Epoxy/thermoplastic relay module helps automotive aftermarket

Multiple accessories now easier to wire with new relay module.

Faced with an ever expanding range of electronic after-market products for cars, trucks and SUVs, accessory shop installers have increasingly sought a single solution to the difficulty of configuring multiple accessories. A new “universal” module can simply integrate any kind of switching or flashing function on a motorized conveyance.

The recent patenting of this “universal” design relay has now facilitated a small renaissance in the automotive electronic accessory industry. Manufactured by the Northeast Electronic Design Center (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.), the Switch-Smart (model AR-01) squeezes the utility of a Swiss army knife into a fully encapsulated and compact cube that incorporates nine leads to quickly configure any 12 VDC device up to 30 Amps.

“Because it fits any application and is so easy to configure, this smart little switch is a huge time-saver,” says Juan Espinal, owner of Magic Auto Sound and Security in Ozone Park, N.Y. “We can now shorten installation time by 75 percent. This definitely helps me make money.”

Many of the aftermarket electronic products exert a demand on existing electrical systems that were not originally designed to accommodate the powering or controlling of those devices. And they can require innovative methods to get the appropriate wiring to those newly installed items. For example, a very popular automotive installation is to install High Power (HID) headlights. Most automobile wiring does not accommodate the added current requirement; therefore flickering of the lights is often the result in a direct-wired configuration.

"If a relay is used to control the new current load, than there is often problems with the operation from the daylight running circuit also resulting in flickering,"says John Della Croce of the Northeast Electronic Design Center. "Since the Switch-Smart requires only 1 VDC to trigger, the flickering problems are a thing of the past.”

“Instead of dragging a wire all the way back to the trunk to trip a relay by a sub-woofer amplifier, we can simply hook the Switch-Smart to the nearest speaker wire and it will turn on the amp when the radio goes on,” says Espinal. “It’s just that simple.”

This electronic module also offers advantages for wiring up flashing accessories with high current draws such as air horns or emergency lights.

Long-term reliability is made possible by packaging the electronics within epoxy and ABS thermoplastic, making it completely waterproof and resistant to oil, dust, heat, vibration and humidity.