Patent Number: 6,166,516

Title: Battery charger for towed vehicles and the like

Abstract: An electrical charging circuit for applying a controlled charge to a receiving device, such as a battery, and particularly such as a battery carried on a towed vehicle such as a trailer for actuating the trailer brakes during emergency situations such as unexpected disconnection from the towing vehicle, i.e., break-away. In a basic sense, the charging circuit includes a voltage potential-responsive element or component for sensing the charged level of the receiving device coupled to the circuit and enabling or disabling the circuit charging operation, together with a variable-conductance circuit component for producing a generally constant charging voltage output to the receiving device over a wide range of applied voltages but also operable to provide a first amount of current flow to the receiving device at a given applied voltage and temperature but a second a limited amount of current flow when the voltage across the charging circuit is sufficiently large. In its most preferred embodiment, the voltage responsive component may be a diode switch, and the variable-conductance circuit component may be a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) thermistor.

Inventors: Albright; Marcia S. (Coldwater, MI), Eccleston; Larry (Marshall, MI), Morse; Dennis M. (Jackson, MI), Smith; Bruce E. (Leo, IN)

Assignee: Tekonsha Engineering Company

International Classification: H02J 7/00 (20060101); H02J 007/00 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017