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Old 03-05-2007, 08:26 AM   #1
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I'm stumped and looking for suggestions....

I have a Hoppy 4 to 3 wire powered, short-proof tail light converter (their model 46235). Actually, I'm on the 3rd converter. I have the Blue Ox add-a-bulb lights in my Explorer. I switched from the non-powered converter to this one when I upgraded the stop and turn signals on the coach to LED lights (the powered converter isolates the towing vehicle and towed vehicle lighting).

First Hoppy powered converter lasted about 8 months then failed?? All I get is constant-on right stop light on TOAD. Replaced with 2nd converter and it lasted 30 days or so. Got the 3rd Hoppy converter (warranty replacement) and it worked for one trip. All grounds are OK, no shorts that I can detect, lights work fine when I install the converter. When the 'failure' occurs, I get no running lights or turn signals on the TOAD, only the constantly on R brake light.

Talked to Hopkins mfg. and they say it would be highly unlikely for me to get 3 defective converters, and I agree. They say the only way the condition I describe might occur is a dead short in the TOAD lighting or a defective converter. They will replace it if I send it back to them.

I'm inclined to try another brand of converter but am concerned there is a gremlin somewhere that I've missed.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:26 AM   #2
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I'm stumped and looking for suggestions....

I have a Hoppy 4 to 3 wire powered, short-proof tail light converter (their model 46235). Actually, I'm on the 3rd converter. I have the Blue Ox add-a-bulb lights in my Explorer. I switched from the non-powered converter to this one when I upgraded the stop and turn signals on the coach to LED lights (the powered converter isolates the towing vehicle and towed vehicle lighting).

First Hoppy powered converter lasted about 8 months then failed?? All I get is constant-on right stop light on TOAD. Replaced with 2nd converter and it lasted 30 days or so. Got the 3rd Hoppy converter (warranty replacement) and it worked for one trip. All grounds are OK, no shorts that I can detect, lights work fine when I install the converter. When the 'failure' occurs, I get no running lights or turn signals on the TOAD, only the constantly on R brake light.

Talked to Hopkins mfg. and they say it would be highly unlikely for me to get 3 defective converters, and I agree. They say the only way the condition I describe might occur is a dead short in the TOAD lighting or a defective converter. They will replace it if I send it back to them.

I'm inclined to try another brand of converter but am concerned there is a gremlin somewhere that I've missed.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:55 AM   #3
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Have you looked at possibly installing some inline fuses? If they hold while parked and do no while traveling you infact could have a chaffed wire and the bump in the road cause it ti short out and eventually burn out the converter. You may want to just run new 4 wires back to the bulbs and see if that will correct the problem. GOod luck and let us know what you find as the fix.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:06 AM   #4
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Mike, thanks for that suggestion. I plan to do some serious detective work this weekend...I wondered if I might have a 'motion-related' short. Finding secure places to run the wires under the Explorer was not easy. I may re-route them through the interior of the vehicle.
I also plan to encase the wiring in some of that plastic flex conduit.

Joe-K has identical rig with the same LED light upgrade as mine and is using Roadmaster's Brite Lite converter with no problems. I've ordered one of those to replace my dead Hoppy.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:36 AM   #5
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Good luck and let us know what you find.
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Old 03-09-2007, 06:08 AM   #6
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Excessive current is pretty much the only thing that would cause the converters to burn out like that, which suggests a short OR too many high current bulbs for the converter to handle. That's seems very unlikely if you are using LEDs. Does Hoppy specify a current rating for their unit? Ask them what it is and fuse the circuit at or slightly below that rating to protect the converter and also verify if that's the problem. Or just fuse the circuit for whatever power you calculate your add-a-bulbs require. If you blow the fuse, you then know you have a wiring problem in the toad.

The other thing I would be concerned about is possible feedback from the toad's own light system. I realize you said you have the add-a-bulb, but that does mean the two systems may share a common ground via the light housing where your bulbs are mounted. Could be that somehow there is feedback that is stressing the adapter. Adding diodes to the ad-a-bulb circuits would prevent feedback from ever reaching the adapter. It's on off-the-wall possibility, but diodes aren't expensive and it would rule out that possibility.
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