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The CAN Basics Training Course provides a practical approach to understanding how CAN works. By giving real world examples, common practices, and an in-depth look at DBC files, Bryan Hennessy gives a real-world walkthrough of CAN.
Presentation by Bryan Hennessy. Recorded as part of a ‘live’ training session in January 2019.
Bryan Hennessy: [00:00:05] I’m Bryan Hennessy. I am with Kvaser for almost three years now. My history is design engineer, electrical engineer, communication systems, applications engineer for computer chip manufacturer, and then ran my own business for a number of years, a decade. I was exposed to CAN through NMEA 2000 when I was working with the marine industry, National Marine Electronics Association, and I was recruited to teach CAN for the NMEA, and I was recruited on their board of directors for a five-year term. Then I got rid of the business and went to PACCAR Technical Center where I worked with J1939 and CAN, and then Kvaser hired me from there, like I said about three years ago.
So I’ve got a presentation [00:01:05] that I’ve fairly recently put together or I call it taking the mystery out of CAN. I’ll get into the presentation and talk about it, but I hope that it’s a new approach to training and hopefully, new information for some of you or most of you. It’s fairly basic, but I think it’s information that is missed in a lot of courses, and I’ll tell you why when we get into it, and I hope it will enlighten some of you.
We’re going to do three different presentations, I believe, today. The first is going to be, like I say, CAN Basics. It’s not really relevant to Kvaser products. This is just relevant to CAN in general. It’s just a CAN Basic technical training. And then we’ll talk later about Kvaser products and more specifics, and then Sylvia will do follow-up on products and a lot of sales and information about working with [00:02:05] Kvaser as a partner. So we hope that’ll round out a really nice day for you.
I have additional technical training that goes beyond this if anybody is interested or wants to talk to me afterwards about that. I also like to make sure all of the partners know that I’m available for training and presentations to your customers, to meet you, our customers to meet you at the trade shows, to work with you on technical aspects of selling our products and working with customers on any technical business issues, mostly the technical. We rely on most of the salespeople to help with the business issues, but we all mix it up here.
So with that, I’ve covered a little bit of my history, how I learned about CAN and I think became qualified to teach people a little bit about it anyway. So I’ll get started with the presentation here.
[00:03:05] My cards, I think, have been distributed, so email is good for any follow-up questions or while we’re talking if you think of them, please blurt them out. As Sylvia said earlier, we want this to be very interactive. I’m here to learn from all of you as much or more than, maybe, you’ll learn from me. I want to learn and I want to keep modifying my training and my courses and the way I present the products to increase the benefit to our partners every time I present it, as Sylvia said, sometimes same customers but mostly to partners. My title is the Technical Partner Manager, more of a trainer and working with them than managing and working, of course, with Kvaser sales to round out everything we do for the partners.
So as far as agenda is concerned, I’ll start with Controller Area Network – Simplified, what is a CAN network, what does it look like from a physical point of view, wiring connectors, that kind of thing. [00:04:05] So you can touch and feel a CAN network and get familiar with it, so it’s not a mystery at all. I have a messy CAN network lying on the desk here that’s alive, and there’s data on it and I’ll use that data to train you and show you what that data means. Hopefully, before the day is over you’ll feel very comfortable with taking that data apart and you’ll really understand from the voltages on the wire all the way to the data that’s being transmitted, and reading that you’ll have completely connected the gaps there.
So, communication layers is an important concept. Then we’ll get into Protocol Stack. These are intimidating terms for a lot of people. For me, even as an engineer, they were intimidating terms. They’re not going to be intimidating after this morning, I hope. They’re going to be well understood.
CAN Basics, bit-wise arbitration, which is the essence of CAN and what makes it beautiful and powerful. Then physical layer properties. Structure of a CAN bus [00:05:05] it says here. I actually changed that on the slide to structure of a CAN frame. I should change this slide as well. Then we’ll talk about arbitration and different types of an arbitration field, what is arbitration. Again, frame structure here. Then we’ll get down to the data, which is really what CAN is transferring is the data, that’s the whole purpose of it. If you don’t transfer the data, the rest is just overhead. So we’ll talk about the data and how to see the data and take the data apart and understand from the raw data all the way to what that actual signal is and why it’s on the bus, what the purpose is.
Then I’ll throw in a little bit of information about some of the Kvaser software products. As you saw in our tour, or some of you, earlier that I think most of our staff is software, and that’s kind of ironic because we don’t sell any software. We only sell hardware. But software is extremely important as all of you now. [00:06:05] Even at the level where we work, which is closer to the hardware, it’s important in working into the application software which is what most of our partners, ATI and others provide is the application software. So we’ll make the connections there.
A few times you’ll see this click here during the presentation. I just want to stress there’s great stuff on our website to back all of this up. I’ll go to that every now and then and show you where you can get some of the downloads of the stuff that I’m going to show you here in order to help you understand CAN better off our website. Again, all of that is free.