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Old 08-08-2003, 11:21 PM   #1
QA Guy
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Default CAN - Controller Area Network...What's happening here?

http://www.upgrade2can.com/can/

A friend sent me this link. I haven't heard anything about this before now.

Does anyone have any information about this?
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Old 08-08-2003, 11:28 PM   #2
Mulder
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Just like it says, a new data protocol for cars that will be mandatory by 2008. Subaru isn't using it yet but some mfrs are.
I have an AutoXray scanner and I recently received an upgrade offer from them to trade in for a new CAN-ready unit at a reduced price.
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Old 08-09-2003, 12:05 AM   #3
QA Guy
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I was hoping for a little more detail.

Assuming anyone knows about it yet:

Is it likely to be good or bad for us, the enthusiasts?
What will change?
Are our currents readers likely to be upgradeable?
etc...
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Old 08-11-2003, 08:51 AM   #4
Orson
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I've been working with CAN for a couple of years now. I'll try to provide the answers that I think you are looking for.

First, CAN commonizes how modules communicate with each other. I do not know the specifics of the Subaru communications network, but previously, it was not uncommon for mutiple communication protocols. For example, the engine and transmission may talk in one language while the engine and ABS talked in another language. As far as I can see, everyone is moving as quickly as they can towards CAN (no pun intended). Having one common language means that more and more information can be shared easily between electronic controllers. Just looking at data traffic between 2004 vehicles and 2006 vehicles, I can already see a trend towards greater data sharing. I think you can see that this is both good and bad - more information sharing means better performance but also greater complexity.

Is it likely to be good or bad for us, the enthusiasts?
Depends on how you look at it. I can see someone making a CAN spy that allows you to monitor a huge number of variables - air/fuel and EGT will be child's play. How about monitoring torque converter losses, flywheel torque, and right rear wheel speed? A common protocol could make it easier to make aftermarket ECU alternatives. The complexity of increased bus traffic makes things more difficult for the enthusiast because now there is even more stuff to decode - as electronic controllers use more information, they become dependent on this appetite for information.

What will change?
With CAN, it is possible for every electronic module to get exactly two wires for communication with the outside world - CAN(+) and CAN(-). In practice, this will not immediately be the case. Also, sensors are likely to continue to be directly wired. Have you seen the huge number of wires going into the engine ECU? Subaru hates that even more than you - CAN gets them one step closer to reducing the number of wires.

Are our currents readers likely to be upgradeable?
No. CAN requires its own specific hardware as well as specific software.
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Old 08-11-2003, 08:47 PM   #5
tolnep
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So when's wireless CANs coming? You just plop your laptop with a wireless LAN/CAN card down in the passenger seat, boot up and start Microsoft's turbo-tuning wizard and it does the rest...
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Old 08-12-2003, 08:29 AM   #6
Orson
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Quote:
Originally posted by tolnep
So when's wireless CANs coming? You just plop your laptop with a wireless LAN/CAN card down in the passenger seat, boot up and start Microsoft's turbo-tuning wizard and it does the rest...
Ummm. Wireless isn't part of any CAN requirements. I think you will not see wireless just because it is so much cheaper to have a connector that hooks up to the port inside the vehicle. Besides, to go wireless, you'd have to connect some sort of receiver/transmitter module to the vehicle's port and some sort of transmitter/receiver to the laptop which is more work than just plugging a laptop into the car.

Wireless has a bunch of other problems - it's not built as a real-time communication protocol. When an engine controller needs vehicle speed information, it wants the information NOW, not after a couple of milliseconds of data compression, transmission, error checking, retransmission due to error, ....

You might go wireless for monitoring, but not for transmitting back to the vehicle.
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