The Forensic Link Adapter is a universal device for downloading and securing digital data from heavy vehicles.

The FLA is a rugged field computer that communicates with heavy vehicle electronic control modules (ECMs) over the J1939 and J1708 networks and downloads information from heavy vehicle event data recorders (HVEDRs). It can be used by itself on Navistar MaxxForce, PACCAR MX, all Caterpillar, older Detroit Diesels, and Mercedes Engine Control Modules, or it can be used as a pass-through device. We recommend the DG technologies DPA5 PRO when using OEM software or DG Diagnostics software. The FLA employs patented technology to prevent a user from altering the digital records from HVEDRs. It securely downloads, preserves, and authenticates digital forensic data.

In this video we are going to demonstrate how to download and view the data from a heavy vehicle event data recorder.

When a commercial vehicle is involved in a crash, the data available on an engine control module, or ECM, is important to recover.

The easiest way to access this data is through the on-board vehicle communications network, which is available at the 9 or 6 pin diagnostics connector when the key is in the on position.

The Forensic Link Adapter is a Rugged Field Computer that can communicate with a vehicle over the J1939 and J1708 networks. It has programming to extract data based on these SAE standards as well as the ability to extract digital event data from many ECMs.

Once the generalized vehicle network scan is finished, the FLA will display some component identification. Continuing launches Synercon Technologies detection algorithm to search for engine specific data, like Caterpillar Snapshots or Detroit Diesel Hard Brake Events.

When Getting the Data, the FLA is encrypting the information as it is received to establish its authenticity and reliability.
When finished, the screen will prompt the user to upload and end. A friendly shutdown is encouraged to reduce the risk of file system issues. The data is preserved indefinitely on the FLA, and with 16 GB of memory, countless downloads can be performed.

With field operations complete, the FLA can be packaged in it dedicated carrying case along with its accessories. Once back to a location with a hard Ethernet line to the internet, the encrypted data from the Forensic Link Adapter is uploaded for decoding and display on the Synercon Technologies server.

With an active subscription to the TruckCRYPT Software, you can log in to view and print the data. A list of your FLAs are displayed. All the uploaded and decoded data packages will be available from that FLA. Clicking on the download of interest brings you to the data page where event data is displayed on a dynamic chart and also available as a comma separated values table for importing into Microsoft Excel.

This case study demonstrates how the Synercon Technologies Forensic Link Adapter is superior at extracting critical digital crash data from Caterpillar powered heavy vehicles. I will show you how the Synercon Technologies Forensic Link Adapter was the only tool that could download the data from this bus crash.

This school bus crashing into the transit bus was for a test conducted by the University of Tulsa in conjunction with the Institute for Police Technology and Management. The testing took place as part of IPTM’s Special Problems conference on May 20th of 2015. The school bus had a 2001 Caterpillar 3126 diesel engine with a CKM serial number prefix. However, for this crash test, the engine was running at idle, and the school bus was pulled into the crash using a cable system. The impact was severe enough to compromise the electrical system of the school bus. This means we had to remove the engine control module to download the data. The Synercon Technologies Smart Sensor Simulator provides a fault free environment to power on the ECM and reduce the chance of overwriting existing diagnostic snapshot data.

Even though the CatET maintenance software recognized the QuickStop event corresponding to the crash test, it could not download the data. This is because CatET does not handle partial snapshot records. The forensic Link Adapter, however, can extract this valuable data. After plugging the forensic link adapter into the Smart Sensor Simulator, the screen prompts the user to acknowledge permission to download the data. After downloading data defined in the SAE J1939 and J1587 standards, the Forensic Link adapter recovers all the available snapshots, even the problematic Quick Stop occurrence from the crash test. Once the data is securely uploaded, decoded and rendered on the Synercon Technology Server, powerful visualization tools enable users to interact with the data like never before.

Since this example was from an instrumented crash test, the results are fully validated against reference instrumentation.

Please contact us by e-mail at so we can address any questions you may have.


1.  Works with current software through RP1210 compliant interface
2.  Automatic time keeping through GPS and Internet
3.  OLED display for visibility in daylight
4.  CAN bus support for J1939
5.  J1708/J1587 bus support
6.  Hardware write-blocker to prevent alteration of the ECM data
7.  Easy Internet based updates
8.  Rugged aluminum enclosure
9.  Ships with a rugged case
10.  Includes 9-pin Diagnostic to 15-pin connector cable
11. Includes a 6-pin to 9-pin adapter cable

12.  USB 2.0 connection for RP1210 using DG Technologies DPA functionality
13.  Made in USA
14.  Web-based user preview interface
15.  Compatible with 24V systems
16.  Integrated GPS for automatic time and location tracking
17.  Real-time clock
18.  Automatic strong encryption of forensic data
19.  User buttons for rapid mode selection
20.  Automatic logging and presentation of network traffic
21.  Standards-based diagnostics

Specifications and Benefits

Forensic Link Adapter


  • Dimensions: 8″ x 4.1″ x 2.3″
  • Weight: 1.6 lb

Benefits include:

  • Forensically sound data extraction
  • Quick automated data extraction

Support for many vehicles and engines:

  • Caterpillar ADEM III
  • Caterpillar ADEM IV
  • Detroit Diesel DDEC IV
  • Detroit Diesel DDEC V
  • Some Detroit Diesel DDEC VI
  • Mercedes MBE 4000/900 VCU
  • PACCAR MX (2010-2016)
  • Navistar Maxxforce
  • All other ECMs are supported through the RP1210 USB interface (i.e. it will work like a regular Vehicle Diagnostics Adapter)

Detailed Coverage Support Guide (For reference only)


“I like the device and I think it’s the way to go in terms of “write protecting” relating to admissibility, etc. amongst other features. I think it’s great technology, the Smart Sensor Simulators too, used as a “truck in the box” for downloading direct from module. I do think this equipment will be the way to go as we become more technologically thinking in our forensic analysis efforts. You’ll find Dr. Daily a wealth of information and extremely helpful and willing to share his knowledge and experiences. The next class at the University of Tulsa is a well worth opportunity if you or any of your constituents can make it. I’m happy and proud to be associated with this team.”

“The Synercon Smart Sensor Simulators are not only a forensically sound way to download digital evidence from an Electronic Control Modules (ECM) they are also a time saving and safer way to collect this data from a wrecked heavy vehicle that has been involved in a crash.

In the days that follow the collision event, the Oregon State Police will either receive written consent or a Search Warrant to inspect the heavy truck.  Once the authority to inspect the vehicle is established members of our Heavy Truck Reconstruction team will travel to the impound yard.  Prior to dispatch the team will take with them appropriate Smart Sensor Simulator for the vehicles engine type.  If the truck sensors are damaged or the electrical system cannot be brought back on-line the investigator can hook directly to the module, establish power and extract the data without overwriting fault code related snapshot data.  This saves time since the module does not have to be removed while allowing the investigator to have a stable power source.  This procedure also limits the officer’s exposure to injury from trying to remove the module from the cold side of the engine.

I highly recommend these devices as part of the tools needed for any collision reconstruction team.”

“We have been extremely happy with the Synercon Technologies line of products.  We recently ran into a situation where DDEC Reports could not retrieve the crash data from an ECM and instead only produced generalized data.  The Forensic Link Adapter was not only able to retrieve the data related to the crash in question, but a second unrelated Hard Brake event as well.  The data was displayed in an easy to read format with an interactive graph as well as a data table displayed in 1 second increments.  The FLA is very easy to use and has exceeded our expectations in allowing us to retrieve otherwise inaccessible data.  Last, but certainly not least, to say the support offered by the Synercon Technologies team is exceptional would be an understatement.  They are very knowledgeable and quick in responding to our inquiries.  We are very satisfied with our Synercon Technologies system.”