"Tricks and Tips" in using VMSpc will be placed here.

Windows(TM) Windowed Applications and "Maximized" verses "Full Screen"

Some people have reported problems with displaying VMSpc with other Windows applications. The following is some general guidelines about "standard" Windowed Programs in the Windows Operating System. Note that my System is Windows XP, with Service Pack 2 and my Desktop is displaying "Classic View", not the Windows XP "default" Desktop. ===================================================== When a "standard" Windowed Program is "Maximized" on your Screen, the upper right corner of the "window frame" will look like this. [inline:2] You can see that when the Mouse "pointer" is placed over the "Middle Button", the "other mode", "Restore Down" is displayed after a few seconds of no Pointer Movement. When a "standard" Windowed Program is "Maximized", is can not be resized or moved, it is Maximized. Clicking on the "Middle Button" will change the Window to the "Restore Down" mode, and when when the Mouse "pointer" is placed over the "Middle Button", the "other mode", "Maximize" is displayed after a few seconds of no Pointer Movement. [inline:1] When the Window is changed to the "Restore Down" mode, it might sill be Full Screen or it might be smaller or even placed off of the Display Area of the Screen. Once the Window is in the "Restore Down" mode, you can then Resize and/or Move the Window. With "most" GPS/Map programs, they can be Resized and/or Moved to share the Display Area with VMSpc. The one Current exception is CoPilot when running in "Guidance Mode". (See Post multiple programs on screen) You can use a "3rd Party" program like Power Menu or OnTop to keep VMSpc on top of CoPilot. On my System, the VMSpc Shortcut always seems to start VMSpc in "Maximized" Mode, even though the Shortcut is set for "Normal Window" Mode.

Windows Vista Install "points"

Issue: VMSpc Installs and Starts Up correctly, but you CAN NOT save your changed "layout". VMSpc 2.2 is compatible with Windows Vista, but the Default Install Location is NOT compatible with Windows Vista. You will either, Select a different Install Directory (e.g. C:\VMSpc) when installing, or Download VMSpc 2.3 and install it instead. The Technical Explanation: VMSpc reads and writes Data Files in Application's Install Directory. Under Vista, this causes problems, since the User Access Control (UAC) system, seems to want the Data Files to be located under the Current Users Profile rather than the Application's Install Directory. VMSpc won't look in the Current Users Profile, because it is a simple Monitoring Program, and does not need that level of complexity. CURRENT FIX: The User Access Control (UAC) system currently (with no Service Packs) is only concerned with the "%SystemRoot%\Program Files\" (usually this is resolved as "C:\Program Files\"). Installing the SilverLeaf application in the Root Directory, causes the User Access Control (UAC) system to "ignore" our application reading and writing Data Files in Application's Install Directory. Mark Overholser =================================================================== Mark D. Overholser Engineering Technician SilverLeaf Electronics Inc. 2490 Ferry Street SW Albany, OR 97322 888-741-0259 541-967-8111 541-967-8988 (fax)

Built-in computer dashboard

The enhanced understanding of my motorhome’s operation I gained by using VMSpc on my laptop was so great that I undertook building a dedicated system into my 1996 Safari Serengeti. I picked the VIA SP13000 mini-itx motherboard since this would make a compact installation and would provide the ability to display the VMSpc data as well as GPS data and rear view camera data. In addition to the motherboard I purchased a M1ATX power supply that is designed to power a computer from a 12V DC supply, a 100 MB laptop hard drive, a DVD R/W, a WXGA 15.5” LCD display and a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-150 TV converter. The VIA SP13000 has pretty capable video and sound chips as well as a wide assortment of I/O ports including a serial port for the VMSpc. I didn’t want to deal with a USB to serial converter. To lessen the vibration input to the system I mounted the computer on a plywood base which I isolated from the motorhome with a soft foam suspension system. I replaced the existing dashboard with one I fabricated from 1/8” aluminum with the display occupying the entire center section. I chose to retain the speedometer, fuel, oil pressure and turbo boost steam gages and put them on the side as backup in case of a computer failure somewhere down the road. Since I had to fabricate the new dashboard I elected to include a Smart Tire system and a variable speed wiper control. I also included a switch and indicator lamps for the computer power and hard drive activity. I installed the DVD in the dash as well as RJ-45 LAN and USB ports. The USB port allows me to plan a trip on my laptop and transfer it to the dashboard for display. I am an active digital photographer so I included a CF card reader for dumping photos into the computer. I installed a track ball on the console beside the driver seat and use a wireless keyboard for setup or if I want to use the computer when we are in camp. The Hauppauge unit includes a remote and lets me display TV and record video on the hard drive to give a “TIVO” capability. I have made provisions for driving a remote display. I intend to remove the existing TV and replace it with a flat panel monitor driven by the computer. Sound data is passed to a Panasonic radio and amplifier system. Internet access is via hot spots and a Linksys wireless router into the RJ-45 port. I also had to purchase a new rear view camera as the original one did not provide a mirror image and the computer did not have enough capability to flip it. I purchased some wood veneer which I used to cover the aluminum dash. Since the new dash is almost three inches taller than the old one I had to fabricate a new cover for the dash. I used aluminum and fiberglass to build it and covered it with foam and vinyl. Without question this was the hardest part of the installation. The cover provides a small sun shield. The display washes out somewhat in direct sunlight but is still quite readable. For night driving I reverse the streets colors and turn the display brightness down. I am running Windows XP Home as the OS with VMSpc 2.2, WinTV and Street Atlas which I just recently upgraded to 2007. I have arranged the VMSpc data across the top and down the right side of the screen. Street Atlas 2007 fits beneath and to the left of the VMSpc data. I run the WinTV always on top but with no controls visible and have positioned the window over a non-critical part of the Streets display. I originally provided a relay system that would power the computer up when the key was turned on or by a switch on the panel. I have since disabled the key activation and just turn it on before I start up the engine. The display runs from 12 V DC. I wasn’t able to get any data on allowable input voltage range so I regulate the voltage to the panel to 12V to make sure I am not supplying to high of a voltage to it. I am running the computer from the house batteries to avoid any transients from the starter. I have had the system installed for over a year and 7000 miles now and the only problem to date has been a faulty hard drive cable. I had used the circular cables rather than the flat ones but switched to the flat ones after the failure. I have attached photos of the installation and the screen layout. My only regret is that I waited so long to do it.

Adding a 7" monitor to the laptop to display the VMSpc software is a success.

I have successfully added a 7" LCD monitor to my laptop to display the VMSpc software. The wife used the laptop screen to use the GPS software and I didn't want to "infringe" on her space. The 7" VGA monitor worked great using the dual monitor option in Windows XP. Now I have a seperate monitor on my side to continually display the VMS, the picture quality is great, and I can monitor all of the related gauges without taking my eyes too far away from the line of sight while driving. I mounted the 7" LCD screen on the top left corner of my dash display. Pictures are available on request! Marty

Cruise Status for VMSpc 2.x Step-by-Step setup

Cruise Status for VMSpc 2.x Step-by-Step setup (Originaly Posted on 25-JAN-2003, by Herb Petersen) I assume most of you use the Cruise gauge to tell you what speed the Cruise Control is set at. Here is a little enhancement you may wish to try. Enter the VMS Edit program. Hit New. Call the new guage "Cruise Status". I call the abbreviation "CS". Set the PID to 85. Set Gauge Minimum to 0. Set Low Red Line to 1. Set High Red Line to 150. Set Gauge Max to 150. Set Low Yellow to 2. Set High Yellow to 150. Save the settings. Start the VMSpc program. Make a new Simple Guage. Select Cruise Status. Select location as Center. Check only the Show Warning Lamp, box. Set the color to Black. Size the guage so all you see is the round indicator lamp in the square. Place this square next to your Cruise Guage. Now, when the Cruise Control is turned OFF, the guage will be RED. When the Cruise Control is ON and active it will be GREEN. When the Cruise Control is ON but NOT active it will be YELLOW. Enjoy! Herb Herb Petersen 608-538-3394 home 414-403-7747 cell ------------------------------------------------------------------- MarkO re-posting Herb Petersen =================================================================== Mark D. Overholser Engineering Technician SilverLeaf Electronics Inc. 2472 Ferry Street SW Albany, OR 97322 888-741-0259 541-967-8111 541-967-8988 (fax) ( ) ===================================================================

The Odometer Mucker-Upper

Here is a little tool for editing a trip odometer file. This program lets you adjust the starting point for your current trip - even allowing you to create a "trip" that is the entire coach history. To use it, you first must figure out the name of the trip odometer file. Right-click on the odometer, then click "View History". At the top of the history file window will be the name of the history file, something like "Odo31415926.odo.txt". Remember that name. Next, start OdometerEditor.exe, and open the file with the same name you just remembered, but without the ".txt" extension. The program will then show you the starting point for the current trip leg on that odometer. You can adjust those values however you like. For example, to create an odometer that shows your totals and averages since the coach was born, simply set all the start values (fuel, time, and miles) to zero. That's all you have to do. To install the program, just download it into your VMSpc directory. That's all. To run the program, click on the Start menu, select "Run ..." or "Run Program", click Browse, and browse to the VMSpc directory and click on the program icon/name.

Old Hardware, new laptop

Finally got around to replacing my old Thinkpad running MS Vista, with a new Lenovo windows 10 11" foldover PC. I have been using VMSpc for almost 10 years with my Holiday Rambler WBS35 Endeavor with a serial JIB and a 25 foot J1708 I made myself. I was using VMSpc ver 3.01 because it always worked and did exactly what I wanted. I had downloaded ver 4.04 and tested it but it was not my running version. So long story short, downloaded the latest dist. disk, drivers and spent 2 days trying to make it work on my new WIN10 PC w/o success. Finally called Art and after reviewing all my setup troubleshooting he suggested I replace my 9 year old serial-usb prolific adapter which would not run with the latest driver ( code 10in device mgr). Quick trip to Best Buy, bought a new adapter and 5 minutes after installing I was up and running. Thanks Art! Also Kudos to all the Silverleaf team, great products and great service.