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Vehicle Spy: Advanced Features

ECU / Node Simulator / Restbus Simulator

With the Vehicle Spy ECU simulator, you can create an entire network simulation with a few clicks, with or without scripting:

  1. Load a DBC (database) file, or enter ECU information manually into Vehicle Spy.
  2. Select the ECUs/nodes that you want to simulate on the Basic Simulation Setup screen.
  3. For each ECU, select the messages that you want to simulate on the Simulation Data screen.
  4. For each signal, select how you want the values calculated. You can enter an expression, obtain the values from a script or external program, or replay prerecorded data.
Simulator Simulation Data screen with Expression Dialog open
Function Block Scripts

Function Block Scripting

Function Blocks are a graphical approach to scripting, allowing you to easily select a list of actions from a set of options for each step. This simplified approach is ideal for those whose main technical focus is not programming. Function Blocks offer the same power as other scripting languages, but are easier to learn and apply. You can also download compiled Function Blocks into hardware like our vehicle network adapters or data loggers for standalone (PC-free) real-time operation.


Using CCP and XCP, you can measure and record ECU data and write values into ECU memory. Vehicle Spy’s CCP/XCP support includes the ability to calibrate ASAM (ASAP2) Values, Curves and Maps. In addition, import and export of calibration values is also supported.

Our data logging capable devices enable you to set up standalone CCP/XCP data logging jobs. Normal mode CAN traffic can also be logged at the same time as CCP/XCP data. All data is automatically time-aligned and timestamped with a real-time clock.

MEP View (upper left), Graphical Panels (upper right), Signals View (lower)
J1939 Address View (top), DTC Monitor / Simulator View (bottom)

J1939 Features

All of the following J1939 features are Included with Vehicle Spy at no additional charge:

  • Address Manager: The J1939 Address Manager enables you to view all claimed address on the J1939 bus. You can also set up Vehicle Spy to claim its own address.
  • DTC Monitor / Simulator – With the J1939 DTC Monitor / Simulator, you can view all active DM1 messages on the J1939 bus and simulate multiple ECUs’ DTCs. You only need to enter an ECU address and a list of SPNs for each ECU. Vehicle Spy takes care of all of the J1939 Transport messages (long messages) necessary for transmission.
  • J1939 BAM and CTS/RTS Messages: You can transmit and receive J1939 transport layer messages without scripting. Simply set up a message with the appropriate parameters in Vehicle Spy’s Messages Editor, a built-in Database Editor (DBC Editor).


External Program API

Vehicle Spy has an Applications Programmers Interface (API) that enables other programs to control its actions. This feature can be used by external programs on the same computer, or a remote computer with a TCP/IP connection. Programs written in LabView, C++, C#, Visual Basic, MATLAB or other Windows programs are supported. This capability is often used by test station or dynamometer software to take advantage of Vehicle Spy’s capabilities.