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Old 06-05-2006, 09:36 PM   #1
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Brake Controllers - Prodigy and More...

Just purchased my first AS and need to get a brake controller installed. The dealer suggested Prodigy? I would appreciate feedback.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:20 PM   #2
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You will get a lot of advice on this, we just had the prodigy installed about 2 months ago and we love it. It's so easy the guy that put it on for us did all the set up and we have not had to do anything. I bought it new off of ebay and saved about $40.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:49 PM   #3
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PRODIGY. My buddy got a cheaper one not to long ago and I would say mine is much easier to dial in and I think overall a more quality product.b
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:58 PM   #4
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Prodigy or Jordan

Hello Stewart -- I've had a Prodigy for nearly 3 years. Prodigy is fairly top of the line for electronic inertial brake controllers. It has always worked well for me but has to be mounted fairly close to level. It is easy to calibrate for the stopping characteristics of individual trailers and then doesn't drift. You'll want it within the driver's reach. At Rjay's ($99) I don't see a Lincoln pigtail to plug into your tow vehicle but your Lincoln dealer may have one. It doesn't gobble up RV tech time to install one, so that part is reasonable. Otherwise it is actually fairly easy to do if you have the tools and inclination. Just never practice pulling the breakaway switch wire with your 7-pin connector attached to the tow vehicle -- it'll fry the Prodigy.

Prodigy has worked for me but I'm considering changing. Many Forums members speak highly of the Jordan as seen at www.bestbrakecontroller.com -- it isn't sensitive to a tilted installation.
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:08 AM   #5
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Another plus for the Prodigy is that it is non-invasive .... does't connect to brake lines....AND if I can do the plug-ins any idiot can

There is a plug-in behind the one the dealer uses to "read" the electronic stuff about systems....just buy the pig-tail.
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:48 AM   #6
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The Prodigy gets very good reviews from nearly everyone who uses it. It is easy to install and 'just works' - Prodigy owners just seem satisfied and don't seem to get into defensive ownership or an excess of zeal about their brake controllers.

There are two other camps that seem to me to be a bit defensive and with a lot of zeal. Those who think hydraulic pressure is the ticket to control favor the Brakesmart and those who think pedal position is the ticket favor the Jordan. There is a lot to be said for each of these but there is also something to be said for a non-intrusive simpler system such as the Prodigy, especially when it works well.

All of these modern brake controllers, including the Prodigy, have to be a bit smarter than just sensing brake need to be able to anticipate that need and to adjust braking as appropriate for the trailer. Perhaps the best solution is what Ford is doing with an integral trailer brake controller in some of its pickups. That can use many more inputs than an add-on and accomodate such things as ABS and vehcile demands.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:05 AM   #7
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Use the boost Luke...

I've been using a Prodigy since 2003. On two trucks and now three Airstreams. I had one go south and it was replaced under warranty. Now that I'm using a Hensley hitch I've come to appreciate the Prodigy even more because of the boost feature (I don't have the manual in front of me so I can't give you much of an explanation for boost except that it causes the trailer to brake faster). The Hensley has a tendency to push your tow vehicle during braking. It felt like the truck was pulling to the left. I upped the boost setting on the Prodigy one level and the pushing sensation has disappeared.
Go for it,
Ken
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:18 AM   #8
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After trying the rest, we bought the best online and saved some $$. Our vote is for Prodigy as well. Hands free unit, no fuss, plug in and play. Go for it.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:56 AM   #9
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Prodigy..... easy to install and set up... smooth, reliable stops. It's a good match for our tow vehicle/Airstream combo.
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Old 06-06-2006, 11:02 AM   #10
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Thumbs up Prodigy

I have only used one other electronic brake controller before the Prodigy, and there is no comparison.
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:24 AM   #11
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Brake Controllers - Prodigy

Howdy Folks. I have a 2006 Ford F150, super crew,4wd as a TV for a 22' International (2003) CCD. what kind of brake controller would you recomend (professionaly installed), where best to install it on the dash area , and same with a transmission temp guage??? I want to roll outa here!!! (but safely). Anyone reading this from the Santa Rosa/Napa California area, who would you recomend for doing this installation?? As always, thanks ahead of time for everyone's great and appreciated help, Jim
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:46 AM   #12
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I have a Tekonsha Prodigy and am very pleased with its performance. If you purchase one, get the Ford connector and then it's plug and play. It will connect to a plug under the dash, super simple to install. Mount the unit so you can easily reach the adjustments and manual brake override. This is a DIY installation.
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:47 AM   #13
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We had an Impulse made by Hopkins Mfg. Corp installed on our 2000 GMC Safari van. The unit was relatively inexpensive at about $300 installed. After getting that installed it was obvious the brakes on our new (to us) Argosy 24 needed attention. Four new backing plate assemblies and $700 later the trailer now stops.

My beef, other than the brake job costing way more than what seems reasonable is that the controller requires a lot of adjustment even though the trailer weight is constant. At low speed the trailer jerks the van to a stop with the lightest touch of the brakes but at highway speed, especially on a down grade I have to dial it up. The range is from 20% at low speed to 30-35% coming down mtn passes. This just seems too twitchy. Maybe it'll moderate as the trailer brakes wear in?

Some controllers cost twice as much as others. Maybe you get what you pay for? I don't understand electric brakes. It seems like the only adjustment is the resistance of the controller so the same braking effort goes to the trailer if you stand on the brakes as if you just touch the pedal. Since drum brakes are self energizing the effect is multiplied. Oh for the old hydraulic coupling (not surge brakes) on my old '72 Dodge and horse trailer ;-)
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:49 AM   #14
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I have the same truck, although 2005.

Many people here use the Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller. A few use other brands/models, but this seems to be the most popular unit.

Installation is a snap. The truck is pre-wired for trailer brakes. It comes with a wire pigtail that can be soldered to the corresponding pigtail that comes with the brake controller. The assembled pigtail pair plugs into the controller and truck. Alternatively, you can purchase a pre-made cable when you buy the controller so it will just plug-and-play.

Mounting the unit is very easy... there is an exposed metal panel on the lower left side of the dash, by the drivers left knee. Just drill two small holes and screw the mounting bracket to this panel.

With a pre-assembled cable the entire job should take about 10 minutes. If you decide to merge the two pigtails, perhaps 30 minutes total.

Anyone familiar with trailer brakes can install this for you!
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