Frequently Asked Questions

We support communications with all engines through the RP1210 interface. This means you can use PC software with our Forensic Link Adapter. The FLA and TruckCRYPT software also supports Caterpillar, older Detroit Diesel, and Mercedes. The software also supports Paccar MX engines found in many newer Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks.

Yes, Fast Stop Events in DAVIE report engine hours to the nearest tenth of an hour. The TruckCRYPT report reports this attribution data to the nearest second.

Yes, we use it with DDDL8 all the time.

Yes, you can reset your username or password by pressing the link on the login page at https://fla.synercontechogies.com/.

Electronic Control Units, like any embedded microprocessor based device, can have a real-time clock. This clock is designed to count time from an agreed upon epoch. For example, the SAE J1587 standard defines the epoch to be Jan 1, 1985 at midnight UTC. Since the counting ability of a processor depends on clock stability and clock stability depends on a crystal oscillator. While these devices are pretty good, they are not perfect, as such, real time clocks on embedded device will drift. The drift can be assumed linear, so if there are two known points, the amount of drift is quantifiable as the slope of the line connecting those two times and time difference.

This method, of course, depends on having a reference time. There a few consistent references for time. The first and most common, is to use a network time protocol and query a time server on the internet. Many companies and organizations maintain time servers. The other option for getting time is by interpreting the time stamp from the NMEA standardized sentence from a GPS module. GPS systems maintain very precise timing, which can be relied upon for many things. However, achieving sub second synchronization is difficult.

The timing data from a DDEC or Caterpillar ECM have drift, but the drift is pretty small (measured in seconds per day), which means the time reported on the ECM incident records can be compared to the PC time for a difference. If this examination is done within a few days, difference at the time of the examination can inferred to be the same at the time of the incident. If the drift is suspected, then a linear interpolation or extrapolation will provide a good estimate of the actual difference between the PC time and the ECM time.

In the United States. The printed circuit cards are made near Denver, Colorado; the SSS2 cables are made in Arlington, TX; and the systems are assembled in Farmington Hills, MI.  Some cables with injection molded parts are imported from China.

No, Synercon Technologies is a sole source provider for the Forensic Link Adapter and the Smart Sensor Simulator. These patent pending technologies are exclusively licenses to Synercon Technologies from the University of Tulsa.

The Forensic Link Adapter has a web server built into it that can render portions of the data without needing to connect to the internet. This enables a user to confirm that the data they downloaded is available.

The Forensic Link adapter connects to the Internet using a hardwired connection. A wireless connection from a computer can be shared to the FLA, which enables users to connect to the internet by tethering to a cell phone and using the laptop’s connection. There is an included adapter to convert the Ethernet connection to USB if you have a computer without an Ethernet port (like a tablet). Internet Connection Sharing requires administrative privileges, which may be difficult for government issued computers.

There are a couple possibilities for this.

  1. If the FLA has worked on the network in the past, then try rebooting the FLA with the Ethernet cable plugged in. Sometimes on power up, the physical connection must be present for the system to properly get an IP address.
  2. If you are trying to connect to an open port in your office or home, ensure the port is live and a regular computer can connect to the internet with it. If the Ethernet port works, but the FLA still can’t connect, you may need to have a network administrator add the FLA’s media access (MAC) number to the whitelist for the network. The MAC address can be found displayed on the FLA screen in the configuration submenu list.

The acronym DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It is a method for assigning IP addresses to all devices on a network. On a normal home or office network, the DHCP server already exists and manages the network. However, if you create a network by connecting the FLA into your laptop, then there is no DHCP server. In this case, you can enable a DHCP server in the configuration submenu and create a network in the field. This feature should not be used on an established network.

The primary purpose of the USB cable is to interface with the DG Technologies eDPA built into the FLA. However, on newer models of the FLA (the last digits of the FLA serial number is greater than 66), the USB cable connects to the FLA processor using the beaglebone drivers. This will create an Ethernet over USB connection and the FLA will have an IP address of 192.168.7.2. The drivers can be downloaded from the Resources page.

Yes. If needed, system administrators can view the data coming from the FLA and help users understand features in the data.

Yes. Rental fees are $1000 for 1 week.

Yes, I work on improving them all the time, so any suggested improvements are welcome. No guarantees on large scale (re)implementations, though.

CPC only is the way to go to prevent non CPC faults from affecting the DDEC Records. The SSS for CPC only sends the necessary CAN messages on the 666k CAN bus to provide the ID and DM1 message. Therefore, no worries about the ash content.

The power connectors both feed the same 12V rail. I tripped over a powercord using it once, so I added the ability to have a backup. I used the following chip for the power transfer: http://cds.linear.com/docs/en/datasheet/4416fa.pdf

Use the web browser’s printing feature. Synercon Technologies recommends Google Chrome because it has a built in PDF printer. The margins are set to display date, report link, title, and page numbers. Typing Ctrl-P usually initiates the print dialog.

The field data can be “previewed” to give you confidence that the data was obtained. It’s still previewed by connecting the FLA to the laptop, but that process can be done without the internet. The FLA can be turned into a DHCP server to connect to the computer in the field. The full forensic report and decoding takes place on the serve and would require an active internet connection. The files are small, so tethering a phone works.

The TruckCRYPT software provides the latest updates. In fact, the FLA can always be kept up to date. The data decoding service running on the server is what you pay for.

We do not have an operational plan for Mack and Volvo at this time, just a desire.

We have an SSS for a Cummins CM2250, but it is not 100% fault free. All SSS units are device agnostic. They will work with a Nexiq, Inline, Comm adapter, DPA, DLA, or any other device that can hook up to a truck.

We have prioritized the development and decided that DDEC Reports is sufficient to cover most customer needs on new Detroit Diesels. Some of the older DDECs have issues with the data retrieval that the FLA has overcome, mainly due to invalid date stamps. In fact, we can recover data from XTR files that DDEC reports doesn’t render, specifically engine hours at the hard brake events.

The FLA only hashes the data we get from the J1939 or J1708 networks. Some of that data will contain engine hours, which continue to increment. Therefore, the hash of your file and the hash of another investigator’s file will be different.

The hashing is to be able to prove that the file you are looking at in court is the same file that was generated at the download.

Yes, we’ve had good success with the DDEC V ECMs from Detroit Diesel Series 60 engines as described in SAE paper http://papers.sae.org/2015-01-1450/. However, our experience with other ECUs is limited. Newer modules use BGA chip mounting technology, which complicates the chip swap process.

Yes, the key has to be on for the ECUs on the truck’s network to be “woken” up. Without key on, the network traffic will not be there. I have observed this behavior for all the trucks I’ve worked with. Also, it makes sense to leave the key on for a while to let any telematics unit on the truck obtain a GPS lock. Some of these GPS units will then identify themselves to the FLA and you’ll get a report as such. However, we don’t currently extract any event data from a telematics unit. The FLA will prompt you to turn the key on if it doesn’t see any network traffic. Some trucks may have network traffic that is present regardless of the key switch.

You can simultaneously power the FLA from the AC adapter and the Deutsch connector. There is an “or’ing” diode that automatically switches the power path as needed.

The DDEC Reports data that most people are interested in is contained in the common powertrain controller (CPC) unit, which is mounted under the dash. That system also contains a Motor Control Module (MCM) that will have some fault codes and engine configuration parameters. Finally, there is an Aftertreatment Control Module (ACM) that may also have some data. The main purpose of the MCM and ACM is to be sure that the CPC doesn’t set any new faults. In the DDEC Reports there is a Diagnostic Record that has vehicle speeds. This record is overwritten anytime new faults are set. As such, powering on a CPC by itself will set new faults. This is why we have the Smart Sensor Simulator for the DDEC 10 CPC only. The SSS provides the CPC with all the correct signals from the MCM and ACM so it doesn’t set fault codes. The Forensic Link Adapter is in full production with full support of CAT and PACCAR. We have some older DDEC engines covered too and are actively working on bringing more units online.

Yes, the data is encrypted on the FLA using a unique key and securely transmitted over the Internet to our server. We decrypt the data package and verify its contents are identical to what was originally obtained. Then the parsing server at Synercon decodes and displays the data. You can also access the local copy of the data on the FLA using the FLA Preview feature. The local copy is always available.

The newer CAN architectures started with MY 2016 vehicles. The SSS2 unit is capable of automatically detecting the baud rate and can accommodate the newer vehicle. The original SSS units do not have the autobaud capabilities.

The SSS2 can be reprogrammed using the Arduino and Teensyduino platforms the primary processor in the SSS2 is the Teensy 3.6. We offer a suite of cables that are pre-wired for some default settings on the SSS2. The pinouts and techniques for adjusting the SSS2 settings using serial commands also available.