Installation of after-market accessories in modern vehicles with Can Bus systems can require additional precautions to prevent unexpected or undesirable interactions with those systems. A good example of such an accessory is an electric trailer brake controller.
To block those interactions (to, for example, AEB, adaptive cruise control, stability control, downhill assist etc) REDARC has developed the encapsulated prodection device (EPDK-001).
The EPDK-001 has been developed by REDARC to allow normal operation of an electric brake controller, including activation of trailer brake lights during manual over-ride, without interfering with vehicle Can Bus, in the often harsh environment often encountered in vehicles, both on road and off road.
When deciding whether to use a either the REDARC EPDK-001 or a simple diode, these points should be considered:
It is important that the module be suitably rated, not only for current but also for voltage drop. Just any diode may be under rated and will tend to overheat and go short circuit, so it no longer blocks feedback to the vehicle system, resulting in a number of possible problems, including dash fault lights, turning off cruise control (not desirable in a trailer sway situation) or interfering with AEB Etc. If the over current is bad enough, it can even cause the diode body to split and go open circuit. This results in the vehicle brake pedal no longer activating the trailer brakes or brake lights.
As a diode dissipates power in operation, we have attached the REDARC module to a heatsink, to protect it from the excessive temperature rise.
Diode leads tend to be relatively fragile compared to the wires they need to be connected to, especially in a harsh under-chassis installation. Any stress or movement of those wires will invariably end up on those fragile diode leads, concentrated at the point where they enter the diode body, making them very prone to breaking off. In fact, those leads tend to break after being flexed just a few times. This results in the vehicle brake pedal no longer activating the trailer brakes or brake lights.
If a diode is installed with its leads/wire joins exposed to water from road spray Etc, corrosion will set in very quickly, soon fracturing the leads, usually right at the diode body. This also results in the vehicle brake pedal no longer activating the trailer brakes or brake lights.
The REDARC module, including the diode circuitry, heatsink and wire terminations are fully encapsulated in a plastic over-moulded package that even includes channels to allow non-slip secure mounting with cable ties.
Many installers advise that they typically solder wires onto a diode’s leads, before putting a heatshrink sleeving over the joints and wrapping it in duct tape in the hope it will be waterproof. Then they need to find a way of securing it with cable ties to try not to bend or add further stress the diode leads.
By choosing the REDARC EPDK however you’re using a high-quality waterproof module with a mating waterproof connector and 500mm colour coded leads to ensure a quality and trusted installation every time.
You can find out more details on REDARC’s Encapsulated Protection Device here.