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VMSpc Info and Possibilities


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I acquired a Silverleaf VMSpc unit last winter in a "trade deal" with Charlie. To learn more about the VMSpc system visit SilverLeaf Electronics and even a download any of their software.

To run VMPsc you will need their "JIB" and most any old or new PC. I am now using an Acer Aspire 10" Cloudbook (Netbook) running Windows 10. But, you can use stuff back to the old Windows95 laptop collecting dust. The Netbook has no hard drive, 2 USB ports and a HDMI port. Of course mic, earphone, camera are all there too. Too bad the camera is on the front rather than the back - possibilities for a dash cam! Much of the 32 gig internal memory is used by the OS. So, I have all of my Volvo manuals, VMSpc software, Microsoft Streets and Trips 2013 as well as Office 365 and several handy assorted programs on a 64 Gig SD card. If you find an older model JIB with a RS232 port you will need a $15 adapter cable to plug into the USB on your PC. Newer JIB models can ordered wireless and plot video and data to anything - even tablets and Android devices. In my early stages of experimenting I used an older Dell laptop (P3 with 1g of ram) running Windows 2000 with a RS232 port. I set the power management to keep the PC on when I closed the lid and put it out of the way once the VMSpc program was running. I bought a VGA to composite video adapter just to see if it would work and routed the video to a 7" composite monitor I have installed in my dash. The screen was small but to my surprise the gauges I created were still clear and readable. Just another install option/idea.

I cleaned off the top of the dash, put a large gummy dash mat on top and set the PC right up front. It does not obstruct my vision at all and stays rock solid when placed on the gummy mat. The Acer Aspire Netbook is powered by an available DC adapter rather than the 120 AC adapter that came with the PC.

The neat thing about the VMSpc and software is you can create any array of gauges you want as long as the data is on the ECM data buss that terminates at the diagnostic port (on the second gen Volvo under the dash on the left side.)

There are many, many specific engine software - all free.

I am a gadget guy and love to play with data. I really like being able to see what the old D12 is doing in real time. Yes, I have much of this available on the DID - but not all at once or custom programmable as with the VMSpc. In fact, using the PID Sniffer in the VMSpc software I found a bunch of possible gauges that do not even appear on the DID. I also have a complete data log of everything that has happened engine, transmission or brake related that I can can access and analyze/review as real time data for any trip. I can go back and look at maximum temperatures, load, HP, torque, speed, RPM, acceleration, multiple fuel usage gauges and compare all of them to learn where the best fuel economy occurs. It is all a Geeky need-to-know thing and truthfully all this info is not for everyone. Be sure to look here for gauge ideas, data logs, equipment and mounting (many are motorhomes).

If you have a surviving copy of Microsoft Streets and Trips (2013 or earlier) or for that matter any other mapping or GPS program you can run both VMSpc and another program at the same time! VMSpc allow allows for a Scan Gauge set-up that simply scrolls across the screen a your selected speed. Using this function you can show a lot of gauges in a small space. You can create real time histograms on screen, set alarms using different .wav files - like I have a loud horn sound that warns me when the engine hits 2000 RPM. Other critical gauges like temperatures now have different alarms that I set to a value I want. An example is one for oil pressure and coolant temperature that have audible alarms. If you have sensors for the differentials, transmission, or ABS that provide a PID code on the data buss it is a quick process to sniff the code numbers and create that special gauge.


Some photos appear below:



One of my custom gauge screens. There is more info here than one would really ever need, but it is fun to look at and "knowing" what is happening.



This gauge set I created runs Microsoft Streets and Trips 2013 in the middle of the screen. A quick tap of the expand key will give me MSS&T full screen anytime.



View of full dash set-up as of May 12th (always subject to change :) )



The "gummy" Mat that keeps the PC from sliding around. You need to keep the surface clean. Power management on the PC is set so when you close the lid on the PC while it is on external power the screen stays on. So, if I want to close the lid while driving I can without turning off the computer or VSMpc program.


Two wires to unplug and the PC is out-of-site, hibernating and locked up when parked. It is all quick set-up/

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Why not get a laptop stand, my Jotto big rig laptop stand for instance. I'd hat to see the laptop do a header.


Sure - all options are there. Main reason I didn't is the big stick in the middle of the floor. Unlike an autoshift or automatic on the side of the driver's seat the manual stick takes all of the room. Jack also designed a really neat laptop base for the same location I am using. It is all what and where you want. Right now. this one works for us.

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Why not get a laptop stand, my Jotto big rig laptop stand for instance. I'd hat to see the laptop do a header.

Because it is 1) in the way 2) expensive 3) not in line of sight 4) simply not necessary


At least those are my reasons. I tried one. I hated it. It did not perform as well as my dash mount.

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I have 2 diagnostic ports on my truck. The 6 pin has the dirclink brake controller. I also have a 9 pin port. Any ideas or I can use them both at the same time?

I have a GearMaster that plugs into the diagnostic port. I removed the plug from the VMSpc leaving 4 wires - 12 VDC + and - along with the data lead and the data ground. I took my 12 VDC for the VMSpc from my switchable power buss and just skinned the two data wires onto the existing leads to the GearMaster. Pretty simple - no Y cables needed.


As for two ports with different connectors...... I can only guess. If the Dirclink brake controller data shows up in the VMSpc software when you run the "PID Sniffer" you should be able to create a gauge for whatever. If the data is not native to the VMSpc JIB then the answer is no. I am uneasy as to what might happen in a marriage of the two ports into a common data line. There is a chance that such a marriage would screw up bolth ports due to data packet timing not being synchronized.


Jack - the pic links go to PhotoBucket. The album is public. I got a feeling you just couldn't get into PhotoBucket due to server error or too much traffic. Please, try, try and try again :rolleyes: .


Biker - I am not surprised. It is a rather simple but functionally powerful program. I have built a few similar interfaces for pre-OBD vehicles to simulate a scan tool. The program captures the data packets that come through the JIB (interface), translates them to a numeric value and then passes them to the PC. When I was building my systems I used BASIC running under DOS to translate the delimited data packets into a plain English text format. It could be as simple or fancy-complex as you wanted to code in BASIC. One should be able to homebrew a system for the Volvo and do the same in DOS on an ancient IBM 8088 PC with 256K of ram. Shucks, I bet an old Atari 800, Commodore or Apple II could even be used. Now that would be a hoot! :unsure:

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You always have something to make me think I should do that. It is very interesting that the info can be displayed as you have.

I do have an old computer for this situation. So now to figure this out in my spare time.


Just let you know that I did make and install a air assist clutch like you did several years ago.


Now for something for you to work on. If you had a few more air cylinders and with the info on the screen applied to control the air cylinders.

You could fully convert a stick shift to an auto.


Safe Travels, Vern

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Randy, the pics do not show in my browser thread...just the id.jpg.


They will not load when clicked. I'm on Chrome if that matters. Can you post a link to the album. Everything else on the forum seems to load OK. I'm on a fast fiber network, so backhaul speed is probably not an issue....

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Jack - Since I only had a few shots I included them in a "general" library file containing a bunch of other pics related to my recent total rewire of my add-on 12 volt system. I don't think a link to that album would help you much right now. I will take the VMSpc pics and copy them to an exclusive album and let you know the album link - but that will be tomorrow, right now I am tired and going to beddy bye.

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