VoltLog's CanLite Is an Affordable, ESP32-Powered Open Hardware Dev Board for CAN Bus Projects

Offering Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, the board is programmable using the Arduino IDE or Espressif's ESP-IDF.

Fresh from the launch of the temperature-tracking Voltlogger, Florin "VoltLog" C. has released a new piece of hardware: the CanLite CAN bus development board, built around an Espressif ESP32 microcontroller.

"After discovering/playing around with a few CAN messages on the CAN bus network on my car," Florin writes of the inspiration behind his latest creation, "I decided to create this ESP32 based CAN development board to server as a base for future projects."

The core of the compact board is an Espressif ESP32 module with 240MHz processor, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, 4MB of flash storage, and 520kB of static RAM (SRAM). To this, Florin's board adds an automotive-grade DC-DC step-down converter for powering directly from a car's 12V system, a Texas Instruments SN65HVD231 CAN transceiver with on-board 120 Ohm termination resistor configurable via solder jumper, and an on-board voltage divider for monitoring VBAT via one of the ESP32's analog inputs.

If you're looking to do CAN bus work, the VoltLog CanLite includes a range of nice features. (📹: VoltLog)

The board is available configured with one, two, or no high-side load switches, rated for up to 6A apiece, and includes reverse polarity and over-current protection. It's compatible with the ISO 11898-2 standard at data rates up to 1Mbps, uses screw terminals for connectivity, and includes a "VoltLink Header" for connection to Florin's USB-UART adapter of the same name.

The CanLite is now available from the VoltLog Tindie store at $30.99; each high-side switch added increases the cost by $4. The design files for the board have been published to GitHub under the reciprocal GNU General Public License 3.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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