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Isis Power System Automotive Wiring Systems - New Digital Wiring From Isis Power

By Mark Ehlen, Photography by Courtesy Of Isis Power, Mark Ehlen, MCR

Building a muscle car? The automotive wiring should be no problem unless you're planning to add some modern upgrades such as computer-controlled fuel injection, ignition, and timing controls. Then throw in a major-league sound system and install power windows and locks that weren't there before. And how about some LED lighting? And of course you have to have a security system. You can see how quickly you can run into the limitations of the factory automotive wiring. You end up having to piggyback new circuits into an automotive wiring system that wasn't designed for them or even overlay your own custom harness on top of the factory one. Things can get complicated and even heavy in a hurry.

What's been needed for some time is a better mousetrap, so to speak. And that's exactly what the guys at Muscle Car Restorations found when they went looking for a wiring solution for their high-tech '69 Z/28 project. "We were looking to bring new-car electronic features such as theater-dimming interior lights, soft-start and delayed-shutoff headlights, express-down power windows, and LED taillights into a 40-year-old car," says John Balow, MCR's owner. "When Jay [Harris, President of Isis] demonstrated his multiplex system, we quickly realized that we could add any electronic feature we could think of."

Isis Power At the heart of the Isis Power system is a completely new paradigm for automotive wiring, so for the moment at least, try to set aside your current understanding of what's involved when wiring any car.

The brain of the Isis Power automotive wiring system is a completely solid-state unit known as the Mastercell. It accepts the actual On and Off switching of each electrical function and is fully programmable. It can receive input from as many as 50 different switches, sensors, and the like. The Mastercell in turn signals up to five Powercells that control the actual distribution of power.

Each Powercell is a localized hub that can be placed in the car as needed. One in the front, somewhere in the engine compartment, and another hidden in the trunk will be adequate for most applications. Each Powercell is wired with two eight-gauge, 60-amp, fused leads from the battery and can supply power for up to 10 different functions. The obvious benefit of this arrangement is that the taillights, fuel pump, trunk popper, stereo amp, or whatever don't have to be wired all the way from the dash but only to the local Powercell in the trunk. There are no battery voltage leads connected to any of the switches. Mastercell current to each switch is less than 1 milliamp. With that little bit of power you couldn't start a fire under the dash if you tried.

PARTS
DESCRIPTION PN PRICE
3-cell starter kit ISIS3BOXZ- Isis $999.00
inLink RF control module ISISRDFMZ- Isis 179.00
inMotion motor controller ISISMRSCZ- Isis 369.00

SOURCES
ISIS Power
Elk Grove Village
IL
847-232-1991
http://www.isispower.com
Muscle Car Restorations
11371 20th Ave.
Chippewa Falls
WI  54729
715-834-2223
www.musclecarrestorations.com
By Mark Ehlen
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1 comments
sdewolfe
sdewolfe

The strength of a CAN bus is the ability to provide functionality and fine control of entire subsystems difficult to achieve with "old" technology. But it comes at a high cost in complexity, money, and time to build.I am not an expert on the CAN bus. But I have worked with CAN since shortly after it was introduced. I have encountered intermittent problems (always created by the installer or a previous service event) that have caused me countless hours of troubleshooting. Some of these problems presented with days between failures; very difficult to isolate. Prospective buyers need to know this is NOT a plug-n-play solution. It requires real planning and the ability to solve problems that may be encountered during or after the installation.I do think the CAN bus is THE best solution for really cool functions that are not easily achieved by other means. But readers should be aware that they need either the expertise or the money to buy it to install a CAN bus.

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