Blue Output Wire on Draw-Tite Activator Trailer Brake Controller 5100 Always Reads 12 Volts


I have an older 5500 unit installed in a 97 winniebago class a The blue wire comming out of the controler is reading 12 to 13 volts all the time. I think the problem is inside the controler itself. Checked the wiring to and from the unit all is ok. Think its time to replace the unit ?


Expert Reply:

The blue output wire at the back of any brake controller such as your older Activator should carry a voltage with full current only under two particular conditions. One is when the red input signal wire is getting a brake light signal from your vehicle's brake light switch. The other is when you press the manual override lever. A low-level signal will always be present on the output circuit, but with only a few milliamps of current, which is the controller's signal that is "looking" for a brake magnet.

If the unit is passing 12 to 13 volts with several amps of current all the time then you are correct that it has "gone by" and needs to be replaced.

I suggest you consider upgrading to a proportional type controller like the popular Tekonsha Prodigy P2, part # 90885. This unit is very highly-rated by our customers for its easy set-up and reliable performance. Unlike time-delay types like the Activator II, the Prodigy will show your trailer in direct proportion to the braking force in the tow vehicle. This saves wear and tear on both tow vehicle and trailer brakes. The linked article will give you additional information.

The P2 will wire in exactly the same way as the Activator, color for color.

expert reply by:
Adam R

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