Voltlog’s CanLite is not the first ESP32 CAN bus board we’ve covered here at CNX Software, having written about Olimex ESP32-EVB and CAN32 boards a few years ago.
But the open-source hardware, compact CanLite board offers an alternative for CAN bus hacking with a built-in automotive-grade DC-DC converter as well as an optional two-channel high-side automotive-grade switches capable of switching up to 6A per channel.
CANLite key features and specifications:
- Wireless module – ESP32-WROOM-32D module with Espressif ESP32-D0WD dual-core Tensilica processor, 4MB SPI flash, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n up to 150 Mbps, Bluetooth 4.2 LE
- Terminal block for CAN Bus (ISO 11898-2 standard) up to 1Mbps via SN65HVD231 CAN transceiver.
- Output – High-side switching of the VBAT input up to 6A. (only if the option is purchased during checkout).
- Programming – 6-pin JST-SH VoltLink pin header
- Power Supply – 12V/0.5A via terminal block
- Dimensions – TBD
The ESP32 CANLite board supports Arduino or ESP-IDF framework programming but no software code has been provided so far, but it should be possible to use the ESP32-CAN-Driver project, and other software used for other CAN bus board based on ESP32. What we have are the KiCAD schematics, PCB layout, BoM, and Gerber files on Github.
Since I had never heard about “high-side switches” I looked it up and STMicro explains it as follow:
High-side switches can safely drive high currents into complex (resistive, inductive and capacitive) grounded loads in compliance with the harsh automotive environment. This requires both a robust, low on-resistance power switch and accurate analog circuitry for diagnostic, protection and control functions.
VoltLog also happens to be a YouTuber, so you can get a detailed walk-through of the board in the video below.
The CANLite board is available on Tindie for $30.99 without a high-side switch, and $4 more with one high-side switch. Stock is limited (10 boards at this time), and VoltLog does not plan to make more, at least for now, due to supply issues.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.