Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

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Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby RunnerDuck » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:16 pm

When I wired my teardrop I decided to add extra brake lights to the rear. I have an LED brake light/parking light in the center of the galley hatch and I have an LED brake light strip just above the bumper. To make wiring a little easier I connected these brake lights to the electric brake control of the truck.

Initially it looked like it worked but now that I just finishing up my teardrop and hooked it to the truck for the first time the two center brake lights blink every four seconds anytime the trailer is plugged into the truck. I believe the blinking is being caused by the Tekonsha P3 Brake Controller. It looks like, even when the truck is turned off, it samples the line every four seconds causing the lights to blink.

Tail lights.jpg
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Does anyone have a solution to this so the lights don't blink? The trailer is really hard wired and difficult to change anything, I'd really prefer to use the Electric Brake Controller line if at all possible.

Thanks,
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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby MtnDon » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:11 pm

I assume you also have a left and right side brake light combined with the running tail lights and that these work okay? I believe there are special electronic devices made to enable running a third brake light such as you have.
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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby MtnDon » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:16 pm

Our 6x12 deep vee nose cargo trailer camper conversion... viewtopic.php?f=42&t=58336

We have a small off grid cabin we built ourselves in the NM mountains; small PV solar system; 624 watts PV, Outback CC & inverter/charger ... http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=2335.0
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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby dancam » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:34 pm

Where exactly did you run the line from? From the wire that goes to the trailer drums? Or the signal feed to the brake controller?

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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby RunnerDuck » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:35 pm

MtnDon wrote:This may help
https://www.etrailer.com/question-41760.html


This won't work as the light strip I have is LED and they say it won't work with LED lights.
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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby RunnerDuck » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:36 pm

dancam wrote:Where exactly did you run the line from? From the wire that goes to the trailer drums? Or the signal feed to the brake controller?

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I'm coming directly off the seven pin plug on the pickup.
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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby dancam » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:14 pm

Do you have a voltmeter that you can confirm whats going on? A low voltage constant feed (like 1.0v) can cause led's to blink. If its a pulse of 5 or 12v the brake controller may be faulty.

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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby RunnerDuck » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:45 pm

dancam wrote:Do you have a voltmeter that you can confirm whats going on? A low voltage constant feed (like 1.0v) can cause led's to blink. If its a pulse of 5 or 12v the brake controller may be faulty.

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It's could be caused by a low voltage feed but could also be the sampling I believe it's doing. The break controller shows 0.0 on the display and it turns red and says "No Trailer Connected" then back to 0.0 and each cycle takes about four seconds.
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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby dancam » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:59 pm

RunnerDuck wrote:
dancam wrote:Do you have a voltmeter that you can confirm whats going on? A low voltage constant feed (like 1.0v) can cause led's to blink. If its a pulse of 5 or 12v the brake controller may be faulty.

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It's could be caused by a low voltage feed but could also be the sampling I believe it's doing. The break controller shows 0.0 on the display and it turns red and says "No Trailer Connected" then back to 0.0 and each cycle takes about four seconds.

Oh, thats an odd feature, never seen that before.

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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby Dale M. » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:33 am

Does disconnecting brake controller (at dash board) make problem go away?...

With new wiring schemes on tow vehicles controlled by ECU its hard to determine what/where problems may be...

My pickup (Chevy) has HCMBL (High Center Mount Brake Lamp) wire available at 7 pin connector (but not used) for trailer center brake lamp... Might consider tapping to center mount brake light on TV and taking line back to rear trailer lamps eliminating lower brake/turn signal wiring interference....

Seem odd the LEDS would feed back into controller and cause problem... Got to be some sort of misconnection/misdirection in wiring concept and execution...

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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby RunnerDuck » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:05 am

Dale M. wrote:Does disconnecting brake controller (at dash board) make problem go away?...

With new wiring schemes on tow vehicles controlled by ECU its hard to determine what/where problems may be...

My pickup (Chevy) has HCMBL (High Center Mount Brake Lamp) wire available at 7 pin connector (but not used) for trailer center brake lamp... Might consider tapping to center mount brake light on TV and taking line back to rear trailer lamps eliminating lower brake/turn signal wiring interference....

Seem odd the LEDS would feed back into controller and cause problem... Got to be some sort of misconnection/misdirection in wiring concept and execution...

Dale


It's not the LED's feeding back to the controller it's the controller sending out a low voltage signal. If I put an incandescent bulb in the brake light it won't blink. The problem is the LED brake light strip that I can't make stop blinking.

Actually, using the electric brake control works kind of cool because as it adds power the lights get brighter.

Here's the pin-out on my Ford.
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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby MtnDon » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:55 am

I believe the whole problems stems from trying to illuminate lights from a lead that is meant to supply variable voltage to the brake system. Who knows if the brakes will even work correctly with lights of any kind wired into their circuit. I don't think you are going to find any other solution without a lot of luck because you are doing something the controller mfg never meant to be. Just my opinion.
Our 6x12 deep vee nose cargo trailer camper conversion... viewtopic.php?f=42&t=58336

We have a small off grid cabin we built ourselves in the NM mountains; small PV solar system; 624 watts PV, Outback CC & inverter/charger ... http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=2335.0
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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby RunnerDuck » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:38 pm

MtnDon wrote:I believe the whole problems stems from trying to illuminate lights from a lead that is meant to supply variable voltage to the brake system. Who knows if the brakes will even work correctly with lights of any kind wired into their circuit. I don't think you are going to find any other solution without a lot of luck because you are doing something the controller mfg never meant to be. Just my opinion.


You are so right! But I don't have electric brakes on this teardrop so interference is not a problem but finding the correct fix is. I'm looking at a Tow Ready Vehicle to Vehicle Taillight Converter, part # 118158 but it says that it won't work with LED tail lights, but on eTrailer it is recommended for the third brake light solution. I've got an email off to them asking that very question.

I'll let you know what I find out.
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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby H.A. » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:27 pm

:beer:
Last edited by H.A. on Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electric Brake Controller to Control Brake Lights

Postby MtnDon » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:28 pm

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Our 6x12 deep vee nose cargo trailer camper conversion... viewtopic.php?f=42&t=58336

We have a small off grid cabin we built ourselves in the NM mountains; small PV solar system; 624 watts PV, Outback CC & inverter/charger ... http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=2335.0
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