Convert Porch light to AC power?

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by kb0nly, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    On my PUP the converter is shot, and i don't plan on replacing it, the wiring was changed so that there is an interior light on AC with a dimmer switch, works great, but the porch light outside is a DC light and so that doesn't work. Other than using a small AC to DC wall adapter, which is a possibility, does anyone know of a small AC bulb that could be used in the housing instead? Obviously i would also have to rewire it for AC power, and probably replace the switch with a heavier duty one for AC, but that's just another mod for the weekends.

    Or does anyone make an AC porch light of this style? The one i have is the angled one with an amber lens and a switch on the bottom.



    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
    Three Kids!
     
  2. Stepdad

    Stepdad New Member

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    Well, if your not dry camping at all and only go to sites with AC power I suppose you wouldn't need worry about having DC voltage for lighting when you do dry camp. If such is the case you wouldn't need a converter that badly, however I would strongly (very strongly) recommend that you make certain all of your wiring for the AC is running through a circuit breaker of some sort, just on the off chance that a wire is cut or split somewhere inadvertantly and becomes grounded.

    As to the porch light, if your intent on sticking with AC power only if it were me I'd replace the entire fixture. You can pickup really nice porchlight fixtures from Walmart, Target or other retail outlet dirt cheap and they are very simple to install.

    Hope that helps!



    Edited by - Stepdad on August 07 2007 05:22:30
     
  3. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    The converter is blown, there is no battery or battery box, and i don't even know where it would have been originally since i don't see a place or wiring for it. I don't worry about DC lighting since everywhere we plan on camping has AC service anyway.

    All the AC wiring was replaced, the camper was originally wired with this cheesy wire that looks like lamp cord, no ground, just line and neutral. So all the old wiring was ripped out and replaced with 14 awg house wire, romex, whatever you want to call it. All the outlets are now wired to the original breakers with the converter side removed. They even put in GFCI outlets to be one step safer.

    As for the porch light, i was hoping someone made and AC version of the one on there now. I looked at a lot of lights at Lowe's, and some local stores including Wal-Mart, but none of them are nice and low profile and surface mount like the original. If i put anything else on there it will interfere with the awning.



    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
    Three Kids!
     
  4. Gambit...

    Gambit... New Member

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    Here is a quick and cheap fix.

    If you are SURE you will not be running anything but the lights on this circuit, Go to Radio Shack or any electronics wholesaler and pick up a 120v - 12v transformer. Figure on 21 Watts per light you need to run off of it and buy that size. To go over in Wattage on the XFMR is OK, under is NOT! (You will need to place the XFMR in a grounded metal box or a plastic box. You old converter box would work just fine.)

    Do not forget to put a fuse on the DC side to protect your low voltage wirring. Just wire that puppy in and Viola!


    Gambit...




    Edited by - Gambit... on August 14 2007 11:47:05
     
  5. kb0nly

    kb0nly New Member

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    Yep, thinking i will have to homebrew a solution. The DC wiring is all chopped up and mostly removed, the wiring for the outside light is tucked up behind the canvas next to the door so i can get to that and just power the light i want.

    I have a full junk box of wall transformers. I got one that will work perfect, its a 3amp 14v power adapter with an AC cord out of one side and the DC cable out of the other. I think it came from an old scanner or printer, don't remember which.

    Anyway, i will wire that in and use that. In the cabinet next to the door there is a switch box and dimmer switch for the interior AC powered light fixture. I will just chop the plug off the cable and wire it in before the dimmer switch to the line and then run the DC cable up through the pocket in the canvas wall to the wiring from the outside light.

    That should work good enough for me! I was thinking about gutting out the converter side of the power center and putting a 50amp switching power supply in there that would just fit, and then running anything DC off of that, including a supply line over to the table area for running my radios, ham radio that is, but with all the other DC lighting being chopped up already i can just plug in a power supply at the table anyway.

    The previous owner removed most of the DC lighting and wiring when the converter crapped out, they never used it on anything other than AC anyway. The put in a new mini fridge that is AC only, and the DC ceiling lights got covered up and the new AC light and dimmer switch was installed, along with all the new wiring.

    I wired in a new outlet and breaker for the AC unit that i just put on. Everything works great!



    1991 Skamper 245C
    1997 Pontiac Trans Sport
    Dad
    Mom
    Three Kids!
     

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