September 23, 2018  Engine Gateway firmware updates

New versions have a bug fix for MEFI engines, trim calibration for SmartCraft (Mercury and MerCruiser) engines, and better support for old SmartCraft engines not equipped with digital gauges.

SmartCraft data supported

The day has come. New features need more space for software, but most Gateways purchased in last 12 month have it. However, for older Gateways, firmware 1.25 will be the last version, unless we find bugs to fix.

Do not turn off the Gateway immediately after the upgrade to 1.25 version (five confirmation flashes). Wait 5-10 seconds until the LED starts a signal with two-flash sequences, meaning that the normal mode of operation has begun. Otherwise, you can break your Gateway, because it is updating the boot loader.

This version contains a fix for fuel rate transmitted in proprietary messages of MEFI engines and trim position calibration for SmartCraft (Mercury, MerCruiser). It has no support for the J1708/J1939 Adapter; do not upgrade to this version if you have it.

Calibration works very easy, trim data of the first (or single) engine are used. Set zero degrees trim and insert the MicroSD card with the configuration file YDEG.TXT that contains this single line:

     SMARTCRAFT_TRIM=0

You should see three green flashes of the LED. This means that the Gateway has actual trim data and the calibration setting was updated. The output YDEGSAVE.TXT file will contain a line with the updated calibration value, for example:

     SMARTCRAFT_ZERO_TRIM=2000

Actually, this is the value transmitted by the engine at the moment. Now, tilt the engine to a round position close to the highest, for example, to 15 degrees. In that position, upload a file with the following setting:

     SMARTCRAFT_TRIM=15

The Gateway will calculate a one-degree step (using the zero position calibration value) and save it to the configuration file, for example:

     SMARTCRAFT_STEP_TRIM=400

Of course, you can edit these settings in the configuration file. An NMEA 2000 has 1% tilt/trim resolution, with a range from 0 to 100%. Some chart plotters can handle negative values and actually have range from -100% to 100%.

After the calibration, 15 degrees trim will be shown as 15% on a chart plotter. If you are not using trim above 10 degrees, you can divide the step by 10 and upload this setting to the gateway:

    SMARTCRAFT_STEP_TRIM=40

With this setting, 5.6 degrees trim will be shown as 56% on the chart plotter.

If your chart plotter cannot handle negative tilt/trim values, and your engine angle starts from a negative value, the only option is to re-calibrate it using a start value as the zero position, or decrease the zero calibration value to an appropriate number of steps. For the example above, if the angle starts at -2 degrees, upload the following setting:

     SMARTCRAFT_ZERO_TRIM=1200

In the first lines of the YDEGSAVE.TXT file, you will find a comment that the gateway is ready for upgrade to version 1.30 or that it cannot be upgraded to 1.30.

Version 1.30 has handshake support for SmartCraft engines. It should be turned on if you see only the engine speed (RPM) and have no other data, like coolant temperature, battery voltage, fuel rate and so on. To turn on this setting, change the line:

     SMARTCRAFT=ON

in the configuration file to

     SMARTCRAFT=HANDSHAKE

Note that with this setting the Gateway is no longer read-only. It will send a request to the engine after each time the ignition is turned on. On modern vessels where digital gauges are used, handshake from the Gateway is not required, because it is done by digital gauges. Moreover, modern outboards do not require handshake even if no digital gauges are connected.

Brief instruction for update to 1.30 version:

  1. Download the file with update and unzip it.
  2. Copy the file GUPDATE.BIN from FW125 folder of the update to the root folder of MicroSD card.
  3. Insert the card to the Gateway and cycle NMEA 2000 power.
  4. Wait until the Gateway's LED starts signaling with a two-flash sequence, meaning normal operation mode is engaged.
  5. Eject the card, and replace GUPDATE.BIN with the file from FW130 folder of the update.
  6. Insert the card into the Gateway and cycle NMEA 2000 power.
  7. Wait until the Gateway's LED start signals with a two-flash sequence, meaning normal operation mode is engaged.
  8. Check the actual firmware version of the Gateway on a chart plotter, or create YDEG.TXT file on MicroSD card and insert it to the Gateway. Eject the card after 5 seconds - the YDEGSAVE.TXT file will contain the firmware version number in the first lines.

The firmware update is available on the Downloads page. To learn more about the Engine Gateway, visit this page.

 

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