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Fabrication 101 Everyone has to start somewhere and for some, theOFN might be that somewhere.


Fabrication 101 Everyone has to start somewhere and for some, theOFN might be that somewhere.

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  #1  
Old 03-21-2016, 11:49 PM
alwaysFlOoReD's Avatar
alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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Trailer circuit testing unit?

I want to make a self-contain trailer wiring/light tester. I have some vague ideas on how to construct such but am looking for input.

Goal; A self contained mobile unit that tests turn signals, parking lights, 4-ways, brake lights, brake function and maybe the accessory line. Plugs into the front of the trailer via 7 pin plug. Use adapters for 4,5, and 6 pin connecters.

I'm picturing using a hand truck with a car battery at the bottom, whatever sensors and meters at the top, and a remote with about 25 feet of cable.
The remote would have 1 on/off/on switch for left/right turn, 1 on/off switch for brake, 1 on/off switch for park, and 1 on/off switch for the accessory with led indicators. I believe I can figure out the relays and flashers to get this section up and running.

I would also like a circuit to test the electric brake function, and this is where my electronics knowledge falls short. Would I use an ammeter to test the electric brake function? How would I interprete the readings? How would I wire it up?

Any help or comments on my ideas appreciated.

Richard
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2016, 02:11 PM
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deaner deaner is offline
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Sounds interesting. Keep it light, use a small motorcycle battery. I would think you would want the remote cord long enough to use on the longest standard trailer, 53'.
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2016, 05:15 PM
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CarterKraft CarterKraft is offline
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I didn't put any flasher module in the one I built as it's not really needed.

You will wonder how you lived without it for so long though.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:32 PM
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I've been thinking about designing one and manufacturing it for a long time now.. The reason I haven't is I didn't like the idea of the unit having to pack a heavy/automotive type battery around. That and it seems kind of dumb to build a unit that requires a car battery charger to charge it..

I'll be honest I didn't look very far into battery/charging systems as far as what is available.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:34 PM
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CarterKraft CarterKraft is offline
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I think if I was building one now from scratch I might incorporate a cordless tool battery holder to power the rig with maybe a buck converter for step down voltage control.

Allot of us are using cordless tools and the batteries (lithium) are a great source of power.

I guess you could use a powersport battery (lithium) for the same result or even build your own from 18650 cells.
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2016, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarterKraft View Post

<snip>

I guess you could use a powersport battery (lithium) for the same result or even build your own from 18650 cells.
I was also thinking 18650 batteries in series as the 12v source. I would over-complicate it with an Arduino microcontroller to cycle through each of the circuits automatically. The microcontroller would allow you to generate a blinking light without the flasher.

Joanne
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:56 PM
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alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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Thanks, everyone, for the insights and encouragement. After posting I did think of using my ryobi lithium battery for a power source but I'm building one for an acquaintance who owns a tools and equipment rental yard, and will be building two of which he has first choice. So a more generic power source is needed. I'll use a small 12V utility battery probably. I had someone say that the electric brakes use ~3amps, so 6 amps per axle. Can anyone confirm? I should say this is on car hauler and rental type trailers.

I also thought of using an arduino but have no experience and probably don't have enough time to figure it out. Maybe later down the road.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:08 AM
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How about build the basic box and then apply 12v terminals to the outside so the user could use whatever 12v source they wanted.

I was thinking one of those Jump Boxes from the big box stores, or whatever vehicle you had handy you can use jumper cables. Also the idea of a small motorcycle battery is not a bad idea.

But having a test box for the trailer is not a bad idea. Might want it to active brakes too. Include plugs for all major brands of trailers. 4 flat, 5 flat 6 round and 7 round.


Carl
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2016, 01:20 PM
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Graham08 Graham08 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysFlOoReD View Post
I had someone say that the electric brakes use ~3amps, so 6 amps per axle. Can anyone confirm?
That sounds about right with the controller maxed out. I have an ammeter in my truck right next to the brake controller, and mine typically pull about 8 amps (2 per wheel).
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2016, 01:23 PM
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Brimmstone Brimmstone is offline
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You are talking about something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Innovative-Pr.../dp/B00FJJWMUS
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2016, 07:33 PM
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alwaysFlOoReD alwaysFlOoReD is offline
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Yes. I don't think I could build it new for that price. Definitely not if I include labor.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2016, 12:52 AM
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Brimmstone Brimmstone is offline
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I have that one and the one for doing commercial seven pin wiring. I also have the large commercial version so I can test air brake systems. I love that little tool when sorting out trailer wiring.
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