PLC4TRUCKS shows movement on a multiplexing standard

PORTLAND, Ore. (Dec. 13, 1999) — PLC4TRUCKS has backed the use of Air-Weigh’s and Hendrickson’s FSKNet multiplexing products for lighting the in-dash trailer ABS fault light when Air-Weigh on-board scales, WireLink and Hendrickson Control Link products are operating and for specialty/multi-trailer operations.

The consortium’s recommendation clears the way for the PLC4TRUCKS/Intellon-developed
P-485 chipset to be integrated into ABS control units without expensive filtering.

“Users of the blue auxiliary wire can now discard their second tractor/trailer connectors and cables and use WireLink or Control Link to control trailer functions and be compliant with the 2001 federal deadline for in-cab trailer ABS fault light,” said Martin Ambros, Air-Weigh’s president and CEO. Air-Weigh and its partners plan to offer ABS fault light capability in all multiplexing devices at no extra charge.

Ambros said the recommendation resolves a co-existence problem between the proposed
PLC4TRUCKS technology and the existing user base of on-board truck scales and controls/ status devices using Air-Weigh’s FSKNet multiplexing technology.

It was also good news for operators of doubles, triples and other long combination vehicles who were facing the prospect of having to mount a second connector beyond the first trailer to guarantee the PLC4TRUCKS signal would successfully transmit over the distance. LCV operators installing WireLink or Control Link units now in lieu of second wiring harnesses will be fully compliant at the March 1, 2001 deadline

During installation of any WireLink or Control Link, a simple connection is made to the trailer ABS ECU side-mounted fault lamp circuit. The Air-Weigh ABS fault lamp signal then overrides the weaker PLC4TRUCKS signal on the power line and delivers the signal via the FSKNet receiving module in the scale or control device in the cab. The tractor control device’s output channel is connected directly to the fault lamp to complete the circuit.

Air-Weigh’s FSKNet multiplexing has been operating on LCVs since 1995. Hendrickson has marketed the technology since 1997, obtaining production releases at trailer makers including Benson, Ravens, and TrailKing.

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