Hegemon Electronics, Inc.

Hegemon Electronics - PLC4TRUCKS.

PLC4TRUCKS is an existing new technology that allows reliable tractor-trailer bi-directional digital communications without adding any new wires.

The driving forces behind this issue include a mandate by the federal government for in-cab trailer ABS warning lights, and an overall desire to exchange digital control and monitoring information between the tractor and trailer.


PLC4TRUCKS is a SAE J1587 based networking standard that uses Spread Spectrum Power Line Communications (PLC) over the DC power bus to transfer information back and forth between a tractor and trailer.  Other communication standards such as SAE J1708 and SAE J1939 are well established in the industry and are well suited for control and monitoring applications.  However, both of these standards are "wired" solutions that utilize unshielded or shielded twisted pair.  PLC4TRUCKS does not require any installation of new wires between the tractor and trailer.

The problem is that the standard SAE J560 connector does not have any extra wires (or pins) for J1587, J1708, or J1939 communications.  Many solutions have been proposed to solve this problem including the addition of a second connector, pin multiplexing of the existing J560 connector, wireless solutions such as infrared (IR) and radio frequency (RF), and power line communications (PLC) solutions that use the DC power bus. Each has met with limited success in the marketplace for reasons best explained by the medium.

PLC Advantages:

· Low Cost - Since one of the primary reasons for bring new communication solutions to market is to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency, it is imperative that the maintenance costs as well as the initial costs of the new solutions are low.  PLC communications achieves this by not requiring the installation of a second connector and uses the vehicle's existing wiring to transmit information.  Furthermore low cost is achieve by keeping the electronics "simple" by not requiring any multiplexing or RF circuitry.

· Reliable - Any communications device on a vehicle must be reliable and sound both from a technical design and maintenance perspective.  On a software level, PLC achieves this by using the industry standard SAE J1587 protocol.  On the hardware level all products designed and manufactured by Hegemon are design to operate and withstand the harsh conditions within the automotive environment.

· Flexibility - PLC communications is a hardware and software solution thus making it extremely adaptable to many different applications.  In addition, the hardware requirements are small thus making the modules relatively small in physical size.  This makes them easy to place just about anywhere within a vehicle.

PLC Applications:

· No Additional Wires Vehicle Network
- ABS Warning Information
- Tire pressure information
- Trailer temperature
- Trailer door status
- Engine data to wireless transceiver located on trailer
- Information to driver received through a wireless transceiver
- Cargo status

· In Cab Display Units
· In Cab Warning Devices
· Vehicle security
· Smart Trailer Door Sensors
· Gateway Products
- PLC to RS232
- PLC to J1939
- PLC to J1708

Conclusion:

PLC4TRUCKS offers proved power line Spread Spectrum Carrier technology to solve the problem of tractor-trailer communications.  Hegemon Electronics is in a position to provide system and design expertise to produce low cost products and/or solutions that solve the problem of tractor-trailer communications.

The result will be an SAE J1587 network that operates seamlessly over the DC power bus instead of its typical J1708 twisted pair network.  The industry will benefit from a low-cost, highly reliable, and SAE J1587 compatible solution that enables new applications to emerge for increasing safety, improving efficiency, and reducing overall cost.





35464 Mound Road, Sterling Heights, Michigan 48310 USA
Phone: (586) 977-6541 · Fax: (586) 977-9096
rays@hegemonelectronics.com
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