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Old 08-13-2016, 05:07 PM   #1
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Trace a toggle switch

I recently purchased a 40 ft 1985 Kha Shing. I have discovered several add on toggle switches, and was curious as to the best, and safest way to trace switches to their origin and function.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:41 PM   #2
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There's only two methods that I know of.

1. Turn on the switch and see what happens.

2. Follow the wires.
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lemmons View Post
I recently purchased a 40 ft 1985 Kha Shing. I have discovered several add on toggle switches, and was curious as to the best, and safest way to trace switches to their origin and function.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
A digital VOM and a long wire w alligator clips can be helpful in tracing wires...either by checking continuity or V w SW on/off
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:02 AM   #4
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Try contacting the previous owner. Have had several positive email exchanges with the previous owner of my boat.

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Old 08-14-2016, 08:35 AM   #5
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Mystery switches are so much fun. My last motorhome took me almost a year to figure out 1 switch!
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:55 AM   #6
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Hopefully not powering the holding tank macerator pump!
Make a reasonable attempt to trace the wires first. If you do have to resort to turning them on to see what happens, have people staged around the boat to listen. Just turn on for a second or two max.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:07 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the advice.
I attempted to contact the owner after the broker sale, and he was not a kind gent! Not willing to discuss.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:35 PM   #8
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They make a wire trace device. The phone company uses them everyday. There is a two wire tone generator and a single tip hand held amplifier.
Remove the wires, tone them and then listen with the amplifier unit.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00AP...gUL&ref=plSrchClick image for larger version

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Old 08-20-2016, 08:08 AM   #9
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Nice unit , its even cheaper than my home made unit with a bell ringer to pulse DC!
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:04 AM   #10
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I agree with the advice to operate the switch and see what happens. Your boat should have several original switches and they should be labeled so the additional switches should operate something else. Or, they may not operate anything, they may have gone to something that's no longer on the boat.


As for tracing wires, that is usually a lot harder than it sounds. And while the tracing device shown above is a handy tool for an experienced person, it often doesn't work well for an inexperienced person. The signal can bleed from one wire to other wires. I used to use one in my job, I know it's limitations.
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