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Monitoring your rig on a tablet


Shawn Patterson
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So a while ago I started a quest for an app to give me the ability to use a tablet to build gauges to monitor items like exhaust gas temp, coolant temp, boost pressure, etc.  I know a lot of these already have hard gauges or the ability to put one or two of them on the LCD, but I was looking for something with the ability to be customized.  Silverleaf appears to be the only option of a software-based solution, but it didn't seem to offer the customization and layout that I was looking for.

I came across a popular app called Torque Pro, but it only worked on cars/trucks with OBD II ports.  I found on their forums that they had been talking about some time about supporting the J1939 protocol that most of us have on the newer trucks, but it hadn't come to fruition.  Well, after reading one of the other posts today about reading codes from the computer, it prompted me to check back on the forums at Torque and low and behold the J1939 support is going into beta testing tomorrow!!

Not sure what adapters will be supported, but perhaps the BlueFire adapters available on Amazon might be a good choice.

Here is an example of what you might set up on a tablet.  What do you think??

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Shawn

Mostly Diesel Pusher Motorhome geeks with Cummins &7 Cats have been raving for years about VMSpc by Silverleaf

http://www.silverleafelectronics.com/node/6

Now Silverleaf has some limited application if I recall for the Volvo D12 .......as I recall.......

The stealth-Dollytrolley-II Diesel Pusher has a small Cat C7 and the Silverleaf was previously Insanely configured with WAY, WAY too much info......(I really do NOT care about my power steering pump RPM) .......

Silverleaf seems to indicate that much of the data-stream at Volvo is TIGHTLY locked-up and only Volvo has the key.....and they tend to not loan out that key.

The real challange to a good panel display is.........what to leave out of the panel........too much is.....to much......

 

Drive on...........(as Sgt. Joe Friday would say.......only the facts mam....)

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5 hours ago, Dollytrolley said:

The real challange to a good panel display is.........what to leave out of the panel........too much is.....to much......

2

I agree with you guys, and that is one of the great things about the Torque app, you can customize it any way you like it.  Small gauges, big gauges, just numbers, bar graphs, etc, etc...  Additionally, you can define at what point a gauge alerts.  Want air pressure to alert at 80PSI? You can do that.  Want coolant temp to alert at 200 deg? You can do that too.  I don't know what options the Silverleaf product has and I'm not knocking that product at all, but Torque seems to have a much broader user base and more customizability.

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One feature of the SilverLeaf PC on the older Volvo D12 (mine is 2004) is the PID sniffer.  I found a lot of signals that could be used as new custom gauges that were not part of the OEM software package.  While the D12 is not fully supported on the SilverLeaf selecting the 450 HP Cummins engine gives correct read-outs on the Volvo - that and the PID sniffer and you have everything.  All of the gauges you show and the min to max values can be displayed on the SilverLeaf PC - just not as pretty!  But, as Dollytrolly noted, too much information can be worse than not enough.  One thought comes to mind though for your plans...... I had to use a netbook PC with my SilverLeaf since the tablet I had available did not have a USB or RS-232 input.  Maybe the newer interface's use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology rather than requiring cabling - that would be nice.

As far as gauge design, I love what you are showing.  I would like to see the flexibility in the Silverleaf to create gauges other than the colored numeric text boxes.  The SilverLeaf PC software I am using is definitely outdated compared to current technology and graphical possibilities.  There is one feature I really like with the SilverLeaf and my 10" Netbook PC.  I can run MS-Streets and trips 2013 using an updated GPS antenna as one of my gauges.  I often place it right in the center of the data screen and find it can be handy.  You should be able to do the same with any other brand of GPS based software you can run on a PC.

Now, I have not confirmed this, but some of the geeks in my engineering group have stated that the data stream from OBDII and CAN are identical in frame rate and size as the big trucks, meaning with the appropriate connector one may be able to use one of the newer configurable software packages for an HDT diesel engine from an enabled reader with the needed OBDII interface hardware as long as you could sniff out new PID's from your engine to design additional gauges.   That would be interesting to experiment with but I already have too many experiments going on right now.

I am really looking forward to what you obtain and learn and hope you will share the results here.  It all sounds like a positive step forward.

Oh, Charlie, as an accomplished maritime navigator I would have guessed you wouldn't need a compass - You know the fog always clears first in the west.B)

Edited by RandyA
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I would like to see a screen shot of one of these displays when you back out of an ISX 600 pulling 140,000lbs  to make a downshift using the C-Brake and it makes that 40psi of manifold pressure now throttle is zero sneeze / jake action now we are at 100% fuel 2050 torque all in 1 second.... 

I'd try one...

'cept you need a ECM?

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Hi Everyone,

The idea sounds pretty neat. I have a question or too. Can the table that has the engine software on it be used for some other software applications ? It sounds like it might be from what I read in Randy's post. Can someone explain more ? I am still learning why I would want a computer in the truck. I know to most of you guys that a computer is second nature but not for me. I do know one thing is that a computer can hold down a bunch of papers. The next question would be where to you mount this table or computer so it's not in the way. I like to see a clutter free dash so I don't have any distraction.

Al 

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On 12/10/2017 at 9:59 AM, alan0043 said:

Hi Everyone,

The idea sounds pretty neat. I have a question or too. Can the table that has the engine software on it be used for some other software applications ? It sounds like it might be from what I read in Randy's post. Can someone explain more ? I am still learning why I would want a computer in the truck. I know to most of you guys that a computer is second nature but not for me. I do know one thing is that a computer can hold down a bunch of papers. The next question would be where to you mount this table or computer so it's not in the way. I like to see a clutter free dash so I don't have any distraction.

Al 

Al,

I have a 2013 Volvo 730 and my thought is to mount a small tablet (7"-10") in the main switch area where some folks mount the backup camera.  Yes, the tablet will be able to run other apps too, but depending on your tablet you may only be able to have one visible at a time like on a phone.  My intention is to be able to have custom gauges with custom alert levels for the critical items like air pressure, coolant temp, and exhaust gas temp.  I want an alarm when I hit 80 PSI of pressure, not 60. I like to watch the EGT when I stop to let things cool down a bit when I make a stop. I'd like to be able to load music on the tablet and stream from there rather than my phone.  Those are just a few of the things I am thinking to do with mine.

Shawn

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1 hour ago, Shawn Patterson said:

Al,

I have a 2013 Volvo 730 and my thought is to mount a small tablet (7"-10") in the main switch area where some folks mount the backup camera.  Yes, the tablet will be able to run other apps too, but depending on your tablet you may only be able to have one visible at a time like on a phone.  My intention is to be able to have custom gauges with custom alert levels for the critical items like air pressure, coolant temp, and exhaust gas temp.  I want an alarm when I hit 80 PSI of pressure, not 60. I like to watch the EGT when I stop to let things cool down a bit when I make a stop. I'd like to be able to load music on the tablet and stream from there rather than my phone.  Those are just a few of the things I am thinking to do with mine.

Shawn

Hi Shawn,

I like the idea about having your music on a tablet. You you going to the ECR in 2018 ? If so, it would be nice to get together and talk about what a small tablet can do. I have no idea about the the power of a tablet or even a smart phone. I can use all the help that is given out.

Al

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31 minutes ago, alan0043 said:

Hi Shawn,

I like the idea about having your music on a tablet. You you going to the ECR in 2018 ? If so, it would be nice to get together and talk about what a small tablet can do. I have no idea about the the power of a tablet or even a smart phone. I can use all the help that is given out.

Al

Yep, we're planning on being there as it stands now... I might even have something installed and running by then!

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On 12/8/2017 at 10:09 AM, Shawn Patterson said:

 Want air pressure to alert at 80PSI? You can do that. 

I haven't looked at how I would go about it, but I want one better than that.  I want to monitor the rise and fall (i.e. compressor cycling) and be able to generate an alert for short cycles and/or long run times.  Better to know you're using lots of air before you're falling behind what the compressor can handle...

Given the importance of air in letting the wheels turn, I always thought it was odd they wouldn't program something in to alert if the compressor had been running non-stop for more than a certain amount of time.

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Exhaust Gas Temp isn't really a PGN that is broadcast anymore.  You can't put a probe in behind the dosing injector because it messes your spray pattern all up and chunks up the DOC.  You can use IEC1 but that is a calculated value.  Really since the truck is already using it and adjusting itself with it there isn't much point in worrying about it.  Plus with a VG turbo you can't really drive any different to fix it if it is off and hotter is better anyways as it leaves less to regen later.  For cooldown you could use AIG2 but that is still after the DOC so the numbers are going to be elevated and/or delayed until that cools off as well.  An SCR truck does all kinds of crazy stuff to keep itself warm and ready so the gauge reading might not make a whole lot of sense and you'll never know when it is time.  With a water cooled turbo the shutdown temp isn't so critical anymore anyways.  Sure, give it some time and do what feels right but it isn't as big a problem as it used to be.  Then again, nobody wants a cracked DPF either so maybe it is worth it when looked at in a different light.  Also be very careful with a OBD 2013 truck.  It doesn't take much to cause a MIL light.

I don't remember the PGN but the transducer in the discharge line didn't happen until 2017.  The water pump needs to ramp up when the compressor loads.  You could pull from AIR1 but really that is just the two transducers that drive the dash that the driver already sees.  If they missed the leak at the hind end of the truck then this probably would too.  You Volvos with the clutched compressor probably have some signals for compressor loading but I have no idea what those would be.  You'd also have to spend forever tuning it as everyone has a different duty cycle and you wouldn't want to false warn - or even false positive.  Rookies also use a lot more application air than the old guys so some sort of air application mixed with a time value would need to be figured in.  Interesting idea!

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18 hours ago, Shawn Patterson said:

Yep, we're planning on being there as it stands now... I might even have something installed and running by then!

Hi Shawn,

I have a feeling there could be a few guys wanting to look over your tablet set-up. I know one guy for sure. I just need to have a tablet with me to get started. 

Al

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9 minutes ago, alan0043 said:

Hi Shawn,

I have a feeling there could be a few guys wanting to look over your tablet set-up. I know one guy for sure. I just need to have a tablet with me to get started. 

Al

Well, our travel schedule is a little haphazard right now.  We are on the waitlist for a spot at Deer Run for the ECR currently as we weren't sure if we were going to be able to make it and didn't want to lock up a spot if we weren't.

Regardless, I will keep this post updated as my build continues. Just waiting to hear how the Beta testing is going with Torque.

Shawn

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1 minute ago, Shawn Patterson said:

Well, our travel schedule is a little haphazard right now.  We are on the waitlist for a spot at Deer Run for the ECR currently as we weren't sure if we were going to be able to make it and didn't want to lock up a spot if we weren't.

Regardless, I will keep this post updated as my build continues. Just waiting to hear how the Beta testing is going with Torque.

Shawn

Shawn,

Please keep us posted. It well be nice to hear how your Beta testing will go. I hope Kim can find a spot for you.

Al

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  • 1 month later...

And here I was dreaming about getting a ScanGauge for my old truck. Then you show something like this..

Sad part is and I hate to tell it on myself. I tried the Scan Pro on my 1995 series 60 a couple of weeks ago. :o Thinking I have a cable that takes me from the old 6 pin to the OBD-II and a few of these mini OBD-II readers. So plugged it in dreaming of having all the gauges I get out of my hunting and fishing Ford F150 1999 model.

But no I get nothing not a thing.:( So thinking I will find a ScanGauge and be in high Cotton. But no here you come with this new item. that now makes me feel like I'm in 1966 and seeing color Tv for the first time.

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