Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Alpine Coach Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-23-2011, 02:18 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1
Prodigy Brake Controller VS. Vansco

2004 Alpine 36'
I read some of the information regarding this issue but felt like it may be good to start a new thread.
Background: The brake light circuit in the forward Vansco box went bad and when that happened, the cruise control would not cancel with the brake pedal and the emergency stop if the engine quit was not working. I sent the box to Parker Inc in Canada. They are the maker of Vansco control boxes. $800 later I received a new box, hooked it up and now have those functions back.
While doing this, the person at Parker said you cannot connect a relay to operate the brake controller without a diode because the 12V connected to the relay will feed back to the Vansco box and burn out the circuit again which is what happened to my original Vansco box. I had wired in a relay to operate the brake controller with the signal coming from the #52 wire going into the forward Vansco box.
How do I connect the Brake Controller to the coach to get a signal to operate my trailer brakes? Parker said nothing should be connected to the Vansco circuit and I tend to agree, even with a diode. I am thinking of buying a duplicate brake light switch and mounting it next to the original. It is a standard Ford switch. It would be wired independent and be used only to operate the brake controller.
I would appreciate any feedback comments or ideas. This is probably a more widespread problem.
__________________

__________________
DandLBart is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-23-2011, 04:08 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
Independent switch would work, but IIRC you already have one installed. The (I believe it is Ford) brake switch on the adjustable pedals has empty pin sockets which can be adapted to this use, so the same pedal/switch action activates Vansco & your controller simultaneously.

This advice from Dale Gerstel is from this thread:
"My brake light switch has 5 connections on it, only the 2 toward the back of the coach are used. The 2 connections just ahead of the 2 used, are a spst normally open, switch. I pulled a power source from the dash area, fused it and ran it to one of those connections. The other I used as a "normal brake light switch power" source for my towed brakes. The wire connectors for these connections, I got from Auto Zone, are for Ford.

I would not use the
brake light switch grounding connection to the Vansco to power a relay, that would most likely cause a feed back problem."
__________________

__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
wa8yxm's Avatar
 
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22,792
I would have to see both the Vansco install instrucitons and the wiring diagram for the coach.

But there are two ways to use a relay and diode in conjunciton, one is to wire the diode across the relay coils so that it is reverse biased when the relay is energized, this way when you open the relay's coil circuit the voltage spike that results forward biases the diode and it shunts it out, However, I'm not sure that's the diode they are talking about.
__________________
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2011, 04:51 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Wayne R's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Winter Haven Brownsville, TX
Posts: 1,138
Mine was wired by my dealer, one of the spare wires was connected to the brake signal output of the rear PDM. The spare is connected to the Prodigy controller upfront. I use this hook up when towing my enclosed trailer. When towing my Tundra I get brake signal for the Rroadmaster toad brake from the powered taillight converter for the trailer. The tail Light converter is the powered type so a separate circuit supplies power to all the trailer lights and Toad. It has been this way for 5 years and no Vansco issues. I did lose a tail light converter at about 3 years.

I wish they had thought of using the spare brake switch terminals though, it would have been much cleaner and simpler.
__________________
Wayne & Kathy
05 Alpine 40FDQS #75330 Towing 24' car hauler, 2012 Spyder, 2003 Harley FatBoy
Wayne R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2011, 05:37 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
The Vansco don't-install-a-relay problem is on the input side only as to burning out the circuit. These "input" circuits which operate as a switch have Vansco-computer voltage on them, and are looking for ground as signal to light +12V on the output circuit, say the brake lights in the rear. The computer sends out an odd voltage, like 11.2V w/practically zero amp capacity, and when I throw a switch (say Driving Lights), the switch grounds the computer voltage which Vansco senses, telling the computer to put +12V out to the driving lights. A draw as small as the coil on a relay (~.13A or so) will eventually burn out the Vansco signal "input" circuit.

The Vansco output circuits are good up to 6A or so, so most 12V stuff can be operated by them. If higher, you need to power a relay w/the V-output. Also tho, on the outputs, Vansco will signal trouble by flashing LED if there is 12V backfeed on the output, but running a relay coil to ground off the output isn't backfeeding since the Vansco is the 12V source, so that type of use is cool. I.e. you can go to the brake light output on the rear and tap in a grounded relay coil (addes 0.13A to the brake light load), and run separate 12V to the switch terminals of the relay to power another load by activating brake lights.
__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2011, 08:20 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Wil Rathke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 283
EM - I'm a retired EE and you explained this very well. I agree that the Vansco OUTPUT should be able to power a small relay in addition to the brake lights.
__________________
2005 38FDTS
2011 Ford Edge
Fredericksburg, TX
Wil Rathke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2011, 02:36 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
Wil- thanks for the compliment. I'm a licensed Civil and Land Surveyor. Any forays into electrical and electronic wizardry are purely self-taught. In other words, you can mark my progress by the pile of burned up junk I've "tested."

e.g. I was amazed that the dash dimmer switch on the Vansco equipped rigs is not a rheostat as I was expecting. Fortunately, my spelunking around w/it was w/a good fluke meter and my Power Probe III, both of which are high enough resistance that you can probe computer circuits w/relative impunity. I puzzled over the feedback for a while, then switched to duty cycle and concluded the dimmer is a variable pulse-width modulator, and the dash lights are LED's and not resistance lamps elements. I managed not to burn up the dimmer w/my tests, but dear wife gets nervous whenever I start taking the coach apart, thinking, "Hmmm, what feature will be the next on the gotta-getta-new-one list?"
__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2011, 04:10 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
DrDaveMA's Avatar


 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Cotuit, MA
Posts: 2,251
Mike - I wonder if that changes from year to year. On our 2005 (manufacturer in late 2004) we have "puck" lights over the dash that come on when the dash dimmer is rotated all the way on (kinda of like interior lights in your car). They are the Halon bulbs that I have been wanting to change to LED with pulse modulated dimming as I don't want them on all the time (big distraction while driving ) but would like them on sometimes. Did it appear there may have been a secondary rheostat for the halogens for the interior lights, a contact that is activated at full rotation, or maybe the Vansco turns them on when the dimmer reaches full on? Anyway if you have any insight I would love to know before I tear my dash apart and get the wife excited .
__________________
Dave, Bobbi and Fenway
2005 38' FDTS Alpine Limited, 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
Cape Cod, MA
DrDaveMA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2011, 05:51 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Wayne R's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Winter Haven Brownsville, TX
Posts: 1,138
Dr Dave, I have a late 05 built in August of 04. The Dash dimer switch has a switch at the end of the travel that controls the overhead lights. I know this because mine is bad and I refuse to pay $150 for a new switch. When I get ambitious I plan on adding a new dimmer switch dedicated to the overhead lights.
__________________
Wayne & Kathy
05 Alpine 40FDQS #75330 Towing 24' car hauler, 2012 Spyder, 2003 Harley FatBoy
Wayne R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2011, 07:58 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,217
Like Wayne said. Assembly is a Ford part, probably off a van or over the road truck (or both), comes as a piece and is more or less sealed. IIRC the part# is available for the low, low price of an iRV2 'Search' starting at the Alpine Coach Forum as the root.
__________________
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
EngineerMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2011, 01:25 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,226
Dave-EM-All - I have changed all the interior 12VDC light bulbs to LED's. The ones in the bottom side of the overhead cabinets don't have the PW modulated type dimmer, so as soon as I turn those on, they immediately dim down and are useless. If I change those back to the halogen bulbs, it won't be any time, until the heat from those type of bulbs fries the light housing and it needs to be replaced again (already replaced two of them when putting in the LED's).

The ceiling lights have also been changed to LED's and the DW hates the light they put out, but I told her she is going to live with it, because I don’t want those hot halogen ones back in there which could get hot enough to cause a fire. To prevent the glass lens from getting stuck, before I put them back up, I coated the locking rim of the lens with 3M 38897 Dry Silicone lubricant which I sprayed on a rag, and then wiped over just the locking rim. This ensures the lens will come off easier next time, and I have checked and they do.

To placate the DW I need to get the reading lights working correctly, and want PW dimmer with a switch built in, anyone know of a unit which is complete. I have not checked the dash lights to see if they dim or not, I will check next time I am up at the coach. The lights costs all told around 200 or so, expensive little buggers, but they are very cool to the touch, so my fire worry is way less now. Plus the LED's should last a long time.
__________________
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
Old Rv'er is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2011, 03:43 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
takepride's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 1,563
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Rv'er View Post
the DW hates the light they put out, but I told her she is going to live with it, because I donít want those hot halogen ones back in there which could get hot enough to cause a fire.
Monty:

To save even more money (ie. divorce expenses) use "color-corrected" LEDs. In a nine-pattern LED layout, three will be amber. Color corrected is the same color as the sun.

I actually prefer the color of incandescent lights. The LED version would be called "warm" and would have 4-5 ambers in a nine-pattern layout.

You can get the full scoop on this from Kelly, the owner and designer of Lightblasters and Prudent RVer. He was able to explain the many facets of LED design, including regulators, pulse-width modulators (dimmers) and sheet LEDs. Actually very interesting even for laymen/women.

Like your DW, I absolutely cannot stand the blue LED color. I imagine she's not a fan of florescent lights either.
__________________
2003 Alpine 40FDTS (400HP)
Long Beach, CA
takepride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2011, 03:58 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,226
Actually, she likes florescent lights, if they are the very bright option. She has bad vision, and the LED's are almost a yellow light, they dont bother me, but she says she cannot see. I need to get the PW modulated switch so the reading lights are useable, but Kelly never returned my e-mail, guess I will try again. I did not know there were different light outputs in them. Guess I will have to do some checking on what we have purchased, and get the ones that will give her more light in the front of the coach.
__________________
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
Old Rv'er is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 08:31 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Rick J Fisher's Avatar
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Chatsworth CA
Posts: 166
I have a trailer light and a trailer brake problem that I have not seen solved in these posts. I experienced the Vansco disconnect with the trailer runnning lights and understand I need a relay driven by pin 8 (I believe) on the Vansco output. But how do I locate the matching wire?

As for the brakes, I was excited to see a seperate bundle at the rear trailer connector with blue, black, and white wires. The blue would be the electric brake actuator, the black +12 v, and the white a redundant ground. However all wires are dead and I can't find the bundle at the front where I need to connect the blue wire to a brake controller. I can get +12 v from the battery compartment but I don't want to have to run another blue wire all the way to the front if there is one there already.

Any help is appreciated.
__________________

__________________
Rick J Fisher, BW is Judy
2007 Alpine 34FDDS Limited SE
2003 Jeep Rubicon or a 1995 Toyota Tacoma
Rick J Fisher is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brake Controller Wiring Dmreese1 Freightliner Motorhome Chassis Forum 7 12-21-2010 07:58 AM
Trailer Brake Controller Installation on 2007 APEX M&J Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 4 11-09-2010 12:31 AM
brake controller not working dunerbill Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion 5 10-17-2010 06:02 PM
F550 Brake Controller khoenig Excel Owner's Forum 5 02-05-2010 05:52 PM
Hayes Lemmerz "Endeavor" brake controller Live 2 Camp Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion 1 08-11-2007 02:14 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.