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Ethernet gateway

Connecting CANopen to Ethernet

Port’s EtherCAN CI-ARM9 is a CAN to 10BaseT gateway. To communicate via Ethernet the TCP/IP protocol is used, while communication is realized via CANopen or another user-specific protocol for CAN.

The gateway handles cycling services autonomously (Photo: Port)

WITH THIS GATEWAY THE TCP/IP WORLD CAN BE CONNECTED to CAN-based control networks. Available are a CAN-Layer-2 and CANopen server software. The hardware base for the gateway forms an ARM9 CPU from Freescale with an integrated Ethernet controller and dual FlexCAN interfaces. An Embedded Linux operating system is installed on the gateway. Therefore a lot of services like FTP, Telnet or an integrated web server and also an EIA-232 interface are available to run user-specific applications.

A developer package is available for individual developments. Besides tools to generate Flash images, the package includes a cross compiler and libraries. Further examples in C, Java or Tcl can be downloaded from the company’s website. The use of the CANopen Library is possible to create CANopen applications. Ready-to-run programs are also available. For use as a gateway to CANopen-based systems, the CANopen server “m4d” running on the gateway realizes the complete handling of CANopen. It runs as a network management master and can configure LSS slaves with the LSS commands. It supports the following CANopen services: NMT services, heartbeat, node guarding, SDO services including domain transfers, PDO consumer and producer, Sync producer, and emergency consumer.

Cyclic services like Sync or heartbeat are handled autonomously. As a protocol between a client application and the CANopen server the specification CiA 309-3 is used on the Ethernet side. For a comfortable handling of the CANopen server, the platform-independent and graphical application CANopen Device Monitor can be used. For CAN-based systems without high-layer protocol the gateway provides the CAN server “horch” that can send all received data via a TCP/IP port to other applications. Sending CAN messages via the CAN server is possible, too. In the easiest case, the server is used as a CAN analyzer via Ethernet. The CAN analyzer CAN-Report can be used for this.

The gateway has a temperature range of -20 °C to 60 °C, measures 120 mm x 100 mm x 25 mm, and weighs approximately 150 g. The configuration of this gateway is implemented via a web interface. Therefore the user can interact with the gateway via any web browser and installing an additional software is unnecessary. This user interface can set the following parameters, respectively data can be read for the CAN interfaces "CAN1" and "CAN2": the IP address, the CANopen server "m4d", the CAN server "horch", bit-rate, node-ID, and the port number for the TCP-Server.

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