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Old 11-09-2016, 05:27 PM   #1
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Multi-Plex systems

We're seeing more of the Multi-Plex systems in new Class A's. What exactly does that mean for the future and are they relatively bug free?

Another question is, can you access the system from an iPhone and/or iPad? And further if you have something like a GPS app, can you play it through the dash video system?
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Old 11-10-2016, 03:39 PM   #2
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I'm confused. Are you referring to multiplex systems in the coach operating systems or in the home theater/sound system?
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Old 11-10-2016, 03:47 PM   #3
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I'm sorry, that was confusing. My primary interest is in the "Coach operating system"!
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:14 PM   #4
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Still not clear to me--many newer coaches now use a comm. buss system to eliminate many of the automotive function-based wires that run from front to back in a traditional vehicle [eg VANSCO]. Many high-end coaches now use a multi-function remote control system to handle lighting, entertainment, HVAC, etc. Both have "challenges" -- the first system is limited access as a black box with lots of potential proprietary issues inside; the second system tends to overwhelm the average operator's understanding of all things electronic.....smile
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:23 PM   #5
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My experience is that their use is going to continue to expand. Like all systems, "stuff" happens. For a couple of examples, when I tried to add a "headlight on" warning system I found all my ignition switch contained no +12DC lines. All lines were computer control lines at 2 to 3.5v. Another issue I faced on a 2008 Freightliner chassis was that as I traveled down the road ALL the dash gauges would drop to zero, warning buzzers would go off and warning legends come on. The bus continued to run and brakes did not set despite all air showing zero PSI. Anywhere from 5 to 45 seconds later everything would come back to normal and it wouldn't do it's trick again for 1-10 days, or it might happen in 10 minutes. I ended up dropping the dash and pulling all the dash light and gauge jumpers off. When I reassembled them, the jumpers and plugs were put on completely differently and my problem went away. By multiplexing systems manufacturers save weight, save materials, and save manufacturing costs. All good things. The down side is that it requires specialized test equipment, highly trained technicians, and the spare parts tend to be more expensive than the old wire, relay and switch system. Times, they are a changin' and will continue to go this way.
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:26 PM   #6
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Wyo there are many different systems. Two that come to mind are the Silverleaf systems used by Newmar (maybe others) in their top 4 coaches. Entegra is using a system from Firefly (VegaTouch). Integration of other devices not part of the standard packages is usually possible. Both have a way to integrate a tablet, not sure if you can get a map on the screen from your iPad. It would be possible simply using an HDMI cable to the front tv from your iPad but that's not really 'integrated'.

Silverleaf has been around for awhile (6+ I think). Firefly is new for this year for Entegra. Seldom see posts about issues with Silverleaf. Firefly is having typical first year growing pains and issues.
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:47 PM   #7
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If your talking about the spyder controls like in our Tiffin, its been trouble free and there is the ability to operate the system from your smart phone.
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Old 11-10-2016, 08:43 PM   #8
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Multiplex is great when working but a pain in the a$$ when even slightly off. Airplanes have used them for years to save weight. What it does is change 10 wires to one. you can send 10 signals on one wire. each signal is sent in a short burst. then it is seperated at the other end of the wire and each signal is going to a different place. when the phone company went to multiplex many years ago, the signals would get slightly off and you could barely hear another party talking if you strained to listen.
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Old 11-11-2016, 09:22 AM   #9
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Technology always takes awhile to sort itself out and engineers determine how to take best advantage. I've noticed the multiplex system can now be found in entry level coaches like the Winnebago Forza, Forest River Berkshire, Coachman Sports Coach and I'm sure many others.

I hope the manufacturers have learned enough using the system in the higher end coaches that they've worked most of the bugs out! On the surface it looks like a great thing for the coach owners. It makes it more 21st century in the realm of iPhones, iPads etc that are icon touch based systems. It's also less intimidating than the banks of gauges, switches and panels!

I also hope in their infinite wisdom they included password protection of some kind. Something where the grandkids can't walk up, push a button and empty the black tank into the swimming pool?

It seems all good if it all works?
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Old 11-11-2016, 06:21 PM   #10
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We have the Firefly switches in outperform '17 Thor Tuscany XTE. I should say on most of the coach. There are still traditional switches used for the left side of the living room and some of the switches at the entry. When we first got it we found one switch pad didn't work. As this system was new to this coach this year the dealer didn't have any experience with it. It took a phone call to the factory to get guidance as to how to program it. Simple fix. The nice thing is all of the switch panels are wireless. They communicate to the controller in the bedroom closet. And it really cleans up the interior. Instead of a multitude of switch panels and led lights for things like slides, climate, tank levels, generator, electric system, all of these functions are nicely integrated into one touchscreen control panel. Pretty slick.
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Old 11-11-2016, 11:29 PM   #11
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My '09 Magna has a Silverleaf multiplex system. Works very well, but I wish they had been better at placing the switches near where needed.
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Old 11-13-2016, 08:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmcwhirter View Post
We have the Firefly switches in outperform '17 Thor Tuscany XTE. I should say on most of the coach. There are still traditional switches used for the left side of the living room and some of the switches at the entry. When we first got it we found one switch pad didn't work. As this system was new to this coach this year the dealer didn't have any experience with it. It took a phone call to the factory to get guidance as to how to program it. Simple fix. The nice thing is all of the switch panels are wireless. They communicate to the controller in the bedroom closet. And it really cleans up the interior. Instead of a multitude of switch panels and led lights for things like slides, climate, tank levels, generator, electric system, all of these functions are nicely integrated into one touchscreen control panel. Pretty slick.
I only wish the remote panels had some sort of backlighting as it is difficult to turn the light on in the half bath for example unless you know where the bath light button is on the panel in the bathroom. Stopping at the main panel and going to lighting and finding the light you want isn't all that convenient either. I like the idea and I'm sure it will only get better with the next few model years.
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Old 11-13-2016, 09:05 AM   #13
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Ours are lit and you can turn the backlighting off.
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Old 11-13-2016, 09:07 AM   #14
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We have a 2016 Bounder that uses Fleetwood's Illumaplex system. While it does relegate control of lighting, water pump, awnings etc to a central control with panels throughout the coach, it does not feature support for any external interface such as phone or tablet.

It does have some programming flexibility, but not very easy for a novice. Some of the nicer features are the ability to control/dim lighting from multiple locations in the coach. Control slides, vents and Fans etc.
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