Additional Information

Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...

Blog

NMEA 2000 Data Scanner with Bluetooth, BLE for Android, iOS, PC Applications

Posted by Wilfried Voss on

NMEA 2000 to Bluetooth Gateway

Our N2K-BT gateway functions as a NMEA 2000 to Bluetooth data scanner for any host device with a Bluetooth or BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) port, such as PCs, phones, or tablets. Therefore, it supports operating systems such as Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and more. In addition, the wireless communication protocol employs easy-to-read and easy-to-process ASCII data strings, making it easy for iOS and Android developers to interpret the data stream. 

NMEA 2000 Data Scanner Test Environment

Hardware

The data scanner hardware utilizes the ESP32 processor with Bluetooth, BLE, and WiFi capabilities and a CAN Bus port with a transceiver. 

The ESP32 series employs a Tensilica Xtensa LX6 microprocessor in both dual-core and single-core variations and includes built-in antenna switches, RF balun, power amplifier, low-noise receive amplifier, filters, and power management modules. 

The module accepts an external power supply between 7 and 36 VDC with reverse polarity protection. It operates safely within a temperature range of -40C to +85C. The NMEA 2000 port is accessible via a Micro-C connector (M12 5Pin Male Socket). 

Software

It is important to emphasize that the module merely transmits processed CAN data frames as they appear in the network, i.e., it does not support NMEA 2000 protocol management features. 

However, it allows the user to monitor and filter PGNs needed for their application.

The ASCII data string includes: 

  • Data Page 
  • PGN 
  • Priority 
  • Destination Address 
  • Source Address 
  • DLC (Data Length Code)
  • Data 
  • Checksum

Bluetooth Test

We used a Windows PC with terminal software to test the Bluetooth communication. The terminal software connects to the Bluetooth COM port. Our test device connects to a NMEA 2000 simulation network based on our SAE J1939 to USB Gateway (NMEA 2000 is a derivative of SAE J1939). In addition, we monitor the CAN Bus data traffic with a separate CAN Bus monitor system.

The below screen shot shows the received data traffic on the Windows PC:

However, let's have a look at a single data frame. In the following example, we are using PGN 65336 (0xFF38, broadcast message) with a source address of 34 (0x22) and priority = 6.

The BT scanner converts the CAN data into the ASCCI string as shown below:

0 - Data Page

FF38 - PGN

6 - Priority

FF - Destination Address (Global Address)

20 - Source Address

8 - Data Length

8877665544332211 - Data

67 - Checksum

We are working on a documentation of our testing with an Android phone, and we will follow up with another post.

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)

BLE is a requirement for communication with Apple's iOS. At this point, we have a working version and will also introduce it in another post. The testing environment is, of course, different, i.e., we are using an iMac, and an iPhone in combination with the nRF Connect app.

Status and Availability

Officially, the N2K-BT module is still under development, and we target a release in October 2022. We consider the software development as finished regarding the mere data scanning capabilities, but we are considering, among others, the implementation of PGN filters to reduce the wireless data traffic.

Please feel free to contact us in case you need further information. We are also available to develop customized hardware and software to meet your requirements.


Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy: Tools and Techniques for Low-Power NetworkingGetting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy: Tools and Techniques for Low-Power Networking

With Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), smart devices are about to become even smarter. This useful guide shows how this impressive wireless technology helps developers create mobile applications that share data with external hardware and how hardware engineers can obtain easy and reliable access to mobile operating systems.

This book renders a reliable, high-level overview of how devices use BLE to communicate with each other. You learn about valuable low-cost tools for developing and testing BLE-enabled mobile apps and embedded firmware and get examples using various development platforms, including iOS and Android for app developers and embedded platforms for product designers and hardware engineers.

  • Understand how data is organized and transferred by BLE devices
  • Explore BLE’s concepts, key limitations, and network topology
  • Dig into the protocol stack to grasp how and why BLE operates
  • Learn how BLE devices discover each other and establish secure connections
  • Set up the tools and infrastructure for BLE application development
  • Get examples for connecting BLE to iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and sensors
  • Develop code for a simple device that transmits heart rate data to a mobile device

More Information...

ESP32 Based CAN Bus, SAE J1939 and NMEA 2000 to Bluetooth Gateway

The following is a follow-up on our post  Controller Area Network (CAN), SAE J1939, NMEA 2000 Wireless Module for IoT and ELD Applications. The CAN Bus, SAE J1939 and NMEA 2000 to Bluetooth Gateway is the first product of a new series of wireless gateways for IoT (Internet of Things), ELD (Electronic Logging Devices), and other applications. At the [...]

Read More »


SAE J1939 Starter Kit and Network Simulator - New Hardware Variant Using the ESP32 Processor

Our SAE 1939 Starter Kit And Network Simulators allow the experienced engineer and the beginner to experiment with SAE J1939 data communication without connecting to a real-world J1939 network, i.e., a diesel engine. To establish a network, you need at least two nodes. That fact applies, especially to CAN/J1939 nodes. A single CAN Bus controller [...]

Read More »


Four Channel CAN Bus to USB Gateway Using The Arduino Due

In the past, I frequently received inquiries regarding the availability of a four-channel CAN Bus gateway. Such devices exist in the marketplace; however, they are usually costly, and, after all, they don't support easy customization or programming. While we at Copperhill Technologies have the ability to create such a gateway, this is primarily a matter [...]

Read More »


SAE J1939 Protocol Converter Supports Modbus And Ethernet Connectivity

Axiomatic Technologies announced the release of their AX141810, a Modbus router with CAN Bus and Ethernet connectivity. It is available in two variants. The protocol converter is user-configurable via a web browser, featuring data exchange between a CAN Bus network, specifically SAE J1939, EIA-485, and Ethernet.The unit integrates one isolated extended frame format CAN Bus interface, [...]

Read More »


Multi-Functional Telematics Gateway Processes SAE J1939, ISOBUS Parameters For Predictive Maintenance

The  CANUp telematics gateway by Technoton represents a multi-functional telematics unit for use in advanced machinery telematics systems. Advanced machinery includes mobile and stationary objects, which have many operation monitoring parameters for engines, power generators, boilers, various additional equipment, and other assemblies. The core features of the CANUp telematics gateway include: Reading over 10,000 machine operation parameters, thus the [...]

Read More »


USB Device For I/O Testing And Prototyping Supports, Classical CAN, CAN FD, CANopen

DAB-Embedded introduced its USB2IO interface explorer, a device that connects USB to various I/O interfaces for prototyping and functionality tests of electronic devices with CAN, CAN FD, and CANopen interfaces.The product combines a protocol analyzer, data-logger, communication interface, an embedded functional test platform, and basic signal generator. The device targets electrical engineers, firmware developers, enthusiasts, and [...]

Read More »


User-Configurable CAN to LIN Gateway Can Act As A Bi-Directional CAN-LIN Bridge Or Remote I/O Module

The CAN-LIN Gateway ECU by Mach Systems is an electronic control unit with two CAN/CAN FD channels, a LIN Bus port, and various multi-purpose digital/analog inputs and outputs. The control unit is completely configurable and can operate as a stand-alone data converter between a CAN/CAN FD and a LIN bus network or remote I/O modules to connect vehicle [...]

Read More »


CAN FD To Ethernet Gateway With Linux Operating System

The PCAN-Gateway series from PEAK System supports the transmission of CAN Bus data frames over IP networks. The PCAN-Ethernet Gateway FD DR supports CAN FD in addition to the Classical CAN Bus Standard. Both CAN Bus interfaces are CAN FD compliant with data bit-rates of up to 10 Mbit/s. An AM5716 Sitara processor provides the required performance for [...]

Read More »


Testing The SAE J1939 to RS232 & USB Gateway By Copperhill Technologies

In this post, I will demonstrate the test setup of our SAE J1939 to RS232 & USB Gateway. The JCOM.J1939.SER gateway is a high-performance, low-latency, serial vehicle network adapter for SAE J1939 applications. It allows any host device with an RS232 or USB port to monitor SAE J1939 data traffic and communicate with the SAE J1939 vehicle [...]

Read More »