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Tuson DirecLink Network Enhanced Trailer Brake Controller Review

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Review of the Tuson DirecLink Network Enhanced Trailer Brake Controller

Speaker 1: Today we're going to be taking a look at the Tuson DirecLink line of proportional brake controllers. Whenever we're towing a trailer or a camper like we have here, it's important that the brakes are going to be working properly. Whenever we slow down with our tow vehicle, we don't want to rely purely on that to slow our trailer down because we're adding so much extra weight. That's where our brake controller is going to come into play. Whenever we hit the brakes in a tow vehicle, our trailer brake controller is going to take that signal, and transfer it to our trailers, and have it apply the brakes.Now there are either going to be a couple different kinds of brake controllers. We're going to have a time delayed and a proportional brake controller.

Now, typically a time delay just has a preset timed amount that it pauses before it applies the brakes, and then it's going to ramp up to the maximum power. Now, our proportional brake controller is going to be a little bit different. It's going to take the deceleration of the vehicle and apply the brakes according to the trailer so they can work together.We're going to have three different models of our DirecLink brake controller. We're going to have the lite, the base model, and then finally the network enhanced model. Now, looking at them, they're all going to look the same and they're going to have a lot of the same features.

All of them are going to be a remote mount, so we're going to be able to mount the command module out of sight under the dash, and then the handheld control unit will be the only thing we'll see along with the cable.Now, each of them is going to come with a Delphi 4-pin connector, which is common on most brake controllers, and plenty of wire to get hooked up. You've going to have four wires. One for our brake signal coming from our brake pedal, a power wire, a ground wire, and then finally our brake output signal so we can get everything wired up. Now, the other cable coming out of the back of our brake controller is going to plugged directly into the OBD-II port on our tow vehicle. This is going to take all the readings from our vehicle so it knows how to apply the brakes accordingly.Now, there's not going to be any kind of sensors inside, so we're not limited to how we mount this like on some traditional proportional brake controllers.

It's not going to rely on that sensor inside to figure out how much we're slowing down since it's hooking directly into the vehicle's computer. No outside physical condition is going to affect how our trailer brakes because if we hit some bumps, go up or down a hill, or on some really rough terrain, if there was a sensor inside, that sensor is going to be getting jolted around. Well, this isn't going to rely on that, and we can mount this in any orientation that we want.Each unit is going to come with a control unit right here. It's going to be a handheld unit and have a nice, large display on it. Now, we do have the option of mounting it.

They're going to come with two mounting options, either a flat surface mount, or we're going to have a swivel mount here so we can mount it on the dash and have it in the easiest spot to reach and see at the same time. Again, like most brake controllers, it is going to have a manual override lever here. It's going to be spring loaded, so we can just reach over and push in if we need to take control of the brakes without putting the brakes on our tow vehicle.Each one of our controllers is going to work with trailers that have one to four axles or a total of eight brake assemblies. It's automatically going to configure to your tow vehicle as well as the trailer braking type, so it's going to work whether you have electric or electric over hydraulic brakes. Now, all of them are going to have a diagnostic feature to them. They're going to keep an eye on everything we want to make sure that we can monitor while we're towing. It's going to check the power and voltage at our brake switch, the output, as well as the connection at our OBD-II port to make sure that we have a good, solid connection there. It's also going to check the battery on our vehicle while we're driving.Now, if we step up from the lite to the base model, we're going to get a few more diagnostic features, but still have all the same ones from before. We're going to be able to monitor the transmission temperature, that way we can make sure that it's not overheating if we're going up and down a lot of hills, or if we're towing an extremely heavy trailer. Now, another big benefit of the base model over the lite version is that we're going to have low-speed brake adjustments. What that means is a lot times when we're going down the highway and we have our brake controller set, but as soon as we get off, our brakes are extremely aggressive and they're biting too hard. Now, we either need to deal with it or we need to readjust our brake controller.Well, this is going to take that out of there because we're going to be able to have our main adjustment for highway speeds, and then when we go below 30 miles an hour, we're going to have a low-speed brake adjustment, so we can tone it down if they're too aggressive, but if they're not aggressive enough, we can also bump it up a little bit as well. Now, one thing the base model has that the lite doesn't is that it is going to be compatible with HD trucks like Volvos or freight liners with an adapter that is sold separately.Now finally, if we get into the network enhanced brake controller, that one is going to have all the same features up to now, plus a lot more. Those are going to be specifically designed to work in conjunction with the actuator that goes with our DirecLink. They're going to be able to communicate directly and let us know a lot of different things that are going on. We're going to be able to check brake fluid level. If it gets low, it's going to give us a warning sign. It's also going to let us know the integrity of the connection at the brake controller and the trailer, and it's going to give us all the electrical diagnostic that we need, whether the voltage is low or the amperage is low, and it's also going to be able to tell us the temperature of our brake fluid level to let us know if we're going to need to slow down and take it a little bit easier on our brakes.Now, the network enhanced brake controller is going to work in conjunction and speak directly to the ABS module that is available separately as well. It's going to read all the sensors, let us know what's going on if there's a problem, as well as being able to read the pressure at the brake actuator, and any kind of temperatures, and let us know exactly what's going on with the ABS. If you're looking for a brake controller that's going to have that truly proportional braking, the lite is going to be a great option.Now, if you want a little bit more and you want to be able to read a little bit more of what's going on with your vehicle as well has having the HD compatibility, the base model is going to be a great one. Now, if you want to go all out and have ABS on your trailer, and have hydraulic actuator, and upgrade everything, the network enhanced one is going to be the best option because it's going to give us every available feature that we could ever want. That'll finish up your look at the Tuson DirecLink line of proportional brake controllers.

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Info for this part was:

Employee Cole B
Installed by:
Cole B
Employee Chris R
Video by:
Chris R
Employee Robert C
Test Fit:
Robert C

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