I already have a Raspberry Pi with a CAN interface, can I use that?

Not right now, only the Arduino hardware specified is currently supported. There are no immediate plans to port to the RPi, however we may pursue that option when time permits.

Will this work on my PowerStroke – Duramax – Dodge Cummins Truck?

The short answer is NO! The 1.5, 1 and 3/4 ton Pick-Up trucks all use DEF. However the ECM on each of these trucks is different and uses a different bus system (obd2 vs j1939) to communicate. This project was developed for large diesel engines that are classed as heavy duty or industrial using the J1939 bus system and specifically for the Cummins CM2350 ECM.

I went to order parts and some are out of stock, what now?

As you might imagine there is a lot of pent up demand and this project has generated a lot of interest. We will be posting alternative sources as needed in the Quick Build section of the site. Also there are some hardware alternatives such as this one which is only a little more complex.

Does the Auduino DUE ship with the connecting cable for programming?

If you order the Copperhill version specified in the Quick Build page, Yes. If you order it elsewhere, please check with the site you order it from. The cable is a basic USB type A male to MicroUSB Type B male which is a very common and you may already have on on hand anyway. Here is one example and another, but these should be available almost anywhere – just make sure it is not labeled as “charge only”.

How do I attach the circuit board to the case?

Honestly, this DIY project is so new most of the dev’s and testers haven’t fully hashed that out. Here are a couple of ideas:
a) The Arduino DUE circuit board comes with a plastic tray that covers the bottom of the board. This tray fits fairly tightly but could be attached to the board with small screws or double sided tape. Then that assembly could be attached to the bottom of the housing with velcro or double sided tape.
b) Plastic standoffs that stick to the bottom of the box and snap into a couple of the mounting holes in the Arduino board, at the moment we don’t have a recommendation for a specific product, not sure if anyone has tested this approach yet.
Keep in mind the board will need to be partially removed to get to the micro-USB connector for any future program updates.

How do I secure the complete assembly to my motorhome?

Attaching the completed assembly inside the DEF bay will be dependent on the specific motorhome and DEF tank arrangement. Ideas are magnets, velcro, zip ties or even duct tape should you be so inclined. In my own case (2017 Entegra Aspire) I have a lot of steel nearby my DEF tank so I’m considering using a couple of neodymium magnets attached to the bottom of the project box with double sided tape. Self stick velcro will also work in most applications, or just zip tie the cable or box to something appropriate nearby.

How do I find out the model # of my ECM?

One way would be to setup an account at Cummins Quickserve (free) then click the “Service” tab at the top of the screen (red background, white letters). The ECM should be contained within the “Service Model Name” near the top of the page as shown below (click to enlarge) but may also be located elsewhere on the site:

I built the DEF Simulator and hooked it up, but not all my fault codes have cleared and the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) is still on, what do I do?

This may be the case with some older coaches and/or ECM’s that don’t have recent updates. We know of one case, a 2017 Entegra Aspire circa mid-2016 build date, where SPN 1761 and SPN 3364 cleared, but the SPN 3031 fault code did not clear on its own. This is still being studied to see if it will clear after a few driving cycles. However, we did find that it is possible to force the code to clear. This can be done by a Cummins shop, but can also be done on your own with some extra equipment such as ScanGaugeD or a Bluefire device. We have not tested the ScanGuageD, however the Bluefire has been tested and in the case above it does appear to have permanently cleared the fault code.

At some point we hope to make the capability to clear fault codes a part of the DEF Simulator software.



67 Comments to FAQ

  1. George Underwood says:

    Do you have the actual Duesch connector kit part number. The cable recommended is out of stock and expensive with shipping.

    • JWP says:

      George, The following plug will work, you will have build your own pig tail to connect to it out of 16 ga wire, on the canbus wire please twist them. https://www.amazon.com/Deutsch-4-pin-Pigtail-16AWG-Certified/dp/B07G2R7GRQ/ref=sr_1_18?dchild=1&keywords=deutsch+connector+kit&qid=1631489020&s=electronics&sr=1-18

    • Archer2 says:

      The connector is a male Deutsch DT04-4P. The actual connector is made by TE Connectivity but they are widely available as complete connectors with wiring, like the suggested ones all the way down to the individual pieces that you assemble yourself. For instance here is an Amazon link to a pre-assembled pigtail. If you go this route choose the one with the smallest diameter wire you can find. Use your own imagination, after all it’s just a connector and 4 wires.


      • George Underwood says:

        Yep, I was wondering why AWG14 is needed for CAN bus signals plus board power? And why the 36V CAN bus shield is needed when my starting battery voltage is 12V?

        • Archer2 says:

          The Copperhill Dual CANBUS with Extended Power was selected because it offered simple screw terminal wiring assembly. We actually don’t use the 2nd CANBUS for anything and the 7-36V input power range was just a nice additional benefit. If you really want to know, we chose the CH shield first for the ease of connection for minimally skilled users That led to specifying a Arduino DUE because that was the only board that shield worked with. You can easily use a Seeed Studios CANBUS v2 with an Arduino UNO or Mega 2560, they are just a little harder to assemble because the Seeed uses a DB9 mini-serial connector. But they all work just fine.

        • Archer2 says:

          The 14 gauge wire is not needed for any engineering reason. That’s just what was available already assembled. Again the goal was to be as simple as possible for the average builder. As long as you have the right 4-pin connector wired up to the right places on the board you are welcome to get there however you like.

        • Voltdoc says:

          AWG14 isn’t required, use a connector with the smallest gauge wire you can find which is probably AWG16 or roll your own if you are comfortable with that. I would use AWG 18 or 20 and twist the CAN-H and CAN-L wires. If you find a prewired unit with smaller gauge wires please let us know.

          According to usa-arduino.cc: “The board can operate on an external supply of 6 to 20 volts. If supplied with less than 7V, however, the 5V pin may supply less than five volts and the board may be unstable. If using more than 12V, the voltage regulator may overheat and damage the board. The recommended range is 7 to 12 volts”.

          While your starting battery may generically be called “12 volts” in reality it is normally going to run between 12.6 – 14.5 and at times can drop as low as 10.5 and as high as 15.5v. If you do not order the extended range power option (which is designed to support the wide range of voltages present in both 12v and 24v systems) you will need to provide some alternate equipment that provides clean regulated power to the board via either the USB connector (5v) or 2.1mm jack (max 7-12.0v).

    • George Underwood says:

      Here’s the best deal I could find shipping from US. https://www.ebay.com/itm/263238890348. I don’t mind crimping the pins and assembling. Probably going to put the board inside my motorhome anyway instead of outside. Of course I ordered 2 in case I goof it.

  2. Mike Knapik says:

    Not being a Windows guy, and ver had my hands on an Arduino board, can I program it with my MacBook?

    • JWP says:

      Yes you can, we are working on the instructions for Mac’s.

      • Brad Poff says:

        Are instructions for Mac’s available yet? I couldn’t spot it on the website.

        • Vic Chanko says:

          Look down in this page’s comments to Flyboy013’ comment but here is the body of his post:

          “ The installer has been uploaded to the GitHub site (https://github.com/flyboy013/DEF_Sensor_Emulator_Firmware). The file name is DSS.dmg

          I have not yet had the opportunity to generate the installation guide for it. In short, you can download the file (DSS.dmg) and double click (ie. mount the image) it. A folder will open showing its contents. You will see an install.sh file. Right click on it and open it with Terminal (may have to select Other and then Terminal). It will run the install script and prompt you type of device. Connect the device and then press the button for the appropriate device type. It will give you another popup showing if it was successful.”

    • Tim Emerson says:

      do you have the code for the mac book now?

  3. Bill Ramsey says:

    A couple notes: 1. My 2018 Entegra aspire has the CM2350 ECM. 2. Cummins Quickserve registration requires your engine serial number. I found mine on a sheet on the wall behind the drivers seat.

    • Voltdoc says:

      Thanks for that info. Yes, generally I have seen the engine serial number on the Spartan placard – on Entegra’s that is usually slightly behind the driver seat low on the wall.

  4. Joe says:

    I do not have a traditional lap or desk top computer. Can I use my I Pad using a dongle to program the board?

    • JWP says:

      Joe, I’m checking on that this morning, depending on model and if you have a usb port on it. We have not officially put the MAC support out it is still in development at this time. So at this time the answer is no.

      • Darlene says:

        Any update on the MAC support?

        • Flyboy013 says:

          The installer has been uploaded to the GitHub site (https://github.com/flyboy013/DEF_Sensor_Emulator_Firmware). The file name is DSS.dmg

          I have not yet had the opportunity to generate the installation guide for it. In short, you can download the file (DSS.dmg) and double click (ie. mount the image) it. A folder will open showing its contents. You will see an install.sh file. Right click on it and open it with Terminal (may have to select Other and then Terminal). It will run the install script and prompt you type of device. Connect the device and then press the button for the appropriate device type. It will give you another popup showing if it was successful.

          • Darlene Daugherty says:

            I’m trying to do the IOS programming but I keep getting a the following error “bossac” cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified. I’ve tried turning off security for this app with no success. Has anyone else reported this? Do you know a way around it?

          • Flyboy013 says:

            Darlene – The issue is due to Apple’s Gatekeeper functionality that limited the running of applications to those from Apple approved developers. After you get the message you indicated, all you have to do is go to “System Preferences…” and then to “Security & Privacy”. There will be an option at the bottom page to tell GateKeeper to allow the program to execute. The bossac program is what actually writes the firmware to the board.

          • Darlene says:

            Thank you, I got past the security error but the process is failing saying “Auto scan for device failed”. I have the device connected via usb (we are using an UNO).

          • Darlene says:

            Any thoughts on why the process is not finding our device?

          • Vic Chanko says:

            Hi Darlene. I can’t help you with trying to use your Mac to do the programming, Flyboy013 is the expert on all things Apple. But, given all the issues you’ve run into it might be easier to just ask a friend who has a Windows laptop to download & install the firmware since it only needs to be done once and takes just a few minutes.

  5. Walt says:

    The can bus daughter board is out of stock from Copperhill until mid October. Is there another supplier for one?

    • JWP says:

      Walt, there is an alternate build using the Mega or the UNO. look to the left side of the site pages under build it, at the bottom of the page under the quick build section, you will see the UNO and Mega build information.

  6. Fred says:

    I have ordered the parts, but have discovered that the connection to my Freightliner Chassis is incompatible with the connector being used for Spartan units. Is anyone working on this? Is there any way I can assist with arriving at a solution?

    • Archer2 says:

      While I can’t make any guarantees I can say that my opinion is that IF you have a Cummins engine and ECM that is an EPA 13/EPA 17 made in 2016 or later AND it has a Cummins CM2350 ECM, then there is a good chance that it will work electrically but just requires a different connector. The instructions are very clear about how the DEUTSCH DT04-4P connector should be wired and what signals are connected you should be able to substitute a different connector using that info. NOTE that this is by design a do it your self project and it is 100% YOUR responsibility to verify all information related to your particular application.

      • Fred says:

        Fully aware of DIY nature, and am certain it will work electrically. However, am clueless about how or where to go about finding a suitable connector cable.

          • BMiller says:

            I am in this same situation and the link for the plug type you post above is the same as mine on a S2 chassis. I have saved the wiring diagrams from DTNA and have the pinout for the plug but is there any way you could help in deciphering the wiring labels as they are not the same as you show them labeled in the build. For the 4 wires they are labeled,

            #1 439D-#1512(GY) 20/.5 EXR 2
            #2 439D+ # 1512 (GY) 20/.5 EXR 2
            #3 439A # 1512 (GY) 16/1 TXL
            #4 GNDE # 1206 (BK-W) 16/1 TXL

            Hope you can help, Thanks!

          • Archer2 says:

            #1 439D- #1512(GY) = CAN_Low
            #2 439D+ #1512 (GY) = CAN_High
            #3 439A #1512 (GY) = +12VDC
            #4 GNDE # 1206 (BK-W) = Ground
            That is just based on the nomenclature on the wiring diagram. I have no way of knowing whether that is actually how your real connector is wired.
            I have seen this exact wiring diagram before but it corresponded (color-wise) to a flat, inline 4 conductor plug and socket, not the TE rectangular 2×2 nor the Deutsch 2×2 either.

          • BMiller says:

            Is there a safe way to test these connections?

          • Archer2 says:

            Yes. First go over your wiring, preferably with an ohmmeter, checking for any shorts between any of the 4 wires. Double check your connector wiring and verify that it’s all correct. Make sure your vehicle ignition is off and then unplug your good OEM sensor and plug the DSS in its place. Turn on the ignition but don’t start the engine. Note that the DEF gauge reads 75% regardless of what the actual level really is. Wait a full 5 minutes while watching the instrument panel for any lights or fault codes. If there are none, start the engine and let it idle for 5 minutes and watch for any faults or lights. Assuming no errors in the wiring it should be an utterly boring 10 minutes. If everything goes OK then shut the ignition off and re-connect the OEM sensor, put your DSS away someplace where you can find it and hope you never have to plug it in again.
            If something goes awry and you do get any faults (and if there is a wiring problem the faults will not even necessarily be DEF sensor faults. They could be anything on the network like NOx sensors or turbo actuators) don’t panic. Just shut it down, reconnect the OEM sensor and deliberately (take your time-don’t be in a hurry) start the engine, let it fast-idle for a little over 5 minutes and shut it down. Repeat this sequence for 3 times total and on the 4th key-on all codes should be reset. You can also use a scanner device but it may not clear the 3031 code and you’ll still have to do the engine run cycles anyway so you might as well just do it instead of messing with a code reader or scanner.
            Obviously then go back to the bench and figure out what isn’t right and correct it, then test again. We have never seen one not work unless there was a wiring mistake.

          • BMiller says:

            Thank you and everybody that’s worked on this project! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. This is a big issue on the S2 chassis also so once I get through my build I will be passing along my findings. I found the plug and terminals in needed on Mouser Electronics.

  7. Justin De Crow says:

    Will this work on a PACCAR MX 13 in my 2018 Kenworth T680? My truck is down with the UQS sensor fault. I’ve only had it a week, I haven’t even registered it yet!

    I need to have some kind of a work around, otherwise I will lose my $45k down payment and the truck to the bank before I haul my first load with it! Please help!!!

  8. Ross Ferretti says:

    I just bought a new 2021 Ram 2500 Megacab. Currently I have not had any DEF problems. Do I still need to install the DEF Sensor simulator if I have not had any problems or will it be a matter of time before I start having problems.

  9. John says:

    I’m with Justin, will this work on paccar mx13??

    • JB says:

      I’m in the same boat. I’m reading that some Paccar engines are just rebranded Cummings but I don’t know how to check the ECM

      • Bonebab says:

        Seems to be that the “PX” series Paccar engines are rebadged Cummins and the “MX” series are actual Paccar. That has been my experience so far.

  10. Bonebab says:

    Any ambitions of working on a program for the Paccar MX13? Built and put on a Cummins and it worked flawlessly. Tried it on the mx13 and got can bus errors periodically. It was recognizing the proper information though…level, quality, temperatures… or at least it appeared to be.

    • Archer2 says:

      What kind of CANBUS errors were you getting? I am wondering whether the PACCAR CANBUS speed might be 500kb/sec? The DSS is set to a bus speed of 250kb/sec but can be set to 500kb/sec in software if needed.

      • Bonebab says:

        I would have to reconnect system to verify. I’ll try to get that info later today.

        • Bonebab says:

          Turns out the new def head came in this morning and was already put in truck. The system is still getting intermittent excessive can bus error so I don’t think the emulator caused them the other day. I did find out using jpro that can 1 and 2 are 500k and can 3 is 250 if that helps. The DEF controller is listed and transmitting on all 3 channels. If another opportunity arises to install emulator on known good system, I’ll report results.

  11. Mark Weber says:

    I need some help. Had several problems but still does not work. Had bad CAN shield first, then replaced with mini CAN board and used jumpers to power, comm lines, and CS. Using ATMega. Now sends out data. Seems like it sends it way too often but I don’t know what it is supposed to be. When installed on the RV with Cummins 450 HP (2020), the dashboard says DEF concentration too high. Something not right. The original Seed V1.2 CAN board had 16 Mhz rock but the mini board uses 8 MHZ. Got any ideas of what would be wrong?

  12. jon says:

    I don’t see instructions for Mac (apple) support. Has this been done yet? How about using Win10 in a virtual machine? Has anyone tried that and will it work? I was able to update the firmware on my Bluefire adapter via Win10 running on a virtual machine on an iMac so it seems that it might be possible.

    • Archer2 says:

      I can’t think of any reason that you couldn’t use a Win VM on a Mac to do the software load. Give it a try, you certainly can’t hurt anything.

  13. Ricky Childers says:

    My Entegra coach is a super c and the EMC code is HC80466. The engine was built in September 2019. I was looking to see if this would work or not. I did look at the def heater connection and it is so hard to get to, I could not heads or tails out of it. Just wondering if anyone else has this unit. Thanks!

    • Archer2 says:

      Hi Ricky, I’m not familiar with the Entegra Super C lines but their C class are on either Ford 450 chassis or Mercedes Diesels. What chassis do you have? If it is not powered by Cummins then, no, the DSS will not work. But the bright side is that you probably are not likely to have the sensor problem the DSS was designed to solve.

      • Ricky Childers says:

        Thank you for the reply. It is a Cummins engine B6 This RV is built on the Freighliner S2RV chassis. Here is the production information that I got off the Cummins website. On the service model name it does show CM2350. It the EMC code is HC80466. So I assume it should work? I just have got to find where the data cable connects to the DEF head.

        EPA Model Name Not Available
        Marketing Engine Configuration # D313029BV04
        Marketing Model Name ISB6.7 360
        Service Model Name B6.7 CM2350 B121B
        Technical Engine Configuration # D313029BX03

        Build Date 2019-09-30T00:00:00Z
        CPL # 4660
        Shop Order SO74707
        Warranty Start Date Not Available

        ECM Code HC80466
        Fuel Pump Part # 5398557
        Fuel Pump Calibration Not Available

        • Archer2 says:

          You are correct. The DSS should work on your engine. Note that the connector needed for a Freightliner is likely different from the Deutsch DT04 shown in the main build instructions. Look for the info for the TE HDSCS type connector on the website for what/where to order as well as how to connect it.

  14. Terry Borden says:

    I have a 2018 RAM3500 with 6.7L Cummins and OBD11 plug under the dash, that I tow my 5th wheel with. Will this simulator work on my truck?
    Thank You for all your work and help with this def problem.

    • Archer2 says:

      Terry I don’t have any idea what the DEF system is like on your truck. Even though you have a Cummins 6.7 engine there is a lot more to consider but you are welcome to build one up, figure out the connector and wiring and plug it up and see what happens. The very first thing you need to determine is whether your truck uses a J1939 CANBUS-based network. If it does not then that would be a show-stopper. If you do take on the challenge please let us know what you find out. Good luck!

  15. Brad Poff says:

    A friend has a new Tiffin, Cummins 450 (L9 CM2450 L126B/L127B. The DEF sensor connector looks like the picture you posted (although color is different). Will the DSS work with ECM CM2450?

    • Archer2 says:

      I think that it will work with the CM2450 ECM but we don’t have a vehicle to test it on. If you want to build a DSS and try it on your friend’s coach, please post the result here for others’ benefit.

  16. Steven Vineyard says:

    I have a 2021 Tiffin Phaeton IH with Cummins L9 8.9L CM2350 L116B and it is working fine with your simulator. It did take 3 run cycles to clear the last two codes on the forth start. I had a little difficulty loading the program on the board like some others. But after trying several different sequences I figured out that the port number that shows up when I plug in the board is not the port number to use. The one to use is the one that comes up when you push the reset button and only last 5-10 seconds. Being sure to push Enter/return during that time frame. May need to put a little more amplification in the instructions for the ones of us that have not used command line inputs since the 1970’s or have never used command line inputs.

    I would like to thank all of the people that helped created this solution for all of us. You are the best!

    PS: I put both pigtails (M & F) into my box. The one I need connected to the board. The other not connected inside the box but connected to the tank connector. So it looks like it is part of the system. I have found Cummins not to be very flexible when it comes to solutions to this problem.

    • Archer2 says:

      I’m not sure why you posted the link to CH without any comment or context. That statement has been up on the CH website since September 2021. The owner of the website did not contact any of us before he posted it but, for the record, we do not believe that building the DSS constitutes tampering with an emissions system. We believe that it should be more correctly viewed as part of a process to repair a malfunctioning emission system, a process that culminates in driving safely to a place where the defective part can be replaced. In fact, installing the DSS actually restores the SCR system to normal operation. DEF fluid is still required as usual and if it is missing or not correct in composition there are other sensors which directly monitor the NOx content of the exhaust and they will derate the engine if they detect excessive pollutants.
      So what was your point in posting the link to a site that makes a part that is no longer even recommended?

  17. Redta1977 says:

    I am not part of the team that put this together but I agree with everything Archer2 wrote. I am guessing the guy at CH didn’t understand what these folks did so instead of taking the time to learn, he just created plausible deniability in case there was anything for him to be concerned with. The work these folks did is nothing short of outstanding and exceedingly generous. As Archer2 wrote, this is not a device to circumvent anything in the emissions system. What it does is fill a gap that was created by a short sighted government agency and manufacturer that thought it made sense to basically shut an RV down within 150 miles after a sensor failure that isn’t even checking the exhaust coming out of the vehicle. As Archer2 points out, if the exhaust is dirty, there are other sensors that are checking that. They aren’t bypassing or simulating those. It’s similar to having your car shut down if the gas gauge stops working even though you have a full tank of gas. Without this effort, everyone would be at the mercy of a broken supply chain, a manufacturer that can’t seem to figure out why their products are failing and a government that doesn’t seem very concerned. Having one of these devices onboard gives peace of mind since you aren’t constantly thinking that at any moment you might have to find a place within 150 miles to stay while waiting on the part. There aren’t enough kudos for the work that went into this and the groups willingness to share and provide support to those of us that would have had no clue or ability to do what they did. So for anyone reading this, do some research and educate yourself. If you do, you won’t post anything that might suggest this team did anything wrong.

  18. Kelly Fitzpatrick says:

    Any experience or likelihood of this working with CM2450 ECM (2022 Cummins ISX 605HP), Newmar Londonaire on Spartan chassis? Thanks, Kelly.

    • Vic Chanko says:

      Hi Kelly, I sent you an email as well. I believe the DSS will work with a CM2450 ECM but I don’t recall whether anybody has tested it. I seem to vaguely recall someone saying that they had but I’m not 100% certain.

  19. Randy Jones says:

    I have a 2014 Anthem DEQ. The ECM is correct, but the connector to the DEF head has a 5 pin round configuration. Are there any options for this configuration?

  20. Mahdi Al-Bassam says:

    I built a DSS for my Freightliner which worked well when I tested it. I am being promoted/demoted to a Spartan chassis. Do I simply need to change the connector on the DSS or do I need to build a new one? Do the Spartan chassis on 2021 coaches continue to have the DEF issues or was it resolved by then?
    Thank you

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