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Ixxat CANnector – The swiss army knife for CAN

by Frank Pastors | Oct 23, 2020
HMS Networks now introduces Ixxat® CANnector, a flexible solution for logging, bridging and extending CAN networks. Complementing the existing CAN@net NT and CANbridge NT series, CANnector offers additional interfaces and functions, as well as data logging functionality. Since it is compatible with CAN@net NT and CANbridge NT, CANnector enables easy expansion of existing installations.

A flexible all-rounder – logger, bridge and range extender

Like CAN@net and CANbridge NT, CANnector is a stand-alone device, which means that no PC is needed. In addition to a generic CANnector, three preconfigured versions are offered:

CANnector Range – For simple CAN(FD) range extension via Ethernet or as a CAN interface connected to the PC via Ethernet.

CANnector Bridge – CAN(FD) bridge/gateway, frame or signal based and with functions, like e.g. online floating-point data manipulation for all bus systems.

CANnector Log – Data logger with trigger and ring buffer as well as low-power sleep mode with wake-up on CAN(FD), for logging frame or signal based CAN(FD) data.

After unpacking and connecting, all three versions can be used directly. As the base hardware is the same, and the different functions of CANnector are provided by loadable configurations, all CANnectors can be reconfigured to include the functionality of choice.

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Performant and versatile

A powerful Linux platform allows CANnector to execute complex applications and data manipulations directly on the device. The support of bus description files also enables operation on signal level.

By using "Wake-up on CAN" and the possibility to switch off the TX function on the CAN buses, the device can be used in applications which are sensitive to power and safety.

CANnector is available in different hardware versions, which differ only in the number of supported interfaces. The maximum number of interfaces is eight CAN(FD), two LIN, two Digital IO and one EtherCAT slave interface as well as Ethernet and USB. The EtherCAT slave interface is implemented using an Anybus® CompactCom technology from HMS, allowing future support of other industrial Ethernet protocols as well. USB extensions like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are available as an option.

Cloud and PLC connection

Ixxat CANnector offers numerous additional functions which enable for example live data visualization and simulation using mobile devices (smartphone or tablet) via Wi-Fi, or cloud connectivity via OPC-UA, MQTT or via HMS Hub™ - HMS’ own solution for industrial data connectivity.

Using the EtherCAT slave interface, CANnector enables a direct connection of CAN(FD)-based networks to industrial Ethernet networks or a PLC.

All functions can be executed in parallel on the CANnector device, so that e.g. logging of data can be executed in parallel to CAN(FD) bridging and data visualization on mobile devices. 

Easy configuration via drag & drop

HMS provides a free Windows tool which enables easy configuration of CANnector, in which the "connections" between source and target are established using a Drag and Drop concept. CAN(FD) bus descriptions can optionally be imported for configuration. The standard range of functions  can be extended using the integrated development and debug environment and own C-user code or Matlab/Simulink models, which can be executed directly on the device.