I was reading about LED conversions,,, and by golly, In the chat box this a/m Jack and Russ was talking about some issues. SMTA.

LED seems the way to go as the standard incondecent light seems to be fading away like the old 8 track players. Several articles bring up a resistance issue,, LED's having less resistance then the old single and double filament bulbs. Some companies sell a top dollar *fix all for this problem, Its a fancy square box that really doesnt fit anywhere easily, requiring hours and hours of frustration and tuck,shove push and cram.

The ole RV guy down the road here  said simple solution to a resistance problem with LED's can be found at radio shack or more easily online, Its a simple inline #10 circuit resistor. no bigger then a grain of rice,, BUT you do have to solder it on the HOT lead to the light.The wire your soldering to is no bigger then a push pin so you will be working with very small wire. He tore apart one of those fancy square boxes that *fix all,,, and inside was,,,,,, a number #10 inline resistor with 18 guage wire already soldered to it and therefore gives you larger wire to connect to. He disclosed that fancy *fix all box costs $29.99   and that little resistor only cost $1.12 .

Manufacturers have failed to disclose on many of their products the resistance issue,,, so check carefully, and see if the LED' bulbs or assemblies have a *built in resistor,, saving you a frustrating headache. I did get a laugh when he said Toyota makes the top of the list with full LED change over,,, with the fastest blinking turn signal,, almost like a strobe light.

LED's on clearance lights dont seem to pose a problem,, its the lights that have intermintent breaks in the circuit,, i,e, turn signals.

Hope this little tid bit of info helps,,, and was just passing it along.

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Comment by John "T" Nordhoff on July 12, 2017 at 4:12pm

  Good Wolf Man, I'm in a hurry before din din and Miller Time, but FYI I would at least START WITH solid state flashers if you don't already have them, similar to those below:

12 Volt 2 pin LED turn signal flasher




12 Volt 3 pin LED turn signal flasher


 I say that because as I posted earlier one of my vehicles already has modern electronic flashers Ima guessing because when I changed out some old 1157 bulbs incandescent bulbs with LED equivalents THEY STILL WORKED AND FLASHED CORRECTLY

  With all the adding and scabbing and different vehicles, if you don't go the heavy duty wiring route like myself and the new gentleman above posted AND ESPECIALLY if you don't have good solid grounds throughout and perfect connections and splices IT WILL DRIVE YOU TO DRINK LOL

 Id start off easy n simple and as cheap as possible which may only require new flashers, if that don't help we will drop back and punt lol. I'm NOT a fan of adding resistors as that defeats the whole purpose of having LED's

 I will chat more later after dinner

 John T 

Comment by Lakota Wolf on July 12, 2017 at 2:51pm

Lots of good info and tips on this blog...

As many of you know, I am not one to pass up on tinkering on something. I would give Einstien a headache for sure.(he would ask, what is wrong with you?) Ok, I have pondered putting LED's on my pup trailer. Now with the pup trailer, it has those long square lights at the very bottom of the bottom rail,(which is supposed to be a bumper).Now, my 1st dilema was trying to find lights (LED's) that will fit into the precut out. Didnt happen,, So whats a guy to do? Just swap the bulbs with LED's  right? Ok then, I wiggled in some LED bulbs into the socket, and by golly,, those make a great one sided running light,(with turn signal on),, and the same on the other side,, But no blinky blinky.. (hates when I dont gets a blinky blinky). I forgot to mention,, I am doing my experiment on my short FunTime 5th wheel, because I do have LED tail lights on that one WITH the built in resistors. Now when I pull the pup trailer behind the 5th wheel,, I have tapped the wiring off the 5th wheel to supply the pup. (I do have a seperate wire haness running down the frame of the 5th to supply the pup with its own lighting power), I just opted for a secondary option by tapping off the tail lights making this test haness shorter. (real quick note, I do this short option when I use the Dodge,,Cuz the Dodge is only set up to pull the short 5th wheel and pup trailer,, and the Ford is set up to pull the short 5th wheel AND the Dodge and the pup,(requiring 2 brake controllers and lots of wire). Ok, anywho,, I dragged out a tree branch and positioned it up over head so I would feel comfortable in my element, (some of you will get this concept). I had to get **resistance to those LED bulbs so they would Blinky,, (have to have Blinky). Ding,ding,ding, My hillbilly,redneck Texas logic kicks in,, Lets MAKE some resistance.

(Noooo,, I was not going to hire the neighbor kid down the road to run behind me flipping a toggle switch on and off to make it blinky,).Of course it would keep him outta mischief and he would be buffed for the girls by highschool,,, but ok,, Resistance,,, lets apply some common redneckery logic, I had a spare bulb socket from my trusty card board box of miscl. I wire in that socket and insert a standard 2 filiment bulb and duct tape it up out of the way,(yup,, duct tape,, not just for holding windshields in anymore). I turn the turn signal on and I officially have Blinky Blinky...  Ok,, stepping aside from the off the wall humor,, I have concluded, that if you felt so inclined to bypass a Blinky Blinky issue,, wire in a standard bulb somewhere and hide it and use plenty of duct tape to hide your redneckery wire job. THIS WAS ONLY A TINKER TEST.. There are way better ways to get around this issue,, and Sinse I didnt  have much to do besides clean the exterior of the short 5th wheel today.. I got to experiment a little,, testing my tree branch ed-u-mikated skills. The standard bulb was enough to calapse the filiment in the signal breaker, therefore making it and the LED's go Blinky Blinky.  So with that useless logic and knowledge I thought I would add,, that NO MATTER WHAT THE PROBLEM IS,,, THERE IS A SOLUTION,SOME WAY OR SOME HOW,, Just use some imagination. (and quite possibly some duct tape will be involved,making it all worth while.)

Comment by John "T" Nordhoff on July 12, 2017 at 1:56pm

 Yo Brian WELCOME,,,,,,,,,,,, VERY NICE AND HEAVY DUTY METHOD TO WIRE UP A TRAILER so ALL the lights (truck & trailer) function properly. As either an Electrical Engineer or Electrical hobbyist over 60 years I sure appreciate good work and like your explanation. As you know as well as I, soooooooooooo many times when the trailer lights don't function properly its due to a poor resistive ground connection, or line voltage drop, or poor resistive connections.  

 To add more regarding wiring up a tow vehicle for trailer lights,,, and electric brakes,,, and remote battery charging, etc. etc. etc. here are some of my methods:

1) I start right at the tow vehicles battery where I might attach a No 8 over current protected main hot feed wire to serve the 7 pole plugs HOT auxiliary terminal. THATS ALL SUBJECT TO the trailer and its battery and other loads. Bigger wire or an added wire and/or remote relays are other good methods to use if required by the trailer loads

2) I (depending on vehicle and length and other factors) might run a Ground WIRE all the way to the battery also versus relying only on frame grounds at the rear of the tow vehicle. Of course, a trucks frame is a HUGE capacity conductor provided all the connections are proper 

3) If there is an electric brake controller I feed it power direct from the battery and then I run its Blue brake output all the way to the rear 7 pole elec brake receptacle terminal using 10 gauge  wire.

4) Of course, running good heavy feed wires all the way back as you did and using relays at the rear is another great solution where required.

 If you have good solid grounds and all good quality low/no resistance weather and moisture protected connections and splices and plugs and receptacles, plus use heavy gauge conductors YOU JUST DONT HAVE MANY PROBLEMS


 While simple resistors or other methods may indeed cause an LED replacement turn signal lamp to flash at the correct rate (subject to type of flasher), to me if you add resistors necessary to increase current so old fashion flashers will work, you're defeating the whole purpose of lower current, energy saving and less line voltage drop which a high resistance low current LED affords. Instead of creating any circuitry that draws more current I would tend to approach the problem on the SUPPLY side with a flasher or electronic device or an electronic circuit that yields correct flash times regardless of load current.

 THANKS FOR YOUR GOOD INFO love sparky chat, so God Bless yall and take care now.

 John T   BSEE, JD Longgggggggg retired Electrical Engineer and rusty so no warranty, I may be all wet grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr    

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Comment by Brian Fuller on July 12, 2017 at 11:34am

New member first post. As a past ase master mechanic i di my trailer/truck wiring this way;

First objective was to not overload the stock 68 c10 wiring

Second objective was to be able to hook up the trailer and not have the truck turn signal and 4 way flasher cycle faster/slower.

So here i go, I took the heavy battery lead that charges the trailer battery  and "T'"ed into it and used 3 relays to turn on the light loads, park, turn/brake lh side, turn/brake rh side. The heavy amp load is being carried by the relay through the battery lead and turning on/off the relay is a very light load (1/4 amp) being handled by the stock 68 c10 wiring!

I can change every exterior light from conventional filament bulbs to a very light load of the led lights on the trailer and not affect the flashing cycle rate, the load is carried by a 10 gauge wire and my truck stock wiring doesn't feel the difference. I housed all the relays near the 7 way socket at the rear of the truck in a sealed box with fuses inside it. A little bit of a pain to change fuses but it hasn't happened yet in 15 years.

The wiring is easy, terminal 30=battery, 87a load, 85/86 are used for turning it on/off and i will have to check but i thing industry norm is 85 =ground, 86 =12volt +. So, 86 ties into the corner tail light sockets to get the 12v+ signal (tail light turned on as an example), 85 goes to ground.

Jeep grand wagoneers from 91 and older with factory tow package had a weatherpack relay assembly the just plugged into the rear harness and taped into the blue battery feed and then went out to the 7 way socket. I tried to find a good used one but  up north it's near impossible.

Good luck.

Comment by John "T" Nordhoff on July 11, 2017 at 11:50am

 EXACTLY, I'm sure there are several different methods such as use of some sort of an electronic flasher, simple resistor to form a current divider, simple loop circuit etc. etc. ALL OF WHICH ARE MUCH CHEAPER THEN $29.99 LOL Some of the vehicles I've upgraded to LED turn lights must already have an electronic flasher or something already there BECAUSE THEY STILL FLASHED AT THE CORRECT RATE?????? 

 Best wishes n God Bless yall

 John T  

Comment by Rich Thomas on July 11, 2017 at 11:01am

There is a cheep flasher solution using a solid state 555 chip a resister and a capacitor. It sets up an RC time loop to light an LED. I have built a bunch of these for Slot Car tracks and Train lay outs. I cant remember the layout but you can Google it and probably find it. 

Comment by John "T" Nordhoff on July 11, 2017 at 8:06am

PS to my first post

 Good Wolf man, I like your post and bet if we put our heads together we could come up with a MUCH CHEAPER THEN $30 solution. Resistor is maybe a dollar or a few at most subject to rating and quality ??? 

 I also like the idea to buy a super cheap resistor and simply wire/jump it in PARALLEL with the LED????????? That forms a current divider so there's enough current flowing through the added resistor so the mechanical flasher still works PLUS the LED still sees 12 volts so it draws what little current it requires and still works.

 We can make and sell it for maybe 5 or 10 bucks ?????????????? 

 Show us the money lol

 John T

Comment by John "T" Nordhoff on July 11, 2017 at 7:51am

 Mornin good Wolf man......... Part of the problem with LED use as turn signal lights is that for a gazillion years mechanical flashers used a bi metal strip which as it heated it flipped/toggled opened then it cooled and closed IE On and Off   Blink Blink Blink  and the amount of current determined how long it took to heat up and how long it flashed On and Off. BUT the far less current (less heat) an LED draws may take a longggggggggggg time before it flashes off........There just isn't enough current and heat to open the mechanical heat sensitive flasher very soon.

 I think one solution might be a solid state electronic flasher that went on and off as a matter of time NOT dependent on the amount of current the bulbs draw.. If so a lower current (higher resistance) LED or a higher current (lower resistance) Incandescent bulb will flash at the same rate YAYYYYYYYYYYYY problem solved

 Far as I know (Ive been wrong before grrrrrrrrrrr) a typical LED has HIGHER resistance then a similar sized Incandescent bulb, therefore it draws less current and consumes less energy

 NOTE I did not take a look at those resistor solutions you mentioned, maybe  they are better maybe worse, maybe cheaper maybe higher, IM NOT EVEN SURE ABOUT SOLID STATE ELECTRONIC FLASHERS  but that just sounded like a good idea to me at least lol.  I guess I should read the info and literature you spoke about before commenting grrrrrrrrrrr MY BAD I APOLOGIZE

 Take care and best wishes


 John T 



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