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AC series-wiring special dimmer switch/remote control, but lights no longer come on

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by carl0s, 3 Feb 2017.

  1. carl0s

    carl0s

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    Hi. I'm having a tough time googling this.

    I bought some MiLight touch-control switches, which are basically 2.4GHz radio-frquency remotes, but made to replace the lightswitch. They have a N and a L on them, they will operate from 180 - 240v AC.

    Plan was to keep the lightswitch ON at all times (short with chocolate block/whatever), and fit this RF module in place.

    For reference; this is the Switch/Remote control: http://www.futlight.com/productdetails.aspx?id=269&typeid=100


    Now, I thought hmmmm.. I only have Live in my lightswitch (plus earth), maybe I can wire in series through this remote.

    Well, I tried that, and the switch/remote works, but the lights in the ceiling are "off", i.e. the current isn't passing through in series like I'd expected.


    Any thoughts on this? What can I do? It seems I can either short the wires to turn the lights on, but then the remote/switch can't be powered, or I can series-wire the remote/switch, but then the lights don't get their power :(

    It doesn't look like it'll be too easy to run the Neutral down into the backbox due to plastering etc.

    Any thoughts? Any capacitor tricks or anything?
     
    Last edited: 3 Feb 2017
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  3. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Get the version with the battery in it.

    Wiring it in series with the light isn't going to work.... and your idea that maybe it would work suggests that you shouldn't be playing with mains electricity.

    Having said that, you may be able to get the neutral that you need to the switch by re-wiring at the ceiling rose or equivalent. How is that wired at presnet?
    [/QUOTE]
     
  4. carl0s

    carl0s

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    My thoughts that it might work was just based off what I expect would happen in a low power DC circuit. Searching for information/advice on "AC series wiring" doesn't turn up much. Anyway the switch/remote did indeed work.. but the lights are 'off'.. Plus a triac type dimmer switch manages to run in series off a single wire like this.

    Bit late for the batteries as I have bought a couple of these, and also I wanted the reliability of non-flattening batteries.

    I'm not sure how it's wired TBH, and I may struggle to get to the junction boxes and what not, due to solid flooring in the room above. I expect the wiring is in the subfloor above. Although I just had a lightbulb moment that actually the carpeted spare room is above this one....

    When i say I'm not sure how it's wired.. there is live and neutral coming out of the rose, which used to go to some transformers for the old MR11 12v bulbs. There is a pine "false ceiling", and I basically fished the transformers out after widening the holes to fit these larger AC downlights. (http://www.futlight.com/productdetails.aspx?id=200&typeid=110 )

    I have been using the lights for quite a while now, but with the toy-like remote controller. These are the new RGB + white colour temperate ones. (RGB + CCT, or RGB WW/CW as they say)

    I can't actually see the ceiling rose itself though.. the feed from the ceiling. I have just extended off the leads that used to feed one of the transformers, and have all these downlights wired in parallel off of that.
     
    Last edited: 3 Feb 2017
  5. flameport

    flameport

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    The two wires at the existing light switch are presumably line and switched line, and the new device requires line and neutral only, with radio for the actual switching?
    If so, then locate the ceiling rose / junction box and :
    move the switch wire from switched line to neutral, you now have the required L&N at the switch position.
    move the switched line for the light fittings to line, so that they are powered all the time.
    No new cable required.

    Getting to that is required whatever the solution used.
     
  6. carl0s

    carl0s

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    Yes I was just starting to see that idea after thinking about what endecotp said.
    I get it.. I think..

    and yes your understanding of the requirements is correct.

    What about finding a live "line" at the ceiling rose though? Won't that be missing? Or is this the one that is usually looping through every room anyway? I suppose if it's all in the subfloor above, and i can get to it, then it should be easy to find a live feed.
     
  7. flameport

    flameport

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    It will be in the ceiling rose.
    The other most common choice would be at the switch (obviously not in this case),
    with the third and seldom used option being a separate junction box.
     
  8. carl0s

    carl0s

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    I've just found what would be the rose, with a bore-scope thingy, and thankfully, it's not a rose! it's just wires dropped through a hole in the ceiling, which will be accessible from the subfloor in the spare bedroom above. I'm betting the multi gym thing is right over it though :D
     
  9. carl0s

    carl0s

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    OK that's all rock 'n' roll. I found the wires, made the hole bigger and fished it into the room above. I know what I'm doing now. the double-red cable is my switch feed, then I've got black neutral and red live on the other cable. So I should be able to sort that. Thanks for the help. That carpet was next in line for replacement anyway :p

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    However... when I started lifting floorboards (before moving the multi gymn to actually get to the middle of the room), I found this :(

    A very slightly damaged feed to the mains socket (I think. it's the right size cable), and a more seriously damaged thick round white cable which heads in the same direction - towards the party wall (this is a semi detached house). It's also in the direction of the cooker below if that looks likely?

    Obviously it's all been done very badly, and can be sorted with a junction box and enlarging of the routing in the joist, but I'm wondering if that white cable is just an old cable anyway?

    Perhaps I can get an inductive ammeter on it, and switch the cooker on ? There doesn't seem to be a cable like this coming from my old fashioned fuse/breaker board..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 3 Feb 2017
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  11. carl0s

    carl0s

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    and yes I now see that my backbox isn't earthed. I wonder if that's why I feel a slight buzz/tingle from it ?
     
  12. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  13. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Not good.
     
  14. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    If this is a wind up, then you've had your fun - now go away.

    If it's not, then please down tools immediately, and get an electrician. You are completely out of your depth and have dangerous wiring.
     
  15. carl0s

    carl0s

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    Are you being serious? This isn't my wiring. This is the first time I've seen it since buying the house. Surely the earth feed to my metal back-box should actually be connected to the other earth up there rather than just hanging loose. As you can see they are not connected. I have always felt what feels like 50v on the backbox (similar to an old telephone ring voltage).
     
  16. carl0s

    carl0s

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    Yes I know, hence the photos!
     
  17. carl0s

    carl0s

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    I touched the earth wire on the switch cable (red/red/bare), and I felt what felt like about 50v. I joined the earths as I thought they should be, and now it feels OK. My understanding is that the current takes the best path to earth, which is now not via me.

    LOL I can see how this might seem ridiculous... but to tell me to down tools rather than fixing a clearly broken earth wire seems a bit counter productive.
     
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