuit should not be affected by turn signal use - certainly not by increasing voltage.

 

How did you perform your testing?  Did you have the headlights or parking lights on at the time?



#13 OFFLINE   Jeff Westley

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:37 AM

 A switchback bulb is designed to have white parking/running lights (dim filament) while retaining amber turn signals (bright filament). 

 

 

You're correct, the dim is the white, the bright is the amber.   I'll post a pic or a video.   The amber side (bight filament) was switching between 12V and 9V.  



#14 OFFLINE   TheWizard

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 08:46 AM

Did you install an external resistor?  That should get rid of the amber side staying on.  There have been several reports of weird turn signal problems in the Edge but a load resistor usually resolves the issue.


Edited by TheWizard, 15 August 2014 - 08:47 AM.


#15 OFFLINE   Jeff Westley

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:00 AM

I did not.  I figured that would only fix the fast flash.  I could try it though.  



#16 OFFLINE   TheWizard

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:04 AM

Well yes, the primary symptom that the load resistor resolves is the hyper-flashing of the turn signals.  But some of the issues have been due to a variable current as you describe that causes symptoms you wouldn't see with an incandescent bulb because the LED bulb doesn't have as much resistance.  Adding the external load resistor brings the circuit resistance back up to what it would be with a standard bulb, usually eliminating the odd symptoms.



#17 OFFLINE   Jeff Westley

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:06 AM

The resistor worked!  I never would have guessed that.  Once the resistor was installed the weird voltage went away.  I attached a pic. For those who care: the black wire is ground, the green wire is +12V for the bright side (or the amber), the yellow wire with a green stripe is +12V for the dim side (or white in this case).   Thanks for the help Wizard. 

 

FNCGFwB.jpg


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#18 OFFLINE   WWWPerfA_ZN0W

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:57 AM

Good to know, and glad it worked out 4 u!



#19 OFFLINE   chipworkz

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 01:14 AM

Thanks for the report Jeff, I just bought these swtichbacks http://smile.amazon....0?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and they stayed amber just like yours. It is was around 10:30pm when I opened the package and plugged it in but my initial thought was exactly what you found with your test. It would only go white when I first plugged it in before the turn circuit made contact. I am glad to know that the resistors are going to fix it. I already have them and will install them to make sure. I really liked the looks of these since all 60 leds are on for white and then switch to amber. I haven't seen any others that do this. The others are 30 white and 30 amber from what I have come across. 



#20 OFFLINE   chipworkz

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 10:39 PM

So the resistors did in fact correct the issue with my switchbacks as well. Here are a few pics of my install. I mounted them on a plate I threw together real quick so I won't worry about them getting hot. They do get pretty warm after a few minutes which could happen if you have the flashers turned on when broken down or something. I soldered the one side to the positive wire and the other side to the chassis ground. They can be removed in a few minutes if I needed to go back to standard bulbs. 

 

Load%20Resistors%204a.jpg

 

Load%20Resistors%201a.jpg

 

Load%20Resistors%202a.jpg

 

Load%20Resistors%203a.jpg


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