Using A Speedometer Cable Sensor With A Brantz Retrotrip Odometer

During my trip to Germany to participate in the 2013 Baden Classic car rally, Harald von Langsdorff, the owner of the 1958 Mercedes-Benz that we used in the rally had purchased and installed a VDO speedometer cable sensor.  This sensor connects to the speedometer cable and converts the rotation of the speedometer cable into a useable pulse signal.  An example of this speedometer cable sensor is shown below.

VDO_Geber Sensor

VDO Speedometer Cable Sensor

Last year during the same event, we noted that the wheel sensor was not providing a reliable signal to the rally odometer.  It was thought that the speedometer would provide a more reliable and accurate signal to the odometer.  We had a very difficult time finding the proper wiring connection details to connect this speedometer cable sensor to a rally odometer.

VDO Speedometer Cable Sensor

VDO Speedometer Cable Sensor

The VDO speedometer cable sensor has three wires coming out of the unit:

  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Black

The actual functions of each of these wires is not absolutely clear to me, therefore I will not include my thoughts on the function of each wire and for the purposes of this post I will just focus on making the proper connections between this speedometer cable sensor and the Brantz Retrotrip odometer.

The Brantz Retrotrip odometer is an electro-mechanical odometer that is accepted in classic rallies which frequently restrict the type of odometer or rally computer that can be used.  The Brantz Retrotrip odometer uses an electronic pulse signal that advances a mechanical counter.  Pure mechanical odometers, such as the Halda Twinmaster, have become so expensive and hard to get that organizers will except electro-mechanical odometers as a substitute in most classic car rallies.


Brantz Retrotrip Odometer

My Brantz Retrotrip odometer is shown above.  As can be seen it has two distance displays.  Below the each display is a push button that will re-zero each display.  The toggle switch on the bottom left of the unit is the on/off switch.  Also on the bottom, there are the calibration switches to convert the pulses to the proper distance in the displays.

On the right side of the bottom are two cables – one black covered cable and one grey covered cable.  The black covered cable contains the two power wires.  Inside the grey sensor cable to the Brantz Retrotrip are three wires with the following colors:

  • Blue
  • Green/Yellow
  • Brown

The image below shows the three sensor wires that are within the grey cable on the left side.  Note that there is some residual on the wires from some black electrical tape that I used to tidy up the wiring.


Three Retrotrip Sensor Wires Shown On The Left Side

The following are the proper connections between the VDO Sensor and the Brantz Retrotrip odometer:

VDO Sensor                                        Retrotrip Odometer

Blue                        connects to                   Blue

Brown                    connects to                   Green/Yellow

Black                      connects to                   Brown

The wiring for other newer Brantz Retrotrip odometers might be different.

Hopefully this post will be useful for those installing this combination of speedometer cable sensor and Brantz Retrotrip odometer.

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3 Responses to Using A Speedometer Cable Sensor With A Brantz Retrotrip Odometer

  1. Rob says:

    Useful info! What is the vdo partnumber for this sensor?

    • Hi Rob,
      I don’t know the part number as the unit is in the car of the driver whom I was navigating for. However you can purchase the unit through the following website: , then from the column on the left hand side of the home page click on “Wegstreckenzahler” and then once you are on that page click on “Sensoren, Geber und Zubehur”. On that page scroll down and you will see the unit for sale.
      If you want to contact vhclassics directly about this unit, then email Christian von Hofmann at Christian should be able to assist you.
      I hope that this helps.
      Steve McKelvie

  2. Rob says:

    Thanks! I managed to get the RetroTrip up and running using the VDO sensor. I prefer the ” screw on” VDO sensor over the sensor from Brandtz. Easier to revert back to original.
    Car: FIAT500R (1975)

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