Many IoT projects rely on wireless connectivity through WiFi or Bluetooth, but in some cases it may be more reliable and convenient to use wired connectivity.
The CAN Bus is a little like a low bandwidth Ethernet PoE solution for IoT, as it allows to transfer data over a serial connection while provided power at the same time, and can be daisy chain to support multiple boards.
Omzlo’s NoCAN IoT platform provides a CAN bus solution leveraging Raspberry Pi 3 board through their PiMaster HAT acting as a CAN bus gateway, and Arduino compatible CANZERO boards to which you can connect sensors and actuators.
Omzlo PiMaster HAT specifications:
- MCU – STMicro STM32F042 Cortex-M0 32bit ARM MCU – 48Mhz.
- Networking – 125000 bps CAN bus up to 300 meters range
- GPIO – Communicates with Raspberry Pi through SPI + GPIOs
- Security – Smart power switch with over-current protection.
- Power Supply – 6V to 28V DC
- Dimensions – Standard Pi HAT footprint
Omzlo CANZERO node specifications:
- Main MCU – Microchip SAMD21 Arm Cortex-M0+ MCU @ 48Mhz with 256KB flash (8KB for bootloader), 32KB SRAM
- Network driver MCU – STMicro STM32F042 Arm Cortex-M0 MCU @ 48Mhz
- Can Bus transceiver IC – Microchip MCP2562
- Operating Voltage – 3.3V
- Digital I/O Pins – 22
- Analog – 7 inputs and 1 output
- Peripherals – 1 UART, 1 SPI, 1 I2C, CAN-bus
- Misc – Built-in user LED, VIN and 5V supply pins
- Dimensions – Arduino MRK Zero form factor
Software-wise, the company provides nocand daemon for the Raspberry Pi in order to power up or down the network, monitoring voltage and current levels, register nodes and channels, ,rebooting nodes, and upgrading firmware on the CANZERO nodes.
CANZERO board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE using Omzlo SAMD boards packages and Nocan library with an API to handle the CAN Bus. You’ll find software and hardware documentation, including PDF schematics, on Omzlo NoCAN platform page.
The project is already funded on Kickstarter, and you still have 26 days to go to make a pledge. Rewards start at 57 Euros for the “Standard NoCAN kit” with Omzlo PiMaster HAT, two Omzlo CANZERO nodes, some screw terminals plugs, spaces, and a 120-ohm termination resistor. Shipping adds 5 to 6 Euros, and you can expect your kit around September 2018 at the earliest.