26SI Series Alternator – Diagnostic Capabilities

Connecting a Computer to the Product Link System

Required Software

This system requires Caterpillar Electronic Technician (Cat ET) version 2004B or later.

Note: Cat ET (version 2007A) is recommended. Always update Cat ET to the latest version in order to access all of the available functionality of Product Link.

Supported Hardware Connections

The PL121SR Radio and PL300 ECM are configured with Cat ET that use the following communications interfaces:

  • For PL121SR installations only, the 245-7310 Serial Service Cable is connected between the PC serial port and the serial service connector on the radio legacy harness or the conversion harness. The CatET”Communications Interface Device” is configured for the “Embedded Communications Adapter”.

  • For PL121SR plus the PL300 installations only, the 171-4400 Caterpillar Communications Adapter II hardware is connected between the machine service connector and the PC serial port or parallel port. The Cat ET “Communications Interface Device” is configured for the “Caterpillar Communications Adapter II (RP1210)”.

Note: The configuration parameters for the “Communications Interface Device” are found in Cat ET under “Utilities” menu, “Preferences” drop-down menu.

Configure Computer Interface Communications for Cat ET

The following screen examples show how to configure computer communications in order to use Cat ET.

  1. Use the 245-7310 Serial Service cable to connect a computer with the required Cat ET software to the serial service connector of the wiring harness.
  1. Select “Utilities” on the menu bar.



    Illustration 1 g01362853

    “Preference” Screen of Cat ET

  1. From the drop-down list, select “Preference”.



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    “Caterpillar Embedded Communications Adapter” Screen

  1. Select the “Communications” tab (if the tab has not already been automatically selected). Click on the arrow for the drop-down menu in order to expand the menu. Select “Caterpillar Embedded Communication Adaptor”.

Diagnostic Capabilities for PL121SR Radio

PL121SR Radio



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263-9088 Communication Radio Gp ( PL121SR Radio)

(1) Yellow LED – VHF Communication Fix Status

(2) Orange LED – GPS Fix Status

(3) Green LED – Engine Running

The green LED is ON when the engine is running. If the green LED is OFF, the engine is OFF.

The orange LED flashes while the GPS receiver searches for GPS satellites. When the system obtains a valid fix, the LED does not flash but the LED remains illuminated.

The yellow LED flashes while the PL121S radio antenna searches for VHF provider satellite connections. When the antenna obtains a fix on the VHF provider satellites, the LED does not flash but the LED remains illuminated.


Diagnostics That Use Caterpillar Electronic Technician (Cat ET)



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The Communications Adapter shown is only for use in a PL321 system. The PL121 requires the 245-7310 Control Harness Assembly (Service cable).

The Caterpillar Electronic Technician (Cat ET) is a software program that is used to access data. The service technician can use Cat ET in order to perform maintenance on the machine. Some of the options that are available with Cat ET are listed below:

  • Viewing of the diagnostic codes (Refer to the Systems Operation, Troubleshooting, Testing and Adjusting, “Diagnostics Code List” in order to view a list of the codes.)

  • Viewing active event codes and logged event codes

  • Viewing the status of parameters

  • Viewing clear active diagnostic codes and clear logged diagnostic codes

  • Performing calibration of machine systems

  • Programming the ECM (Flash) with the “Winflash” program Refer to the Systems Operation, Troubleshooting, Testing and Adjusting, “Electronic Control Module (ECM) – Flash Program”.

  • Printing reports.

The following list contains some of the diagnostic functions and programming functions that are performed by the service tools.

  • The failures of the ECM system are displayed.

  • The status of most of the inputs and the outputs are displayed.

  • The settings for the ECM are displayed.

  • Display the status of the input and output parameters in real time.

  • Display the clock hour of the internal diagnostic clock.

  • The number of occurrences and the clock hour of the first occurrence and the last occurrence is displayed for each logged diagnostic code.

  • The definition for each logged diagnostic code and each event is displayed.

  • Load new FLASH software.

Refer to the Systems Operation, Troubleshooting, Testing and Adjusting, “Diagnostic Code List” for the list of diagnostic codes for the PL300 ECM.

Status Groups for Caterpillar Electronic Technician

In order to access the status groups, follow the procedure that is listed below.

  1. Select the “Information” tab on the menu bar.
  1. Click “Status” (1) or click the “Status” icon (2) on the tool bar. Refer to Illustration 5.

The status groups should be used in order to verify that the installation of the Product Link module has been successful.




Illustration 5 g01126711

(1) Status on Menu Bar

(2) Status Icon on Tool Bar

There are as many as six status groups which have screens available in Cat ET for verifying and servicing the Product Link system .

Note: Some of the status group screens are for use only with the PL121SR system where other screens are for use with the PL321 system.

“Queued Messages” From “Message Queue”



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“Queued Status” Screen for PL121SR



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“Queue Status” Screen for PL321SR

The PL121SR system “Message Queue” screen for Product Link in Illustration 6 shows a current count of the messages that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. For the PL321 system “Message Queue” screen, refer to Illustration 7. Table 1 explains the possible values for the queued messages and the types of queued messages.

Table 1
“Queue Status Screen” Information    
Queue Information     System     Description    
Queued Status Messages     PL121SR and PL321SR     This value is the current count of status messages that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number can be up to 3.    
Queued Event Messages     PL321SR     This value is the current count of event messages that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number can be up to 5.    
Queued Diagnostic Messages     PL321SR     This value is the current count of diagnostic messages that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number can be up to 5.    
Queued Registration Messages     PL121SR and PL321SR     This value is the current count of registration messages that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number is either 0 or 1.    
Queued Administration Messages     PL121SR and PL321SR     This value is the current count of administration messages that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number is either 0 or 1.    
Queued De-Registration Messages     PL121SR and PL321SR     This value is the current count of de-registration messages that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number is either 0 or 1.    
Queued Service Meter Change Messages     PL121SR and PL321SR     This value is the current count of hour change messages for the service meter that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number can be up to 5.    
Queued Position Report     PL121SR and PL321SR     This value is the current count of position report messages that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number is either 0 or 1.    
Queued SMU Report     PL121SR and PL321SR     This value is the current count of report messages for the service meter unit that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number is either 0 or 1.    
Queued Fuel Report     PL321SR     This value is the current count of fuel reports that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number is either 0 or 1.    
Queued Time and Geo-Fencing Report     PL121SR and PL321SR     This value is the current count of “Time and Geo-Fencing Report” messages that are pending to be sent by the Product Link module. This number can be up to 3.    
Queued ECM List Report     PL321SR     This value is the current count of ECM list reports that are “pending to be sent” by the Product Link module. This number can be up to 5.    

Test messages can be added to the queues by selecting “PLM Commands” from the “Service” drop-down menu. Then, the user must select the desired message. All pending messages can be cleared by selecting “Clear Message Queue” from this menu.

Note: Do not clear out event messages (legitimate) or diagnostic messages that need sent. Messages will not be created again unless an event or a diagnostic occurs again.




Illustration 8 g01450724

View of “Message Buffer” Screen

If the message buffer is full, Cat ET will display a message of “Unable to send the PLM Command. The command was denied because the message buffer is full.”. Refer to Illustration 8.

“Message Buffer Full” – If Cat ET is showing a message that is still in the queue, the user must wait up to 15 minutes before queueing an additional message of the same type. If the user attempts to queue an additional message of the same type prior to the 15 minute period, the “Message Buffer Full” message will display.

“Message Timer Not Expired” – If Cat ET is not showing a message in the queue, the user must wait up to 15 minutes before queueing an additional message of the same type. If the user attempt to queue an additional message of the same type prior to the 15 minute period, the “Message Timer Not Expired” message may display.

“PLM Operational Status” Screen

The Product Link “Status parameters” screens in Illustration 9 and Illustration 10 show the current operational status of the Product Link module.




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Device Configuration and Status Screen for PL121SR



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Device Configuration and Status Screen PL321SR

Refer to Table 2 for an explanation of the PLM parameters.

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