FAQ

GENERAL FAQ'S

Skip-Line, Inc. keeps a few extra used products on hand to provide to customers as a “loaner” unit while a broken product is being repaired. While we turn around most repairs the same day they are received, if contacted ahead of time we can ship a loaner unit to replace the broken unit for a nominal fee. This saves the customer a day or two of downtime.

Loaners are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and availability is not guaranteed. Call with information about your system (particularly, please provide the serial number of your product) in order to help ensure a compatible loaner is provided. A nominal loaner fee may be charged. If the loaner is not returned within 30 days, you may be charged and sent an invoice for the full price of the unit.

Yes! Please contact us for more information and details about how to apply.

Generally speaking, volume discounts are primarily provided for OEM truck manufacturers or Skip-Line product distributors. However, should your organization have need of purchasing multiple systems in a calendar year, please contact us. If the situation warrants, we may be able to provide some discounts, or be able to provide references to OEMs that can provide you with the services necessary.

If you are unable to print off the above form, then in order to provide you with the best possible service, we require the following for all product repair shipments to Skip-Line:

Contact name
Phone number where contact can be reached during business hours
Address to return package to
Return shipping method (Next day, 2nd day, 3rd day, or ground)
A description of the problem
PO number (if required by your organization’s accounts payable department)
Boxes containing a note with the above information can be sent to us at:

Skip Line, Inc.
10514 N. McAlister Rd
La Grande, OR 97850

Due to local shipping services, we recommend you ship UPS, particularly for time-critical repairs as UPS delivers earlier in the morning and picks up later in the evening than any other local courier.

The malfunctioning unit should be relatively clean. Units with toggle switches and displays should be wrapped in large bubble wrap (3/4″ to 1″ bubbles) and surrounded by newspaper or packing filler. Particular care should be taken for units with LCD displays by ensuring there are no other objects with sharp corners packed in such a way that they could damage the screen while the shipment is in transit. There should be two inches of filler between the unit and the edge of the shipping box.

Should any information above be missing, we cannot guarantee the repaired unit will be returned in the manner expected.

Data-Logging and Monitoring FAQ’s

The CURRENT ACTIVITY REPORT on the truck computer calculates gallons usage and beads usage from the last time the counter channels were cleared on the skip-timer. For the bead weight, if the counter channels were cleared when the bead scale was at, for example, 2400 lbs., and the ending weight was 800 lbs., then the current activity report would show 1600 lbs. used.

If the amount used does not match what you saw as the beginning weight minus the ending weight, the only possible explanation is that the counter channels were not cleared at the beginning of the day, or that the counter channels were cleared some time after you began painting. Even if only one counter channel was cleared, this will reset the running total.

The gallons usage number reported on the CURRENT ACTIVITY REPORT comes directly from the Left side Skip-Timer box. The only way that the gallons number on the CURRENT ACTIVITY REPORT and printout can be different from the gallons number in the Skip-Timer is if you are looking at the Right side Skip-Timer box, and it has a different gallons calibration number from the Left side Skip-Timer box.

You should see the exact difference between your beginning bead weight and ending bead weight if all of the Skip-Timer Counter channels are CLEARed just before you begin painting.

You should never see a difference from the Left side Skip-Timer Gallons counts and the CURRENT ACTIVITY REPORT gallons counts.

To facilitate ease of repair and replacement, all wireless DL-09 Skip-Line peripherals use a method called Auto-Association to associate themselves with a particular DL-09 bridge. The bridge collects data from these peripheral devices and “bridges” it to both cellular transmitter and the Skip-Line Data Logger software on the tablet PC. This is to prevent situations where a truck may be in range of another DL-09 system, where if the peripheral devices could not uniquely identify themselves they may cause data corruption in both logger systems.

When a system is shipped from the factory, all peripheral devices are already associated with the bridge that they ship with. However, when devices are damaged and need to be replaced, when a peripheral device is borrowed from another system, or due to normal wear and tear on the devices, the Auto-Associate process may need to be implemented in order to force a device to report data to a particular bridge.

Before beginning Auto-Association, we should confirm that the malfunctioning device actually requires Auto-Association. Turn on the entire DL-09 system. Once the Skip-Line Data Logger Software has appeared, click on the MENU button, and then click on the DIAGNOSTICS button. Find the particular device you are wanting to Auto-Associate in the list, and look at the number in the “Packets OK” column:

If zero, this confirms that the device is not reporting. Make sure the device has power. If this column remains as zero, but the “Packets OK” count for the Bridge continues to rise over time, then continue with the following instructions.
This means that the software has good communications with the bridge, but not with the particular device you are troubleshooting, for which Auto-Association may help.
If the number in the Bridge is not rising over time, the Data Logger Software is not communicating with the bridge. This indicates there may be a problem with the WUSB adapter for your system. See this FAQ answer for more information
If not zero and continually rising, the device is reporting. If the device is a sensor and you do not see proper values:
Check the main page in the Data Logger software. Confirm that a display item exists to display that sensor value. If you do not see it, follow instructions in the manual on how to change display items.
If there is a display item already and the value reported is zero or an unexpected/unreasonable number (sometimes 32 for a temperature sensor), the sensor may be damaged or worn out. Contact Skip-Line for more information.
Follow these instructions to Auto-Associate:

Switch off or remove power from the peripheral device you wish to auto-associate.
Click the “Turn On Auto-Associate” button on the Diagnostics page.
Any time a few seconds after pressing the Auto-Associate button, reapply power to the peripheral device.
Click on the “Turn Off Auto-Associate” button on the Diagnostics page.
Confirm that you can see the number increasing in the “Packets OK” column of the device.
If the number does not increase, try again.
Removing power from all other peripheral devices during the entire auto-association process can help.

There are many possible causes for this.  First, ensure that the temperature and humidity device is functioning and reporting data continuously by checking the diagnostics page of the Data Logger software menu.  The number in the “Packets OK” column next to the temperature should be increasing roughly once a second.

If the sensor is reporting regularly and results are still inaccurate, check to make sure that the temperature/humidity box is mounted correctly:

  • Mount outside of direct sunlight.
    • Direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time can cause erroneous operation and component damage.
  • Mount in a dry location with adequate air flow.
    • While every effort has been made to make moisture intrusion difficult, the sensor can become saturated and fail if water is forced in.
    • Debris, dirt, and dust intrusion can skew both air and humidity readings.  They can also clog the sensor filter, which will require replacement.
  • Mount where the road temperature sensor has a clear view of the road.

Skip-Line recommends you verify the operation of your temperature and humidity sensors at least once per striping season to ensure accurate operation.  If large discrepancies exist between the data logger temperature and humidity readings and an alternate source, the sensors may need to be replaced.  Contact Skip-Line for more information.

From the main screen, right click on the item you would like to change, and select “Change Parameters”. Change the target, upper limit, and lower limit to match your specs.

For example, if for your particular truck setup the crew is aiming for 10 MPH during application, set the target to be “10.0”, the lower limit to be “9.5” and the upper limit to be “10.5”. You can also optionally set a percentage warning level.

Confirm that you have applied power to your bridge unit, and that the telephone cable is correctly attached. The bridge unit feeds data from the skip timer system wirelessly to the data monitor, and without either power or data it will appear to not work correctly.

If both power and data connections are present, consider the following:

Are all antennas properly attached?
Are the bridge and monitor correctly paired?
Unlike certain other pieces of striping equipment, neither the monitor nor the bridge may be swapped from one truck to another. Doing so will cause data corruption, if it works at all.
Do the lights appear on the bridge?
A DL-09 has an LCD character display and will alert the operator if a connection between it and the monitor cannot be established.
A DL-08 system has four LEDs, some of which should blink about once a second as it transmits data. If the “Data” LED does not blink, the box is either not receiving data or is damaged or malfunctioning.
On certain systems, a WUSB device must be attached to the USB port of the monitor computer. Is it attached?
If your system does not require a WUSB device, IGNORE THIS STEP!
If your system does require a WUSB device, you can confirm that it is operating by locating it in the device manager:
Left click on the Windows “Start” button.
Right click on “My Computer” and select “Properties” in the pop-up menu.
Click the “Hardware” tab.
Click on the “Device Manager” button.
In the list of devices presented in the “Device Manager” window, under the category “Ports (COM and LPT)”, confirm that a “Communications Port (COMx)” exists, where x is the number of the port. If so, the WUSB device is attached and should be working properly.
If everything above is correct, try turning off the entire system, including the computer, scales, printer, bridge, and any other peripherals. Then turn on the computer first, allowing it to boot up completely into the Skip-Line software. Next, start the bridge at the same time as all peripheral devices.

If the above strategies do not work, please call Skip-Line for further support.

Legacy Striping FAQ’s

Measure the CYCLE (from beginning of one skip to the beginning of the next).
If CYCLE length is consistent, then the problem is in the gun or solenoid.
If both STRIPE and CYCLE are inconsistent, then the motion sensor is the cause of the problem. (see other FAQs on motion sensor problems.)

In NO case can the Skip-Timer mechanism cause inconsistent or erratic striping patterns.

The boxes try to memorize all of their settings when they detect a power loss. If electrical power is restored immediately, then the boxes can become stuck in the MEMORIZE state. Turn off the power to the system, wait 10 seconds, and turn it back on.

If this is an on-going problem, it points to insufficient battery supply voltage, or something on the vehicle that is making the battery supply voltage drop periodically. Watch for a correlation between when something on the truck turns on, and the MEMORIZE message appearing.

This is related to the sensor receiving extra pulses from electrical interference on the truck. You can usually pinpoint the culprit by driving around and turning electrical devices on and off while watching the vehicle speed on the skip-timer display. If you can, isolate the skip-timer electrical source from the offending item. Getting it on a different battery and power supply usually fixes the problem.

Electronic ignitions on diesel fired heating systems are notorious for causing this problem.

This is usually a motion sensor problem. Check the spacing between the mag-wrap collar on the drive shaft and the motion sensor. Tips from this FAQ answer may also be helpful.

No. Calibrate the system first over 1000 feet, and the CYCLE length will be correct. Then adjust the guns as described in this FAQ answer and gun factor as described in this FAQ answer.

If the CYCLE length is still incorrect after multiple calibration attempts, verify that the motion sensor is functioning properly as described in this FAQ answer.

Later models of SM-5 series Skip-Line timers and MST-02 timers have a “GUN FACTOR” adjustment that allows you to compensate for the inherently slow turn off time of paint guns and solenoids. A larger gun factor number means a shorter stripe length. This adjustment may also vary over time, as the reaction time of the paint gun will change due to combinations of wear and heat.

Remember that all mechanical systems will wear out over time. Refer to documentation from your truck manufacturer and/or paint gun manufacturer for more information on the life expectancy of your equipment.

Many guns have a spring tension adjustment that allows you to adjust how quickly it turns off. Adjust the guns so that they all turn off at the same distance.

Refer to documentation from your truck manufacturer and/or paint gun manufacturer for more information on how to tune up your paint guns.

No. The same skip signal is used for all guns on one side of the truck. Any differences in skip length between two guns on the same side of the truck are related to the mechanics of the gun and solenoid (see this FAQ answer).

The stripe length is affected by the mechanical turn-off time of the paint gun and solenoid. This is a mechanical problem with the gun and or solenoid.

Later models of SM-5 series Skip-Line timers and MST-02 timers have a “GUN FACTOR” adjustment that allows you to compensate for the inherently slow turn-off time of paint guns and solenoids. A larger gun factor number = shorter stripe length.

All switches will fail over time, even if they meet military specification. For a properly used skip-timer, however, switches should usually last several years before needing replacement. If switches need replacement often, examine how the skip timer is being used:

Do operators toggle the gun switch for every skip?
Skip timers are expensive devices for a reason – they are designed to time both the skip and the gap accurately. To reduce wear and tear on the switches, allow the skip timer to do its job! Refer to your operator manual and other FAQs for more information on how to properly use your skip timer.
Are footage calibration numbers correct?
Many times operators do not realize that the skip timer must be calibrated regularly in order to accurately place skips on the road. If the skip timer is not calibrated, it will appear to be faulty because skips and gaps will not be the proper lengths and operators may resort to using the skip timer manually as described above. Refer to your operator manual for more information on calibrating your skip timer.
Do operators understand and use the Advance/Retard switch?
Most late model skip timers have an Advance/Retard function to place the skip line over old work. If operators do not realize this, they can become frustrated and resort to using the skip timer manually as described above. Make sure operators understand and use this feature.
Other than these issues, there are situations where, due to mounting placement or crew dispositions, the switches are more prone to damage or abuse. Check mounting positions and move the control boxes away from areas where they could be struck accidentally.

Toggle switches, as with most types of switches, are vulnerable to failure over time. Depending on usage and switch function, some switches may start failing before others.

When switches begin to fail, the control box cannot determine the state of the switch reliably and behavior may seem erratic, but the switch is actually commanding the box to perform those behaviors. This can be frustrating for operators who cannot tell by sight that a switch is no longer functioning properly.

Most Skip-Line control boxes are not field serviceable. The boxes should be sent to Skip-Line, Inc. for test and repair. See Skip-Line’s repair and service policy for information on shipping your system to us for repair.

This is a problem widely attributed to skip timers, but many Skip-Line customers are frustrated when they send their box for repair only to find their system tests out OK and no problems were found. There are several causes for truck speed detection to fail:

The sensor has gone bad, caused by:
Grinding against the sensor by magnetic collar or motion plate.
Damage, due to truck or object collision
The sensor is not properly connected or is misaligned, due to:
Bad or damaged sensor wiring
Bad sensor connection into the slave
The sensor is distanced too far from the magnetic collar or motion plate.
Recommended troubleshooting steps:

Check wiring.
Check sensor for damage.
If excessive grinding has occurred, the sensor may need to be replaced.
Remove the sensor and tap it with a magnet rapidly.
If speed appears on the skip timer master, try mounting the sensor closer to the magnetic collar.
Consider whether there were any events to the truck that may have damaged the sensor or skip timers since the last time it was known to work correctly:
Has the truck recently been in an accident?
Has the truck recently been repaired?
Has any welding occurred on the truck while the Skip-Line equipment was installed?
In these cases, replacing the sensor may be necessary. In the case of welding, the skip timers may be damaged and require repair by Skip-Line technicians.
If you suspect the skip-timer is damaged, remove the motion sensor input signal wire, and ground the port pin repeatedly. If this shows speed, then the skip-timer is functioning normally. If not, send your skip timer for repair.

As long as the skip timer functions properly otherwise (e.g. the display lights up and normal text appears), it rarely is the cause of speed not being shown. Should all other troubleshooting avenues fail, call support at Skip-Line.

SM-5 Control System FAQ’s

Both master control boxes need to have the same calibration number. Copy the calibration number from the side that functions properly to the master box on other side.

The SM-5 speedometer gets both power and data from the telephone style cable that plugs into it. Usually when this happens, it is a wiring problem. Things to check for:

Is there any obvious damage to the telephone cable or plugs?
Does the cable fit snugly into the jack or is it loose? Are the retaining tabs broken?
Remember to check both ends of the cable. The other end may terminate in a master, printer, or slave unit.
Does using another cable fix the problem? Does the cable used for the speedometer work when connecting other devices (e.g., printer to master)?
If you do not have a replacement cable or materials to construct a replacement, contact your truck manufacturer or Skip-Line. If it appears that the jack on the speedometer has been worn out, contact Skip-Line and follow these instructions to send it in for repair.

If the cable appears to work OK, consider the following errors:

Do the characters on the screen appear garbled?
Does the display black out?
Does the display not appear to power up at all and remain blank?
If you are sure the cable is good and you see these symptoms, the device may have been damaged or worn out. Please follow these instructions to send it in for repair.

The wiring diagram for most devices can be found in the manual. As many systems are customized per customer requests, contact your OEM or Skip-Line for a manual that matches your particular device serial number. Have the serial number from your master(s) and slave boxes ready before contacting Skip-Line.

NOTE:

This information is provided in good faith that it is accurate and helpful. Notwithstanding, this information is provided as is, without any guarantee of any kind. Skip-Line, Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability of any kind for, but not limited to, equipment damage, injury, loss of productivity, or indirect loss of income.