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Wifi bridge

Wireless CANopen and J1939 access

The Wi-Fi CAN Bridge (WCB) by Electrum Automation (Sweden) enables wireless CAN access over Wi-Fi 802.11b/g. It enables monitoring the CAN network directly from a smartphone and supports CAN, CANopen, and J1939 protocols.

The WCB can interact with any device that supports Wi-Fi (Photo: Electrum Automation)

THE BRIDGE IS DESIGNED FOR THE USE IN VEHICLES and mobile machines with a built-in web server and Wi-Fi technology. This allows wireless CAN-network access directly from a web browser window in e.g. a smartphone. It can be used with a PC, MAC, iOS, Android or Windows phone etc. The module acts as a wireless access point or wireless client depending on how it is configured and uses a 32-bit CPU Cortex M4. It offers a built-in HTTP server, which can store web pages and files up to 64 MiB.

Another feature is the WCB-remote server, which enables monitoring, service, and parameter settings from a remote location. There is also the possibility to create and design a graphical layout for the HMI. Depending on the user’s needs, it provides the possibility to choose which specific data to monitor, and to visually present it in the way that fits those needs. The company also provides a documented API. If that is not a suitable option, but the user still wants an individual design, the company offers to do parts or all the work.

The bridge provides an HMI interface and a CAN message and bus-load monitor. It logs and stores time-based data and automatically uploads it to a server. It also lets the user upload and update software in CAN nodes directly from a smartphone, without a CAN-USB dongle. Two of the modules can be configured to act as a wireless CAN bridge, replacing cables and the modules are designed for use in rough conditions. Installation happens via buttons on the rear side to configure the appropriate CAN bit-rate, CAN node ID, CAN termination etc. The bridge supports CAN with speeds up to 1Mbit/s.

With IP67, the device withstands vibrations and tough weather conditions and an operating ambient temperature of -40 °C to +85 °C. The idea for the bridge module began as a thesis project. The need for cable-free bridges in the industry of mobile road signs became the starting point for the realization of the module. According to the company, implementation of the module on mobile machines for settings, HMI, and software updates has proved to be popular and fitting applications.

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