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Free CANopen Configuration and Test Utility

October 27th, 2015 1 comment

At today’s 15th international CAN conference Olaf Pfeiffer of Embedded Systems Academy presented a paper about testing of highly dynamic CANopen systems. Such systems support plug-and-play and node ID assignment by LSS (Layer Setting Services, node ID gets assigned through the network). As a result, devices may change their node ID, making tests more challenging.

One of the test utilities introduced in this paper is now available as free download from ESAcademy’s web pages. It supports the extended concise DCF (Device Configuration File) as introduced in the paper. It allows you to easily write down configuration or test sequences in a table (save as .csv) and execute them using the free CANopen File Player.

The file format, the concise Default Configuration File is part of the basic CANopen definitions and has been in use for quite some time. The extension to it is simply a definition of a set of commands introducing the option to control things like addressing specific devices (identify by CANopen Identity record 1018h) and time delays / timeouts or user interactions.

In addition, the utility can re-play previously made CAN trace recordings, supporting a wide variety of formats from Vector, PEAK and others.

For more information on the format of the extended CDCF see the manual or download the free utility.

Impressions from the Embedded World 2015

March 2nd, 2015 No comments

With about 900 exhibitors the Embedded World reached a size where it is impossible to “see it all”. Yes, you can still walk by all booths in a day, but you might easily miss hidden highlights. It was quite obvious that IoT – the Internet of Things – is a current hype. To me this is quite astonishing as already some 10+ years ago we built an “Embedded Internet Demo” – at that time based on a Philips 8051 with a dial-up modem connected. The main difference between now and then is that now smart phones are widely spread and we are “always online” and now can access our embedded devices “at any time”. Among the visitors one could recognize a lot of skepticism for what exactly we really need the IoT, other then it being hip and cool to be able to control “everything” with our smart phone.

An unusual approach to get remote access to embedded applications was shown by Raisonance ( – they have a miniature NFC or Bluetooth module that connect to the JTAG/SWD debug port of an application. So it can be added to any application with debug port, sometimes even without the need to re-compile the code, if you have the knowledge where in memory the variables are that you want to have remote access to. A great tool to get started with IoT without requiring a re-design of existing hardware.

At the CiA (CAN in Automation) booth a CAN FD demo integrated devices and tools from multiple vendors. CAN FD (Flexible Data) allows higher bit rates and longer contents (up to 64 bytes) of the data frame. Especially bootloader applications and other software update features benefit from the higher data throughput. For such applications it seems to be possible to increase the effective data throughout 8 fold easily, potentially even more.

We at ESAcademy further enhanced our portfolio of CANopen Diag products. There is now a second hardware, based on PEAK’s mini Display, that offers a subset of the diagnostic features provided at a price point of well below 1000 Euro. The CANopen Test Machine System part of the CANopen Diag now allows to create tests based on MS Visio graphs. The transitions in a state diagram can be used to transmit or receive a CAN/CANopen message or to influence/set/test/query variables or timers. More details and examples will be published shortly.

Micro CANopen Source Code V6.11 released

May 10th, 2013 No comments

Today we released a new version of our Micro CANopen source code. Updates and changes made include requirements from the latest CANopen conformance test as well as updates to the CiA 447 specific examples. Besides two bug fixes, the changes are:

Device switch themselves automatically to pre-operational when they detect a loss of a heartbeat that they are consuming. In the past this was application code specific, but as the conformance test requires it, we moved this function into the stack. In CiA 447 this is only done for the loss of the gateway’s heartbeat. Reaction to other heartbeat losses remains application code specific.

For CiA 447 devices, the shut down sequence is now also initiated if a gateway is not present. As before, devices wait for the next wake-up message before they try to communicate again.

Micro CANopen customers with a current maintenance and support contract may download this latest version from our servers as described on the delivery note for each product.

Improved CAN Message Handling in CANopen Magic

April 10th, 2013 No comments

Recently we released a new version of CANopen Magic with significant improvements to the way user-defined CAN messages are handled. Here is a brief summary:

  • Messages can now be grouped together allowing for more logical viewing and keeping messages with similar uses together
  • Cut, copy and paste supports moving and copying messages between the groups
  • The order of the messages in a group can be manipulated to allow quicker and easier identification
  • All messages in a group can be transmitted at once
  • Sequential message transmission

In particular the sequential message transmission is a useful new feature. Repeatedly clicking on a button causes the next message in the group to be transmitted. When the last message in the group has been reached transmission resumes with the first message in the group. This allows complex sequences of messages to be constructed and then transmitted, for example to provide input stimuli to a node under test at a specific point in it’s operation or to mimic transmissions from a node that has not yet been developed.

Available in CANopen Magic Standard, Professional and Ultimate starting with version 6.10. Download the evaluation version.

CiA 447 Car Add-on Devices Gateway Simulation Software Available

July 21st, 2010 No comments

The number of product developments supporting the automotive standard for ‘add-on devices’ CiA447 is on the rise.

The standard supports electronic devices used in taxis, emergency response vehicles and other governmental service vehicles. Typical components include roof bars (light & sound), radios, control units, taximeters, printers and similar devices.

Using a CiA447 gateway, automotive manufacturers like Daimler already provide access to the vehicles internal data today. The standard allows sharing some of the car’s resources like switches and displays with CiA447 devices. A steering wheel button can be used as the PTT (push to talk) button for a radio, which in return can use the car’s display to show channel numbers, volume settings or such. Read more…

Categories: CANopen Tags: ,