CAN­touch vs. CAN-Bus Tes­ter 2, the deci­si­on

Again and again we get the same ques­ti­on : which of the two devices is the bet­ter choice. Becau­se this is in fact not easy to ans­wer, you should real­ly think twice. The­re is alre­ady this tabu­lar com­pa­re of the devices, but I will go on a litt­le more detail­ed.

The CAN-Bus Tes­ter 2 (CBT2) is a fur­t­her deve­lop­ment of the CAN-Bus Tes­ter (CBT) and still a popu­lar mea­su­rement device. But time went on and so the CAN­touch was deve­lo­ped, based on the CAN-Bus Tes­ter 2. May­be the main inno­va­ti­on is the abso­lu­te-value-mea­su­rement of CAN­touch, while the CBT2 can mea­su­re only dif­fe­ren­ti­al vol­ta­ges. Only by using a DSO in addi­ti­on to the CBT2 it is pos­si­ble to show dif­fe­ren­ces of poten­ti­als bet­ween nodes. The oppor­tu­ni­ty of this mea­su­rement is still wide­ly uncon­scious to ope­ra­tors and main­ten­an­ce engi­neers and the CBT2 sim­ply don’t tell about it. The CAN­touch on the other hand is sho­wing the mea­su­red values as well as norm bounda­ries in a simp­le chart.

To do mea­su­rements with a CBT2, a lap­top is necessa­ry. Of cour­se, this is some­thing that every ser­vice man alre­ady has. But to con­nect all the cables can be com­plex and it takes time befo­re you can start to mea­su­re. If it is a spa­ti­al­ly exten­ded plant, the same work has to be done again at least one time at the other end of the bus. Becau­se of this it is com­mon to mea­su­re only at one end and the­re­fo­re do the work imper­fect­ly.
If a cen­tral sup­port should have remo­te access, the CBT2 has its advan­ta­ges, becau­se it is easy to use Team­view­er or ano­t­her remo­te con­trol soft­ware to do so. Also in a final test of new com­pon­ents with CAN bus, a CBT2 makes more sen­se, becau­se the data can be saved easy and strai­ght to a net­work.

If you want to mea­su­re quick and mobi­le, the CAN­touch is on the insi­de track. You only have to con­nect to the CAN bus and the mea­su­rement can start. No exter­nal power source, no lap­top, no USB cables are necessa­ry. Also the DSO can stay at home becau­se of the abso­lu­te-value-mea­su­rement of the CAN­touch.
The soft­ware of CAN­touch was desi­gned to be used toge­ther with the CBT2-soft­ware. Mea­su­rements and data traces of CAN­touch can be impor­ted easi­ly. Then you also can print a mea­su­rement pro­to­col, ana­ly­ze the data traf­fic and com­pa­re mea­su­rements after­wards. Direct remo­te con­trol is not pos­si­ble with CAN­touch ; only remo­te access to a CBT2 soft­ware with impor­ted mea­su­rements from CAN­touch is pos­si­ble.

If you occa­sio­nal­ly need an online moni­to­ring of phy­si­cal lay­er, then the pen­du­lum strikes more to the CBT2. The device has to be con­nec­ted com­ple­te­ly with com­pu­ter and has to be kept in ope­ra­ti­on as long as the mea­su­rement runs. If Win­dows cras­hes for some rea­son (yes, it some­ti­mes does), the data is lost.
The CAN­touch get this func­tion in August 2017 with the new firm­ware 2.1.
May­be it makes more sen­se to use for this sce­n­a­rio a CAN­o­b­ser­ver (may­be only tem­pora­ri­ly). It is easy to imple­ment, only 24V DC and CAN have to be con­nec­ted. The con­nec­tion to the web inter­face can be easi­ly esta­blished by using an Ether­net cable. The lap­top can be dis­con­nec­ted after the adjust­ments are done, the CAN­o­b­ser­ver is working inde­pendent­ly.

In sum­ma­ry, we con­si­der dif­fe­rent app­li­ca­ti­on sce­n­a­ri­os :

Deve­lop­ment of CAN net­works : CBT2
  • che­cking cor­rect bus lay­out
  • com­pa­ring signal qua­li­ty bet­ween dif­fe­rent cables and cable runs
  • exten­si­ve pro­to­col moni­tor to ana­ly­se data with sym­bo­lic deco­ding, CANo­pen- and J1939-deco­ding (also stan­da­lo­ne with CAN­vi­si­on)
  • poten­ti­al dif­fe­ren­ces are mea­su­red with a DSO – whe­re rele­vant
  • per­ma­nent moni­to­ring with Online Trig­ger
Final test of new CAN com­pon­ents : CBT2
  • device can stay per­man­ent­ly instal­led
  • direct saving of mea­su­rement data
  • poten­ti­al dif­fe­ren­ces are mea­su­red with a DSO – whe­re rele­vant
Final accep­tan­ce of CAN net­work after set­ting up at custo­mers site : CAN­touch
  • mobi­le mis­si­on without lap­top
  • con­trol of cor­rect bus set­up
  • direct con­trol of poten­ti­al dif­fe­ren­ces
  • saving of mea­su­rements and import to CBT2 soft­ware
  • con­trol of trans­fer­red data with sym­bo­lic deco­ding
  • data can be recor­ded with trace func­tio­na­li­ty of pro­to­col moni­tor
Trou­ble­shoo­ting in work­shops (sce­n­a­rio 1): CBT2
  • device can stay per­man­ent­ly instal­led, for ins­tan­ce on a test trol­ley
  • poten­ti­al dif­fe­ren­ces are not expec­ted becau­se of short cable lengths
  • pro­to­col moni­tor to check and record data
Trou­ble­shoo­ting in work­shops (sce­n­a­rio 2): CAN­touch
  • device can be used not only in the work­shop but also on the roadsi­de
  • quicker check of phy­si­cal para­me­ters of a bus
  • sym­bo­lic deco­ding makes indi­vi­du­al dis­play of data pos­si­ble
  • pos­si­bi­li­ty to save mea­su­rements in archi­ves
Mobi­le trou­ble­shoo­ting : CAN­touch
  • Quick­ly ready for use at dif­fe­rent loca­ti­ons
  • poten­ti­al dif­fe­ren­ces are expec­ted, main­ly in net­works with hig­her cable­lengths
  • deco­ding and record­ing of data in pro­to­col moni­tor
  • pos­si­bi­li­ty to save mea­su­rements in archi­ves and do a later eva­lua­ti­on at a pc
per­ma­nent moni­to­ring : CAN­o­b­ser­ver or CBT2
  • CAN­touch sup­port this mea­su­rement also, but with litt­le limi­ta­ti­ons
  • pos­si­ble with CBT2 but with hass­le, only for tem­pora­ry use
  • CAN­o­b­ser­ver with same func­tio­na­li­ty (per­ma­nent moni­to­ring), tem­pora­ry or per­ma­nent

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