Open search

Extension board

CAN and I/Os for the Raspberry Pi

Pixtend by Qube Solutions (Germany) is an extension board for the Raspberry Pi Model B. Besides various digital and analog I/Os, the board also offers serial ports like CAN, EIA-232, and EIA-485.

Pixtend Full with Raspberry Pi (Photo: Qube Solutions)

THE BOARD MULTIPLIES THE CONNECTION and application possibilities of the Raspberry Pi. Its interfaces and I/Os are robust and comply with IEC 61131-2. The Pixtend- μController (Atmel AVR) is programmable. Fourteen digital I/Os and six analog I/Os, as well as the one CAN port short-circuit proof, as are all other interfaces.

The Raspberry Pi accesses the CAN controller via the SPI interface and additional Raspi-GIOs. The differential signals make the CAN network tolerant against electromagnetic distortions. Via the CAN interface, the board can become part of a CAN-based system, for example CANopen or Devicenet. It can also be used to built a bus system with other control units, micro-controllers, and analyzers.

Possible applications include home automation and teaching platforms for control engineering, circuit technology, and software techniques. Another possibility is the application in amateur radio. Temperature and humidity sensors are supported, as are 433 MHz transmitters and modeling servos. An integrated real-time clock puffers time and date.

The board’s hardware and software are open source. It also has native Codesys V3 support. Codesys enables programming in many languages for PLCs. The board has IP20, an operating temperature of 0 °C to +40 °C, and measures 231 x 107,5 x 32 mm without the Raspberry Pi. It is available in different configurations. The sets have to be assembled by the users themselves.

Pixtend was developed and tested for the Raspberry Pi Model B. It can also be used with other Raspberry Pi models, like B+ or Banana Pi. An adapter for the mechanical connection to these models can be purchased at the company’s online shop.