Developing a CAN bus based data collecting device using microcontrollers

OData support
Szabó Zoltán
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

Nowadays electronics became a fundamental part in the appliances and devices found in our everyday life. It is so much so that we can claim, we couldn’t live without it. The need for communication was the first which made this industy grow. Later on other sections appeared that gave the development a new momentum.

The automotive industry became one of the most important developer of the embedded systems. They are to replace as many mechanical components with electrical circuits as possible. The aim of Drive-By-Wire is to minimalize the number of fraying elements, to increase reliability, to decrease running expenses. Fast and reliable communication is needed in order to achive this.

Created in the 80’s, CAN bus is still a leading technology. Albeit it can rather be found in medical devices and industial process control to now, it’s successors such as LIN or FlexRay however carry on this name in the background.

It’s impossible to analyze the traffic and the correctness of such a fast connection without a dedicated device. Not only the high speed and the special transaction protocol would make it more difficult to do so but the possibly long elapsed time between two occurences of a specified error. The latter aspect might be interesting mainly for industrial circumstances. Solutions are offered by the market, but due to the severly limited use of the protocol, they are overpriced.

Hence continuing the development of my USB-CAN gateway started during my professional practice, I was given the task to design and build the hardware and software of a device, which can work autonomously both by a computer and on the field. The reason of it’s creation is to test and debug a complete and working CAN bus.

Post processing the data gives further facilities to make statistics about the life of the bus.


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