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Ignition switch and auxiliary panel
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TOPIC: Ignition switch and auxiliary panel

Ignition switch and auxiliary panel 5 months, 1 week ago #83252

  • HiFiGuy
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So, I bought this QuickCar 50-864 switch panel to replace the ignition and key start, and to provide switchable cool shirt, electric fan, lights, windshield defroster, accessory powered devices, whatever. According to NASA, the battery relay or disconnect has to be in front of everything, just off the positive battery post, so when the solenoid is disengaged, the power is removed from all electrical items, with the exception of the electrical trigger for the fire system, if one is included in your car.

Based on the wiring on the back of this panel as it stands, there's a solid aluminum main buss bar to which all the switches other than the momentary plunger attach, with a red 8AWG wire feeding the main buss, and it seems like everything would be made live by engaging the solenoid, but I was counting on engaging the solenoid with the panel, so I can kill the car totally when the switch is down. Is this not how I should be doing it? If it's okay to use a switch on the dash in conjunction with the kill switches for the emergency workers, and have them only live when the main switch is engaged, I can wire past the buss bar on the back of this panel, directly to one of the switches. Then I would wire them so the emergency safety switches wouldn't even have power unless the panel switch was engaged, and thus the solenoid couldn't engage, without the dash switch engaged. Sort of two layers of security. If there's not supposed to be a total kill switch on the dash, too, then how do you guys do these panels? I've seen them in several cars on the race footage, so I know guys are using them, but the video is typically not clear enough to read all the labels, and of course we can't see the back of the panel anyway.
Last Edit: 5 months, 1 week ago by HiFiGuy.

Re: Ignition switch and auxiliary panel 5 months, 1 week ago #83253

  • HiFiGuy
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I am using the Parallax BR 100 relay, also. It has a high current side and a low current side, for separate switching of high and low power draw.

images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/418FtwgHP9L._SX355_.jpg

Re: Ignition switch and auxiliary panel 5 months, 1 week ago #83256

  • Ranger
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HiFiGuy wrote:
So, I bought this QuickCar 50-864 switch panel to replace the ignition and key start, and to provide switchable cool shirt, electric fan, lights, windshield defroster, accessory powered devices, whatever. According to NASA, the battery relay or disconnect has to be in front of everything, just off the positive battery post, so when the solenoid is disengaged, the power is removed from all electrical items, with the exception of the electrical trigger for the fire system, if one is included in your car.

Based on the wiring on the back of this panel as it stands, there's a solid aluminum main buss bar to which all the switches other than the momentary plunger attach, with a red 8AWG wire feeding the main buss, and it seems like everything would be made live by engaging the solenoid, but I was counting on engaging the solenoid with the panel, so I can kill the car totally when the switch is down. Is this not how I should be doing it? If it's okay to use a switch on the dash in conjunction with the kill switches for the emergency workers, and have them only live when the main switch is engaged, I can wire past the buss bar on the back of this panel, directly to one of the switches. Then I would wire them so the emergency safety switches wouldn't even have power unless the panel switch was engaged, and thus the solenoid couldn't engage, without the dash switch engaged. Sort of two layers of security. If there's not supposed to be a total kill switch on the dash, too, then how do you guys do these panels? I've seen them in several cars on the race footage, so I know guys are using them, but the video is typically not clear enough to read all the labels, and of course we can't see the back of the panel anyway.


That was very hard to follow.

You're making this too complicated. Complexity is an ass-kicker because you'll end up at an event and your shit won't work, or you'll get intermittent failures that defy troubleshooting.

No one is likely to check your aftermarket wiring to the extent that you've described. Wire your shit up so it's safe and reliable. Your aftermarket stuff needs to be robust enough to survive being banged around, and you should be thinking about possible crash scenarios and what might happen to your wiring. Like, how might <this> impact push my kill switch's hot connectors into a ground. Same for your switch panel's buss.

I would not do 2 kill switches. I certainly wouldn't make one of them electrically actuated. Kill switches fail. Complicated kill switch ideas fail even more often.

It kind comes down to this.....I see a lot of "the old me" in your ideas. You want solutions that are elegant, clever, and cool. I would urge you to cut that shit out. The new me is a lot smarter then the old me. And the new me is telling you to focus on dirt simple robust solutions. Complexity is your enemy.
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Re: Ignition switch and auxiliary panel 5 months, 1 week ago #83257

  • Patton
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Ditto the above.
Key stays in ignition and it turns the car on and off. Kill switch stops power to everything. My car is much simpler than Gress's car.

RP

Re: Ignition switch and auxiliary panel 5 months, 1 week ago #83260

  • HiFiGuy
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Loud and clear. I do like elegant and cool, but reliable is my top priority. Will just keep the key for that part, and use the panel for stuff like aux fan, cool shirt, etc.

Re: Ignition switch and auxiliary panel 5 months, 1 week ago #83262

  • Ranger
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Consider the two power sources Key-On and Battery. That's a more useful discussion then choosing things that might bypass the kill-switch. My data logger, cameras, and coolshirt all get power from the Battery. That is to say "always on", not Key-On. My kill switch kills everything.

The reason that those 3 devices go to Batt power is that there are scenarios where you want to be able to turn off the car, yet not disturb those devices. An example is a red flag. You might sit at the side of the track for 10min, but you know that your battery is weak so you don't want to leave the car on for the whole time. Therefore you turn the car off. However, because they are connected to Batt not Key-On, your cameras and data logger continue just fine, and every couple minutes you run your coolshirt for 15secs.

Another scenario is if you go off track and your car stalls. You move your key to the off position, then restart your car. If you data logger and camera were connected to Key-On, you just turned your race into 2 video and data files instead of just one. Heck, it may take a couple minutes for your data GPS to resynch, and you might have to hit some buttons on it to start it recording again.
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"Negative Ranger the pattern is full."
Last Edit: 5 months, 1 week ago by Ranger.

Re: Ignition switch and auxiliary panel 5 months, 1 week ago #83263

  • HiFiGuy
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I definitely see the benefit to that scheme. You are still killing ALL of that with the big kill switch, right?

Re: Ignition switch and auxiliary panel 5 months, 1 week ago #83264

  • Ranger
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HiFiGuy wrote:
I definitely see the benefit to that scheme. You are still killing ALL of that with the big kill switch, right?

Yes, my kill switch kills everything.
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Re: Ignition switch and auxiliary panel 5 months ago #83278

  • Som
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My two cents here, which comes from someone with less experience than Ranger/Patton and runs counter to their advice. You can choose to ignore, but figured I'd open my big mouth anyway.

I didn't find the kill switch wiring to be particularly complex. Though I did mine after going through all the wiring in the car with ETM in hand, labeling every wire (I got addicted to my label maker), and removing all wires/junctions/plugs that were not needed for racing.

I accomplished the same thing I believe you're trying to accomplish, and it was pretty straightforward. I have a solenoid mounted to the rear passenger wheel well with the battery heavy gauge wire running directly to that. The benefit of the solenoid is that I don't need heavy gauge wiring/switches to kill the power, so I can add switches where ever I like.

- I have a large big "PUSH TO KILL" switch on my passenger B pillar for the emergency workers.
- I have a red safety covered switch on my dash for me.
- I plan on adding an additional switch in my trunk. The idea here being that the car is push-button and doesn't require a key to start (I have no wiring around the steering column). So to make it a bit more theft resistant (emphasis on "a bit"), I can put a kill switch in the trunk and lock the trunk. Of course, this has been "the plan" for 3 years now, and I have yet to do it, but hey...

Car was built in 2014, with about 9 race weekends throughout 2015/16/17 -- not a whole lot. But I have yet to have an issue with the kill switches. Maybe as the years go on the switches or solenoid will fail, but I imagine that wouldn't be the hardest problem to diagnose.

Som

Edit: Figured I'd add -- I also have switches on the dash for "run" and "accessories" power, which effectively map to the same functions that the various key positions mapped to. So if I want transponder/coolshirt/camera power, I can use the "accessories" switch. "Run" powers all the engine electrical needs.
Last Edit: 5 months ago by Som.

Re: Ignition switch and auxiliary panel 5 months ago #83282

  • Ranger
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Let me play the pessimist for a moment.

When things fail, it's in the worse possible way. So it will fail in one of two ways.

Failure mode 1). You're all strapped in because you're supposed to be on grid in 5min. Car won't start. You unstrap, pop the hood, run to trailer and grab your multimeter. While you're buddies are on the track, you're checking things with the meter. You can't find a damned thing wrong. After 15min, you try to start the car again, just for grins, and it starts just fine. Then you stand there and grind your teeth trying to know, since you never found the problem, if you can ever trust your car to start again.

Failure mode 2). Instead of giving you a closed connection, the solenoid's contacts get tired from the vibration and instead give you an intermittent high resistance connection. The problem only occurs after 15min on the track as the connectors warm up. As a result you end up with engine management problems as your DME struggles to deal with voltage fluctuations that the battery would normally damp out. The engine management problems are not only bizarre, but they are also intermittent. After months of making yourself crazy replacing shit, you finally throw yourself off of a bridge.
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