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 Light switch mechanism with indicator.
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 9:13:44 AM on 6 December 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

I have been looking for some time for HPM light switch mechanisms with an indicator to use in for lights which often get left on, such as externallights, garage, under house lights,and internal garage light.

The switches are HPM and they don't offer a mechanism with an indicator.

Have noticed that Clipsal offer such a mechanism:
Clipsal 30 Series 2 Way Rocker with Neon Indica tor Switch Mechanism

Is there any reason why this mechanism can't be used in a HPM switch apart from the appearance issue?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 10:00:14 AM on 6 December 2019.
Johnny's avatar
 Location: Hobart, TAS
 Member since 31 July 2016
 Member #: 1959
 Postcount: 409

I can’t see why not, apart from the small physical difference.
From memory the Clipsal was slightly more rounded than HPM.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 12:51:31 PM on 6 December 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 881

Would there be a problem if the neutral is not available to get a potential to light the neon/led?
As in a light switch, two terminal, in series with the wire to the light fitting?
Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 4:05:26 PM on 6 December 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

Can't answer the neutral question, will have to have a look.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 7:01:13 PM on 6 December 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6348

Both HPM and Clipsal once offered switch mechs with a red neon within. I haven't seen one in service for a very long time now and they have both probably stopped making them due to the complexity and lack of sales. It is possible to buy a separate neon indicator as a stand alone mech and have that with the switch on a 2-gang plate. Neon mechs are not cheap but if money is no object you can select from one of several colours.

And yes, you will need a neutral wire at the switch plate to run the neon correctly.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 8:55:46 AM on 7 December 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

Regarding neutral, in my case it will depend on whether those lights with two way switching have neutral at the switch I want to put the indicator. Haven't had a chance to look yet.

Regarding cost no object, one of the outside lights is just across a fence from a neighbour, so will definitely fix that one. The others have four 1.2m fluoros each so will probably do them too.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 2:59:54 PM on 7 December 2019.
Redxm's avatar
 Location: Tamworth, NSW
 Member since 6 April 2012
 Member #: 1126
 Postcount: 444

Clipsal do a push button mech with a led indicator. No idea if it needs neutral but I guess it would


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 6:15:49 PM on 8 December 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

I do have neutral available at the switches so can go ahead.

It would be nice to be able to use one light at each switch plate to indicate for multiple lights but can't see how that can be done with a neon.

An LED would be possible with multiple rectifying diodes acting as isolation, but I don't think it would be acceptable to the regulators.

So I think multiple switch mechanisms withe neon indicators will have to be used, at about $26 each + postage on ebay.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 6:57:27 AM on 9 December 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 881

The classic neon indicator had a 220k resistor in series and the two were connected A to N.

Is it possible to drill a hole in the switch plate and hard wire a neon from, A out to the N, with the neon poking out?

I'm out of touch with AS3000 and all that now, don't whether doing that would be legal?

Probably 25 rules broken...……………….that's life now...…...cant do a thing...………...sigh...…………..

Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 8:35:40 AM on 9 December 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

I had forgotten about the 220K resistor.

With the neon wired to neutral and a 220K going to each active ,that would provide 440K between the active of each circuit. I guess there would not be enough current through that to provide an effective connection between actives in terms of current available to drive the lights not actually turned on by a switch.

Again it would come down to what is allowed by the regulator. You might be able to get a nip when changing globes or tubes in a light that is apparently turned off, or give a surprise of some sort to an electrician not knowing the situation.

I try not to complain about regulations when I complain enough about imports that aren't safe. Viz article in the latest Silicon Chip. The worst is a small transformer in a power supply in which the only insulation between primary (mains) and secondary is the insulation of the wires - no other insulation between windings.

I am currently working out what to do with an LED standard lamp that I bought in a charity shop. When turned on I can feel a buzz through my finger tips when sliding them over the metal parts of the lamps. 120 volts between those parts and an earthed appliance. Yet there is a very high resistance between the DC terminals of the lamp and those metal parts. Capacitive pick up I guess as the wiring travels through the metal tube of the lamp. Anyway looking for a transformer 12v power supply for the solution.

I last felt that buzz when picking up dropped keys from the floor of a mechanics garage floor. Turned out that the shop supply earth stake had corroded away.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 11:51:14 PM on 9 December 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6348

Home-making things isn't strictly taboo but...

Working on fixed wiring can be and often is. One of the rules in AS3000 states that live conductors shall not be accessible without the use of a tool. Another states that if you can stick your little finger through any penetrations in an electrical installation or accessory then it is not legal. I don't recall one that states that a neon indicator globe must be behind a plastic cover but there must be a reason why the accessory makers do it so if I needed a neon indicator I'd just buy one. If you just poked the globe through a plate and glued it and then broke the globe, the electrodes inside the globe would be exposed.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 8:04:23 AM on 10 December 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 941

I don't intend to do this myself. A couple of lights need to be converted to two way switching, and I am considering what else would be good to have done at the same time. So doing my homework to what might be reasonable to ask him to do.
As far as adding a light to an existing switch plate I assumed that a double insulated practice would apply in case the switch plate gets accidently damaged. So the light goes behind a transparent cover.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 8:27:28 AM on 10 December 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 881

Its almost to the point of mounting up a separate mimic panel with a lamp array indicating which circuits are active!
You could conduit all downstream active feeds from every device in the building to the mimic panel. Then you could see exactly what was energised. Not content with that you could also put a set of meters on it as well to show instant power consumption, voltage frequency.
Having spent years designing and making switchboards and associated control equipment for buildings that just seems a natural to me.
Talk about over doing it!

Coming back to earth I would be tempted to drill a hole and mount a plastic neon fitting (with resistor) on each switch plate.
Possibly there are mains rated insulated LED fittings. A blinking led would be fantastic!

Fred.


 
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