Trailer Brake Controller

A trailer brake controller is an electronic device which is used to transfer power from the towage vehicle to the electric brakes of the trailer. There are many different types of trailer brake controllers, which are unique in terms of looks and braking power. However, all of them can be categorized into two main groups: time delay-activated controllers and proportional brake controllers. Though the controllers operate differently, there are a lot of similarities between them. Both types of controllers allow the driver to adjust the braking power of the vehicle based on the weight of the trailer. They have the same wire configuration, which allows drivers to apply trailer brakes individually by using a pressure-sensitive override switch.

Time Delay-activated Brake Controllers

Time delay-activated brake controllers, also known as solid state controllers, are activated by means of the depression pedal brake in the towage vehicle. They use a time delay circuit to apply a slowly increasing voltage to the brakes of the trailer. There is always a delay after the brake has been applied and the time taken by the brakes to reach maximum power. This     delay can be reduced by using a switch called a sync system, which is present in most time delay controllers. When the sync switch is lowered, braking is done mostly by the vehicle applying extra pressure on the brakes. When the sync switch is set to high, a hard brake is applied by the trailer. Thus, the majority of the braking is done by either the trailer or the truck.

The installation of this controller is very easy, and people find it very user-friendly. Besides being low profile, it can be set at any angle. A brake controller can be used to control the total power sent to the brakes. Pulsing is inevitable once the brake controller in pushed aggressively, indicated by a noticeable flash on the display. However, the brake can be isolated from the flashers using a pulse preventer. But pulse preventers are not essential for cars with different turn and stop signals.

Proportional Brake Controller
In case of a proportional brake controller, the motion sensor can determine how quickly the car is stopping once the brake pedal is pressed on. It applies certain amounts of power to the brakes depending on the speed of the car. This helps to stop the trailer at the same rate as the towage vehicle. Therefore it can divert the maximum possible amount of power to the brakes in extreme cases, when the pedal is pressed very hard.
This type of brake controller does not wear out the brakes easily, resulting in smooth and flawless braking for the car. There is a brake pedal switch which enables the controllers, and a pendulum circuit activates it by applying proportional amounts of power based on the speed of the vehicle.

Let us review some of the break controllers currently available in the market.

Tekonsha PRODIGY Brake Controller – Proportional
The Tekonsha Prodigy can handle up to eight brakes at a time and can be applied even at an inclination of 70 degrees. It is very different from other controllers. The installation process and brake application has been greatly simplified. It provides excellent performance for a very low price. The technology used in it is extremely sophisticated compared to that used in other controllers. It is an inertia-activated brake controller which does not require manual leveling. It features a self-adjustment device similar to the ones used in guided missiles, which enables it to constantly adjust its position depending on the position of the towage. It weighs a mere 3 pounds and has a price tag of only $98.95.

Draw-Tite 2-4 Time-delayed Electronic Brake Controller
The Draw-Tite offers a wider range of adjustability, thanks to its sync switch and output control. This enables one to drive more comfortably, as the Act 1 takes control of the power-proportioning of the brakes with respect to the speed. It weighs only 1 pound, and has a price listing of $69.95.

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