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Old 09-20-2021, 04:16 PM   #1
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Def Sensor Simulator (DSS) build and test

Here is the results of my Def Sensor Simulator (DSS) test. I purchased all of the parts as suggested in the write up by the designers of the unit. They have since done even more work researching other vendors for some of the parts as the originals sold out quickly. Total cost was about $150 for the parts. I wound up buying a 3 meter long connection cable as the 1 meter cable was already sold out by the time I ordered. That increased the cost of the cable from $15 to $30. I briefly researched other vendors, but I wanted to stay with quality parts to avoid causing any issues down the road. Actually that will work out in my favor as the 3 meter cable will give my more options for mounting it if the need ever arises.

The biggest hurdle for me was figuring out where to access the downloaded zip file that contains the ECM info. Computer inter-workings are not my strong suit, but after going back and rereading the instructions a few times, I realized it was easier than I was making it out to be.

The software downloaded onto the computer board within seconds, just as the instruction said it would. I actually had more work in hooking up the 4 wires to the screw terminals than anything. Two of the wires, the red and black (power and ground) are fairly heavy and are a snug fit into the wire ports. There is a good tip on the instruction sheet to “trim a few strands off” of the heavier wires to make insertion easier. I recommend following that tip. It is critical that no strands of wire get loose and touch another, as this could create a shot circuit. I re-cut the heavier wires 3 times before I was satisfied that the connections were clean, snug, solid.

When I tested the DSS I knew I would be able to tell if the DSS was sending info to the ECM by the gauge on the dash of the Bus. It just so happened that I had stopped at a station and filled the fuel and topped up the Def on the way to our current RV park, so the gauge was showing about full. (My new sensor never shows completely full on the gauge, just below the full line). The DSS sensor is designed to tell the ECM that the Def level is at about ¾ full. For me that would be just under the ¾ line on the gauge.

My Bus has a little door that allows filling the Def tank, but not much else. Fortunately when I did the sensor swap I made sure the connections for the tank were in front and accessible. Unhooking the factory connector still took a bit of effort as the connection is designed to be water tight. After getting it apart the DSS plugged in easily.

All that was left was the test. I turned on my VMSpc system and opened the Diagnostic Tab. This displays any fault codes that the ECM throws. I turned the ignition to the ON position and all dash lights did their start up diagnostic as they always do. When they went out, I started the rig as normal. The fired up and all of the gauges began to receive the messages from the ECM. The Def gauge smoothly swept up to just below the ¾ mark on the gauge and stayed there. I ran the rig for a moment, then turned on the high idle for 3-4 minutes. Everything on the dash performed as expected.

No new codes on the VMSpc appeared, and I also checked the Powerglide on board diagnostic. It too had a blank display indicating no active fault codes. Satisfied, shut down and removed the DSS from the Def connection. I plugged the on board connection back into the Def sensor and did a restart of the motor. All performed as expected, and the on board Def gauge swept up to just below the “full” line on the gauge. The ECM was once again getting the signals from the Def tank sensor.

The decision to buy and build a DSS is your personal decision, and the truth is that I hope I never need it. But with Cummins stated position that they will only “calibrate” our ECM's to over ride the derate if we are already in sensor trouble/failure makes this an easy decision for me. Peace of mind that of all the things that can go wrong with these massively complicated rigs, at least I have some control over one known failure prone part.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:31 PM   #2
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Awesome! Nice job.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:45 PM   #3
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Great write up and thanks for letting us know how the job went.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:55 PM   #4
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Yes great job, I had my Sensor fail and luckily changed back in April though with a Gen 6 I'm hoping to ride this out until they finally fix this issue once and for all of them RVs, Trucks, etc.. I do have a buddy who was looking to build one to have in case his MH fails so I'll send him the link to the post. Thanks for the very thorough update.
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:29 PM   #5
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Your welcome guys. And a huge thanks to the guys that did the brain work and research on this project, all with zero compensation. All out of the goodness of their heart, and a desire to help people.
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:24 AM   #6
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Nice Work Sarge.

Project turned out awesome. You may have missed your calling in life. Mayby you should have been a I/T tech. Stay safe.
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Old 09-21-2021, 11:38 AM   #7
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Wow! I am very impressed. Thanks for putting the effort into testing and letting us all know with a very detailed post. Honestly, you are right, all of the credit goes to the original designers for sure, but you have played a very important role in this. I will now refer to your post (likely multiple times) during my test. I was leery about doing a test, and hoping someone else would do the test after building it and post something. If that didn't happen, my plan was to build it and just cross my fingers if I ever needed it.



All of the "alternative" parts have arrived. I have a mac book, so I have to borrow a Windows 10 PC.


I suppose I can find this out on another thread, but I am very interested in your VMSpc system. What is this and how do I get one (I may have the answer after posting this because Google is my next stop)?


Thanks a ton.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:06 PM   #8
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Reminder

The instructions and software for this device have been provided by others as a service. Offering to sell or buy already made units is not allowed in the forum. A post had to be removed for this reason.

Thank you SargeW for the great report.
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Old 09-21-2021, 10:45 PM   #9
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My VMSpc program is from a company in Oregon, Silverleaf Electronics. https://www.silverleafelectronics.com/

The program can be downloaded for free, and if you want to pull the trigger they you would purchase a electronic brain box (the JIB) and a cable that plugs into the diagnostic port under your dash.

The program displays on a tablet or computer laptop. I purchased a cheap tablet on Amazon and have it mounted on the dash. Do a search here on the forum for VMSpc there will be many hits.
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Old 09-23-2021, 05:06 PM   #10
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Here is a follow up to securing the computer board in the box and a few other tips. The plastic water proof box works well for the computer board but does need to be secured to use it, as it will take some bouncing around in the back of the RV, even if it is secured to a solid surface.

The box as a few "stand offs" for various types of boards, but the one we are using doesn't have screw holes that match up. The solution was to cut a piece of wood shim (like you would use to hang a door) that fit between the two stand offs in the box. A piece of 3M double sided tape was applied to the bottom of one side of the shim. Stick the 3M tape to the shim and stick the shim to the bottom of the box.

On the top side of the shim 2 1X1" squares of heavy duty Velcro were attached to each end of the shim. Stick the Velcro squares together and peel the sticky off of the bottom and attach to the shim. Peel the other side sticky off and carefully stick the computer board to the top of the Velcro squares. Everything is really sticky, so try to get it straight the first time.

The board will now be firmly stuck to the bottom of the box, but if need be the Velcro can be separated to pull the board out if further programing was necessary.

On my box I didn't use the grommet for the wire, so a bit of silicone on each side of the wire makes it water proof. To ensure that the cord wouldn't put tension on the screw terminals on the board, I added a zip tie to the cord tight up against the side of the box on both sides.

I also wanted to protect the female end of the plug as it will be riding in my storage bay for an extended length of time (I hope). The best cap for the plug was to use the male end of the plug I cut off while building the board. Now small bungee cord secures the cord to the box and all is done.
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Old 09-23-2021, 05:50 PM   #11
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Very nice job Sarge. I really love using the connector left over from the cable assembly as a protector. Every time I would read the build instructions and would get to the “discard the cut-off connector” part the engineer in me would cringe at the thought of throwing away a perfectly good component. My wife jokes that if you want to torture an engineer, tie them to a chair, tape their eyelids open and force them to watch you slowly fold a map incorrectly.
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Old 09-23-2021, 10:02 PM   #12
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Now that's just funny right there!
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Old 09-28-2021, 10:46 PM   #13
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Anyone tested this on a Cummins ISB 6.7L?

Has anyone tested this on a Cummins ISB 6.7L? That's what I have in my 2020 Tiffin 33AA.

I just received the parts to build my DEF Head simulator, but I have not seen a report from anyone that's tested it on the ISB 6.7

I believe that I saw some info that it should work, but I would like confirmation from someone that's actually done it.

Regards, Jerry
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Old 09-29-2021, 02:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt Dan View Post
Reminder

The instructions and software for this device have been provided by others as a service. Offering to sell or buy already made units is not allowed in the forum. A post had to be removed for this reason.
What is the logic behind this decision? I bought parts to build 2 of these...one as insurance for my rig and one that could be purchased at cost by someone in need. I figured not everyone would have the confidence to assemble a unit nor the ability nor time to wait in one place for all the various pieces to arrive. If someone's rig is derated far from home and they have the ability to get a working solution to them overnight, I'd say IRV2 offers a good conduit to connect them with a built and tested unit. Is IRV2 NOT a place that is interested in helping out fellow members in the RV community, especially those whose plans have been ruined by the EPA's tyrannical rules that rendered their rig immobile?
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