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Old 05-08-2018, 05:56 AM   #1
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Cool New Digital Dash

I was fortunate enough to get a test drive of a new Cornerstone, last week.

The new digital dash is beautiful, but throughout my drive, I couldn't help thinking what would happen if that dash went out. There are absolutely no analog gages of any type, in the coach. Granted, you would not be stuck on the side of the highway, but "who" is gonna be talented enough to service that dash out on the road ??

Am I the only one with this concern ?? I'm not looking to purchase a Cornerstone, but maybe an Anthem with the same digital dash.

Just thinking . . . . .
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:26 AM   #2
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My dash actually rebooted while driving home from taking delivery. It hasn’t happen since but I think you have a legitimate concern.
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:39 AM   #3
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Silverleaf Dash (PC based)

Check this out: VMSpc | SilverLeaf Electronics, Inc.

This would be a redundant system in the the event of a dash failure OR a new toy for those who have an analog dash.
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:43 AM   #4
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I have two digital dash cars and have never had a problem with either of them except for the gas gauge, it keeps falling to the left.

I asked a lot of questions at Perry about the digital dash. Ted Cook said Spartan had been using it for a couple of years in firetrucks and a full year in the Essex. He informed me that it has been well tested. I have an analog dash is my Anthem with an information center. The information center has been replaced once and the Spartan program updated to get rid of the bogus check engine lights. For a fact, there were problems with the analog dashes in the Classics.
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Q View Post
I was fortunate enough to get a test drive of a new Cornerstone, last week.

The new digital dash is beautiful, but throughout my drive, I couldn't help thinking what would happen if that dash went out. There are absolutely no analog gages of any type, in the coach. Granted, you would not be stuck on the side of the highway, but "who" is gonna be talented enough to service that dash out on the road ??

Am I the only one with this concern ?? I'm not looking to purchase a Cornerstone, but maybe an Anthem with the same digital dash.
I hesitate to post anything because I'm still waiting for data and need to communicate directly with people with Entegra, Spartan, and Tri-mark. Right now, all my information is second-hand as the dealership tries to navigate our power issues.

In summary, I'm at the dealer right now having a voltage issue diagnosed.
An equally important system to the screen in the new 2019's is the push-button-start. In our 2019, this system is tied into a set of modules that are being zapped with voltage drops and thus rapidly cycling power.

The update just now, so far, is that Spartan does not have a solution. I was just told that a 'possible' solution might be available anywhere between two weeks and six months. (This wasn't an actual quote - but, rather, an expression conveyed to suggest they have absolutely no idea). I'm not really willing to travel in a coach which may knowingly have my entire ignition system burn itself up at any random time.

Just as you express concern about losing the screen, it seems even if the screen is working, if you can't get the coach to start, you're probably in the same situation.

...we are only two weeks into our coach and for us this just got complicated.
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:11 AM   #6
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Amazing times we are living in. I am trying to imagine what I would have thought when I was a teenager in the 1970s if someone told me someday I'd have to worry about my digital dash rebooting..... What's digital....What's reboot?
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:26 AM   #7
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I guess we have to accept progress but unfortunately the RVs aren’t manufacturerd to the same strict standards as automobiles.

The electronics are nice and beautiful but these folks just got the radiators to stop leaking last year. The electronics seem to be a problem for RVs and I’m worried when more electronics are added where they really don’t have to be. I hope I’m wrong because friends are ordering new units but I’m still hesitant.
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Old 05-08-2018, 02:17 PM   #8
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I am trying to imagine what I would have thought when I was a teenager in the 1970s if someone told me someday I'd have to worry about my digital dash rebooting..... What's digital....What's reboot?
I retired off the Boeing 777 and recall an occasion when our maintenance techs decided that the only remedy for the problem we were facing was to completely power down the plane and then, re-install the operating system. Took about 45 minutes and it did fix the problem. I remember sitting there as I was watching that process, "I wonder what Wilber & Orville would think of this?"

The first airplane I flew had a mechanical linkage from the throttle quadrant to a butterfly valve on a carburetor. The 777 had a FADEC. That's a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control. A potentiometer monitoring position of the thrust lever sent an electrical signal to the FADEC which used its Full Authority to meter fuel to the engine as it saw fit for the circumstances. I certainly had an opportunity to provide my input, I just didn't have full authority.

Progress!

To General Electric's credit (they manufactured the engines and engine control systems) it worked very, very well. At least for me. And, of course with those computers, nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong...

Take care,
Stu
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I retired off the Boeing 777 and recall an occasion when our maintenance techs decided that the only remedy for the problem we were facing was to completely power down the plane and then, re-install the operating system. Took about 45 minutes and it did fix the problem. I remember sitting there as I was watching that process, "I wonder what Wilber & Orville would think of this?"

The first airplane I flew had a mechanical linkage from the throttle quadrant to a butterfly valve on a carburetor. The 777 had a FADEC. That's a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control. A potentiometer monitoring position of the thrust lever sent an electrical signal to the FADEC which used its Full Authority to meter fuel to the engine as it saw fit for the circumstances. I certainly had an opportunity to provide my input, I just didn't have full authority.

Progress!

To General Electric's credit (they manufactured the engines and engine control systems) it worked very, very well. At least for me. And, of course with those computers, nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong...

Take care,
Stu
Stu, I'm sure you know the FADEC system was used several years before the 777 came out and had proven to be a reliable system, unlike the current digital dash.
Plus I dare say the criteria for the FADEC was considerable more stringent than the Spartan glass cockpit.
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:18 PM   #10
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Plus I dare say the criteria for the FADEC was considerable more stringent than the Spartan glass cockpit.
Significantly more fault tolerant and EXPENSIVE to develop.

To my knowledge, there hasn't, yet, been an aircraft mishap directly attributed to a FADEC failure. British Airways suffered their very first hull loss (no fatalities) in a mishap while on approach to Heathrow that was initially suspected to be FADEC related. It didn't take long for the investigators to eliminate the FADEC(s) as a causal factor.

My wife has a digital instrument panel on her car. I really, really like the display. It did have an annoying habit of rebooting occasionally early in its life. Subsequent software updates seem to have solved that issue. Annoying and disappointing, but, didn't seem like a really big deal.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:26 PM   #11
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Stu, the depower routine is my Go-To on the 737NG when I see multiple “Goofy” malfunctions.

The 787 must have (2) big GPU units, and must not have any power interruptions or bad things happen. The Techs completely depower the 787 once a day to clear the volatile memory of the numerous onboard computers.

The tech on the new coaches is really interesting, but with any first generation you’re likely to have some teething pains.

Spartan will sort things out and get you working with confidence.

-Matt
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Old 05-08-2018, 07:59 PM   #12
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The 787 must have (2) big GPU units, and must not have any power interruptions or bad things happen. The Techs completely depower the 787 once a day to clear the volatile memory of the numerous onboard computers.


Spartan will sort things out and get you working with confidence.

-Matt
Hi Matt,
So, are you sayin' that Spartan is gonna give us another generator to assure no power interruptions? Woohoo!!!

Just kidding!!!

There's a fine line between beta testers and early adopters of any new technology. Sometimes that fine line is a little blurry.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:16 PM   #13
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FADEC already......

I know you guys know that the throttle pedal has no mechanical connection to the engine, right?? Class 8 diesels have been running around with earthbound FADEC engine controls for over 20 years. There is only a wire from the throttle pedal to the engine controller. Automobiles have been using the drive-by-wire systems since around 1997 when the Corvette introduced it to the automobile. Trucks were way ahead of that by years.

The new digital dashes are a bit scary to me but not because of new technology just because nothing in the RV world is ever tested or manufactured with the same level of quality control seen in cars and trucks. Which may be the saving grace since Spartan builds a lot of trucks and have been using the technology for a few years already. But...at low volume bugs still take a long time to work out. But...it is not as if the "analog" dashes are solidly connected to anything. They are nothing but digital dashes with analog outputs which can be just as problematic as the fancy displays on the new coaches. it is only the display, not the technology driving the display.

Personally, I like the analog displays and wished that the time and money had been spent making the existing dash more readable at night and in difficult lighting conditions. At night anything has to be better than the existing dash with my failing eyes...must be my eyes, right? :-)

Automobiles went thru the digital dash revolution and then turned around and went back to the crystalline looking analog outputs so much of the "technology" is driven by customer preference... Which was not all that favorable for digital displays in cars.
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:52 AM   #14
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Before we get into the sky is falling with digital dashes...those of you that frequent the Newmar forum...They have been using Silver Leaf digital dash for several years, are there any reports of dash failures?

I cannot remember the name of the dash manufacture nor could I find it online. I would like to research the product and see if it has been used in over the road trucks and for how long and are there any justified complaints? Truckers are a verbal bunch online.

How many 19's on the road now are having any problems? I was at Entegra when the first Vega Touch coaches were delivered. You would not believe how many "just delivered" coach came rolling into Entegra with non working Vega Touches. We saw post after post with Vega Touch problems.....there was a product that was not ready for Prime Time.

As for the dash going out, like a few others, I'm covered with a Silver Leaf backup. There was no backup for the Vega Touch and dealers didn't know how to fix them.
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