Brake controller for disc brakes

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billr

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Georgetown Ontario Canada
Anyone have any info on what brake controllers will work with Disc trailer brakes?  I have been using a Prodigy with drum brakes till now and found it to be the best controller I've had. But trading in the old unit for one with Disc brakes, and the salesman has told me that the Prodigy will not work?

Brakeless in Ontario??????

Bill
 

John From Detroit

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In this case I strongly suspect the salesman was trying to make a sale

Ask the company  www.tekonsha.com

I just visited the web site, I see the Hampton's don't own it any more (I went to school with the Hamptons), I grew up in Tekonsha... Tried to date the daughter of the company's founder)

They should know if thier controllers will work with any given brake system or have a suggestion if it won't
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The controller doesn't know or care whether the brakes are disk or drum. What it does care about is whether they are electrically driven or hydraulic, since the Prodigy and most other controllers operate by controlling the electrical current to the trailer brakes, and how much electrical power is needed.  Assuming the disc brakes are electrically actuated, your only concern is whether the maximum electrical amps required are within the range of the Prodigy can handle. I would be most surprised if it was not, but the Prodigy manual or Tekonsha can verify it for you once you know the trailer's requirement.
 

billr

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Jan 7, 2006
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Location
Georgetown Ontario Canada
Thanks for the feedback.  I agree, amps sent to unit is amps sent! Apparently the Prodigy req some sort of feedback from the brakes or it will have a fault.

I contacted Tekonsha and they said it won't work with the early model Dexter axle elec/hyd units . Dexter confirmed what Tekonsha said and told me the Prodigy will work with the newer units (mid 05 and up.) Need to confirm with Dexter on which Hyd control unit is installed in each trailer.  My unit is a Pre-05 and will not.  The new type units have been designed to be compatible with the new Ford brake controllers, and then will work with Prodigy also.

Doubletree RV gave me a list of "compatible" controllers with my unit.  The Jordan Untima 2020 was one of them so I have bought one. It seemed to have a good following here and on other boards. Plan to install soon. 

The interesting thing was, that Jordan Research told me the Ultima will work with elec/hyd but it was designed for elec only so they can't recommend it or advise on usage. The package has a notice "do not use on elec/hyd"  so.......legal mombo jombo.......... is what I get from that and the info I received from them.

So the prodigy is for sale! (I'll list on the for sale board)

Bill R
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Thanks for the update, Bill.  Very interesting.  Will keep that in mind when future questions come up about the Dexter electric/hydraulic axles.

There is no defined signal that comes back from an electric brake unit, so it must be something the Prodigy tries to deduce from the electrical flow (voltage drop, amps increase/decrease, etc).
 

billr

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Jan 7, 2006
Posts
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Location
Georgetown Ontario Canada
I believe you are correct Gary. It is something specific to the Prodigy.  They mentioned a few other controllers that will work, Tekonsha Voyager and Dexter has one as well but the name escapes me. The Jordan seemed the better choice.

Hopefully when elec/hyd brakes become more mainstream, the controller manufactures will put out info on compatibility.

Bill
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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All controllers are not equal in capability, however.  Some of them (e.g. many Drawtite & Reese models) use a time-based algorithm to apply increasing brake pressure. This is simple to build and install but (in my opinion) a decidedly poor way to control braking. In a panic stop you don't get full braking for several seconds, and in heavy traffic or slight downgrades, where you need to cautiously ride the pedal, you get ever increasing braking (to near lock-up) when what you want is continuous light braking.  The Tekonsha controllers do this quite well and the Prodigy is one of the best (Primus & Sentinel models are excellent too). I don't know about the underlying technology of the Jordan, but Jordan's have had good reviews over the years.

Note: Drawtite/Reese have come out with some new, "intelligent" models that do proportinal braking and I assume these do not have the timed algorithm of their more basic models.
 

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