EV-Diagnostic 6 and E-TEC G2 Engines

Information about Evinrude I-Command, ICON Pro, and ICON Touch Color Displays
jimh
Posts: 5339
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Evinrude Diagnostic 6 Software and Hardware

Postby jimh » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:33 pm

As might be anticipated, a new version of diagnostic software will be needed for use with the new E-TEC 74-degree V6 engines (G2). The new engines contain new systems which need to be configured or set-up using the diagnostic software, such as the power steering system.

The new E-TEC G2 engines also make a significant change in the method of communication with EMM for the diagnostic software. Previously the EMM had a dedicated serial data communication port for connection of a terminal executing the diagnostic software. In the new E-TEC G2 engines, the engine EMM and diagnostic software terminal communicate via the NMEA-2000 interface. Accordingly, specialized hardware is needed to interface the terminal or host computer executing the diagnostic software to the NMEA-2000 network.

The new interface hardware will require installation of specialized driver software onto the host computer. The new interface hardware is a Virtual CAN Interface, and specific driver software from the manufacturer of the device (IXXT Automation GmbH) must be installed.

The IXXT CAN interface must be connected to the boat's NMEA-2000 network. A special cable is needed to accommodate the interconnection from the interface device's connector to the standard network connectors used for NMEA-2000.

Thus three new elements are needed to utilize diagnostic software with the Evinrude 74-degree V6 engines:

--new software application package, Evinrude Diagnostics 6,

--new hardware interface for USB to CAN Bus, and

--new specialized cable to interconnect the CAN bus interface and boat network.

In addition, some provision must be made on the boat NMEA-2000 network for connection of the CAN Bus interface. I presume an extra network T-connector will have to be added to the network to provide an attachment point for the diagnostic interface.

The Evinrude Diagnostic 6 software has a slightly different appearance and organization of the various functions than earlier versions. The first very significant difference is the ability of the software, via the CAN bus interface, to be connected to any one of several engines that may be on the boat network.

NetworkListSelectionScreen.png
EV Diagnostics v6 Network Selection List screen
NetworkListSelectionScreen.png (19.18 KiB) Viewed 4056 times


The diagnostic software interface will detect many NMEA-2000 device, but it can only connect to the Evinrude engines EMMs.

The Diagnostic 6 software is organized with a number of major screens. These are shown below.


EngineValuesScreen.png
EV Diagnostics v6 Engine Values screen
EngineValuesScreen.png (120.85 KiB) Viewed 4056 times


SettingsScreen.png
EV Diagnostics v6 Settings screen
SettingsScreen.png (114.98 KiB) Viewed 4056 times


[Article continues in next post]

jimh
Posts: 5339
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Evinrude Diagnostic 6 Software and Hardware

Postby jimh » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:41 pm

ShiftThrottleScreen.png
EV Diagnostics v6 Shift-Throttle screen
ShiftThrottleScreen.png (57.97 KiB) Viewed 4056 times


In contrast to the prior versions of Evinrude Diagnostic software and the electrical interfaces used to communicate with the EMM, this new version represents quite a shift in paradigm. The software package is priced at $350, which is more expensive than prior versions. The hardware interface is a rather specialized device. It is not known if the device contains specialized firmware. In contrast, the prior software utilized standard serial port communication and could work with any number of generic USB-to-serial-port convertors, costing as little as $15. I expect that the new software will not be as flexible about operating with generic devices, nor will the specialized device be low in cost or obtainable from sources other than Evinrude, which has priced it at $554. Finally, an adaptor cable will be needed to interconnect the CAN bus adaptor to the boat network. This cable is moderately priced by Evinrude, $44, and it seems unlikely that much savings could be had by fabricating one.

The diagnostic software and hardware costs can be looked at in this perspective: if you have $24,000 for the outboard, you probably have $900 for the software and hardware. This may be particularly true for owners of boats with twin, triple, and quadruple engines.

it may be helpful to recall that with the Evinrude 74-degree V6 or G2 engines, much diagnostic information can be obtained with the ICON Touch 7.0 CTS display. It will give you active and historical engine fault data.

In light of these considerations, I do not expect the Evinrude Diagnostic 6 software to be migrating into the hands of engine owners to the same extent as has been seen with prior versions. However, there is not much need for the software for routine operation of the engine, as the new ICON Touch 7.0 CTS display can perform many of the functions that were previously available only in the diagnostic software. The only notable exception is creation of engine history reports; that function appears to remains only in the diagnostic software.

A good instructional presentation can be found on-line.

jimh
Posts: 5339
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Evinrude Diagnostic 6 Software and Hardware

Postby jimh » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:54 pm

Some critics have complained that Evinrude should have provided a USB port for connection of a diagnostic terminal to the E-TEC 74-degree engine, or they failed to provide an ethernet port. This is not particularly valid criticism in my opinion, based on the notion that there already exists a long and rich history of interaction with internal combustion engines using a CAN bus protocol. In my opinion, Evinrude has followed the lead and taken the same path as the automobile engine business; both are using CAN bus protocols to provide an interface to engine data.

If Evinrude were to follow the path suggested to to create a USB or Ethernet interface on their E-TEC engine, I suspect Evinrude would then have to develop their own protocol for providing engine data and for communicating with the engine over USB or Ethernet links. Instead, Evinrude seems to have followed the example of the automobile industry and used the established CAN bus method. Since there are several million engines being manufactured every year for automotive use that have CAN bus interfaces, and several million transmissions, throttle controls, and other vehicle electronics with CAN bus interfaces, I don't see that Evinrude's use of this technology for their outboard engines represent a departure from expectations.

We have already seen that Evinrude has expanded significantly the ability of the engine owner to have access to configuration, set-up, and reports on his E-TEC engine via the ICON Touch CTS 7.0 display accessory. The ICON Touch display delivers many set-up, control, and report functions to the user that were previously not available in normal engine instrumentation. This is all made possible by use of the CAN bus. (More about the Evinrude ICON Touch CTS 7.0 display is presented in a companion article.)

Further, since the principal use of the diagnostic tools is intended for factory-trained and specially-certified dealer technicians, I am not quite sure that the average owner of an E-TEC engine has standing to be a critical of the particular details of the diagnostic connection hardware and software.

jimh
Posts: 5339
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

EV-Diagnostic 6 and E-TEC G2 Engines

Postby jimh » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:34 am

EVINRUDE EV-DIAGNOSTICS Software Version 6

For use with Evinrude E-TEC G2 engines, a new version of EV-Diagnostics software is necessary. In addition to just the new software, a new method of communication with the E-TEC G2 engine is used. Unlike the earlier EV-Diagnostic software and the legacy E-TEC engines, there is no special interface on the engine EMM for connecting the diagnostic software. With EV-Diagnostics version 6, the terminal running the software is not directly connected to the E-TEC engine. The engine and the diagnostic software terminal communicate via a NMEA-2000 network connection.

The terminal that executes the EV-Diagnostics software connects to a specialized interface via a conventional USB port. The specialized interface has a NMEA-2000 network interface, but uses a non-standard connector. A specialized drop cable connects to the NMEA-2000 network via a conventional network T-connector. And the E-TEC engine is already connected to the NMEA-2000 network. Communication between the E-TEC engine's EMM and the terminal running the diagnostic software occurs across the NMEA-2000 network.

To use the diagnostic software, you need:

  • the software
  • a host computer with USB interface to run the software
  • a specialized interface to connect to the terminal via USB
  • a specialized drop cable to connect to the interface and then to the network
  • an open node on the network to which the specialized drop cable can connect.

I believe that EVINRUDE used this approach with the E-TEC G2 engines because the diagnostic software could then be used with several devices that are connected to the NMEA-200 network in the typical E-TEC G2 installation. For example, with an E-TEC G2 installation the following devices will be connected to the NMEA-2000 network:

  • all E-TEC G2 engines
  • all ICON II electronic throttle and shift (ETS) controls
  • all ICON Touch engine data displays
  • an iDOCK joystick docking controller

By making the EV-Diagnostic software interface via the NMEA-2000 network, it will be possible for one method of connection (via the NMEA-2000 network) and one application software (EV-Diagnostics version 6) to be used with all four types of devices.

Other division of Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) (such as the SkiDoo, SeaDoo, and Canam vehicles) were already using communication with their E-TEC engines via MPI-2 or MPI-3 interface using a USB to CAN Bus adaptor. That this technology would be adapted to communication with the Evinrude E-TEC outboard engines seems like a natural outcome.

jimh
Posts: 5339
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: EV-Diagnostic 6 and E-TEC G2 Engines

Postby jimh » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:01 am

As mentioned in the initial article in the thread, a recorded presentation available at

https://vimeo.com/groups/207338/videos/97778269

demonstrates the use of the EV-Diagnostics software version 6.

jimh
Posts: 5339
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: EV-Diagnostic 6 and E-TEC G2 Engines

Postby jimh » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:51 am

The connection for the EV-Diagnostic 6 software to the E-TEC engine is not made directly; the two devices are connected to a NMEA-2000 network, and they communication over the network. Evinrude provides its dealers with the interface device, shown below:

EvinrudeUSBtoCANBusInterfaceSmall.png
IXXAT Interface for Evinrude G2 Engines
EvinrudeUSBtoCANBusInterfaceSmall.png (78.45 KiB) Viewed 602 times


The interface connects to the terminal or computer executing EV-Diagnostics V6 under Windows via a USB interface (partially seen on the right in the above image). The interface connects to the network via a DB9 connector and a special DB9-to-DeviceNET Micro C connector (partially seen on the left in the above image). It is not known if the interface provides opto-isolation of the electrical interface at the network side, but that would be typical for a product that connects to NMEA-2000 networks.

In using a network connection for the engine interface on outboard engines, Evinrude is perhaps the last division of Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) to adopt this method. Other BRP companies like SkiDoo (snow machines), SeaDoo (personal water craft), and Can-am (three-wheel motorcycles) were already using this method. The abbreviation B.U.D.S. may mean Bombardier Universal Diagnostic System. The front panel of the interface reflects it use with many different BRP products:

EvinrudeIntefaceFrontPanel.jpg
The same interface can be used with several other BRP E-TEC engines, in addition to the outboard engines.
EvinrudeIntefaceFrontPanel.jpg (23.3 KiB) Viewed 602 times