VMSpc flickers on many gauges while driving

I’ve been using VMSpc version 2.5 build 10 for a number of years with no problems. Last month a number of the gauges started to “flicker” while driving. I’m using a Nextbook tablet running Windows 10 with the latest updates. When we park for any long length of time other than over night or a few days, I disconnect the cable from the maintenance port on our 2006 Fleetwood Discovery (Cat C7 - 330 hp) so the VMSpc box won’t be powered while we’re parked.
Does anyone have this problem? Is there a fix for it?
Please advise.
Thanks,

re: Flickering

Maybe.

Hello John,
There may be an easy solution for this--but one doesn't come to mind. That is, it doesn't follow any typical failure mode of the engine (type equipment) or the VMS unit.

The problem may be more on the PC side...but, I'm guessing. The v2.5b10 software is a pretty stable build. While it doesn't have the bells and whistles of the newer builds, it is a solid performer with no known issues. Well, except a reminder of what the 90's looked like ;-)

That said, I'd troubleshoot it using this general path:

JIB-check first:
1. Determine if the 'jib' is having a problem; specifically, within Communications, opening the 'Advanced USB Jib Properties.'
...1a Look at "J1708 Performance" and make a quick calculation in your head--looking at Good Packets v Errors.

If the ratio has it that more than 10% are errors, then a problem is the Jib. There's a chip which can partially fail, causing the Errors to be, maybe, even 50% of all packets. This WILL cause jumps, pauses and spurious interruptions.

If thats the case, call us; we'll set up an RMA for you returning to us for service. The repair is an uncomplicated (and relatively cheap) one.

If that looks, otherwise, okay...
Software, reinstall:

1. rename/ make sure your gauge layout has a name other-than 'default.scr'

2. Reinstall the v2.5 software. Alternatively, you could use the new 4.0.7 release. Its a lot more fun and will probably work fine on your engine combination.

If you choose to try out the new new thing in software, just one bit of housekeeping: Desktop icon.

Rename--first thing--the Silverleaf icon to something other than 'VMSPC'; such as 'VMSpc 2.5' It will be overwritten by the new install package. Your histories and trips will be retained; nothing otherwise lost if reinstalling, no worries.

The one 'gotcha' with the new software is, however, gauge layouts. The new system uses a different method of creation, end result being one can't be used on the other...and visa versa.--You'll be starting over when reproducing the winning combination that you have been using.

Lets starts there.

cheers

Art
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VMSpc flickers on many gauges while driving

Art,
Thanks for the reply. Sorry for the not getting back to you sooner but my internet service is not the best where we are. I'll check the J1708 performance this weekend and get back to you.

The v2.5b10 software has been rock solid for me over the past number of years that I've been using it. Based on that I would think it's not a software issue since it just started happening out of the blue. Of course having said that, it did start after the last Windows 10 update that I did but I still don't think that would cause this problem.

Thanks,
John

VMSpc flickers on many gauges while driving

Art,

I ran the motor for a bit today and came up with the following data.

J1708 Performance:

Good Packets 10712
Errors 744
Bit Gap 16

Bytes Read 49026
Bytes Discarded 9509

J1939 Performance:

Packets Rcvd 4104
Packets Missed 1971
Can Cycle Size 255

USB Overflows 0

JIB Version VMSpc JIB Version 1.07

USB Tx Status = OK
USB Tx Delay = 100

While running at 1100 rpm's there was some flickering but not as much as when I'm driving. There was little to no flickering while at idle (550/600 rpm's).

While driving (1600/0700 rpm's) there is much more flickering. The gauges that would flicker the most are Volts, Oil, Temp, Trans and any gauge that tracks or reports on fuel usage such as mpg, fuel rate, gallons left or gallons used. Some of the other gauges would flicker but not as bad as these.

At 1100 rpms the red light on the JIB would slow flash 2 reds and then quick flash 2 or 3 reds followed by the slow flash sequence. Sometimes it would slow flash (3 reds) like I thought it should but then it would sometimes fast flash which I thought was not correct. it was not real consistent.

It looks like the error rates are about 7% for Good Packets, 19.5% for Bytes Read and 48% for Bytes Rcvd depending on which number set you use.

What's your thoughts based on this info run?

Thanks again,
John

re: packet feedback

Hello John

I'm inclined to think the jib is failing and should come in for service. There are some tests we can run here to confirm this--but my feelings are the J1708 portion of the electronics is bad. The v2.5 software will prefer this stream over the J1939--though the J1939 may in fact be a better source.

[The error rate of less-than 1% you noted is well within norms but...that is a simplistic and somewhat crude as a measuring tool. Thanks(!) for noting it, still.]

At this point, the cheapest route will also be most likely to help the most: update the VMSpc software from v2.5.

The v4.0.7 software will allow you to manually select this j1939 source and will in all likelihood bypass the problem. Alternatively, you could send in the jib for a dusting & cleaning where we'd, as a minimum, update the internal firmware for the box. We're at v1.14 just now with notable improvements to both data streams.

So, try the new SW or drop a dime; an RMA can be created very easily for the service & repair. Contact numbers are to the left of this posting.

cheers

Art
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VMSpc flickers on many gauges while driving

Art,
Thanks for the reply. I've downloaded and installed the new software and did a quick check by just turning on the key. A few of the gauges that display without the engine running came up so the jib and the new software are talking. I'll set up my new screens and let you know how it worked on the trip home in April.

Once I get home I'll get an RMA and send the jib in for cleaning/check up and to flash the the new firmware.

Thanks again for the help,
Regards,
John.

re: travel and ship plans

Thank you John. I'll stay tuned.
;-)

Art
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VMSpc flickers on many gauges while driving

Art,
I got the JIB back with the new crystal and firmware. I installed back it back in my MH and ran it for awhile in my driveway. Good news is it worked as far as reading the data as it did before. Bad news is the updates had no impact on the flickering gauges. I tried it with the newer version software, 4.0.7 and as before the JIB update there was no flickering but very few of the gauges showed any data. Some of the gauges did show data but for the most part the data was wrong.

I've taken screen shots of both versions and what they display as well as a short video of the flickering gauges. I not sure how to get them to you.

Now, this is the interesting part. If you remember on my second comment on this issue I mentioned it started after my last update to Windows 10. Of course I don't recall what the update info was for that update but we can come close to the time it was send out. The interesting part is I took my old laptop out to the MH and tried it. It's the laptop that I used when I first got my VMSpc which I replaced with the tablet. The laptop is running the latest and last version of XP. No problem! No flickering gauges. I've got a trip coming for a few days in the first week of Sept. and I'll use the old laptop. After running it for awhile in the driveway I think it will work fine during the trip. I'm now starting to wonder if there was something in that Win 10 update that the v2.5b10 doesn't like. Your thoughts?

Regards,
John