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Old 10-07-2014, 08:31 PM   #1
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Incorrectly wired 7 pin?

Hi all. Fairly new member here.

I have been looking at doing various mods to my new Starcraft 16rb. One of which is adding reverse lights to the trailer for backing into dark camp sites at night.

Looking into this more, I am getting concerned that the RV shop improperly installed the 7-pin connector. I drive a 2010 Cadillac SRX and we are using a Prodigy RF brake controller.

I was curious if the reverse pin was wired or not, and then I started wondering of the auxiliary pin is live.

Anyway, I got sidetracked (often happens) when I noticed that my Prodigy RF brake controller (the cab side) is flashing 0.0 when the hazard lights are active.

Why would that happen? The prodigy controller should be wired to the brake pin (blue) right? If so, why would I be getting readings on the brake controller (flashing 0.0 in sequence with the hazard lights) when the hazard lights are on?

Did the RV dealership wire the brake controller up wrong? On our last several trips, it seems to be working fine. However, if I turn on the hazards while still moving, I have a feeling it is going to activate the trailer brakes on and off, on and off.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:49 PM   #2
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Your first step is to determine whether your SRX 7-pin plug is an RV plug or a traditional 7-pin plug. The RV plug has a red wire, and the traditional plug has a purple wire. The other 6 wires are white, green, yellow, black, brown and blue.

Next, study the 7-pin wiring diagrams at
Trailer Wiring Diagrams | etrailer.com

There is no "reverse" pin in the 7-pin plug. The center pin is the auxiliary pin, or the pin normally used used for backup lights. It will be yellow in the RV plug or purple in the traditional 7-pin plug.

Figure out which wire in the tail lights of the SRX is the wire that activates the backup lights. Then tap into that wire and run it to the center screw on your 7-pin plug at the back of the SRX.

On the trailer, go from the center pin in the connector to the backup lights.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:01 PM   #3
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Thanks smokey.

At this point, I am more concerned that the Prodigy RF controller is hooked up improperly.

I just went out and verified that off the TV, I have a black, green, yellow, and brown wire spliced to the back of the 7 pin connector. I also see a heavy red wire that runs to the front of the vehicle that appears to connect to the alternator. I don't see a blue, purple.

If the Prodigy RF controller isn't getting a brake signal, how is it working? Is the fact that the hazards flashing is activating the brake controller indicating that the thing was jerry rigged?

How do you connect a 7 pin brake controller to a car that only has a 4 flat factory connection?
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:06 PM   #4
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Ok, never mind. Found this:

Is the Blue Wire Needed in the 7-Way RV Connector when Installing the Prodigy RF Brake Controller | etrailer.com

So this controller doesn't need a blue brake wire.

Not sure why the controller is flashing on and off like I am pushing on the brake when the hazard lights are on though.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:12 PM   #5
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Perhaps because the hazards use the brake circuit. The prodigy can't tell the difference between brake signal from the pedal or the flasher. if you try and drive with the flashers on it will be hitting your trailer brakes every flash. to prove this just put the flashers on and hit the brake pedal they will stop flashing when you apply the brakes.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:24 PM   #6
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OK lets break this down first the RF controller is wired to your car or truck inside the car and gets its brake signal from there. The large red wire is likely the charge wire though it is the wrong color for the wiring harness it is connected to it should be Black. The other half of the RF controller is wired to your trailer. My bet is they used black for the ground which should be white. SO my bet is if you open the 7 pin connector it will look like it is wired completely wrong because the Yellow wire will be wired to the connector marked red the brown wire will be wired to the green connector and the green wire will be wired to the brown connector the red wire you see running to the batt or alt is wired to the black connector and the black wire is wired to the white connector. Now if I am right and the black wire is a ground and the red wire is 12v positive your 7 way is wired correctly.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mainiac View Post
Perhaps because the hazards use the brake circuit. The prodigy can't tell the difference between brake signal from the pedal or the flasher. if you try and drive with the flashers on it will be hitting your trailer brakes every flash. to prove this just put the flashers on and hit the brake pedal they will stop flashing when you apply the brakes.
Ok, thats what I thought.

The trailer doesn't know the difference between a brake signal and turn signal (both at the same time). Its all the same.

I suppose I was trying to determine how the Prodigy control module knew that I was applying the breaks in the TV, and that must be it. It sees both circuits as active as a brake signal.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:24 PM   #8
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OK lets break this down first the RF controller is wired to your car or truck inside the car and gets its brake signal from there.
Right. Which, per above, appears to be operating normally and the Prodigy RF controller simply can't handle the hazard lights as different from the braking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mainiac View Post
The large red wire is likely the charge wire though it is the wrong color for the wiring harness it is connected to it should be Black.
This is really stumping me now. I chased that wire up to the front of the car just in front of the cabin where it disappears. I can't figure out where it goes from there. I don't see any wire tied into the + terminal of the battery, but I do see a red wire connected to the alternator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1mainiac View Post
The other half of the RF controller is wired to your trailer. My bet is they used black for the ground which should be white. SO my bet is if you open the 7 pin connector it will look like it is wired completely wrong because the Yellow wire will be wired to the connector marked red the brown wire will be wired to the green connector and the green wire will be wired to the brown connector the red wire you see running to the batt or alt is wired to the black connector and the black wire is wired to the white connector. Now if I am right and the black wire is a ground and the red wire is 12v positive your 7 way is wired correctly.
LOL

I think you are right, unfortunately they taped up the entire back of the 7 way connector nice and tight and I don't want to open it up to simply verify.

My initial 3 questions were these:

1. Is the red wire providing a charge or auxiliary power to the trailer. Answer... most likely (wrong color wire)

2. Why do the trailer brakes activate when the hazard lights are on. Answer... because the Prodigy Controller can't tell the difference.

3. Is it possible to install reverse lights on the trailer. Answer... Yes, by tapping into the rear reverse light wire and running to the 7 way and then running a new circuit for the lights on the trailer to the 7 way connector.



Do I have this all right now?
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:42 AM   #9
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Who sold you the prodigy RF??? Was it the dealer?? The prodigy RF was designed for people that share trailers often, or plans on moving the trailer from vehicle to vehicle often and doesn't want to install an electronic brake controller in each vehicle.

The way the prodigy RF works, from what i can see, is that it mimmics hydraulic surge brakes found commonly on uhaul trailers. It has an accelerometer inside the unit which is installed on the trailer. All it needs is power and a brake signal(from your tail lights). The accelerometer controls how much braking force to give, you simply set the gain inside the cab with your remote.

Since you have a small 16footer, this is probably ok. But since it was a dealer installing everything, i would have thought they'd use a real brake controller and do a permanent install on your vehicle. Just seems like a half baked easy install on their part. They probably used a tow ready harness like this oneHarness, cut off the connector and wired it into a 7 pin connector. Then ran a seperate power wire up to the battery and called it a day. For the trailer side install, all they had to do is mount the prodigy box with a couple screws, runs the 2 wires to each brake, and plug the unit into the connector on your vehicle. Then called it a day, easy peasy.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:30 AM   #10
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Who sold you the prodigy RF??? Was it the dealer?? The prodigy RF was designed for people that share trailers often, or plans on moving the trailer from vehicle to vehicle often and doesn't want to install an electronic brake controller in each vehicle.
According to the RV dealer, the Cadillac SRX doesn't have an easy way of tapping into the brake circuit for a under dash controller. So they offered us the Prodigy RF for the same price as the Prodigy P3, and since we are planning on moving cars in a year or two, it was a good fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gggplaya View Post
The way the prodigy RF works, from what i can see, is that it mimmics hydraulic surge brakes found commonly on uhaul trailers. It has an accelerometer inside the unit which is installed on the trailer. All it needs is power and a brake signal(from your tail lights). The accelerometer controls how much braking force to give, you simply set the gain inside the cab with your remote.
Got it.

The "brake signal" is the question. Apparently, the if the left and right brake/signal circuit is activated simultaneously, then the RF module assumes this is a brake signal. In the case of a hazard situation, that is not the case. I suppose if that were to happen, it would not apply the brakes though as the accelerometer doesn't detect any deceleration? When the hazards are on, the hand held unit is in fact assuming that a brake signal was received which was my concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gggplaya View Post
Since you have a small 16footer, this is probably ok. But since it was a dealer installing everything, i would have thought they'd use a real brake controller and do a permanent install on your vehicle. Just seems like a half baked easy install on their part. They probably used a tow ready harness like this oneHarness, cut off the connector and wired it into a 7 pin connector. Then ran a seperate power wire up to the battery and called it a day.
I think that is exactly what they did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gggplaya View Post
For the trailer side install, all they had to do is mount the prodigy box with a couple screws, runs the 2 wires to each brake, and plug the unit into the connector on your vehicle. Then called it a day, easy peasy.
Im ok with an easy install. I like to keep things simple, and the RF does that.

My concern is if I am in a hazard situation, I don't want pulsing from the electric brakes synchronized with my hazard flashers.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:49 PM   #11
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The blue wire on the 7 pin connector comes from a traditional brake controller in the cab. This controller is connected to the brake light switch on your brake pedal, so it knows when you press the brake and sends out a voltage over the blue wire. The RF doesn't have that provision.

I imagine that prodigy programmed this thing to work like surge brakes, with the added benefit of reverse, it might account for hazards which is easily doable in software. I think it's best to call prodigy and ask them about that situation, it's really up to whoever programmed the unit, and what decisions they wanted to software to make in a hazard situation.
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:30 AM   #12
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Cadillac should be wired the same as GMC. Get someone to help you by turning on and off turn signals and applying brakes while you use a test light to determine what each pin does . Set parking brake ,put car in reverse, shut off and then turn ignition back on to test for a pin that becomes hot with reverse lights.
My trailer uses a 7 wire cable that had the backup circuit just going to a junction box and capped with a wire nut. I used the factory wiring all the way to the back where I added what I needed to make the loading lights become back up lights. I used a relay so I could still turn them on when not backing up.
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