LeisureCAN

The open source CAN-Bus network for leisure vehicles

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functional_specification [2021/01/16 09:56]
christian [Components]
functional_specification [2021/01/17 17:29]
christian [What is a CAN Bus?]
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-====== Functional Specification ====== +====== Functional Overview ====== 
-===== Overview =====+===== Introduction =====
 LeisureCAN is a CAN-Bus system designed for the leisure vehicle industry - campervans, boats, caravans, ... LeisureCAN is a CAN-Bus system designed for the leisure vehicle industry - campervans, boats, caravans, ...
  
-It allows manufacturers to control all electrical and electronical components of the leisure side of the vehicle through a single CAN Bus. Any component can be switched from anywhere on the bus system, and any measurement taken can be displayed or used anywhere on the bus.+It allows manufacturers and owners to control all electrical and electronic components of the leisure side of the vehicle through a single CAN Bus. Any component can be switched from anywhere on the bus system, and any measurement taken can be displayed or used anywhere on the bus.
  
 ===== What is a CAN Bus? ===== ===== What is a CAN Bus? =====
-CAN (Control Area Network) technology was designed for the automotive industry in the 1990s. Nowadays, pretty much every new car has a CAN bus system that controls the engine, temperature, lights, indicators, etc. through a single bus system. They are very reliable (if electronics fail, it's usually not the bus itself, but individual components), and have been manufactured in the millions. That means the individual components are cheap, ubiquitous and reliable.+CAN (Controller Area Network) technology was designed for the automotive industry in the 1990s. Nowadays, pretty much every new car has a CAN bus system that controls the engine, temperature, lights, indicators, etc. through a single bus system. They are very reliable (if electronics fail, it's usually not the bus itself, but individual components), and have been manufactured in the millions. That means the individual components are cheap, ubiquitous and reliable.
  
 ===== LeisureCAN functionality ===== ===== LeisureCAN functionality =====
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 LeisureCAN units are plugged into the bus wherever needed in the vehicle. These units have a combination of switch inputs, analogue inputs (e.g. measuring inputs), relay outputs, and measuring gauge outputs. They can be bought or self made according to the needs of the customer. Most units will have a combination of switch inputs and relay outputs. As an example, a unit that is placed close to the dining area will have relay outputs to turn lights on and off, operate a fan, and receive switch inputs from a bank of switches. LeisureCAN units are plugged into the bus wherever needed in the vehicle. These units have a combination of switch inputs, analogue inputs (e.g. measuring inputs), relay outputs, and measuring gauge outputs. They can be bought or self made according to the needs of the customer. Most units will have a combination of switch inputs and relay outputs. As an example, a unit that is placed close to the dining area will have relay outputs to turn lights on and off, operate a fan, and receive switch inputs from a bank of switches.
- 
-When the units are installed, the subscriptions can be set up, e.g. the user can configure freely how the components react to each other. 
  
 Each unit attached to the network can have up to 32 ports. A port can be a relay output, so have two connectors, or it can be a measuring gauge output providing a voltage from 0 to 5V, or it can be a switch input, that will change from 0 to 1 if connected to ground, and from 1 to 0 if the connection to ground is removed. Whoever makes the unit determines at making time which port does what, and configure the software accordingly. When a master controller queries the unit, it will send out a set of messages that describes how many ports it has, and what function they have. Each unit attached to the network can have up to 32 ports. A port can be a relay output, so have two connectors, or it can be a measuring gauge output providing a voltage from 0 to 5V, or it can be a switch input, that will change from 0 to 1 if connected to ground, and from 1 to 0 if the connection to ground is removed. Whoever makes the unit determines at making time which port does what, and configure the software accordingly. When a master controller queries the unit, it will send out a set of messages that describes how many ports it has, and what function they have.
 +
 +When the units are installed, the subscriptions can be set up, e.g. the user can configure freely how the components react to each other.
  
 Please read the detailed LeisureCAN specification document for more information. Please read the detailed LeisureCAN specification document for more information.
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 The huge advantage of a LeisureCAN system is that it's freely configurable, and the configuration can be changed at any time. If the user wants to add a new component (e.g. a new switch), he/she can just do that, and then configure which device reacts to the switch. In the same manner, a new device can be connected to the relay output of a LeisureCAN unit, and then be configured to be switched on by a set of events on the bus, e.g. a switch that's operated, ...  The huge advantage of a LeisureCAN system is that it's freely configurable, and the configuration can be changed at any time. If the user wants to add a new component (e.g. a new switch), he/she can just do that, and then configure which device reacts to the switch. In the same manner, a new device can be connected to the relay output of a LeisureCAN unit, and then be configured to be switched on by a set of events on the bus, e.g. a switch that's operated, ... 
  
-Once the bus cable and a pair of power cables are fitted throughout the vehicle, new components can be added with a minimal amount of wiring required. Just hook up the new component to the power cable, and connect it to a relay output of the nearest LeisureCAN unit, and you are ready to go.+Once the bus cable and a pair of power cables are fitted throughout the vehicle, new components can be added with a minimal amount of wiring required. Just hook up the new component to the power cable (don't forget the fuse!), and connect it to a relay output of the nearest LeisureCAN unit, and you are ready to go
 + 
 +When you first think about a CAN bus, you might worry that this is a more complex system than a traditionally wired electrical installation. 
 + 
 +If you have ever seen your average boat or campervan installation and tried to find a problem, you will have noticed that there are lots and lots of cables, relays and other components, and that it takes a long time even for an electrician to figure out what does what. 
 + 
 +If you have a clean LeisureCAN installation, it's very easy to figure out what is connected where, and with the web interface in front of you, it's astonishingly easy to find problems and to resolve them. 
 + 
 +If you have a bit of computer knowledge, you can fix the system yourself with a bag of parts worth £50, a soldering iron and a multimeter. 
 + 
 +The little OLED display on the master control unit also shows all events on the bus, so a faulty switch can be diagnosed within seconds. You flick the switch, and there is no message on the bus -> you have a faulty switch. Diagnosed without opening anything, without measuring anything, without following cables through small spaces, ...
 ===== Disadvantages ===== ===== Disadvantages =====
 You could argue that a traditional copper cable wiring to each component is more reliable, but you have to take into account that you have a lot more connectors, cables, etc. running through your vehicle. All those provide additional points of failure. You could argue that a traditional copper cable wiring to each component is more reliable, but you have to take into account that you have a lot more connectors, cables, etc. running through your vehicle. All those provide additional points of failure.
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 Since the introduction of CAN bus systems in cars, the problems have shifted to individual components, which are now far more abundant. There are hundreds of sensors in a modern car, and huge amounts of actuators, valves, etc. that control the engine, brakes, steering, heating, air conditioning, etc. If we still had traditional cabling without a bus for those, we would see a lot more failures than we see with a neat central bus system that minimises cabling and connectors. Since the introduction of CAN bus systems in cars, the problems have shifted to individual components, which are now far more abundant. There are hundreds of sensors in a modern car, and huge amounts of actuators, valves, etc. that control the engine, brakes, steering, heating, air conditioning, etc. If we still had traditional cabling without a bus for those, we would see a lot more failures than we see with a neat central bus system that minimises cabling and connectors.
  
-In my book, a complex electrical system with a CAN Bus is more reliable than a complex electrical system with traditional wiring. The most reliable system is of course a minimal system with minimal wiring and minimal functionality, but that might not be to everyone's taste ...+In my book, a complex electrical system with a CAN Bus is more reliable than a complex electrical system with traditional wiring. The most reliable system is of course a minimal system with minimal wiring and minimal functionality, but that might not be to everyone's taste ... If your life depends on the electrical installation, go for this option. If you want an reliable, easy to set up and maintain electrical installation, go for LeisureCAN.
  
  
functional_specification.txt · Last modified: 2021/01/17 17:29 by christian