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Bobcat 7 Pin Low Voltage? Not!

Posted by Robert Leib on

Here is a recent question from a customer.  I see this again and again so I am answering it with a Blog so the answer will help a lot more people.


I was wondering how I can connect Bobcat low voltage attachments to a John Deere 12 Volt circuit. I would also like to know how to connect 12 volt attachments to my Bobcat's low voltage circuit.


This question seems to come up again and again.  In fact it seems to travel around like a urban legend.  The problem with this theory is that people will measure the voltage across the 7 pin plug and see a lower voltage on the small pins because of the nature of the meter they are using.  If they had a meter that had a pulse indicator they would see that the voltage they are measuring is actually a pulsing voltage. 

Why is it a pulsing voltage you ask?  Because it is a digital square wave signal similar to what you would find on your USB of your laptop. Your meter uses an averaging function to level the reading out to show a lower flat voltage when it is not.

Why is this important? Imagine putting a meter across the output of your laptop's USB and deciding it is low voltage so you then just plug a solenoid into it to see what happens.  The solenoid is just a coil of wire so it will appear as a light load that pretty much shorts out the USB of your computer.  It you have no protective circuits built in, then you smoke your machine and wonder how you could have done something so stupid.

Many times I have spoken to people about why they did this and smoked their machine's computer and they always go back to the point that they were led to understand that the output of the Bobcat 7 pin is just a low voltage switchable control.  This is completely untrue!

The only way to be able to use this output is to add a controller that can speak the Bobcat language so that when you touch a button in the machine, the controller knows which button you touched and it turns on a corresponding 12 Volt output on or off.  This output can then be connected directly to your solenoids and allow some kind of function to operate like a snowblower chute going left or right. If you look inside any Bobcat branded attachment, you will see a large black box installed near the solenoids.  This is a computer controller. It has 6 driven controls and a seventh control that runs in parallel to operate a dump valve.  In most cases our opinion is that this is complete overkill.  The controllers that we have designed are specific to what most people need so that we can get you something that you can use again and again and not have to have a big box installed on every attachment.

On the flip side, when you try to connect a Bobcat attachment to any other brand of machine, you have to deal with the computer being in the way.  Genius has circumvented this by using bypass harnesses that plug directly into your machines 8/14 pin outlet and then directly into the solenoids of your attachment.  This makes sure that you can successfully avoid any interaction with the Bobcat computer and have a happy and smoke free life.

Skid Steer Genius has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to research this issue and come up with products that help to solve the dilemma that many people find themselves in.  We hope that you will understand what is a stake here and use this information to operate your machines correctly and safely.  Since we have introduced our controllers, there have been a few companies that have blatantly copied these products.  What they lack is support and an understanding of who/what/when and where each product should be used.  We hope that you will shun these people and work exclusively with us so that we can provide you with Genius products for decades to come.

Now on with the disclaimer relating to anything you see on this site: 

This is not a Bobcat® product.  This product is not endorsed by Bobcat®.  We are in no way attempting to make you think this is a Bobcat® product. This product is optically isolated from the controls of your machine and can in no way damage your machine or controls.  It is perfectly safe to use and will not damage a thing.  If a dealer is attempting to tell you that your warranty will be voided if you use this product or that it will damage your machine, please call and report it to us.  Skid Steer Genius is a specialty controls company.  Our goal is to make anything you buy for your machine work on any machine.  Others design and build in such a way as to stop you from doing this.  

Bobcat®, the Bobcat logo and the colors of the Bobcat machine are registered trademarks of Bobcat Company in the United States and various other countries.
Bobcat Company is a subsidiary of Doosan Infracore Bobcat Holdings Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Doosan Infracore Co., Ltd.

All rights reserved.

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