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Old 02-18-2009, 07:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheRVGuy:
Rich,

Who and what number did you call. We are very interested in getting a US tow brake and this sounds great, but I'd like to deal direct without ebay.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Mike & Lisa
Here is the link again from my post above:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors...eZWD1V#ht_864wt_1197

If it does not appear as a hot link, you will have to cut and paste it into the browser window.

Looking forward to getting it.
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:42 PM   #16
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Guess I forgot to say that the number is in the ad and I just called them and ordered it. As stated earlier, it is Monaco.
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:39 PM   #17
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I worked on the rig all day today. Pulling the cable from the rear to the front was no bundle of joy.

Now the problem. The brake switch on the Alpine is a grounding switch to a circuit on the Vansco. It does not provide 12v and hence cannot be used with the tow brake controller. I ended up connecting directly to one of the brake lights on the rig. I'll call US Gear tomorrow to verify this hookup.

Now at home, looking at the Vansco diagram, circuit #20A on the rear Vansco unit may be the brake signal I am looking for.

Has anyone solved this problem?
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:07 PM   #18
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Ken,

If using the brake light circuit doesn't work, just add a relay up front at the brake switch.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:23 PM   #19
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Dale,

Already tried the relay. One side of the brake switch is 10.3v and the other is ground. Adding a relay to the 10.3v side, grounds it through the relay coil, which in turn activates the Vansco to turn on the brake lights, even though the pedal was not pushed.

Am I missing something?
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:57 PM   #20
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Ken,

No, I was, this is what happens when I try to think of a quick fix without thinking it thru. I have ordered one of these also, so I will have to deal with the same problem. If their system needs 12 volts, the brake light circuit should work, if it doesn't draw too much power. The Vansco has a low output. It the connection breaks the vansco "circuit breaker" then you could use the relay at that point. That should not cause any feed back that I can think of at this time.
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:57 PM   #21
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Outputs 19 and 20 on the Vansco are different than the others. Others have a single "output" contact, while 19/20 have two contacts each. These two contacts can be "contacted" internally if told to do so by the Vansco programming, i.e. switched together. This is why on some of WRV's Vansco schematics there is a 19A & 19B, a 20A & 20B. It also explains part of the reason the output connector is a 35 pin device instead of a 28 pin (i.e. 2 of the possible 7 extra pins).

I believe the idea is you could have 20B connected to ground thru the load, 20A connected to +12V, and when told by its program the Vansco could connect energized pin A to load circuit pin B thereby energizing the load. Outputs 19 & 20 have a max current before internal overcurrent protection (like an auto-resetting breaker) of 4A (vs 6A max for most of the outputs).

For the above reasons (and since I don't know what the WRV program actually calls for as A & B can also be programmed in other ways , or how the wiring is actually set up), IIWM I'd take Dale's suggestion and get 12V power off the positive stud @ front firewall of coach (or out of the batt compartment if from the rear) and use a relay off the pedal switch or brake light to power the brake gizmo. Just my $.02
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:20 AM   #22
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Thanks Mike for the feedback. The US Gear controller requires only a low amperage 12v signal that the brake pedal has been applied.

The brake light should be OK if there is no other system that activates the brake lights, other than the pedal. Biggest concern is the exhaust brake. Anyone know if the exhaust brake on Alpines activates the brake lights also?
My previous Monaco rig did.
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:31 AM   #23
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I just spoke with US Gear. The brake light connection should work fine, if the Jake brake does not activate the brake lights. If it does, then that option will not work.

He suggested putting a second micro switch at the brake pedal, for their controller. That will be my last resort.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:39 AM   #24
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There isn't any tie in 'tween the brake lights & exhaust (Pac) or Jacobs brake on Alpines that I know of (except as may have been added post-OEM by characters like us).

Sounds like the unit has its own relay & only looking for signal, so the +12V side of the brake light should be ohkee-dohkee.
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:22 PM   #25
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Finished the install today. All seems to work fine.

The solution to the brake pedal switch issue was as follows: The switch has 5 contacts. WRV used contacts 1 and 2. It ends up that contacts 3 and 4 are also a SPST switch. I rigged up some connectors and ran 12v to one side and the US Gear controller to the other. Works fine and no need for the isolation diode that US Gear supplied.

Now I need to drive the rig with the tow car and see how much braking improvement there is.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:22 PM   #26
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How cool. I can use contacts 3 & 4 for my Brakeswitch kit. It activates the Jake by brake light and the usual solution is to splice into the brake light circuit. W/the 3-4 contacts I can run all new wire, just need to pull a hot from the front Positive Stud and maybe splice in a 3A or so fuse.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:32 PM   #27
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eMike:

You've brought up a question. I read through the website you posted on the Brakeswitch. My Jake Brake already operates exactly as described in their product information. But, my brake lights do not come on. Mine is pre-Vansco (if that's important). Is the brake light the only thing you are looking for? Or does your coach not automatically close the JB when you let off the throttle and are not in cruise control?
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:09 PM   #28
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Not too sure about the question-
The Brakeswitch uses brake light actuation as a signal to actuate the Jake brake, so stepping on the brakes gets service brakes plus Jake regardless of the position of the rocker switch (this engages Jake @ foot pedal operation when Jake is Off). If Jake is On (or Pac brake) and you/I step on service brakes then we get Pac/Jake action, so basically the Brakeswitch is an override for the rocker switch when it is in the Off position.

What you are talking about during cruise is different. Jake can be programmed to operate or not operate during cruise control per the owner's desire. My 06 had Jake disabled during cruise, my 08 has it enabled. I prefer the latter as it is useful keeping the coach from running away down hills, but it is a nuisance in rolling hills where a little runaway on shallow downhills is no problem, so I usually turn Jake off then. But with the Brakeswitch, I can step on the brake anytime and get both service brakes and Jake as a result.

My Jake doesn't turn on the brake lights, and brake lights don't turn on the Jake (until I get the BS installed, which my wife says I have too much of anyway). I am fairly sure this is universal as the service brakes (& lights) are installed by & wired by the coach mfgr and have no intertie I know of to the ECU that controls Jake actuation (unless & until you do something like Brakeswitch).

Here is a previous thread, with a link to a previous previous thread discussing the options. The PP thread talks about "latching" mode which is/was the option on my coach/es. On non-latch mode, with rocker switch On, hitting brakes activates Jake only while service brakes are engaged. Brakeswitch gives me non-latching mode while rocker switch is Off, so I never have to reach for the rocker in a panic stop scenario.
Hope this adds clarity & not just more Stimulus
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