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Old 06-30-2012, 07:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joenic53 View Post
... the light should be hooked up with positive on the brake wire after the breakaway switch, negative to chassis ground.
That's the way I see it.

A refinement might be a time delay before the light comes on so that it doesn't illuminate during short durations of brake application, to avoid a distraction in the rear-view-mirror.

Another possibility might be a self-flashing LED (again, amber, not red).

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Old 07-01-2012, 07:32 AM   #12
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A high current diode could be placed after the light reverse biased to the brakes. That way the light would come on only when power was being supplied through the break away switch.

Power coming up from the brakes would hit the diode and stop.

40EPS08 Type 2 Pin Terminals Rectifier Diode 40A 800V | eBay
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:38 PM   #13
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That would sure work, Herk, but you have then added potential failure points (only if the hitch actually breaks and the system is needed), including the diode and its connections. Also, you then don't achieve the on-road "applied brake" monitoring function.

Should the system actually be needed and not operate, the accident re-constructionists and lawyers would have a field day, I'm afraid!

In the same vein, is there not a "breakaway switch" periodic test requirement of some sort? The switch itself could fail, the cable could become brittle enough to not be able to pull the pin out, etc, etc, etc.......

My switch is looking like it might need to be replaced (just old), and the pin was really difficult to pull out when I ran a functional test last month. The pin looked like it was designed to NOT be able to be pulled.

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Old 07-01-2012, 12:45 PM   #14
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PA requires an annual inspection and a function test of the break away is required.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:05 PM   #15
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I think I'm going to just replace mine, then.

Thanks, Herk!

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Old 07-01-2012, 01:10 PM   #16
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On second thought; not going to mess with mine.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:02 PM   #17
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This was just a fluke accident. Not worth a lighting mod.
I'd rather find out how the pin got pulled so easily that nobody notice. Mine is VERY hard to pull. If I were to trip on that thing hard enough to actually pull it, I would probably have landed on my face, too.
Pull that thing intentionally, and see if something is messed up in there to make it pull so easy.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:38 AM   #18
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so is there a risk of damaging brake/wiring components if the breakaway is "broken away" ie applying the brakes for an extended period of time?

never happened to me yet, but it could of course
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:20 AM   #19
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Is there such a thing as OVER-engineering something?
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
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so is there a risk of damaging brake/wiring components if the breakaway is "broken away" ie applying the brakes for an extended period of time?

never happened to me yet, but it could of course
Yes, the magnets draw a lot of current as they are sized to grab a wheel spinning at 70 mph or so and hang on while the pads are jammed into the drum.

That current is converted to heat and will eventually burn out the coil.

Folks have asked about using the breakaway as a chock, but that will not work because the wheel must be turning in a forward direction to engage the pads.
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