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Does this animal exist - Automotive 12v multi-channel relay

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mbkitmgr

New Member
By my post you will gather I have very little electronics experience. I am trying find a specific black box so please accept my apologies for the inaccurate descriptions/terminology.

I own a Can-Am Spyder made by a Canadian company to which I have fitted their tow wiring harness kit to supply power to the Can-Am Trailer. The kit comes with a "black box" that supplies power via what I suspect is a solid state relay to the relevant lights on the trailer. It makes no noise when operated (e.g. trigger the break light it makes no noticeable click like a standard relay) and is in a sealed housing negating me "breaking it open" to see whats inside.

Due to it being manufactured for the US/Canadian Market the "black box" has what appears to be
  • 1 x DC Common input
  • 5 x Inputs for Tail, Left Indicator, Brake lights, Right Indicator and Common
  • 4 x Outputs for Left Tail+Left Indicator, Brake lights, Right Tail+Right Indicator and Common

In Australia our vehicles have seperate indicators / tail / brake and reversing lights. There simply isnt room to fit 7 seperate relays under the seat.

Is there a multi channel 12V relay that I could use, does such an animal exist where I could replace the existing manufacturers black box with an after market item that I can wire into the circuit that would address :
  • Common Battery supply
  • Common return
  • L Indicator
  • R Indicator
  • Brake
  • Tail/Clearance/Number plate
  • Reversing
In case its revelant, the bulk of the lighting on the Can-Am Trailer is LED, with the exception of the Number plate light
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
You could make up a small pcb to do what you need. Do you have any way to measure the current to the various lights? The highest current draw is probably the brake lights so just that reading would do. Can you solder?

Mike.
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
By my post you will gather I have very little electronics experience. I am trying find a specific black box so please accept my apologies for the inaccurate descriptions/terminology.

I own a Can-Am Spyder made by a Canadian company to which I have fitted their tow wiring harness kit to supply power to the Can-Am Trailer. The kit comes with a "black box" that supplies power via what I suspect is a solid state relay to the relevant lights on the trailer. It makes no noise when operated (e.g. trigger the break light it makes no noticeable click like a standard relay) and is in a sealed housing negating me "breaking it open" to see whats inside.

Due to it being manufactured for the US/Canadian Market the "black box" has what appears to be
  • 1 x DC Common input
  • 5 x Inputs for Tail, Left Indicator, Brake lights, Right Indicator and Common
  • 4 x Outputs for Left Tail+Left Indicator, Brake lights, Right Tail+Right Indicator and Common

In Australia our vehicles have seperate indicators / tail / brake and reversing lights. There simply isnt room to fit 7 seperate relays under the seat.

Is there a multi channel 12V relay that I could use, does such an animal exist where I could replace the existing manufacturers black box with an after market item that I can wire into the circuit that would address :
  • Common Battery supply
  • Common return
  • L Indicator
  • R Indicator
  • Brake
  • Tail/Clearance/Number plate
  • Reversing
In case its revelant, the bulk of the lighting on the Can-Am Trailer is LED, with the exception of the Number plate light
Yes, anything is possible.
How big is the black box?

From my memory, Automotive brake light bulbs are 3 amps (12V) and evertything else is less so focus on components that can handle 4 amps and more.

Reverse lights on a CanAm Spyder makes me laugh. Ok, im an easy audience because a human on a CanAm spyder makes me laugh too.
 

mbkitmgr

New Member
HI Pommie and gophert,

The idea of making something up is appealing, but I had hoped there was something commercially available as the Spyder is still under warranty, but....

The existing device is approx 10mm thick x 100mm long x 60mm high so that it fits neatly in a cavity left in the assembled Spyder for this device.

I can solder, and I have will get a wiring diagam for the trailer electrics so may be able to get the loads for each circuit. Beginning with the end in mind what sort of casing would be available to make sure its sealed from the elements?
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member

JonSea

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
You might look at Opto 22 SSRs (solid state relays). These small modules can switch 3amps DC if I remember correctly, and back planes holding various numbers of them are available.
 

mbkitmgr

New Member
Hi Johnsea/Gophert

There's a few issues with both ideas.
  1. I have the Brp harness made for Australia. It's up to the purchaser to sort out the 'connection anomaly'
  2. Brp have discontinued sales of the harnesses and anything to do with their trailer here in Australia so finding a solution that will allow us to have a replacement in the longer term would be great.
I'll have a look at your suggestion Johnsea

Is this the sort of thing I am looking for on Amazon
 
Last edited:

Diver300

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
What you want is called a bypass relay. Here is a possibility:-
Ebay link

I assume that both the towing vehicle and the trailer have separate indicators and brake lights.

I think that you have got the wrong idea about what the output connections for the American / Canadian market are. The four connections would be:-
Common
Tail lights
Left stop / turn light
Right stop / turn light
where all the lights are red, and the stop / turn light is brighter and may be the same lamp as the tail light, so just like where the brake light and tail light on an Australian / European car or trailer are only distinguished by brightness, in America and Canada the brighter red light is also used for the turn signal, flashing the light for turning, and not flashing for braking.

Example

What you could do is to use the existing relay box for the tail lights and for the turn signals, but disconnect the brake light input from the relay box, so that braking doesn't turn on the two amber turn signals. It would probably be a good idea to earth the brake light input of the box (not the brake light signal from the rest of the vehicle) so that the brake input to the relay box definitely never works.

You then just need one additional relay from the brake light wire (which no longer goes to the existing relay box) and that would turn on the brake lights on the trailer.
 

mbkitmgr

New Member
Diver300 - you legend. This is exactly what I was lookinig for and yes, you are right about the light outputs for the US (I am on holidays at the moment and was doing it from memory.)

The Spyder has CanBus - so I dont know if the CANBUS needs to be considered.
 

Diver300

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The existence of a CANbus elsewhere on the vehicle makes no difference, as the trailer module takes in direct on/off signals that are going to the lights.

The one think that you might have to think about is monitoring the trailer lights. In Europe it's a requirement to monitor all direction indicators (but not side repeaters), including trailer direction indicators, and to tell the driver if they are working or not. That is not the case in the USA for towing vehicles, although many towing vehicles in the USA / Canada do monitor the trailer indicators, it's not required.

I would guess that the trailer module doesn't tell you if the trailer lights are working.

If you are leaving off the brake lights and doing them separately, you could put some type of current sensor in the supply to the trailer module, and get that to switch on a tell-tale that you could see when riding. As long as you made the current sensor not be triggered by the sidelight current, then the tell-tale would tell you when an indicator is working.

That would comply with the law for Europe, as far as I know, but I don't know if it is different in Australia.
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member

Diver300

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The vehicle's direction indicators should be monitored by the vehicle. It may use the CANbus, but it doesn't matter for this.

Towing vehicles in Australia (and Europe) should monitor the current taken by the trailer direction indicators and then tell the driver if the trailer indicators are working or not. That isn't a requirement for vehicles in the USA or Canada, and the trailer module in this vehicle doesn't appear to have any way of measuring the current. Relays on their own wouldn't either.

It's common for the towing vehicle to have a tell-tale in the instrument cluster that comes on when either trailer direction indicator is working. Alternatively, some cars will detect the trailer and will flash the indicators faster if any direction indicator, including the one on the trailer, fails.
 

mbkitmgr

New Member
HI all,

I have been asking questions about realys, and one of the technicians for CAN Am suggested avoiding Coil type relays, and instead go for Opto Isolation relays. This his says adds another layer of protection for the CanBus as coil type relays can generate a voltage when they disengage.

Based on what I am learning here from you all, and with space limitations where this thing will reside under the seat is there a 4 port Solid State relay with opto isolation ready made on eBay/Amazon/Aliexpress. Is this what I am looking for Via Aliexpress website?
 
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