Friday, June 25, 2010

Work on the CAN network

Hey Everyone,
My name is Erick, I'm a rising Senior in the Aero/Astro department and I'm pretty awesome. But enough about me, let's talk about what I've done.

I am working on the CAN network for the elEVen. In a few sentences, the CAN network is composed of nodes and communicates between nodes using 3 wires. Those wires are named CAN-High, CAN-Low and ground. When the voltage difference is zero, that is understood as a bit with a value of one and conversely, when the voltage difference is not zero, that is understood as a bit with value of zero. Do this thousands of times a second and you start to get a serious amount of traffic going through these three wires.

As a learning exercise, I am practicing with the Porsche 914 that we have already converted and am putting a few finishing touches on the interfaces. In order to tap in to this network, National Instruments has hooked us up with a CompactRIO with a CAN Module. I installed LabVIEW and have been messing around with it for a few days. After finally figuring out why I couldn't connect to the cRIO and the touch panel, here is the result of a few hours of work:

Once I become more familiar with LabVIEW, I will be able to receive, parse and send CAN messages. This will allows us to communicate vital messages, like the state of charge of the battery pack, vehicle speed, as well as slightly less vital messages, like what radio station you are listening to.

I'm excited to be working with the Electric Vehicle Team this summer and looking forward to all of the projects, which you will hear about through this blog, come to fruition.

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