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Old 05-11-2005, 09:36 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Would you/did you buy it? Breakaway switch

Even before I read some of the horror stories in the archives, I have always had a fear that someone will pull the pin out of my trailer brakes’ breakaway switch when I am not around. Depending on when it is discovered, I will either be left with a dead battery, smoked brakes, or both. A buzzer going off when the pin is pulled would help immensely. After talking the issue with some knowledgeable people, I found that adding a buzzer is not necessarily that easy. In fact, I was advised to research & market a solution since the safest way to implement a solution involves a redesigned breakaway switch.

I would rather be the end user. Does anyone know of a breakaway switch that sounds an alert when the pin is pulled?

If not, the problem appears to be that a standard breakaway switch is nothing more than a single pole switch. Adding a buzzer to the wiring would apparently involve adding a diode in series with the switch which could end up being a point of failure. The safest implementation would be to make the unit with a double pole switch. With two sets of contacts, when the pin is pulled, one set could apply the brakes while the other set sounds the alert.
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Old 05-11-2005, 10:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joatmon
Does anyone know of a breakaway switch that sounds an alert when the pin is pulled?
Why not wire in a relay that has 12v, and is energized when the breakaway switch is activated? Hook it to an alarm, even a backup alarm.
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:30 PM   #3
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I wish it was that easy

Quote:
Originally Posted by argosy20
Why not wire in a relay that has 12v, and is energized when the breakaway switch is activated? ...
Since one side of the breakaway switch goes to the brakes, whenever you step on the tow vehicle's brakes, voltage would backtrack the wiring & activate the relay, and hence the buzzer.

A diode in the right place would prevent this, but if that diode should fail, the breakaway switch would not work.
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joatmon
Since one side of the breakaway switch goes to the brakes, whenever you step on the tow vehicle's brakes, voltage would backtrack the wiring & activate the relay, and hence the buzzer.

A diode in the right place would prevent this, but if that diode should fail, the breakaway switch would not work.
At least everyone within earshot would know you were stopping...
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