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Old 07-02-2019, 03:11 PM   #1
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Winnebago Journey 2002 DL Bedroom Dimmer

Does anyone have the circuit diagram for the Journey 36 DL bedroom light dimmer? Mine has failed and it looks like discreet components so I think it can be repaired. This is not just any old dimmer. It only has two wires and is switched: Red Hot (in) and white (out).



I have done a little research and it looks like BEP Electronic Dimmer 7A at 12V DC Dimmer or Cole Hersee Dimmer Switch 74601-01 NOS could replace it but they are in the $40 - $50 price range. Has anyone found a less expensive replacement or work around?



Your input would be appreciated & thanks in advance.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:14 PM   #2
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I've seen LED bulbs for our fixtures and they always seem to show nearby a LED dimmer control. That's probably the low cost option now days. Can't find the dimmer now but it was $14 and controlled 2-3 amps at 12 volt as I recall. Might have been eBay.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:41 AM   #3
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Dimmer details

Thanks for the idea on LED. I am not too sure how the dimmer would work with LED. I guess I could play around with it just to see what happens. That overhead light is convenient but not essential to our operations. A simple On/Off switch would probably do the job too. I wonder what happens if you cut both wires off the dimmer and short them together?
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesMoore View Post
Thanks for the idea on LED. I am not too sure how the dimmer would work with LED. I guess I could play around with it just to see what happens. That overhead light is convenient but not essential to our operations. A simple On/Off switch would probably do the job too. I wonder what happens if you cut both wires off the dimmer and short them together?
The dimmer that's provided by Winnie is for incandescent bulbs and wouldn't work with LEDs. Dimmer has to be made for LEDs to work.

I'm with you about removing the bedroom dimmer and just going to a switch. I really don't use mine. The light in there is pretty weak as it is what with the frosted globe the bulbs are in. So I always just turn it on all the way. What I don't care for, and why I'm eventually going to switch to LEDs or just replace it with a switch is that when I forget and leave the light on in the BR, the dimmer gets too hot for my liking. As an electronics tech/engineer, that bothers me. Too much heat in an electronic circuit isn't good for it's health over the long run. I'm concerned about fire.

Anyway, YES, you can just cut the wires off and short them. Or put any ol' switch you have laying around in place of the dimmer circuit. A standard ac wall switch would work. The voltage there at those wires is only 12 volt. In fact, I think that will be what I do, even if I switch to LEDs, just install a standard switch. They are available on Amazon and eBay or from Winnebago's factory store. Just no need for a dim-able overhead light in the bedroom in my opinion.
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:40 PM   #5
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Dimmer details

You just saved me a bit of work - Thanks! I am removing the dimmer and putting the switch in. I too am an electronics guy that built complex communications equipment. I have quite a few rocker switches but I think I like the straight rotating on/off. I'll probably take the dimmer apart and figure out how the on/off portion works and use that part of the existing mechanism. If I have time I will make a circuit diagram for future repair people.


BTW - I too was bothered by the heating. At first I thought it was a restive rheostat but it looks like it is more than that. I could make a PWM but I do not like the "electronic" noise they make (for that matter LED Dimmers generate a lot of noise too).


Cheers & much thanks,


Charlie
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:45 PM   #6
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Continuing dimmer saga

This morning I snipped the two dimmer wires (red and white) out of the circuit and shorted the red and white wires. The lights did not come on.


So I removed the circular lamp shade to see if the lights were burned out - nope. So I guess there is more to this than one equation and one unknown. The plan is to see if the dimmer was really operational on the bench. I am learning way more about this than I wanted to


So my question now is: Do all those 7 or so bulbs operate in parallel and/or is there an additional circuit up in the lamp that the dimmer controls?
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:25 PM   #7
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Winnebago uses white as the 12 volt ground. Keep that in mind while you're working on the issue.

I just pulled my dimmer. There's one red and one white going to the dimmers circuit board. There's a paper label on it that is printed with '7.5amps'. If I turn the control to 'Off' I can measure 13.5V across the red and white wires with red being the + side.

Now with the control in the 'Off' position I can short the white to the red and my lights come on bright.

Find out why yours don't do that first...but I'm pretty sure they'll be wired in parallel in the fixture just to make things easier for their customers and techs.
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:53 PM   #8
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Continuing dimmer saga

Very good on the shorting putting full brights on the fixture. That has been confirmed by two people I guess the fault is in the circuit. I did check with a voltmeter the other day and the red had 12VDC± across red and white. Maybe a wire became disconnected in the fixture. I have more troubleshooting to do. Thanks for all the contributions from everyone on this thread. When I find the solution I will tell everyone as a last post. Cheers.
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:48 AM   #9
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I just went through this..

I changed from incandescent to high output un-regulated devices LED I built. The problem is that the dimmer range is not linear and the full Off to full On range was the last 25% of the pot.

Another problem.. any dimmer that you attempt to replace yours with will likely be a common positive rail, with the PWM regulation coming on the minus side, and that don't work on the Journey because that common return likely runs several other lamps in the back.. mine has 3.

When searching for dimmers, you HAVE to ask if its a common ground or positive.

The one I finally ended up with is this one:

Leisure Lectronics 12 Volt PWM Light Dimmer Switch, 12V LED & Incandescent - Boat, RV, Car https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M63XHQ6..._qudiDb6V2X7B0

Pricy but easier to spend $$ than to build it.. Anyway it works great, just be aware its deep
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:23 PM   #10
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BTW- PWM controls ARE LED dimmers

You may not want the HF gear On with the bedroom lights. On the other hand, I’ve been found PWM regulated LEDs are WAY noisier than these wall dimmers
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
The dimmer that's provided by Winnie is for incandescent bulbs and wouldn't work with LEDs. Dimmer has to be made for LEDs to work.
I'm not a lighting expert, but I have to disagree with the statement about the OEM dimmer not working with LED lights. I bought a 2003 Journey last year and one of the first things I did was replace all of the incandescent lights with LEDs...including the overhead bedroom light on the dimmer switch. Everything worked perfectly and I have had no problems with any of them since the upgrade.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:59 PM   #12
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I'm not a lighting expert, but I have to disagree with the statement about the OEM dimmer not working with LED lights. I bought a 2003 Journey last year and one of the first things I did was replace all of the incandescent lights with LEDs...including the overhead bedroom light on the dimmer switch. Everything worked perfectly and I have had no problems with any of them since the upgrade.
OK, then this slight correction...

It is unlikely that an average dimmer designed for incandescent lighting will work well with LEDs.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:34 PM   #13
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OK, then this slight correction...

It is unlikely that an average dimmer designed for incandescent lighting will work well with LEDs.
Thats true, they usually don't work well because they chop the voltage in a way causing it to flicker (no need to get into modulated square waves). Good PWM controllers will sometimes display this but nowhere near as severe as the stock Winnie dimmer
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:30 PM   #14
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overhead bedroom lights status

I took down the whole overhead fixture and found burned/scorched ceiling underneath the fixture. I took the fixture to my ham shack and applied 12VDC to the two leads and NOTHING. the connection with 6 wires that were wire nutted together was melted and was an open circuit. So I clipped out both of the wire nutted connections and soldered them properly. After that the 5 wedge base T5 lit up as they should.


In the mean time I ordered 10 T5 Wedge base LED lights to replace the incandescent power hogs. The ones that I bought were from Amazon and are https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EZOUPCA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Today I went to the RV and installed a simple on/off lamp switch that fit the plate hole perfectly. The part number is https://www.menards.com/main/electrical/light-switches-dimmers-outlets/light-switches/gardner-bender-reg-brass-single-pole-on-off-rotary-switch/gsw-61/p-1444431012021-c-6324.htm?tid=7393039365207084585&ipos=5



We use the overhead light as a subdued 2700K lighting for the room in the evening. 2 of the 5 were in backwards so they had to be reversed. We found the 5 LED lights stated above to be too bright; therefore we took the center LED out and reinstalled the shade. To my way of thinking the 4 LED's are still too bright but we have to use it in the field and we may leave it as is or remove one more LED. As is, we have 6 to replace burnouts. All of the LED assemblies worked out of the box but it is easy for the little wires to be displaced.
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