Jump to content

Jackalopee Question


Tahoe Shark
 Share

Recommended Posts

I took all of the relays out of my Jackalope to test them while trouble shooting a brake issue. On my Jackalope there are 5 relays, 3 -40/60 and 2 - 30/50. I did not check there positions when I removed them unfortunately because I thought they were all the same.. I went on Henry’s site and the pictures of the current Jackolope show all relays ar 40/60.

would any one know what positions the two 30/50’s go in?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Tahoe Shark said:

I took all of the relays out of my Jackalope to test them while trouble shooting a brake issue. On my Jackalope there are 5 relays, 3 -40/60 and 2 - 30/50. I did not check there positions when I removed them unfortunately because I thought they were all the same.. I went on Henry’s site and the pictures of the current Jackolope show all relays ar 40/60.

would any one know what positions the two 30/50’s go in?

The only circuit where you want to put the 40/60 relay is the single one at the top right, since it carries the charging current from the truck batteries to the trailer batteries. The other four can be anything, even 10/20, since all they would see is 1 or 2 Amps and that would be with the old incandescent lights, even less with LED lights.

Brake circuit does not involve any relays, it's basically a short running across the printed circuit board from a tab on the left to the tab on the right. Take a careful look at the PCB you'll see it.

The Old Goat

Edited by phoenix2013
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I troubleshot a brake circuit problem the other day (over the phone), he was getting no brakes with electric over hydraulic. Asked him if the hydraulic pump in the fifth was running when someone hit the manual brake controller lever. NADA!

The culprit, dead battery in the fifth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, phoenix2013 said:

The only circuit where you want to put the 40/60 relay is the single one at the top right, since it carries the charging current from the truck batteries to the trailer batteries. The other four can be anything, even 10/20, since all they would see is 1 or 2 Amps and that would be with the old incandescent lights, even less with LED lights.

Brake circuit does not involve any relays, it's basically a short running across the printed circuit board from a tab on the left to the tab on the right. Take a careful look at the PCB you'll see it.

The Old Goat

Henry,

So as long as I put a 40/60 in the lone position on the top right of the board I can take the rest of the relays that were in the box (30/50 or 40/60) and put them back in any order in the other 4 locations. What is interesting is that if I put 12 volts from the trailer cord and connect the brake pin on the trailer I get power and activation of the pump. I plug it into the truck and operate the brakes (pedal or manual slider) and nothing. All lights, etc, work properly. I have been fighting this for a while. I do have power on the truck brake pin.

Thank you for the info. I did not realize the brake circuit did not have a relay. I am leaving the trailer home and driving my dually/ razor down to Quartzsite to visit the Quartzsite group.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You mention pump, I'm assuming you have electric over hydraulic brakes in the trailer. You have basically three separate circuits which have to work together. The brake controller, the Jackalopee and the hydraulic pump in the trailer.

1. The brake controller. You have to make sure that the brake controller is the type that can "talk" to the hydraulic pump. Better (meaning more expensive) controllers can be set to work with electric brakes (DC mode) or hydraulic brakes (digital, PWM mode). In electric mode it's a simple voltage over current, 0 to 12VDC situation, 2,3 5,8,12 VDC. The higher the voltage coming out of the controller, the more current is going to the pucks (magnets) in the trailer drums. By the time you get to 8-12VDC you probably will be locking the brakes on the trailer.

In hydraulic brakes, the pump circuit doesn't give rat's ass about varying voltage and current, it doesn't understand it, it's digital. The electronics in the pump, which decides how hard to turn the motor to develop hydraulic pressure to the disk brakes (or shoe brakes), typically runs on 5VDC and is looking for a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) signal from the controller. That signal typically is a 1KHz (1,000 pulses per second) square wave and each of the pulses varies in the length when it's up or down. 0% up, no pressure, 50% up, half pressure, 100% up, full pressure.

Since the two modes are drastically different you really have to know your brake controller and how you get it working in the proper mode.

2. The Jackalopee. The Jackalopee on the other hand doesn't give a rat's ass about all that. It's a connection (piece of wire) from the brake controller to the pump. It's just as happy to transfer varying current or varying pulses from one side to the other. The "level" LED in that circuit gets activated by either type of signal (voltage or pulses) and might dim slightly depending on the intensity of either. 

3. The pump. It has two sides (AC and DC). AC is that digital PWM signal coming from the controller. DC is the 12VDC power coming from the trailer battery. The electronics in the pump decides how much of that 12VDC current from the battery is needed by the motor to develop needed hydraulic pressure. The battery in the trailer needs to be up to snuff and working. Do you have properly wired and working battery charging circuit in the Jackalopee? The single relay circuit I talked about.

4. The "getchas". Does you brake controller have the built in DC to AC (digital) converter allowing it to operate in either mode? Do you know how to program it into that mode? In the early days when there were not many, or any of the PWM controllers the pumps were supplied with an additional module which would do the DC to AC conversion and would work with DC only brake controllers. Understand your pump and what it expects and not expects.

Best solutions. Get a sophisticated controller that works well and works well in both modes, such as DirecLink, Or get both parts from the same manufacturer like Dexter. Dexter sells both, pumps and controllers, they know how to talk to each other.

Edited by phoenix2013
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Tahoe Shark said:

Henry,

So as long as I put a 40/60 in the lone position on the top right of the board I can take the rest of the relays that were in the box (30/50 or 40/60) and put them back in any order in the other 4 locations. What is interesting is that if I put 12 volts from the trailer cord and connect the brake pin on the trailer I get power and activation of the pump. I plug it into the truck and operate the brakes (pedal or manual slider) and nothing. All lights, etc, work properly. I have been fighting this for a while. I do have power on the truck brake pin.

Thank you for the info. I did not realize the brake circuit did not have a relay. I am leaving the trailer home and driving my dually/ razor down to Quartzsite to visit the Quartzsite group.

Yes, any relay in any order in the lights circuit. Sounds like your pump has a built in DC to AC converter if it activated with 12VDC. Try running your brake controller in "electric brakes mode", not hydraulic mode and see if it works.

Edited by phoenix2013
Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, phoenix2013 said:

In the early days when there were not many, or any of the PWM controllers the pumps were supplied with an additional module which would do the DC to AC conversion and would work with DC only brake controllers.

Well, that explains something I'd struggled with for a while.  Our trailer had one of those, and apparently it wasn't wired correctly.  It would drain the coach batteries in just a couple days.  I removed it and the pump when we put in the BluDot.

Hydrastar, maker of these pumps and modules, is about 5 miles from our house.

Edited by rickeieio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, rickeieio said:

Well, that explains something I'd struggled with for a while.  Our trailer had one of those, and apparently it wasn't wired correctly.  It would drain the coach batteries in just a couple days.  I removed it and the pump when we put in the BluDot.

Hydrastar, maker of these pumps and modules, is about 5 miles from our house.

If you have hydraulic brakes on the fifth, BlueDot is the king and anything else are court hanger ones, fools and jesters. Instantaneous, totally proportional, reliable, no stinkin' brake controller, no wiring and looking for the brake controller wire. I'll talk about it some more on the other thread. 

One more tip on the electric brake controllers. Having good connection to the truck brake lights circuit is imperative, it's that signal that tells them to "go to work and start braking". Hence the tip how to do it in the Jackalopee, two options. Double the red wire from the brake controller and the red wire from the truck into the BRAKE LIGHTS tab utilizing the doubler supplied with each Jackalopee

uyiZ5lSl.jpg

MP5GlQbl.jpg

Or crimp those two wires into a single crimp lug (yellow)

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

So it’s time to update my original post. I have been fighting this brake issue for months at least. We have had to miss two trips because I don’t feel comfortable towing without trailer brakes. My HDT mechanic shop has had to move my appointment to look at the problem two times now. Enough!  I know you mechanically oriented folks will laugh your a$$ off at my story but I figured it might just help some other mechanical idiot like myself.

i am no expert at mechanical ( especially electrical) issues but I decided last week to start at the beginning of the problem and work from there. I could not find any brakes in the wires, blown fuses or disconnected connectors. The Max Brake had power and displayed the bar graph showing increasing brake pressure.

I dove into the Jackalope and found the original owners manual in the truck. I ran the truck up on ramps and crawled under to view the Jackalope. All the wires were connected but when the brakes were applied the red led did not come on. I compared the photo Henry provided to my installation and everything looked good. I ended the day even more depressed than I started.

Back under the truck the next morning and my truck had not fixed itself. Now I should have remembered that I got my truck back from the bed builder two months ago and my Jackalope was moved to a different location. I pulled the cover off again and inspected all of the wires for the millionths time concentrating on the blue wires. Both were hook up. Wait, there were two blue wires coming in and one going out. I checked the large photo in the manual again and my blue wires were backwards. I switched the connectors and tested the trailer brakes and now they were constantly on. As long as the trailer was hooked to the truck the brakes would not go off.

Seeing this as a minor positive I took the big photo under the truck and discovered there are several blade connectors near my blue wires. Comparing my wires to the picture I was one blade off. Switched the wires again and crawled out once again and tested the brakes. VOILA!!!!!! they worked.

So my problem is now fixed. I really do not know if I ever had trailer brakes in the year and a half I have owned this truck, but I do now. Thank everyone for there help and comments. Please chuckle to yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/27/2022 at 9:41 AM, Tahoe Shark said:

i am no expert at mechanical ( especially electrical) issues

You may think you are not but you have proven yourself to be a very competent technician.  Troubleshooting these types of problems can be difficult but you have shown us all that patience and starting at the beginning can be a good approach.  I used to work for the company that makes Charmin & Bounty.  Our consistent troubleshooting technique was often to identity what had changed.  In your case you searched out the change (bed build) and identified the issue. 

Congratulations!! 

I had a similar situation in a CC DRW.  I fought braking issues and even changed controllers, wiring etc.  only to discover that my brake pedal switch was malfuntioning, only sometimes, and generally when I needed lights and brakes.  Found it when doing some light checks before leaving.  Wiggled the switch (replaced the switch then) and had lights and then brakes, full on, after adjusting them, what a difference.  Likely had brakes seldom over the previous 2 years.  Oh boy.  Now felt safer while towing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations Tim. In the days "yonder" when I ran manufacturing and SERVICE departments, I was always looking for guys like you to be service technicians. Only one out of 3-4 guys, would have that kind of perseverance and what I call reverse logic. It's easy to learn how to test things that work. Much harder to figure out, "what kind of screw up would make it behave LIKE THAT"

The Old Goat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Needles to say I get fair amount of calls in spite of the 16 page installation manual and 2 pages of quick tips for those who are "terrified" by 16 pages. I learn to accept these phone call with stoicism and even derive some entertainment from those tales. Two happened over this weekend.

One from a trucker who was not happy. He's not electrically savvy so he brought the Jackalopee and his Volvo to a Volvo dealer. They spent and charged him for five hours of labor installing an air over electric brake controller and the Jackalopee. Not an unreasonable amount of time for both. The problem was that the whole shebang worked exactly the same, five hours. My "interrogation" revealed that the Volvo guy apparently did not read the 16 pages or the 2 pages. The Jackalopee plugs into the standard 7 pin DOT plug that every truck has and then you add wires from the brake controller and from the truck batteries. His Jackalopee plugs into a separate plug that the Volvo tech "created" and mounted next to the DOT plug. Since I was not privy how this "immaculate conception" was created, I could not render much wisdom except to hire another "manual savvy" individual, start over and deposit the "immaculate conception" in the trash barrel.

The second individual transitioned from pulling with the pickup to pulling with the semi. He had an "assumption" going, "well my, pickup used to charge the battery in the fifth, now I got nothing". "Did you bring a wire from the truck batteries to the Jackalopee, it's in the manual". "Well no, where does it go?". "Switched tab, it's at the top". "You see, pickup has +12V in the RV socket, DOT socket does not, needs a separate wire, it's in the manual". But he wasn't done yet. "My RV has backup lights, they are on all the time as soon as I plug it in". "That's a rare RV, backups are powered by the yellow wire in the Jackalopee, you have to bring that signal from the truck, is there anything connected to the tab associated with yellow wire?". "No, nothing is there". "Pull the yellow wire from the tab, stick it up in the air and see if there is +12V on the crimp lug. I would suspect there is, otherwise how would the light stay on". "What if there is?" "You need to find an RV Whisperer, remember, most RVs are wired in Indiana by Amish folks, the don't believe in electricity and love oil lamps". 😂😂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, jenandjon said:

I had to call a couple times and we really appreciate that you walk us through things. 

I love to talk to DIY folks and I understand that 16 pages is a lot. Often during those "chats", folks learn, "Oh, it can do that and that too". The issues usually crop up when the manual is not even "consulted" because it's just a few "stupid wires that anybody can figure out". If I could tell you what you need to know in four pages, believe me it would be four pages, there is no profit in instruction manual being a book.

Another story. I got a really angry call from a guy who put it together and things were just "not happening". I started asking him some basic questions about how he wired it, but he kept interrupting me because he had a point and I was just wasting time with the fundamentals. Then he really unloaded on me saying, "Look, I've been servicing and wiring airplanes and jets all my life and this just doesn't make sense". But I kept plodding along and asking questions and all of the sudden he stopped talking and hung up on me. Apparently the light have donned on, which didn't give me chance to ask him if FAA was investigating a crash of any of his clients.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, rickeieio said:

Henry, when did the manual "grow" to 16 pages?  I know my first Jackalopee (2010) had perhaps 2 pages, and the one I got in May was somewhat thicker.

The last re-write to 16 pages was 11-03-2021. Send me an email and I'll be happy to forward it to you.

12 years ago all that was available was just the Jackalopee. You got the unit and you were on your own or you installer was on his own. Starting few years back a wiring kit was made available. Currently about half the units sold are kits going to DIY guys. About half of the manual shows how to wire the various components of the kit and end up with a reliable installation which also looks good.

Edited by phoenix2013
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...