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The CANable is a small open-source USB to CAN adapter. The CANable shows up as a virtual serial port on your computer and acts as a serial-line to CAN interface.
On Linux the CANable works natively with slcand, so you can use all of the standard can-utils command-line utilities and even Wireshark to interact with the bus. Using the alternative candlelight firmware, the CANable enumerates as a native socketcan device with no need for slcan.
On Windows and Mac, the CANable works with cantact-app. This is a simple Java application that shows CAN traffic in real-time and allows you to transmit messages on the bus.
For even more flexibility, the canard library allows you to directly talk to the CAN bus from Python. The library is cross-platform and can connect directly to a CANable's virtual serial port interface. With only a couple lines of code you can decode traffic on the bus, send messages, and more.
Check out the getting started page for more information on getting a CANable up and running.
The CANable is a hardware clone of Eric Evenchick's CANtact project in a smaller form factor. Eric also developed cantact-app, canard, and most of the other awesome tools that work with the CANable and CANtact devices.
The CANable is a low-cost open-source hardware tool. While I have full confidence that the CANable will meet your needs, please do not use the CANable in any mission-critical or life-threatening situations. I claim no responsibility for unacceptable use or damages. However, if you encounter a hardware or software issue with CANable, please let me know and I will do my best to resolve the problem as soon as I can!
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I'm a computer engineer from Ann Arbor, MI who dabbles in open-source hardware design, mountain biking, and coffee. In my spare time I run protofusion where I collaborate with other engineers on various open-source projects.