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Topic: Engine / Coach monitoring with VMSPc or scangauge or ?? (Read 9184 times) previous topic - next topic
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Engine / Coach monitoring with VMSPc or scangauge or ??

I know we can get a lot of engine information from the Spartan Info Center, but was wondering if anyone is supplementing that using the VMSPC ( VMSpc | SilverLeaf Electronics, Inc. ) or maybe a scangauge setup to get additional information or to create a digital dash for additional gauges?

My friend (has a London Aire) uses the VMSPC to monitor transmission, CAC, turbo temperatures and has a small 8" windows tablet on his dash with the extra information / gauges displayed.  Seemed like there were times this information being available instantly vs scrolling through the info center, would be nice.

So anyone using these / other thoughts.

Re: Engine / Coach monitoring with VMSPc or scangauge or ??

Reply #1
I've never really had to need to get more information than what the dash and info center give me.  I've seen the built in Silverleaf VMS units in some Newmars and they look nice, just not sure if they are more of a distraction than an aid while driving.  *on the fence*

Re: Engine / Coach monitoring with VMSPc or scangauge or ??

Reply #2
I had a VMSPC in my last coach, it was hooked through the port under the dashboard.  It was able to read engine, transmission and ABS information.  It also captured the diagnostics data (error codes) that different things threw so that was a nice feature, for example which ABS sensor was complaining.

For going down the road I had created a digital dash using the VMSPC software and displayed various coach information on one of the dash screens.  Some information was "fun" such as instant and trip MPG etc ... Other items were maybe to exact, such as transmission and manifold temperatures, I would find myself fixating on if it was 190 or 194, is it down yet, is that bad ... those little changes that would not be noticeable on the dash gauge.

It was actually more relaxing driving with it off then on, ignorance is bliss I guess, or really just a case of data overload.  Selective use, such as driving in the mountains where you need to keep an closer eye on temperatures is a good thing, maybe via bluetooth to a tabby so you or the co-pilot could check on things.

Re: Engine / Coach monitoring with VMSPc or scangauge or ??

Reply #3

A possible inexpensive alternative to some aspects of the VMSPC is to use an inexpensive OBDII reader, an adapter cable and free Cummins Fault Code Advisor  INSITE

According to that Cummins web page

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will need an ELM327 OBD2 Bluetooth datalink adapter to connect to the vehicle, generator, or other equipment. An adapter cable may also be required between the ELM327 and the J1939 port on your equipment. In North America, most vehicles use the 9-pin Deutsch connector for the OBD2 diagnostics port. This hardware can be found online by searching Google, Amazon, eBay, or elsewhere. Just look for "ELM327 OBD2 Bluetooth Adapter" and "J1939 9 pin Deutsch to OBD2 cable."

Features of the Cummins Fault Code Advisor:
• Reads both active and inactive public J1939 fault codes for Cummins engines
• Reads active and inactive public fault codes for other non-Cummins control modules on the J1939 datalink
• Clears inactive fault codes
• Displays a snapshot of engine information such as make, model, serial number, total idle hours, trip fuel information, and total crankshaft revolutions
• Allows you to share the snapshot of vehicle data with anyone via e-mail

Please note that the ELM327 adapter can only read public J1939 fault codes. It is not capable of reading proprietary fault codes.
Searching on amazon for an adapter brings up a variety of items but be sure it says its based on the ELM327 (thats the chipset) since Cummins calls that out specifically.  As an example

NorSway Car OBD2 Code Reader V1.5 Super Mini ELM327 Bluetooth which is ~$11 has good reviews and says its ELM327 based. 

Then you just need a J1939 to OBD2 adapter cable Mo-Co-So 1m/39" Compact 9 Pin Male Deutsch J1939 to 16 Pin J1962... comes up doing a google search, its about $16 dollars.

So for under $30 dollars you can read the public fault codes that the engine may generate, plus some other information from the engine (Coolant Level, Coolant Temperature, Crankcase Pressure, Oil Pressure, Total Fuel Used, Total Hours of Operation,
Trip Average Fuel Rate, Trip Distance etc.). 

The Spartan chassis will have two locations with a  J1939 dataport that you can use,  one under the dash and another in the service center or just inside the engine compartment.  Happy code reading!

Re: Engine / Coach monitoring with VMSPc or scangauge or ??

Reply #4

Thats a pretty interesting, and inexpensive, solution to getting some engine data, especially any fault data.  Its nice that the app also allows you to clear any inactive fault codes.  Those items could help get you back on the road sooner, or at least be able to provide better information  should you have a engine light.

While looking at the App page (at least the Andrioid) the description has:

Adapter: “BAFX Bluetooth OBDII Reader Scan Tool”
Cable: “Yason OBD2 Cable Deutsch J1939 9 Pin to OBD2 cable Model YS-9p-16p 1ft 0.3m p-268”
Note – While we suggest this brand / vendor for Bluetooth adapters and OBD2 cable, Cummins is not endorsing them.

Doing the web search for those, the scan tool is BAFX Products 34t5 Bluetooth OBDII Scan Tool for Android... for about ~$22 and the cable is OBD2 Cable , Deutsch J1939 9Pin to OBD2 cable, 1ft/0.3m [YS-9p-16p] - .00... looks like $8 from China, even have a video of the cable ... so again total cost in the ~$30 range.

Re: Engine / Coach monitoring with VMSPc or scangauge or ??

Reply #5
Even though I've never had the need to additional engine monitoring ......  for $30 bucks that seems like a nice gadget just to have on hand.

Re: Engine / Coach monitoring with VMSPc or scangauge or ??

Reply #6
We owned a 2000 Beaver Solitaire.  It had a Silverleaf monitor in the dash.  It cost $20,000.00 originally - and Silverleaf still has 2 new, in box units for the Solitaire @ $20,000.00.  I have become accustomed to glancing at the temps while driving.

We bought our 2017 Aspire in April.  During our tour of Oregon, we visited the Silverleaf factory and installed a VMSpc.  Connected to a 12" Samsung tablet that I placed on the front console (trying to find a permanent mount).  Custom designed my electric dash.  Now do not have to look at the two line display on the Aspire and am more comfortable with the engine monitoring.

I also added the Pressure Pro TPMS to VMSpc display.  Visual  monitoring of all 12 tires.

Re: Engine / Coach monitoring with VMSPc or scangauge or ??

Reply #7
Thanks for this great info. Does anyone know where the data port is under the dash on a Entegra 2013 Aspire? I found the one in the rear engine door. With a cable connected you can not close the door.

Thanks for any info!