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Old 08-21-2002, 11:54 AM   #15
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Loud humm and break away switch

Folks,
The Humm is loud! I can hear it from the tow vehicle. It is not deafining but considering the feed back, the humm is loud.

I forgot to mention in my previous reply post that my break away switch is already "cut". There are two wires hanging from the break away switch but I do not see any wires that they were previosly connected to. These wires were already cut when I bought the trailer.

So, as to bleed through current, I am not certain. Will the brakes work without the breakaway switch? I will fix another day.

Where does the Breakaway switch hook up to?

I do have a single conductor hanging from the adapter cable that I referred to in my previous post. I assumed that it may go to an electric jack, (if it ever had one or for future). Any way this conductor is single and it is about 14 -12 AWG.

Can I see wire to brakes from rear of wheel without removing wheel? I have tandem axles. I will look for disconnected wires but The humming leads me to believe that wire is connected.

Although, I did not notice the continuity LED illuminte on my brake controller. ( Brake controller has continuity LED, Escort Brand)

Standing by for update,
Thanks,
Smily

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Old 08-21-2002, 12:08 PM   #16
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Battery to Break away switch

Oh! New kid,

When I referred to disconnecting hot wire and Humm stopped, I was referring to the Tow vehicle battery.

I did not disconnect the trailer battery.

Although there is a switch from my Univolt to my Trailer battery, (came with the trailer) the switch acts as a "disconnect between the battery and the Univolt.

I suspect that this switch was added on after manufacture.

Any way this "Disconnect" was open at the time of the testing and the humm. I leave this disconnect switch in the open position when I am using 110 volts in the trailer because I read that a Univolt can "cook" a battery if left on all of the time. Is this correct?

I can check the brakes again with the trailer battery engaged. Maybe there was a problem between the Univolt and the voltage applied through the seven way connector.????????

I am shooting in the dark and reaching for the sky...........

Smily
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Old 08-21-2002, 12:17 PM   #17
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Loud hum

The loud hum means that you probably have the full 12v to the brake magnets. I, too, would be concerned with the breakaway switch since that switch, by nature, puts the full voltage on the magnets. If not the breakaway switch, I would look for a short from the charge circuit to the brakes.

Do you have a trailer battery? Sounds like you may not have one. If you have a trailer battery, disconnect it. Then disconnect the 12v charge wire, turn on a light switch in the trailer, and have someone see if the light comes on when you step on the brake pedal (or better yet put full voltage on the brakes with the panic lever on the brake controller). If the light comes on, then the brake circuit is shorted to the 12v charge circuit somewhere.

BTW: If you don't have a breakaway switch, you should have one. State laws vary, but most every state requires breakaway switches on trailers of Airstream size.
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Old 08-21-2002, 01:17 PM   #18
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Batteries and Break away

I do have battery in trailer. I have a "disconnect" in the rear compartment. I use this disconnect to isolate the battery from the Univolt to prevent overcharging of the battery.

I read somewhere that a Univolt can overcharge and "dry" the battery out if left hooked to 110 volts for long periods. I leave my trailer hooked up to 110 volts while in the driveway at the house.

I agree that the Break away switch is crucial to safe operation but I merely trying to isolate and correct the brake problems at this time.

Once I figure out where the breakaway switch is supposed to hook to, I will splice the wires that are currently hanging from the Break away switch to their respective mates.

Any idea where the "mates" are to be found. I did not notice anything obvious. I will look under the trailer today.

Thanks for the help,
Smily
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Old 08-21-2002, 01:39 PM   #19
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Breakaway switch wiring

I can only tell you where it is connected on my trailer, but I suspect all AS are going to be the same in that respect.

The breakaway switch is connected inside the front center of the trailer shell on the floor. One leg of the breakaway is shown attached to the blue brake wire, the other goes through a 20A Type 2 breaker to a terminal block that is fed from the battery. This does not go through the disconnect.

The charge line attaches to the adjacent terminal on the terminal block. The line from the breakaway switch to the breaker/terminal block is labled as "blue".
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Old 08-21-2002, 01:43 PM   #20
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Smily,

I think you just gave me a clue. The beakaway switch is a normally closed switch. Meaning when the pin is pulled it closes, the pin holds it open. If the two wires that come from the frame are connected together you have activated the "emergencey brake" system. There should be 2 wires off the switch and 2 wires on the frame rail. One wire from the breakaway switch should go to one wire off the frame rail. Polarity is not an issue.

If the two wires on the frame rail are connected, disconnect them from each other. This should stop the brake hum.

As to the disconnect switch on the univolt, does it disconnect the battery entirely from the trailer or just stopthe univolt hum?
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Old 08-21-2002, 01:59 PM   #21
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Disconnect

The disconnect is actually a typical 110 volt single pole switch that has been placed in line, (series), to one of the leads that goes from the Univolt to the trailer battery. This lead is a direct connection from the Univolt to the Trailer Battery.

I assume that this breaks the circle from the univolt to the trailer battery. I notice that when the switch, (disconnect), is open the lights are a little dimmer than normal and the new stereo that I installed will not operate correctly. The radio will light up as though it is working but the CD player will not play and the radio only emits static with no radio station output. I suspect that the univolt is not putting out a full 12 volts to the fuse panel.

The Univolt does seem to be charging the battery seeing that my battery has not gone dead.

When the "disconnect" is closed, everything seems to work well.

I will be looking for the leads that are supposed to be connected to the break away switch tonight. I hope to find the leads spliced as you have described and in turn find that the humm is due to my emergency brake being applied.

As usual I am getting much more eduacation than I ever anticipated from the grest wisdom and knowledge pool that resides here at the A/S Forum.

Many thanks,
Smily
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Old 08-21-2002, 02:06 PM   #22
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Smily,

If factory installed the disconnect you describe turns off the ac outlet that the univolt is plugged into. This would be the best outcome as running a univolt disconnected from the battery can damage it.

In reading your last post I think I see another clue! If the new CD player works with the univolt on, but not with it off, the current draw that is engaging the brakes could be dropping the 12VDC to the point that the CD player will not work. How much do the lights dim?

Let us know what you find tonight!
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Old 08-21-2002, 02:08 PM   #23
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Trailer Battery and Breakaway switch

Something occurred to me while writing my last post.

I have actually pulled the trailer about 150 miles to date. I did not have the seven way connector hooked up and I did not have lights,( I know, shame,shame), but the trailer pulled excellant without any problems. It was truly an airstream like day.

If the breakaway switch is fed from the trailer battery, why did I not have the humm and emergency brakes applied at the time of the pull? The break away switch was in the same state at that time.

I did not have Humm or brake concerns until I installed the seven way connector with 12 volts applied to the trailer.

I hope that you are correct in the breakaway wiring is the culprit but I will not be certain until I get to verify the wiring through the adapter cable and look for the breakaway wiring on the trailer shell end.

I dont know if I mentioned it but the wires that are connected to the breakaway switch are actually hanging exposed and stripped from the switch but I did not see any wires eminating from the trailer shell.

Smily
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Old 08-21-2002, 02:13 PM   #24
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Smily,

The ony reason I can come up with as to why you were not towing with the brakes engaged would be that the coach battery was dead, or the fuse from the panel may have been blown???
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Old 08-21-2002, 02:21 PM   #25
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Disconnect

New Kid,

The disconnect is definitely not 110 volts.

The disconnect is in series between the Univolt and the Trailer Battery. Therefore the disconnect is opening the circuit between the battery and the univolt.

Battery was low at time of the pull and maybe fuse was blown but I have not replaced any fuses. so if fuse was blown then it would be blown now.

I cant wait to get home and investigate.

I will make a post tonight and let you know what I see.

I am certain that I will need some more help tonight when I can put my eyes on it and let my fellow A/S r's know whatis going on.

Smily
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Old 08-21-2002, 02:29 PM   #26
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Check for a short

I had a short in my 7-way connector. Two adjacent wires strands were touching at the screws. Could be either side of the connector as you just re-wired the system. IMHO

Ciao, Brian
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Old 08-21-2002, 03:53 PM   #27
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Connector

S,

The last time you towed was the disconnect open? If so that is why you had no hum.

My brakes did not work on my last tow. I isolated it to the connection the wires made inside of the 7 way connector on the trailer. The brake wire had broken from the blade connector. I replaced the entire 7 way connector as it was beat up and butted in new blade connectors. Then I painted any exposed wires and connectors with liquid tape. The liquid tape will help with issues like Brian had.

You might take apart the 7 way connector on the trailer and see if all of the connections are good, tight and isolated from any other connections. And that they are on the correct lug for the tow vehicle.

I have not tested my results yet. However the installation looks much better.

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Old 08-22-2002, 07:23 AM   #28
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The evil within.......

I went home and took the adapter cable apart and boy what a mess.

The wires had been butt spliced and extended to the connector. A poor job at best! There were exposed wires that were shorted and loose.

I made entirely new cable and re-attached conductors.

All conductors had to re-configured to the Tow vehicle.

Amazing how much brighter the tail lights and turn lights are now.

The constant humm is gone now but there is a different humm that eminates from the wheel wells when the brake pedal is pressed. I assume that this is the brakes engaging on the trailer.

The humm is a low groan but uniform on both sides of the trailer.

It was obvious that the brakes had not been used in some time because the first application of the brakes emmitted a rusty sound of parts moving in the wheels. But the sound is a low groan now and increases in volume as the brake pressure is increased.

It was late before I finished the cabling and electrical testing so it will be today hopefully before I can actually road test the brakes.

I am having a little problems with the lights though but I will create a seperate post for that.

Thanks for all of the help,
Smily
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