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Old 11-17-2013, 08:06 PM   #127
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switz, concerning the incandescent bulbs to create current resistance, could the slight delay as they heat up cause delay in the brake application. Also, are they in series or parallel with the circuit. If in series a burned out bulb would open the circuit, if in parallel a burned out bulb would change the resistive load. Either one may make the brake system inoperative, perhaps. Maybe better to use resistors?
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:11 PM   #128
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The bulb was in parallel with the actuator to make the controller "see" a connection and basically turn itself on.

I did some measurements yesterday, and the input to the actuator is about 50 ohms, which is way high compared to the magnets in an electric brake system, but this thing is supposed to be designed to work with electric over hydraulic systems.

A typical electro magnet in an electric brake system is about 4 ohms, so when you parallel four of them with a tandem axle trailer, the load is about 1 ohm of resistance. Basically, the electric brakes are current controlled, and the electric over hydraulic are voltage controlled.

Anyway, not liking the idea of my brake system integrity dependent on a light bulb, I tried various resistors in parallel with the actuator, and found a 25 ohm resistor is about the max I can use and have the controller still recognize that it is hooked up, so that's what I have installed.

We have a rally next weekend so I will know then if it's any better.


Switz, the manufacture date of my truck was 11/11, so it's about seven months older than yours.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:08 AM   #129
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See my article in the current Airstream Life magazine on using brake magnets in parallel with the electric over hydraulic actuator to make the integrated controller think it is seeing electric brakes.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:25 AM   #130
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John,

I know a magnet in parallel will work, but I wanted to get the largest resistance I could and still make the controller work because I feel a 4 ohm shunt takes too much power away from the actuator.

Just my opinion.
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Old 12-20-2013, 02:12 PM   #131
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I think I may have stumbled on to a/the likely problem with this on going trailer brake delay issue with this truck/controller.

I was reading on the Dexter website under brake troubleshooting, and it said if you have delay with hydraulic brakes, bleed the system. Check. If you have delay with electric brakes, adjust the brakes. Check. If you still have delay, check that the wire size in the vehicle's brake circuit is at least 10 gage. Ah ha!

Got under the Ram, and the largest wire size going to that connector looks like it may be 14 gage. I've made a call to the dealer service manager, and of course had to leave a message for him to call me. Again, I await a return call.
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:26 PM   #132
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Even if the wire is 12 gage, there still is a big voltage drop in 12Vdc with a long wire.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:55 AM   #133
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The larger wire will produce more voltage which is certainly desirable, but not any faster.

I wonder why they mention a "delay" as a factor in this equation. Maybe because one would feel a stronger brake with more voltage delivered, thus reducing the feeling of a delayed effect.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:29 AM   #134
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I'm guessing that the information from the Dexter site was general information that could be applied to the truck as well as the trailer. In this situation, I think it would be directing you to check the trailer brake adjustment - if there is any. You are convinced that the problem is with the truck and it very well may be, but you didn't mention inspecting the wiring (gauge) on the trailer.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:37 AM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBolton View Post
I'm guessing that the information from the Dexter site was general information that could be applied to the truck as well as the trailer. In this situation, I think it would be directing you to check the trailer brake adjustment - if there is any. You are convinced that the problem is with the truck and it very well may be, but you didn't mention inspecting the wiring (gauge) on the trailer.
You are right, I did not inspect the trailer wiring because the wire size did not change on the trailer when I traded trucks, all Airstreams of the same vintage probably use the same wire size, and this problem is common it seems only to my trailers and my truck. Also since I have this problem with my truck towing any brake equipped trailer, the obvious culprit is the truck, or systems within it.

If insufficient wire size could cause this problem (really resistance in the circuit), so could a resistance joint anywhere in the circuit, and that could be at any connector in the truck.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:58 AM   #136
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Any wire resistance drop should be cancelled out by simply dialing up the voltage coming from the brake controller. With my disc brakes, 6V on the controller seems to be the sweet spot. Resistance does not equate to delay.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:03 AM   #137
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Any wire resistance drop should be cancelled out by simply dialing up the voltage coming from the brake controller. With my disc brakes, 6V on the controller seems to be the sweet spot. Resistance does not equate to delay.
Dexter says it does.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:59 AM   #138
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That makes sense when thinking using hydraulics for convenience and visualization. If I used ⅛" brake lines to each wheel, the flow volume of the oil to push against the brake pucks is restricted by that small diameter line so will take time to build up the pressure and move the oil to push. If I used ⅜" line, I would have much more volume capability to quickly move the brake puck.

Too small of a wire operates in the same way as the resistance increases with the smaller wires, especially in the 12Vdc world with voltage drop nearly geometrically increasing as the wire size gets smaller.

To make a point, increasing wire size to #8 from #14 would allow more of the voltage to arrive quickly to operate the brake mechanism.

Since from trial and error, the common problem element in SteveH's trailer braking experiments has been the truck. Rather than attempt to trace all the joints and undue all the factory wire bundles, it might be easier to run a pair of heavier wires from the brake controller directly to the plug socket on the back of the truck.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:36 AM   #139
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Quote:
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Too small of a wire operates in the same way as the resistance increases with the smaller wires, especially in the 12Vdc world with voltage drop nearly geometrically increasing as the wire size gets smaller.

To make a point, increasing wire size to #8 from #14 would allow more of the voltage to arrive quickly to operate the brake mechanism.
Don't know if you mistyped or not, but in the electrical world, the smaller the number, the larger the wire.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:01 AM   #140
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I think the smaller wire may restrict current flow when the controller first applies power to the brake actuators. There may be a momentary voltage drop calling for increased current to operate the actuators. Perhaps the long #14 wire can't carry it.

A test may be to disconnect a wire to one brake actuator on each side to reduce power demand, and see if there is a delay operating the remaining two brakes.
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