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Location of transformer for salon and MSR overhead lights?

Discussion in 'Ocean Yacht' started by Prospective, May 7, 2018.

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  1. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    This has always bugged me but I guess not unusual in my vintage of boat. Year 2000 43' Ocean SS. The salon overheads and master stateroom overheads are 12v halogen fixtures wired into the AC side of my panel with reostat style dimmer switch. The fixtures are junk and the reostats are balky. I'd like to replace all of the fixtures with modern dimable LED fixtures, remove the transformer, and move the circuit to the DC side of the panel. BUT, I have no idea where the transformers are. Hoping they're not hidden behind the headliner because dropping that is not a project I want to get into. I have been behind my master panel many times and I know they are not there. Just wondering if anyone who reads here has found them or knows where to look.
  2. Rick Prince

    Rick Prince New Member

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    Hello, I am new to this site and have a 2000 43 Ocean SS as well. I agree with your comment about the halogen fixtures and would like to upgrade. Were you able to find the transformers?
  3. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Member

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    My Ocean is more vintage but the halogen lights in the salon are 120 volts, the controller is on the Stbd post and wired to the AC. I have two lighting circuits. Wondering if you have 10 12v bulbs wired in series and driven by 120 volts?
  4. Trak

    Trak Member

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    No you cannot wire 10 bulbs is series. You have a couple of options. You can leave the switch at 120v, then after the switch install a LED driver rated for the appropriate wattage. Then from the driver go to the lights that are already wired in parallel. I did this on my Hatteras.

    You can probably also find a LED driver / switch that will fit where your existing switch is. This would be a nice option as it would probably be dimmable.
  5. dewald

    dewald New Member

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    I have 1992 42’, are you sure you lights are wired to 120 AC side of your breaker panel? All of my original gold rimed recessed lights in the salon, galley, over step going below, head, guest and bow master staterooms are wired to the 12V DC side. All the bulbs are Halogen 10 w G4 bi-pin base, on either a dimmer rotating knob that does not turn fully off or on a separate on/off switch. There are 2 exceptions, in the head and over the steps I have replaced the halogens with Scandvik G4 Led side pin, 12 & 24 volts DC, bulbs #41030P 10w (very bright) and #41020P 5w. I tried the Scandvik bulb on the dimmer but I’m guessing since it could not be fully turned off there was enough current passing through the dimmer they would softly glow. I think I have found a dimmer online that will work, just have not pulled the trigger yet. All that being said, I also have fluorescent lights in the salon mount in a valence over the port & starboard side and over the back bulkhead, wired to 120 AC. I have thought about go to all new Led fixtures, but I think I would open up the headliner and that’s not going to happen.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I installed the same Scandvik bulbs on a 62' Sunseeker 3 years ago. 65 of them to be exact. We have not had a single failure and they dim perfectly and do shut off with the factory Sunseeker dimmer switches.
  7. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Member

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    Trak: He is looking for his transformer, I'm suggesting that he may not have a transformer.
  8. Trak

    Trak Member

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    If he does not have a transformer, the suggestions I had will work for him. They are both 120v to 12vdc options. The dimming looks like PWM dimming.

    If the OP does have a transformer that is 120vac to 12vac, then the ac/dc leds will work. I have found longer bulb life with led drivers rather than running them with 12vac.
  9. Trinimax

    Trinimax Senior Member

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    Hi Prospective, I am now seeing this post, but I recently had this same issue with the 43. I found the transformer behind the wooden panel on the aft stbd side of the salon next to the salon door. The boat came with half the salon lights wired to the DC panel and the next half to the AC panel.
  10. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    Great to see this post getting some traction. I suspected that is where the transformer was located. Mine's wired the same way. Some on the AC side and some on the DC. Less of an issue now that I have an inverter installed but would still love to pull the transformer and move the lights over to the DC circuit.

    Trinimax.. my master stateroom is the same, with the overhead lights wired to the DC side. Do they use the same transformer or is there a different one in the MSR?
  11. Trinimax

    Trinimax Senior Member

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    Hi prospective, that is not a bad idea. the transformer for my salon lights went bad, and I thought about putting all the lights as 12 volt, but then the hassle of running the extra 12 volt wire looked to be more difficult than replacing the transformer. So I chose to do that instead.
  12. Trak

    Trak Member

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    Prospective. Transformers are AC only devices. They are not required on the DC side. Bulbs must match voltage supplied to fixtures. Sometimes a DC voltage reducer is used to step down the DC from 36v to 24 or 12v
  13. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    In case it wasn't clear... My salon lights and MSR lights, which are DC fixtures, are connected to the AC side of my panel via a breaker. So clearly there is a transformer (as Trinimax has confirmed) that converts the AC power to DC. It's a stupid set-up but that is the way it's set up. I am proposing moving the whole circuit to the DC side of my panel and removing the transformer.
  14. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    It converts 120Vac to 12Vac.. It should be on the ACv breaker panel.
    A power supply would convert it to DCv and would still need to be on the ACv panel.
  15. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    Ok..whatever you want to call it.. it converts 120ac to 12vDC. It is most definitely not in or behind my panel as I've been back there many times. Trinimax, who has the same vote, has indicated it is behind a panel adjacent to the saloon door which makes sense as that's where the switch is.
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Can't you people just simply follow the wires on a 43' boat?
  17. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I've been biting my lips to say this. After post #16 I wanted to say more.
    We advise here.
    Hand holding and doing it for you is rather difficult if your boat is not in a local yard.
    If you know all about it, why don't you close the thread.
  18. Trinimax

    Trinimax Senior Member

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    Capt J Capt Ralph, I appreciate your good advice and assistance as always, but if you look up at post 10, you will see where I have done just what you have said to do. So I dont quite understand your comments. Also sometimes its worth spending a few minutes asking a question on a forum instead of needlessly ripping apart panels and headliners looking for an AC to DC converter that is not shown in the wiring diagram.
  19. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    Good grief... All I asked was if any of the 43' Ocean owners on here happened to know where the AC to DC converter for the salon lights was since it's not in an obvious place and I was hoping it wasn't in a location that required removing my headliner. Trinimax was kind enough to tell me exactly where it was. Meanwhile I get arguments about what it is, reprimanded about hand holding, and accused of not being able to follow a wire.

    I got my answer in post #10.. The remainder of my posts were trying to clarify to people who were questioning me, that I did in fact know what I was talking about. I am done. Consider the post closed... The Yacht Forum police have spoken.

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