SilverLeaf Electronics, Inc.
2490 SW Ferry St.
For general business e-mail lori (at) simply-smarter.com.
Installation was easy, although there is one trick that everyone with Win8 needs to know. By default, Win8 won't let you install any third-party drivers unless the provider buys a very expensive license. To complete the installation you have to reboot the Surface Pro in a special mode and disable the driver signing requirement. Not a big deal, but Microsoft is pretty bad about telling you how to do this. I just googled "Surface Pro unsigned driver installation" and got the instructions off the internet.
I found a lot to like with the Surface Pro. The screen was sharp and bright - especially if you keep it plugged in so it doesn't try to save power. The form factor is different than the other pads - it's taller or longer, depending on how you look at it. I made some custom screens, but I found that it was easier to do this using the touchpad than by trying to use the touchscreen, even with the stylus. There is also a little glitch in Win8 where if you turn the unit so the screen switches portrait/landscape mode, and then back again, it doesn't restore the window to the full screen size. But I expect that Microsoft will fix that glitch.
Overall, I really like the Surface Pro. I own an iPad and two different Android pads, and the Surface is easily superior to them all. The only advantage the iPad has is battery life, but the Surface is faster and runs all the software I need to run. I also prefer the Surface form factor. What really surprises me - I generally dislike Microsoft products and I heard a lot of Win8-bashing before I bought this machine - is that I find it easier to use than the iPad.
I still make a lot of use of my Netbook - mainly because it has the best keyboard. I also use an Android pad a bit, since it has by far the best battery life. I occasionally bring along my full-sized laptop, but only if I know I am going to need it for some serious work. But the Surface Pro is now my main road machine, and I have hardly touched the iPad in a month.
Now that we have wireless VMSpc adapters, I'm looking forward to testing the Surface Pro with the Bluetooth and Wifi interfaces. Unfortunately, my personal coach is too old for J1939, and we won't have wireless adapters for it until later this year. Our programmers are also hard at work on iPad and Android versions of VMSpc, and before the year is over we plan on having VMSpc running on pretty much any kind of tablet and any (electronic) diesel pusher. Keep watching here as we release the new versions, or give us a call and we'll put you on a list to be notified when your particular combination is complete.
Total Control from Your Phone or Tablet!
Put your control panel in your pocket! If you have any SilverLeaf RV-C coach system, you can now add our TM-540 Bluetooth Module and connect your Android phone or tablet. You now have a wireless connection to your coach that you can use on the sofa, from the driver seat, or even take outside. You can both monitor and control - so you can start your generator or turn off your water pump from anywhere within range.
We use a high-power Bluetooth transmitter to reach distances of over a hundred feet. Installation is easy - you just connect four wires, download the software to the phone or tablet, and then pair the device.
The TM-540 Bluetooth Module is $295.00. It works with any Android phone or tablet with Bluetooth and Android Version 2.1 or higher, including the Samsung Galaxy,
These are real screen shots from a Motorola Atrix phone. You can download and preview the application by clicking on the APK file link here. (Make sure your phone or tablet is set to allow programs from outside sources.)
Replace Your Aladdin System!
Is your Aladdin System ailing and you can't find replacement parts anymore?
SilverLeaf Electronics has developed a full replacement for the Aladdin monitoring systems that were factory installed in Monaco-built motorcoaches manufactured from 2003 on up.
Whether you have the Aladdin, or the Aladdin Jr (which just displays the engine data), we have the right products to replace your system today with the proven reliability, quality, and ease of use that SilverLeaf owners enjoy year after year.
INTRODUCING THE VMS 330
Have you always wanted a SilverLeaf Electronics VMS system for your coach only to find that you don't have enough room in your dash for one?
The VMS 330 takes advantage of the back up monitor already installed on most motorcoaches on the road today by overlaying your vehicle's digital instrumentation and diagnostics on your back up monitor. The display is selectable by showing just camera, just data, or both at the same time.
Along with all the digitally accurate information from your engine and transmission, it comes with built-in support for Pressure Pro™ tire monitoring. **Additional Equipment Required**
The VMS 330 hides away unseen inside the dash inline with the back up camera and is operated with a small control pad that mounts within easy reach. Installation is a snap!
The VMS 640CL Glass Dash has been manufactured and installed since 2003 by many leading coach manufacturers as well as custom aftermarket. There is no match for the Glass Dash's proven reliablity and ease of operation. Click Here to take a look at our Gallery Of Fine Dash Installations.
The wait is over! If you have been waiting for a VMSpc with a USB port, or a VMSpc that supports even the newest Allison transmissions, your time has come. The JR501 JIB is now shipping.
The new VMSpc eliminates the old-fashioned serial port and replaces it with a USB connection. It's tested with XP and Vista, and will also work with the upcoming Windows 7. There is no longer any need for a USB adapter, and you don't need to worry about which you start up first, the engine or the program.
It also supports the latest J1939 transmissions and engines, including the current Allison World Transmission. Their are new parameters available with some of the new engines, and additional diagnostic capabilities. The new VMSpc handles all the new stuff.
And it still supports the old stuff, too. We didn't sacrifice any functionality from the old JIB, so the new JIB works with the old engines just fine.
Improved Product - Same Price
Even though we've improved the product, we're not changing the price. VMSpc remains just $395.00, and the PC software is still a free download.
Trade-In Program Available
If you already own VMSpc and are looking to upgrade, we have a trade-in program for you. Send in your existing VMSpc JIB and we'll ship you a new kit for just $229.00.
We're taking the old JIBs that come in, testing and updating them, and selling them again. If you don't need the USB port and have a pre-2007 rig, you can get the VMSpc "classic" for just $229.00. These units carry a full one-year warranty and are factory-tested. Supplies are limited by how many people take us up on the trade-in offer.
What's new in VMSpc 2.4?
- Easier gauge creation.
VMSpc 2.4 is ready for GA. This is the biggest upgrade we've had in years. We've made gauge creation and parameter definition easier than ever, and added the "Message Box" feature. The Message Box is something like a text equivalent to the Audible Alarms. You define alarms based on any parameter, and create a Message Box to display those alarms. You can define items like "Check Engine", "Hot Coolant", or "Cruise Set", and they will display as color-coded text items when appropriate.
PID Sniffing and Parameter Editing is now much easier. You can run the PID Sniffer and immediately define gauge parameters for almost any new PID you discover your engine supports. The Parameter Editor is not built in - you don't need to run a separate program to set your yellow and red lines, or change units on your gauges.
Perhaps the most exciting new feature is the PressurePro support. We now have a receiver package that ties your PressurePro sensors directly to VMSpc. You can use VMSpc in conjunction with or as a replacement for the standard PressurePro monitor. Setup is easy and flexible.
What's new in VMSpc 2.4b2?
Loose your COM Port??
You can download VMSpc 2.4b2 (GA) from the VMSpc Downloads Page.
The most popular tire monitoring sensor system in the RV industry is now compatible with SilverLeaf VMS monitors, including VMSpc. PressurePro sensors install directly on the valve stem, making it easy to install. The receiver can be mounted anywhere in the RV, and requires hooking up just four wires.
If you already have PressurePro sensors, all you need is the Receiver ($295.00), power cable ($20.00), and antenna. Two antenna choices are available. Smaller coaches with centrally located receivers can use the 7" antenna ($15.00). Larger coaches usually require the 35' cabled antenna ($50.00), which allows more flexibility in the location. The system can work side-by-side with the PressurePro display, if desired.
If you do not already have PressurePro sensors, they are available from SilverLeaf Electronics for $50.00 apiece. Some coaches may require a Signal Repeater ($93.00, incl. cable), especially for long trailers and tows.
More information on the PressurePro sensors is available at www.advantagepressurepro.com.
You may also need to update your VMS software to use PressurePro. Call us for details. For VMSpc users, version 2.4 is required, and is available for free download on this web site.
This company was founded by RVers, and we design all our products with RVs in the forefront of our thinking. Sometimes we forget that other folks might be interested in getting a little better fuel economy.
This was pointed out to me rather forcefully this morning when we got a call from a trucker who ordered a VMS. He will be far from the first professional driver to use our products. Kenworth and Peterbilt have been using our products for years as both a driver tool and a data analyzer in their in-house test fleets. Allison has a batch of VMS units as well. But most gratifying to me are the professional truckers that have discovered our products.
One fellow stands out in particular. He is a route driver, running basically the same 300 mile loop every day in North Carolina. That makes him the perfect test to see if all this stuff we say is true - whether you really can save fuel and get better performance with a VMS. You might think that an experienced professional wouldn't need an electronic device - it should already be instinctive.
He says it took him less than a week to discover otherwise. By watching carefully and experimenting - and even taking notes so he could compare his results on the same hills each day - he was able to adjust his driving with amazing results. He went from getting 5.0 mpg to 5.5 mpg - a 10% increase. At current prices that's almost a twenty dollar bill extra he gets to put in his pocket every day.
So if you are a trucker - Welcome to SilverLeaf! We're glad you found us.
For years we've been working with Kenworth and Peterbilt, instrumenting trucks that they use for testing fuel economy and evaluating engines. We started six years ago by customizing some VMS 320s to record and analyze data for their "real-world" simulations. They still use those units, and we've also added VMS 240s to their fleet. They have also moved on to more kinds of tests, including highly precise test track work along with over-the-road tests of thousands of miles. All of which rely on our VMS technology.
They have published some of their conclusions from years of testing in a white paper available on their web site. There is a lot of good information in here - including a few things you will likely find surprising.
One thing you won't find surprising is their #1 fuel saving tip. They recommend getting a in-dash monitor just like the ones they use in their testing. Unfortunately, they don't mention SilverLeaf by name - that's because we don't sell to the truck fleets, only to RVers. But their description of what such a display should include is a ringing endorsement of our products.