No Power to Tow Harness

No Power to Tow Harness

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » July 16th 2020, 8:10pm

Alright, been trying to figure this out for hours, but still no luck.

I'm working on a backup camera/stereo install and everything is all set except I have no power to the backup camera.

From reading on here, it seems like the orange wire in the tow wiring bundle should be a switched power wire, however I'm not getting any power to the wire.
2020-07-16 14.48.59.jpg
Tow wiring - orange has no power to it, even though I think it should be on with the key
2020-07-16 12.41.20.jpg
Orange is plugged in under the dash

The wire is plugged in to the "NAV" spot next to the fuse box in the driver's side footwell, and all the fuses seem to be good. Any idea why this might be happening?

Also - the other wires have no power too. I have found a few wires that are always hot in the wiring in the general area of the rear of the van, but nothing switched :(

I am still super new to everything wiring, so I know there could be a terrifically simple explanation for this.

Thanks!
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby sixsix » July 16th 2020, 8:33pm

By now... you have searched for: wiring diagram tow harness astrosafari.com ...??

https://www.google.com/search?q=wiring+ ... e&ie=UTF-8
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » July 16th 2020, 9:20pm

Yes, and all the info I've found seems to say the orange should be switched power and that if it's not, the problem may be that it isn't plugged into the NAV slot under the dash, or a fuse is messed up.
Trailer wiring.PNG
Auxiliary circuit is switched with ignition, right?
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby Toskavat » July 16th 2020, 9:29pm

Move that orange wire to the BLK connection at the top right. By the way, BLK indicates the color of the plug on that wire.
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » July 16th 2020, 9:36pm

Oh crap, I didn't realize there were 4 different NAT slots, gonna go try that now.

Toskavat wrote: By the way, BLK indicates the color of the plug on that wire.

Had no idea - thanks!
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » July 16th 2020, 9:44pm

Ok, so now I have power to the orange - thanks!

Only issue is I read 12 volts on it without the key in - doesn't this mean it's not switched and tapping into it for my backup cam will kill my battery?

Still don't have a video feed to the headunit, working on that....
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby Rod's Trucks » July 17th 2020, 1:04am

Sportsboy wrote: "Yes, and all the info I've found seems to say the orange should be switched power and...."

I have not seen anything indicating the large Orange wire is switched...only that is is fused.

If you have no need for the Orange wire for trailer connection use, then it can be connected to a relay, which is activated by a wire from a switched fuse.
101856
In my installation; this relay ( rated at over 100 A continuously) supplies power to charge auxiliary batteries from the alternator when the engine is running. It is controlled from a piggyback fuse tap on a fuse which is only ON when the ignition key is in the run position.
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » July 18th 2020, 12:18am

Thanks for the info Rod

So I found a bunch of stuff online saying orange was switched, but 30 minutes in the fsm just got me this:
2020-07-17 19.03.22.jpg

In case you can't see, it says the orange to the towing harness is hot at all times.

Case closed.

But maybe with later years it changes and that's why the discrepancy? I dunno.

Now I just need to identify another source of switched power - I'd like to keep the orange wire stock for now in case I need to tow in the future, but I think what I'll do is find a switched fuse in the fusebox in the driver's footwell and use a piggyback fuse holder to connect it to the blue wire, which also runs to the back of the van with the tow harness.

Rod - why would you need to add a relay to a power source that is already switched? I thought a relay basically just is a switch.
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby Rod's Trucks » July 18th 2020, 6:38am

Sportsboy, and all
Sportsboy asked, why install a relay, if it is already a switched circuit that may be tapped into?
That is a legitimate question, and many have no experience with such things.
The answer has to do with the amount of current (Amps) in the circuits in question.
Not knowing your level of electrical experience, I will try to make it fairly basic for all. No offense intended to any of you who already know this stuff.

If you are switching a small amount of current, most switches will work. In your case ( backup camera) it's power demand is insignificant.
If you are trying to switch a large amount of current, you need switches designed for that purpose.
Relays are most commonly used to switch large amperage circuits, but by using a simple switch to control them.
(Your Starter Solenoid is the most common example. A small signal sent from the ignition switch, activates a coil, which cause two very large copper contacts to come together, and makes the connection between t he battery cable and the actual starter motor...usually a coupe of hundred amps, or more.)
In your case case, you may get by with just using a piggybacked fuse and wire from a switched fuse....if you are not planning on drawing more than a few amps ( I would suggest no more than 5 added to the original fuse). If you begin having trouble with that fuse blowing, then you are probably overloading the circuit and need to rethink the installation.
The main reason for adding a relay is to take the switched load off the control switch, be it a stock or added toggle switch or even the ignition switch.
Our vans came with 100+ amp alternators. Think about the contacts that would be needed in the ignition switch, if all that current was actually going through that set of 'RUN' contacts in the ignition switch. That is why modern cars use so many relays.
Also, remember; a fuse is sized to protect a specific size wire. If you put a 30 amp fuse on a lenght of wire that can only carry 10 amps safely ( without overheating), the fuse will never blow with a 20 amp load, but the wire may melt its way through the insulation, and into an adjacent wire; or it may overheat the somewhat corroded connector at the other end, and melt the plug...
Heater blower motor plugs...anyone?
In my previously posted example, with the picture; I was supplying power to charge two large auxiliary batteries, which are used to run amateur radio equipment for extended times while parked. When the motor was running, I wanted to charge them fairly quickly, so the cabling was set up to easily handle 50 to 70 amps if needed, and a relay rated at well over 100 amps was used to make that connection between the main vehicle battery and the auxiliary batteries.
I hope that answers your question.
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Last edited by Rod's Trucks on July 18th 2020, 6:49am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby Rod's Trucks » July 18th 2020, 6:42am

Sorry for the fumble fingered duplication:
Sportsboy, and all
Sportsboy asked, why install a relay, if it is already a switched circuit that may be tapped into?
That is a legitimate question, and many have no experience with such things.
The answer has to do with the amount of current (Amps) in the circuits in question.
Not knowing your level of electrical experience, I will try to make it fairly basic for all. No offense intended to any of you who already know this stuff.

If you are switching a small amount of current, most switches will work.
If you are trying to switch a large amount of current, you need switches designed for that purpose.
Relays are most commonly used to switch large amperage circuits, but by using a simple switch to control them.
(Your Starter Solenoid is the most common example. A small signal sent from the ignition switch, activates a coil, which cause two very large copper contacts to come together, and makes the connection between the battery cable and the actual starter motor...usually a couple of hundred amps, or more.)
In your case case, you may get by with just using a piggybacked fuse and wire from a switched fuse....if you are not planning on drawing more than a few amps ( I would suggest no more than 5 added to the original fuse). If you begin having trouble with that fuse blowing, then you are probably overloading the circuit and need to rethink the installation.
The main reason for adding a relay is to take the switched load off the control switch, be it a stock or added toggle switch, or even the ignition switch.
Our vans came with 100+ amp alternators. Think about the contacts that would be needed in the ignition switch, if all that current was actually going through that set of 'RUN' contacts in the ignition switch. That is why modern cars use so many relays.
Also, remember; a fuse is sized to protect a specific size wire. If you put a 30 amp fuse on a length of wire that can only carry 10 amps safely ( without overheating), the fuse will never blow with a 20 amp load, but the wire may melt its way through the insulation, and into an adjacent wire; or it may overheat the somewhat corroded connector at the other end, and melt the plug...
Heater blower motor plugs...anyone?
In my previously posted example, with the picture; I was supplying power to charge two large auxiliary batteries, which are used to run amateur radio equipment for extended times while parked. When the motor was running, I wanted to charge them fairly quickly, so the cabling was set up to easily handle 50 to 70 amps if needed. An inexpensive ($15 @ Amazon, or less) relay rated at well over 100 amps was used to make that connection between the main vehicle battery and the auxiliary batteries.
I hope that answers your question.
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby sixsix » July 18th 2020, 7:57pm

If you read both Posts and bounce back n' forth between them real fast - it's like that Old Stereoscopic Thing...
LOL

Actually, you can Edit posts for a while and if that runs out ( after a day or so ), you can Press REPORT ( maybe on the one to nuke or whatever ) and go from there - telling the mods what you want to do.

Goes on your "Permanent Record" too.

:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby augidog » July 18th 2020, 8:07pm

I almost "reported" him, but I didn't want to be that guy.

Rod, that was a very good "relays for beginners" post. maybe I'll dig up a pic of my gas/electric bicycle, where I used 2 40A DPDT relays to reverse the circuitry and make the electric wheel recharge it's own battery when running on the gas engine, with a little push-button on the handlebars.

meantime, this pic will complement your post.
pszacceps179r-graf01-web.jpg
for a backup camera only, the low (#86) input could be tapped off the reverse-light wire and (#85) grounded.

the high-side always hot (#30) input should be rated for whatever current your camera draws plus whatever else it powers.

the relay's rating, power-out (#87), should be at least what the camera draws.

I believe you can do all of that at the rear instead of under the dash.

for on-demand camera, when NOT in reverse, add a toggle-switched hotwire to #87. that separate wire would have to be run all the way from the front.

in this case, corrections are highly encouraged.
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby Rod's Trucks » July 18th 2020, 8:38pm

Augidoq,
NICE!
An excellent diagram of the ground triggered relay circuit. That particular relay configuration is almost universal in nomenclature and use. That is how most Horn circuits are wired ( the horn wire is grounded to make the horn operate)
Functionally and physically identical relays are available in all FLAPS; probably all JY's ( $1 or $2 each commonly); and and that common base configuration is found in vehicles from nearly all major automotive manufactures.

For a relay controlled by some other switched 'hot' wire, just run the black wire from #85 directly to ground; then disconnect connect the red wire from the battery to #86. Connect #86 to your switched control source, and you are done.
Terminal #30 should always be the high current power source, and #87 should always be the load connection.
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby augidog » July 18th 2020, 9:01pm

taking your cue, Rod, I edited in the numbers. double-check my work, please.
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » July 19th 2020, 12:56am

Rod and Augi - thank you so much for taking the time to explain that - my electrical knowledge is basic at best. That diagram and explanation almost make sense, which is more than I could have said a year ago :lol:

Rod, that explanation of why a relay is necessary is top notch - makes way more sense than what I had found in my previous forays into the topic. I finally get why everyone uses relays for all the electrical add ons they do.

The camera draws less than 2 amps I believe, and I want it to be on a switched power source so I don't have to go into reverse to power the camera (like I would have to if I connected it to the brake light as is commonly done). I won't be powering anything else with the piggyback fuse I'd use, so I think it will be fine. If I end up needing switched power for more things in the back of the van, I'll change things up later.

Also, Augi - that sounds like a sweet bike haha
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Fun With Relays

Postby augidog » July 19th 2020, 3:29am

download.gif
download.gif (9.76 KiB) Viewed 436 times
the contacts on these 40 amp'rs are about twice the size of ignition points.
mounted sideways so bumps won't interrupt the circuit.

.......relay-1........charge-controller........relay-2........motor-controller
IMG_20160403_130012.jpg
24V DC 20Ah 1000W LiFePO4 battery pack

running Terminals > A-C-C-A > : battery to relay-1 to motor-controller to relay-2 to motor-wheel

press & hold the thumb-button to close the low-current through the magnetic coils, for...

charging Terminals < A-B-B-A < : generator-wheel to relay-2 to charge-controller to relay-1 to battery

a voltmeter on the dash and I was in complete control of the situation.

this is just one of many incarnations of the same bike. it's not like this anymore, but BETTER in a different way.
IMG_20160417_172103_hdr.jpg
Rear=Belt Drive w/Tanaka 32CC 1.5HP 2-stroke......Front=24V 750W DC (brushed) motor

top speed level 25-30mph gas-only, the electric helps accelerate and pull hills, and is also for being polite/quiet when in towns. 15mph electric-only. riding around here is all hill, up or down, and i always got home with a full battery. plus, the little Tanaka "Pure Fire" gets well over 125mpg, can you dig it? "Pure Fire" as in the muffler's an actual catalytic converter, with C.A.R.B. certification.

wanna know something funny? I could theoretically build a primitive computer using DC relays, but still do not know how to wire an AC two-way light switch, I'd have to look it up :dunce:
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby SportsBoy [OP] » July 19th 2020, 11:59am

Nice ride - I'm planning on getting a normal ebike for commuting someday, but that is next level. I even understand a decent amount of what your're talking about electrics-wise at this point haha
Sounds like my prius c, which charges the hybrid battery while running, braking, and gliding.

I could wire a light switch, but know nothing of DC lol
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby augidog » July 19th 2020, 4:12pm

DC can be as simple as plumbing, everything flows in one direction and returns to a common ground.
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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby sixsix » July 19th 2020, 8:01pm

augidog wrote:DC can be as simple as plumbing, everything flows in one direction and returns to a common ground.

Ohhh, augi... you're such a kidder...
.

Well, after all... what would Banacek say ?... “May be hard to believe... President Trump should rest easy and concede what was in fact a foregone conclusion: Another OLD MAN won with only about 50% of the Change Believers/Fools showing up."

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Re: No Power to Tow Harness

Postby augidog » July 19th 2020, 9:15pm

sixsix wrote:
augidog wrote:DC can be as simple as plumbing, everything flows in one direction and returns to a common ground.

Ohhh, augi... you're such a kidder...
ya think? maybe I'm half serious. or, maybe I should cut back on the coffee, I dunno.

open the main valve, supply various fixtures via their own valves...if all the drains lead back to a reservoir, the return volume will always equal the combined usage of your fixtures, minus consumption of course. to me, DC circuitry is really easy to conceive and build, it's linear no matter how many sub-circuits, and the common ground a mere afterthought.
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Time: 8:00pm
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stent
in Electrical
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Comments: 12
Date: Nov 19 '20
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