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Author Topic: Computer for Silverleaf VmsPC?  (Read 5560 times)
belfert
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« on: November 24, 2009, 04:36:20 AM »

What type of computer are folks using for running Silverleaf VmsPC? 

I was thinking about buying this little bitty PC not much bigger than a pack of cigarettes, but then I was thinking do I really want to spend $400 on the PC plus a monitor?  Netbooks and laptops are cheap, but they tend to get in the way more and there is some question if they will be made illegal as a driver distraction.

Jim, can you post a picture of your monitor install for VmsPC again?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
rv_safetyman
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 05:52:35 AM »

Brian, I have used several configurations.  Presently, I place the computer behind me and have a 15 inch monitor mounted on the overhead in front of me.  That does two things;  minimizes the sun "wash out" and minimizes the chance of having an issue with law enforcement (many states do not allow computers in the driver area).

The size of the monitor/computer is a function of what you want to display.  I use mine for the GPS as well as the engine data.  I do not use my normal gauges, so I want my display to be easy to read.  

I have changed the arrangement of the gauges so that the most important information is the bottom of the screen.  That way a quick glance up from the road gives me the information I need the most.  I had the gauges arranged differently when I had the computer on the dash.  Also note that I can get a quick reading of all of my PressurePro tire gauges at one glance (in both icon and actual pressure).

I have been looking on the E-place and there are a ton of cheap laptops.  The SilverLeaf program can run on just about any PC platform/operating system.  You could use a very old laptop with no issue.

Jim
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 05:54:08 AM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
Bestekustoms
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 06:27:37 AM »

Jim, that Is VERY COOL !!! Even Tells You The Tire Pressure.  WOW !!!!

Someday I Will Be COOL Like That...  Cool  Cool Like That...COOL Like That !!! Cool Cool Cool

JOHN
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Jeremy
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 06:29:40 AM »

An interesting project would be to integrate a Silverleaf system into a front end such as Streetdeck / Freeway / Roadrunner / Centrafuse etc. Touchscreen monitors are quite cheap nowadays too (just bought one for my car). With a bit of effort you could really go to town and have a 'full-coach' system that handles everything from engine diagnostics to your DVD library, complete with a dedicated skin to match your Eagle or MCI etc, or whatever you wanted.

For people who haven't come across these systems this is a good source of info:

http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/front-ends/


Jeremy

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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2009, 06:44:03 AM »

Jim, do you have a picture of how you mounted your 15" monitor again?  I searched on vmspc and silverleaf, but the forum only finds this thread.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Don Fairchild
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 08:53:35 AM »

Jim;

You say you can use an older laptop, what is the speed and hard drive requirements for the silverleaf and tire monitor

Thanks

Don
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2009, 10:56:18 AM »

Brian, I don't have a photo of the mounting.  Every monitor has a mounting surface on the back with four threaded holes.  I have had folks tell me that they used a wall TV mount.  My mount is quite custom because of my strange structure in the front.  If I had a more normal cabinet system, I would use a RAM mount (http://www.ram-mount.com/EmptyPages/COMPONENTS/BCOMPONENTS/tabid/1556/Default.aspx).  I use those in some installations and they are very sturdy and have a great deal of flexibility.  You would probably have to make a small adapter plate for the monitor bolt pattern.

Jeremy, SilverLeaf does make a full house system that can monitor and control most house systems.  Mostly an OEM product but could be used in a bus conversion.  All based on a multiplexed system per:  http://rv-c.com/.  That is a standard developed for the RV industry.  SilverLeaf is a major contributor to that standard project.

Don, the software is very simple and does not demand much in terms of computer resources/operating systems.  I know of some folks who have it running on an old Windows 95 system, so that should tell you about resources.  The software is a very small program.  It does generate some history files, but they are text files and very small in size.

Brian called with an interesting question.   He wondered if you loose your data if you drive without the computer hooked up.  The general answer is no.  Things like miles, gallons, etc are all based on the ECM data.  So, when you next plug in the computer it will query the ECM and add the new values to the base of the SilverLeaf gauge data and everything will be updated.  The one thing you will not record is any fault code that might come up when you don't have the computer attached.  It does not read the codes on the ECM.  It only records them as they occur.

John, yes it is neat technology, but only works with electronic engines.

BTW, I offer a discount to bus folks and you might want to write a letter to Santa Wink
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 11:00:03 AM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
luvrbus
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2009, 11:30:22 AM »

Jim, I have question for you will the SliverLeaf work on the older DDEC's up to IV without resetting the clock when you lose power to the ECM 


good luck
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belfert
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 11:53:27 AM »

Brian, I don't have a photo of the mounting.  Every monitor has a mounting surface on the back with four threaded holes.  I have had folks tell me that they used a wall TV mount.  My mount is quite custom because of my strange structure in the front.  If I had a more normal cabinet system, I would use a RAM mount (http://www.ram-mount.com/EmptyPages/COMPONENTS/BCOMPONENTS/tabid/1556/Default.aspx).  I use those in some installations and they are very sturdy and have a great deal of flexibility.  You would probably have to make a small adapter plate for the monitor bolt pattern.


I'm looking for the picture of the 15" monitor actually mounted in your bus.  I know you have posted it before, but my searching doesn't find it.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2009, 03:37:08 PM »

Brian, I did not have a photo of the monitor mounted in the bus.  I just went out and took a photo.  I did have a photo of the mounting brackets I made.  In the photos you will see two monitors.  One is for the VMSpc (center) and the other one is for a backup monitor.  I am in the process of changing the BU camera display system.  As I said, my overhead structure is quite different from most and my photos will probably not help folks much.  Like most areas of the bus, I fabricate stuff and then change it more likely than not.  When I am not sure about the first cut, it tends to be a bit clunky and that is what this installation is.  Works great, but could look a lot better.

Clifford, I have a few customers with DDEC II and the system seems to work OK from what I can tell.  DDEC I is a challenge.  Larry Jones was working on his, but I am not sure if he got it running.  DDEC I was quite different from the other generations and has limited sensors.  DDEC III has no problems.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
luvrbus
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 03:56:05 PM »

Jim,I was wondering if the clock came into play on the Sliverleaf as for retrieving data because the III doesn't have a battery back up. 


good luck

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belfert
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2009, 04:30:32 PM »

Brian, I did not have a photo of the monitor mounted in the bus.  I just went out and took a photo.  I did have a photo of the mounting

Okay, I was sure I saw a photo of your monitor setup before, but maybe it was somebody else or I am remembering your bus from last year when I saw it in person.

Does having the monitor so high up cause an issue with seeing the gauges without taking eyes off the road?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
edroelle
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2009, 05:37:29 PM »

I recently bought a Silverleaf VmsPC from Jim.  I am impressed and have been playing with it a lot.  I wish I would have bought it sooner to diagnosis some problems or confirm no problems.

BTW, it does work with 64 bit Windows7

Ed Roelle
Flint, MI
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2009, 07:26:02 AM »

Quote from: rv_safetyman
BTW, I offer a discount to bus folks and you might want to write a letter to Santa Wink

Dear Jim Santa,
I have 6 buses running DDEC systems and 1 that doesn't. I desperately need 6 Silver Leaf systems, and 7 tire monitoring systems.
Grin  BK  Grin

PS I know you have an elf who is a fellow busnut and has these items, can you get him to package them up for your late night run on 12/24/09? Grin
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
rv_safetyman
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2009, 07:34:21 AM »

BK, recall that I have you on the ignore list because of your snide comments about Sonnie dragging me to Quartzsite Grin Grin

Also recall that Santa only brings presents to the kids on the nice list Wink

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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