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Any CAN Bus, SAE J1939, NMEA 2000 Development Requires the Right Testing Tools

Posted by Wilfried Voss on

I want to reiterate a point made in a previous post ("A Beginner's Guide to SAE J1939 Embedded Software Development"): When developing and testing your CAN Bus application, may it be Classical CAN, CAN FD, CANopen, SAE J1939, or NMEA 2000, you need to connect your device to a functional network. One solitary node connected to your device will not do. On the other hand, a working network provides operation under stable conditions, i.e., the assurance that any possible communication problems have to do with your device (no pun intended; that's just in the nature of things).

Our Starter Kit and Network Simulator provides a solution for SAE J1939 testing but also ISOBUS and (to a certain degree) NMEA 2000. However, when vigorously testing new devices and their firmware, I add another device, a CAN analyzer that displays all CAN Bus traffic regardless of the protocol used. In the past, I used the ADFWeb.com USB-to-CAN converter. Their Windows software is easy to manage, which is crucial since I don't particularly appreciate going through significant learning curves.

Many such USB gateways are available in the market, and they vary in complexity and pricing. The top-of-the-line will be suitable if you are engaged in complex CAN Bus development, such as automobile or robotics applications. However, when it comes to SAE J1939 or NMEA 2000, there is no need for all top-notch features (e.g., sample point timing, oscillator frequency, etc.).

PCAN-USB Pro FD - CAN, CAN FD, and LIN Interface for High-Speed USB 2.0

When it was time to modernize my test hardware to Windows 11 (with all its nasty USB driver restrictions), I also updated the CAN Analyzer hardware. I opted for the PEAK PCAN-USB Pro, which supports two CAN and LIN Bus interfaces. As I mentioned, simple yet effective Windows software is essential to me, and PCAN-View does not disappoint. Setup was a breeze (besides the fact that Windows 11 does not recognize their USB port), and the software was created with great user-friendliness in mind, making reading the user manual an optional task.

The screenshot above demonstrates the data traffic between two devices, the PCAN-USB Pro and our SAE J1939 Simulator Board, which are connected through our CAN Bus Hub board (see test setup on top of the page). When testing new devices and firmware versions, I connect to the hub with the knowledge that any discrepancy must be originated in the new device, thus preventing any time-consuming shooting-in-the-dark scenario.


SAE J1939 to USB Gateway in Plastic Enclosure

SAE J1939 to USB Gateway in Plastic Enclosure

The SAE J1939 to USB Gateway utilizes our SAE J1939 ECU Simulator Board With USB Port and embeds it in an enclosure. The SAE J1939 gateway allows you to monitor, simulate, and record any PGN as defined in the SAE J1939-71 Standard but also including diagnostic messages according to SAE J1939-73.

The gateway supports the full SAE J1939 protocol according to J1939/81 Network Management (Address Claiming) and J1939/21 Transport Protocol (TP). It is also supported by an extensive programming interface for Windows and Linux/Ubuntu applications, including full C/C++/C# source code for short time-to-market developments.

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NMEA 2000 / SAE J1939 Data Scanner with BLE Interface for iOS Applications

This post is a follow-up on NMEA 2000 Data Scanner with Bluetooth, BLE for Android, iOS, PC Applications. In this new post, I also include SAE J1939, since NMEA 2000 is based on J1939.  Also, in this particular case, instead of the NMEA2000-compatible 5-pin M12 connector, I used a DSUB9 as it applies to the CAN Bus [...]

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

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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Controller Area Network (CAN), SAE J1939, NMEA 2000 Wireless Module for IoT and ELD Applications

Due to the global shortage of electronic components, we at Copperhill Technologies began rethinking our strategy regarding new developments. Luckily, that change turned out to be a blessing in disguise because the transition from NXP LPC to the ESP32 processor opened the door to more industrial and automotive applications, especially those involving wireless transmissions for [...]

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A New Generation of SAE J1939 Gateway, ECU Simulator, and Starter Kit

Like many other businesses, we have to deal with the global shortage of electronic components. For instance, the NXP LPC 17xx processors we used for our SAE J1939 gateways and the starter kit are not available at this time. Even worse, there is no reliable information if/when production resumes. This situation forced us to rethink [...]

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CAN Bus Development with ESP32-WROOM32 Development Board

This post will demonstrate how to add a CAN Bus port to the ESP32-WROOM32 development board, i.e., regarding hardware and software. Download this post as PDF... As a matter of fact, we already offer a hardware utilizing the ESP32 processor and an onboard CAN Bus transceiver as shown in the image to the left. The ESP32 WiFi, Bluetooth [...]

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Embedded CAN Bus, SAE J1939, NMEA 2000 Development With ESP32

Like many businesses in the CAN Bus marketplace, we have struggled with the global shortage of electronic components. For instance, our SAE J1939 gateways are equipped with NXP processors, mainly the LPC1754 and LPC1768. Unfortunately, both processors are currently unavailable, and they come with remarkably long delivery times that go well into next year. We [...]

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DIN Rail Ethernet to CAN/CAN FD Interface Supports SAE J1939, NMEA 2000, CANopen

Kvaser introduced their DIN Rail SE410S-X10 Ethernet-to-CAN(FD) multi-channel interface with additional I/O support through add-on modules.Kvaser supplies advanced CAN Bus solutions to engineers designing and deploying systems in areas as wide-ranging as trucks and buses, petrol-driven and electric cars, industrial automation, avionics, construction equipment, building automation, domestic appliances, marine, medical, military, railway, telecoms, textiles and more.The [...]

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Testing NMEA 0183 For The PICAN-M - NMEA 0183 & NMEA 2000 HAT For Raspberry Pi

PICAN-M - NMEA 0183 & NMEA 2000 HAT For Raspberry Pi Our PICAN-M (M = Marine) is a  Raspberry Pi HAT with NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 connection. The NMEA 0183 (RS422) port is accessible via a 5-way screw terminal. The NMEA 2000 port is accessible via a Micro-C connector. The board comes with a 3A SMPS (Switch [...]

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