You know the cliché, right?
Our hero has less than a minute to save the world, by defusing the supervillain’s bomb. But suddenly, he or she can’t remember – do they cut the red wire or the blue? Getting it right means another day of beer and pizza.
Getting it wrong means we probably all get sucked into a black hole of oblivion and there’ll be no more movies. The clock ticks down, the indecision wracks our hero’s face. Which is the right wire? WHICH IS IT?
Heroes. Consistently underestimating the usefulness of a good wiring diagram throughout movie history.
We’re not necessarily suggesting the world will get sucked into a black hole of oblivion if you try to wire up your RV air conditioner SoftStart control without a wiring diagram – but why take the risk?
Even if the consequences are notably less dire, they’re still an absolute pain in the butt if you get it wrong. And helping you to not get it wrong is the sole reason wiring diagrams exist.
They’re literally only there to help you avoid the hassle (and perhaps electrical consequences) of attaching the wrong wire in the wrong way.
What Is A Wiring Diagram?
A wiring diagram in its simplest form is a pictogram that acts as a map of a potentially complex system.
It will show you the wires in a system, including which color they are. And it will show you how they should be positioned, connected, and placed in order to get a piece of equipment to work properly.
You take the wiring diagram to the real-world piece of equipment, and while it’s representative, not photographic in nature, you should be able to follow the diagram in real terms, to make sure your wiring is all as it should be.
Black holes of oblivion and pains in the butt are thereby avoided.
Where things get interesting – which is to say occasionally brain-achingly complicated – is that most different manufacturers of the same essential product will have their own wiring arrangement, and so will need to provide their own wiring diagram.
Often, this also changes from make and model to make and model.
So suddenly, there’s a world of wiring diagrams, and there you are, back to the stress of Square One, wondering which wire goes where.
Why Are Wiring Diagrams Useful?
Have you heard the phrase “A picture paints a thousand words”? Sometimes, a picture also simplifies a thousand words, and simplification of complex information into easy-to-understand versions that allow a non-specialist to do electrical wiring has got to be a good thing.
The more complex a system you’re trying to describe, the more important graphical simplification can be. For instance, if you were trying to write out the wiring information for an Advent Air SoftStart control, you’d write something along these lines:
- Turn off the power before starting to work.
- Connect the yellow wire from the SoftStartRV to the HERM terminal on the run capacitor.
- No, not the red wire on the HERM terminal. That’s connected to the compressor. Do not touch the red wire at this point.
- Connect the black wire from the SoftStartRV to the “C” terminal on the run capacitor
- Splice the blue wire from the SoftStartRV with the white wire from the “R” terminal of the compressor. (See instructions elsewhere on how to splice wires together)
- NOW, splice the red wire from the SoftStartRV with the blue wire, then attach that to the L1 terminal.
- Attach the brown wire from the SoftStartRV to the “OL” terminal of the compressor. (OL stands for Overload terminal).
- Check the connections.
- Turn on the power.
- Lower the thermostat and turn on the fan first.
- Then turn on the A/C.
Eleven lines of instruction, and some of it complicated. Try taking that description to the SoftStart control and translating it to the real world.
Some people will have no problem reading out the lines and following the instructions.
Lots of other people, who have a more visual learning process, could look at the lines of text all day long and still have no idea how to translate them to the three-dimensional reality in front of them.
By using a wiring diagram, the important wires and components are shown clearly, allowing people to tune out all the unnecessary detail, and see what goes where, and how.
Any Make, Any Model?
The point of all of this is that there should be both options available to anyone trying to wire up their SoftStart control for their RV air conditioner.
That’s why the wiring diagrams of a whole host of models, with supplementary written instructions for those who prefer them, are gathered together on a support page at SoftStartRV.com.
The user needs only to click the model of their control to see the wiring diagram.
This can either be printed out in hard copy or, perhaps of both more practical use and more ecological principle, can be enlarged on the screen of a smartphone, for comparison almost 1:1 scale to the controller itself.
This makes for a clear visual guide to the process – backed up by words in areas where the diagram might fall short of absolute clarity, such as wire-splicing.
No Model Left Behind?
The market for SoftStart controls is dynamic, and it moves on. As such, every opportunity is taken to update the bank of wiring diagrams available. For instance, a database is maintained of wiring diagrams outside the standard.
By sending an email to raise a work ticket, you can have the wiring diagram for your specific model pulled from the archive and sent to you.
What’s more, if there’s no wiring plan on record for your control – an unlikely situation, but you never know – SoftStartRV is able to customize a wiring diagram for you specifically, and add it to the database.
In that instance, not only are you getting the wiring diagram that you need, so you’ll never cross your wires again, but you’re also helping anyone with the same unit in the future, by having led the demand for the appropriate diagram.
Currently listed on the SoftStartRV support page, there are wiring diagrams for:
- Advent Air
- Coleman Mach 1,3,3+, 10x, and 15
- Coleman Mach 8.2
- Coleman Mach 1976E136
- Domestic Blizzard
- Domestic Brisk I & II
- Domestic DuoTherm, and
- Domestic Penguin I & II models.
So if your model is among them, you’re in immediate luck – you can just download your wiring diagram immediately. For all other makes and models, an email will tell you if the wiring diagram is in the database, or whether you need one created bespoke.
Belt And Suspenders
People are wildly different. As we’ve said, some people would have no difficulty following the written instructions for how to wire a SoftStart unit into their RV air conditioning unit.
But lots of people wouldn’t ‘get it’ without the help of the stripped-down visual aid of a wiring diagram.
The truth is that ultimately, both are necessary for a ‘belt and suspenders’ approach – meaning double the certainty that whoever ends up with whichever unit, they have enough information to do the job.
The Instinct Of Pictures
It’s not without reason that often, we learn first through pictures, rather than words. Pictures make up the majority of our earliest books, because our brains are great at processing visual images, irrespective of audible or written language.
We’re great at turning pictures into stories, into information, and frequently into instruction.
That’s also why, for instance, instruction signage on our roads is usually delivered as pictures, rather than words. Green, really speaking, is just a color. But in the context of a traffic signal, we read green as go, as an instruction to move forward.
In just such a way, even if we’re in the percentage of people who can read lines of instructional text and translate them directly into three-dimensional imagery and instruction in the real world, it’s always useful to have a wiring diagram.
It’s useful because even if you understand a line like “Attach the brown wire from the SoftStartRV to the OL terminal of the compressor. (OL stands for Overload terminal),” you may not be certain which of the elements the OL terminal is.
A wiring diagram shows you not only what it is, but where it is, and if you didn’t have any idea, you could easily follow the line of the labeled brown wire to find the element labeled OL. A wiring diagram takes the guesswork – and the uncertainty – out of the process.
And while it would be possible to write instructions as to what the OL terminal looks like, with words, there is a point of diminishing returns.
The more you write, the less clarity you have, and before you know it, you’ve lost people in a sea of words. Add a wiring diagram, get straight to the point, and cut out the flim-flam.