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Old 11-04-2015, 08:12 PM   #1
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1973 Argosy 20
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LED4RV Taillights Blink Continously?

OK so I got a set of these...

STT Tail Light Assm- 2 LEDs and 1 High Intensity Backup SKU1838 [4784522] - $52.95 : LEDs 4, Recreational Vehicles

Looks like decent quality, I cut the holes, ready to install (after I finish painting the area that was covered by the old plastic taillight housing).

I wired them up just to test before I rivet. All seems good except the little leds in the very center of each of the two outer assemblies flash continuously when the trailer is plugged into the tow vehicle (with no lights on). I'm pretty sure they don't flash when the running lights are on.

The tow vehicle seems to be putting about two volts through the light system even when all the lights are off, presumably to test the connection?

I've heard about resistors being needed for LEDs in some auto installations, maybe that will solve this?

Any idea what value? I'd be inclined to put one resistor on the common ground for the tail lights rather than one on each of the power leads....
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:24 PM   #2
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I've not used them but VTS sells these....
LED Load Resistor (2 Pack)
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:55 PM   #3
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If your tow vehicle isn't running LED's, then you'll need some type of resistor (mentioned above).

D
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:54 PM   #4
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The difference between LED4RV and other online stores is Dan answers his phone and/or calls back. And is willing to help you figure it out.
Give him a call.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:56 AM   #5
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I have a call into Dan, thanks.

But I don't think this is the usual resistor problem. In that case you put a resistor in parallel with the LED which

1) Provides a load that simulates a light bulb so the tow vehicle sees that.
2) Does not drop the voltage to the LED.

In this case the low "sensing" voltage is enough to barely power some of the LEDs (the sensing voltage would not illuminate an incandescent bulb).

I could put a resistor in serial with the LED...that would probably drop the sensing voltage low enough to not flicker the LED, but it would also drop the full voltage applied for braking/turning. I'd be concerned that might cause it to not work right when I actually need it.

So it looks like the brakes and turn signal use the same wire. I assume they both apply the full 12V, and the difference between braking/turning is the flashing? Or does one use a different voltage? Anybody know?

Actually I guess I could just always tow with the running lights on; the problem only seems to happen when the trailer is plugged in and no lights are in use.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:42 PM   #6
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tow vehicle converter

We had to get a converter for our TV that split the brake and turn signal. No problems after that was installed.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:42 PM   #7
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Ten ohm resistors resolved the fast flash issue with my TV led light conversion. Your flashing with bleed voltage sounds like another problem. Something shorted maybe?
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:03 PM   #8
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I had this problem with my German TV. eTrailer has a 7blade adapter that provides all the correct resistors. I think it's labeled for BMW and VW, but it works on many others. I use it with a MB.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:23 PM   #9
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Dan at LED4RV suggested possible bleed from another circuit. I checked the connectors, nothing obviously wrong, pinned out good.

I originally used a digital meter, but today I tried my old analog multimeter...

BOTH turn signal lines are steadily pulsing between 1-6 volts...the stupid digital meter did not show the pulses, it took an average instead. That can't be bleed, I think the tow controller is doing that probably to test the bulbs. A resistor *might* fool the controller into laying off the pulses but I doubt it. Maybe I'll fool around with it later. In the meantime the problem stops when the the running lights are on so I'll just roll lights-on for now.

Heading to Sedona this weekend...anybody know any good public campgrounds that are open this late?
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:37 AM   #10
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What tow vehicle do you have, and what brake controller do you have?
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:04 AM   #11
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Tow is Land Rover LR2. Controller is prodigy P2.

I'm assuming the brake light signal comes from the vehicle's harness. The vehicle harness is an OEM 4-pin; the prodigy was aftermarket. The vehicle 4-pin leads are spliced into the 7-pin for braked tows.

I mispoke in my previous post...I think the vehicle OEM tow harness is sending the pulse signal.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:36 PM   #12
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Well, there ya go. You have a Land Rover. (See my user name - owned one of every land rover ever made - but no more ...)

You need to call Atlantic British and ask for Eric Riston. (Tell him Dendy sent you). If the LR2 is like the Discovery II, Land Rover requires a resistor that plugs into the rear taillights. Was the same on the Discovery I and Range Rover Classic and P38 Body.

I could be wrong, but I don't think so ...

Hope that helps.
Thanks
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:35 PM   #13
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I too have a Range Rover (Sport) and was installing the LED4RV tail lights and noticed the flickering. I took WlWild's suggestion and called eTrailer. Sure enough they have a simple (plug-n-play) fix.
Part #C57003 for $25.
http://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=c57003
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