The board as shown in the image is the result of a customer project where we replaced a discontinued electronic control unit (ECU) that reads and writes SAE J1939 and SAE J1708/J1587 data frames and processes and maps the data to and from an RS-422 port. We at Copperhill Technologies provided the complete hardware and software development, and the units, after having successfully passed functionality tests, are currently in production. For this purpose, we also provided manufacturing documentation such as Bill of Material (BOM), schematics, placement files, and Gerber/Eagle files.
The unit also comes with a USB 1.0 port to support not only firmware updates but also storing of functionality data into flash memory. A JTAG connector is provided for firmware modifications and debugging.
The following image represents the very first prototype we created by fitting an extended version of our jBoard-X2 – Industrial CAN Bus / SAE J1939 Prototyping Board into a Deutsch ECU enclosure.
This method of rapid prototyping allowed us to provide a working hardware within a few days and start the tests and, after all, the programming. In addition, we developed two Windows-based software tools, one to simulate the RS-422 communication and another for uploading functionality parameters into flash memory (the parameters are designed per MS Excel and from there uploaded to the unit.)
In order to simulate the SAE J1939 data traffic, we used our jCOM1939 Monitor, an SAE J1939 Monitoring, Analyzer and ECU Simulation software in combination with our SAE J1939 ECU Simulator Board.
We will now use the same hardware concept with a few modifications to develop an SAE J1939 and SAE J1708/J1587 ECU prototyping and development unit. The most exciting addition is the step toward supporting IoT (Internet of Things) features such as Bluetooth, WiFi, and an Ethernet port.
The form factor will remain the same, i.e. we will use the Deutsch EEC-325X4A enclosure with Deutsch DTM13-12PA-GR01 enclosure header. We are, nevertheless, also looking into fitting the board into an alternative enclosure to meet the needs of other technology sectors, such as industrial automation.
The projected features are:
- Powerful ARM Cortex-M3 processor with 100/120 MHz clock speed, 512 kByte flash memory and 64 kByte data memory
- Additional 2 MByte flash memory to support functionality parameters
- CAN port to support SAE J1939
- RS485 port to support J1708
- USB port for firmware update
- JTAG connector for firmware development and debugging
- Bus connector for unused processor signals (allowing hardware extensions such as digital/analog I/O)
- Bluetooth interface (optional)
- WiFi interface (optional)
- Ethernet port (optional)
- Extended temperature range (-40C to +85C)
- Extended power input range (7 to 36 VDC)
- SAE J1939 protocol stack (optional)
- SAE J1708/J1587 protocol stack (optional)
This concept allows a number of possible applications, such as:
- SAE J1939 to Bluetooth Gateway
- SAE J1939 to WiFi Gateway
- SAE J1939 to Ethernet Gateway
- SAE J1939 to SAE J1708/1587 Protocol Converter
- And many more…
Development of the Bluetooth, WiFi, and Ethernet gateway applications is currently in the works using our standard hardware prototyping components. Naturally, we can accommodate any customized hardware modification and/or firmware development. We are targeting a release of the development unit plus the gateway series by April of 2017. In the meantime, customer project always receive highest priority.
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