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A project log for CANtact

The Open Source Car Tool

Eric EvenchickEric Evenchick 01/03/2015 at 23:330 Comments

This project got put on hold for a number of reasons. Now it's back, though I've changed course a bit.

After talking with lots of people, it seemed that there was a need for a basic tool for getting on CAN that's easy to use. I decided to reduce the scope and build something a bit simpler.

Here's the hardware:

I think it's cool for a few reasons:

  1. Built in USB bootloader. I can make firmware updates and you can flash them.
  2. Jumper selectable DB9 pins. This lets you use it with the "standard" pinout, or with an OBD-II cable. In other words, it's very easy to get on your car's CAN bus.
  3. Built in termination. Need 120 ohms across the bus? Just put the jumper on.
  4. Works with SocketCAN. This means you can use Wireshark and other open source tools with it. Including some cool stuff that I'm building, but that's a different story.
  5. Open Source Hardware (soon). I haven't published this stuff yet, but it's coming shortly. All the hardware design (KiCad) and firmware (gcc friendly) will be released under an OSHW happy license.
It also got renamed. The project is now called CANtact. Yep, I can't get away from the CAN puns.
I am planning to do a run of these in the near future. If you're interested in getting one, let me know in the comments.

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