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Old 10-25-2006, 03:26 AM   #21
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Say yes to the break-away switch

If you ever thought the break-away switch is useless see my recent thread "A little adventure turned into a big one"
the chains broke! and I am glad they did.
http://www.airforums.com/forum...one-27195.html
I test it at least weekly. This is before every trip.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:09 AM   #22
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Replacement

While on vacation I forgot one time to unhook my cable to the breakaway switch. I was in a hurry and spaced it I guess.

But, I found out that my breakaway switch had a short in it. This had happened sometime inbetween my refurb and now. It kept blowing the 30A auto reset breaker that is inline with it.

I never thought to test it at all until now.

I installed a new one last weekend. Works like a charm !

Now I will check it each trip out ! Lesson learned.
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
If you ever thought the break-away switch is useless see my recent thread "A little adventure turned into a big one"
the chains broke! and I am glad they did.
Yes, I did read of your "adventure". I am glad you were able to tell about it.
Neil.
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:18 AM   #24
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Question Pulling the Pin and What to Do With the Cables

I’m resurrecting an idle thread here because it seems to be on-topic for something that we were discussing at the recent Florida Can Opener Rally. I found the attached article on the WBCCI web site, and it confirms that the Breakaway Switch cable should be longer than the seven-way cable, which should be longer than the chains. The chains should be crossed under the hitch and ride about five inches above the roadway.

My dealer instructed me to attach the breakaway cable by putting the eye through the chain attach rings, then pull the switch pin and insert it through the cable eye creating a lasso around the chain attachment ring, and then re-insert the pin. Fellow streamers said you should never pull the pin as it can wear out the brake magnets.

First question: My hitch procedure requires me to pull the pin each time I connect and disconnect. Does having the pin out for a few seconds do any harm?

Second question: The attached article says you should pull the switch pin at least four times a year to test the system. The test procedure in the article sounds like the pin would be out for several minutes. Would that do any harm?

I’ve learned from the article and other posts here that the breakaway switch cable should be attached to a non-hitch part of the TV. Attaching it to the chain attach rings (as I was instructed by the dealer), or to the chain’s grab hooks (as I did so as not to pull the pin) is not the correct solution. Post #19 by B25guy in this thread shows his solution, which is to install a ring to an existing hole on the TV away from the hitch.

Third question: What’s the method of attaching the loop in the cable to such a ring without pulling the pin to create a lasso; would a climber’s carabiner or something similar work and be safe?

Fourth and last question: How do you keep the breakaway switch cable and the seven-way cable from dragging the roadway yet free to be able to do their jobs?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Breakaway_Switch.pdf (41.7 KB, 66 views)
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:52 AM   #25
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.pdf file is not opening for me.

I use a carabiner to attach the loop to the frame of my truck. Frame has a couple of holes in it making it a convenient spot to hook up to.
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Old 01-12-2007, 12:57 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enduroryda
.pdf file is not opening for me.

I use a carabiner to attach the loop to the frame of my truck. Frame has a couple of holes in it making it a convenient spot to hook up to.
Sorry about the file. That's the way it came to me, and I don't have anything that would convert it to another format.

I was thinking a carabiner should work.
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Old 01-12-2007, 01:35 PM   #27
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pdf worked for me....try right-clicking the link, and choose "save file as..." save it locally, then see if you can open it. if that doesn't work....its the Phred-Sez column from the may '06 blue beret...

he left out that you shouldn't try this test of the breakaway switch with the 7-way connector connected to the truck. you could fry your brake controller!

I can't imagine that testing the switch for only a few minutes would cause damage. I think the problem is when someone pulls it on you when you don't know about it, and it just sits there pumping voltage into the magnets for...however long it takes to drain the batterie(S).

Over the summer, I saw a demo of the hookup procedure with a H-A and a trailer w/ the disk conversion...the user used the break-away as a "parking brake", of sorts. The voltage doesn't go directly to the brakes, in this setup; it just goes to the hydraulic actuator, which pressurizes the lines, and the calipers squeeze the discs. when the lines are pressurized, the motor on the actuator shuts off, and the wheels remain effectively locked. this is still without the 7-way plug attached to the tow vehicle; same principle applies...controller could get fried. Anyway, that procedure yields a test of the break-away with every hookup...and since the switch gets excercised, I bet it'll last longer. Thats probably part (if not most) of the problem with these things generally needing to be replaced so often...they freeze up because they never get used.
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Old 01-12-2007, 01:50 PM   #28
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Thanks Chuck...tried that and no go..I can usually open .pdf no prob...
Rrrrrrrrrr


As for the breakaway switch, after I replaced mine the other day I tried to pull out the old pin which I was afraid to test after reading so many posts about it frying your brakes, well guess what...the thing would not move ...even with a needle nose plier wrapped and pulling around the cord! One more reason I'm thankful for the great advice & encouragement always recieved from fellow members to get out and do what needs to be done!
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:56 PM   #29
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enduroryda Trouble opening the .pdf

Link to the pdf is good. Couple of things to check. Check for any updates for Acrobat. Could be your version is older than the pdf file.
Most versions have an autoupdater under Help, or you can go to http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates/ to see about an update to your version.
Next If you are on a Windows PC. Hold down the left CTRL key while clicking the link to the pdf file. Keep holding this down till the pdf opens.
(this disables popup blockers for the link you are clicking.)

Best of luck
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:21 PM   #30
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Well, we accidently tested our breakaway switch one time. I had wound the cable a bit too much around a chain to keep it from dragging. On the trip, we had occasion to make a really tight (and low-speed) turn in a parking lot. Presto. Smack in the middle of the turn, the AS jerks the truck to a dead stop. Sure had us wondering!


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Old 02-09-2007, 10:38 AM   #31
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I have new disc brakes, an actuator, and a new brake-away. I had the RV shop install the brake-away, which I ordered just to be on the safe side. [It's a good thing I got a new one, because upon acquisition it became apparent, my old one didn't have the pin or cable- I never new it should because I had never seen one or read about it.]

My question:

I got the trailer back and the cable is all tied up- in order to unwind the cable I'd have to pull the pin. I haven't done this yet because I have no instructions and wasn't sure I should.
So, with my brake set-up how do you test to be sure the BAway works? And, I assume I can use some pliers to pull the pin out to unwind the cable, and just re-insert????

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:01 AM   #32
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Talk to the RV shop that did the install, and make sure this is ok...

"frying the brakes" shouldn't be a worry with disc brakes. no magnets!
pulling the pin and energizing the system simply turns on the hydraulic brake actuator, which pressurizes the brake lines. when the pressure builds up to its maximum, the pump in the actuator shuts off, and holds the pressure in the lines, keeping the wheels locked; I saw this demonstrated at a recent rally, and it was being used as a momentary "parking brake" during the hitch-up process. (user pulled the pin, backed truck up to trailer, hitched up, then put the pin back in place.) I was told that this was perfectly ok to do with this particular brake system; don't know for a fact that it is "approved" for yours, so confirm w/ the installer.

even w/ electric brakes, its ok to pull the pin, for a few moments. Its kind of required to do this for testing! you just don't want to do it when the trailer's umbilical is connected, as the unregulated voltage on the line could "fry" the brake controller in the truck.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:21 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck

even w/ electric brakes, its ok to pull the pin, for a few moments. Its kind of required to do this for testing! you just don't want to do it when the trailer's umbilical is connected, as the unregulated voltage on the line could "fry" the brake controller in the truck.
This might be something good to go over at the Spring Maintenance Rally....I'm still a little gun shy about doing this even though it sounds pretty basic. I'd rather see someone go through the steps of the actual test before I try it on my own.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:26 AM   #34
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Never pull the pin if your 7 wire cable is attached to your TV. Most brake controllers will fry if you do this.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:36 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Never pull the pin if your 7 wire cable is attached to your TV. Most brake controllers will fry if you do this.
My Prodigy didn't, but I may have been lucky.

Randy
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:49 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enduroryda
This might be something good to go over at the Spring Maintenance Rally....I'm still a little gun shy about doing this even though it sounds pretty basic. I'd rather see someone go through the steps of the actual test before I try it on my own.
not much to it. step 1: pull pin.


just don't have the umbilical connected to the tow vehicle. If you can't hear that the brakes are on, use a boy-scout compass held near the wheels, to see if the magnets are energized. If they are, the needle will swing toward the wheel.

Or, you can do it w/ the truck hooked up, (sans-umbilical), and pull forward. brakes should grab within a couple of feet.

when you're done, put pin back in place.

~fine~
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:15 PM   #37
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This is the good discussion from the 'early days' on how long to set the breakaway cable: http://www.airforums.com/forum...able-7308.html

...probably a good idea not to post into a thread that old tho. Do it here. Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:07 PM   #38
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Quote:
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step 1: pull pin.

when you're done, put pin back in place.

~fine~
WARNING:

Under "NO" circumstances, ever leave the breakaway switch pin pulled more than 5 minutes.

The brake magnet will start to fry after that time. Also, if you want to see how hot the magnets can get, the heat from them can detemper the axle spindles.

Ouch.

No more than 5 minutes.

Andy
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:08 PM   #39
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The prodigy information sheet does say that the break away will damage it
if pulled ,that always bugged me some .at least some have not had this happen with the prodigy .Im hoping Im lucky as well if the pin gets yanked out by mistake.

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Old 02-09-2007, 08:36 PM   #40
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Locking up Brakes on my 73 Sovereign (original brakes)

1. I have never tried pulling the pin. How locked up is the break away switch designed to effect? Should it lock up the brakes into a skid at speed?

2. I can feel when my trailer brakes engage when towing as a tug and a drag on the tow vehicle but I have made a few panic stops and the trailer brakes do not lock into a skid. I have checked the brake pads and they are OK. Are my trailer brakes functioning correctly?
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