SAE J1939 DBC files now available for use by CAN software

04/01/2024 by Kvaser

The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) is now offering two new J1939 DBC files in a format intended to be used directly by CAN software.

The two files that are offered are J1939-73DBC and J1939DBC: J1939-73DBC contains Diagnostic Messages (DMs) such as DM1 and DM11. With about sixty DMs defined in the specification SAE J1939-73, this new DBC file scales and offsets these messages so they can be used directly by programs that want applications level signals for analysis and display. J1939DBC contains conversion data for the rest of the Parameter Groups (PGs) and Suspect Parameters (SPs) defined in the J1939 Digital Annex (J1939DA).

The Digital Annex has been distributed for years as a Microsoft Excel file and is updated multiple times per year to reflect new PGs and SPs as they are added to the long list of messages and signals covered under SAE J1939. Many of the recent additions to the Digital Annex relate to electric vehicles and the components they include.

Here are links to purchase the subject DBC files directly from SAE:

Older versions of J1939DA were formatted to be read by humans, using text like “-65 to 60 deg” to describe a range. The newer versions have added Value Only columns with the same data but presented in a more computer readable format. This has made it easier for SAE to automate the conversion from Excel to DBC file and add a much-needed product to its portfolio.