Version 6 of the Explorer package has
It builds on the Explorer 5 with ..............
1) the addition of support for CAN-FD.
2) The playback of previously recorded CAN traces on a connected CAN bus (
described below as Trace and Replay ) has been integrated into Explorer 6
with the ability to manipulate very large files.
3) The configuration of the symbolic representation of CAN messages has also
been revised. Signals are used to define the representation of the arising
payload and then are assigned to the different CAN messages.
4) Many other enhancements to usability have been included.
Please bear with us, we will be upgrading this page to
show the product off better but the Explorer 5 page below gives a good
introduction to the Packages features. If you need details of any of these specific
upgrades or would like an evaluation copy Call us on 0774342
2526 or email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
The PCAN-Explorer program provides a flexible Windows program showing what is happening on the CAN bus and for controlling and interacting
with CAN systems. It can be used for debugging the system or as a
program to interact with and drive a CAN application. Explorer has a
simple Macro language for those "quick and dirty" test we all make but don't
admit to, as well as a full interface to VBScript that makes it suitable for
detailed testing of CAN
units and for sophisticated control and data acquisition. Its
capabilities can be extended with PEAK supplied options such as: reading in
CANdb descriptor files, detailed graphing, Mimic type instrument panels and
working with a fully J1939 compliant database. Users can even produced their
own add-ins that fully control almost all aspects of Explorers operation and
Peak have created an excellent set of Video Tutorials
which can be found
feel free to browse them in any order you wish but we will
link to them in our description of Explorer by showing a Video[link] for
Video[Receiving and Transmitting CAN Messages]
- The package uses a project structure so that all the settings,
layouts, message descriptions and displays for a particular CAN module,
application or set of tests are held together.
- When running the display shows received messages in a receiving list containing
message ID, length and data bytes, time since last message and number of
times that message has been received.
Video[Receiving and Transmitting CAN Messages]
- Filters can limit the range ( to just one or two message IDs if required)
so simplifying analysis
- Watch windows can be defined to display signals. ( see bottom right
window in the above display)
- Explorer can work over multiple CAN interfaces and networks
simultaneously and for each network it shows: status, bit rate, error
rates, bus load and max bus load this session.
- Any number of messages can be put into transmit lists to be sent
either manually with a mouse, from function keys, or at fixed intervals, or as
the answer to a remote-frame request. These transmit lists can be saved and restored to simplify setting up
particular test configurations.
- Each CAN message ID can be given a unique name (eg. ECU1) which is
then used in place of the ID when messages are logged making complex
systems easy to debug.
a Symbol File with the Symbol Editor]
- When displayed, if the data layout is known, the data can be decoded
and split up into separate components for display in easily read forms
of bits can be translated to descriptive states ie. showing either
of these messages: "SW1 = ON" or "SW1 =
- Integer signals can be shown in decimal or hex
Video[Applying Symbols to CAN Messages]
- Floating point signals can be scaled and an offset added before they
are displayed allowing conversion into real units
- A wide range of data types, including float IEEE754, INTEL and MOTOROLA format
- For an example of the way message data is split into components
by the Symbol Editor see the examples in the J1939 option.
- .When decoding message layouts multiplexing (where part of
the data indicates which of a number of different message formats is in
use) is supported.
Video[Multiplexed CAN Data]
- Watch windows allow you to monitor individual signals and
groups of signals
Video[Monitoring Signals via the Watch Window]
Data logger functions
- Multiple independent traces can be run at the same time
- message IDs of interest and their data values and time
tags are logged
- The traces can use linear or ring buffers, or be
- Errors can be logged
- There are flexible facilities to save logged data in
text form compatible with Excel
- User selection of logging - all messages, a filtered subset or by
specifying an unlimited number of individual message IDs.
- Multiple Strip chart recordings of up to four
signals can be displayed.
- An internal macro language allows simple sequences of CAN messages
to be generated.
- For more complex applications the VBScript language can be used to test or
simulate CAN drivers.
- VBScripts can even be run in the background without displaying the
Explorer windows interface
- Add-ins ( written in C++, VB or Borland) allow the users to automate
tasks in PCAN Explorer by adding commands to perform these tasks,
adding toolbar buttons to carry out these commands, and by responding to PCAN Explorer events.
The Explorer licence allows the installation on a single PC only.
You may also buy a USB dongle that allows the Explorer to be installed on
multiple machines but to only be used when the dongle is attached (
for use say with a portable to be taken into the field ). It
does not provide multiple programmers with simultaneous use of a single
Explorer as a Debugging Tool
Explorer will run on a lap-top with a CAN interface
to non-intrusively view the events on the CAN bus. If you are
developing a CAN C+/C++ or VB application that is running on a PC, you do not need to
buy a second CAN interface in order to use Explorer to test the
application. It can run, in its own window, on the same PC and the PEAK drivers will pass
the data to Explorer as well as to and from your application.
- The latest release is Explorer v5 which works with Windows
10,8.1, 7(32/64) and all PEAK CAN interfaces
The SAE J1939 network protocol
defines a set of standard CAN message IDs and data layouts that may
be used on the CAN bus of a utility vehicle for the transmission of
diagnostics data and control information. It contains a complete
network definition using 29-bit CAN-IDs (CAN 2.0B Extended Frame).
The J1939 add-in for PCAN-Explorer 5
supports all definitions established by the standard’s parameter
groups and provides a simple means of displaying and accessing the
- Support for all functions of the SAE J1939 network protocol
- CAN messages may be sent in broadcast form or targeted to
individual control units (ECUs)
- Addressing of up to 254 ECUs
- Supports multi-packet messages
- A complete database of all the definitions and the
parameters contained is supplied.
There is a
Video[Working with the J1939 Protocol] on the Peak site
which shows how the symbols defined in the specification can be
imported into your project.
The Receive window shows how, when the data is collected, the
individual elements of the EEC2 message are processed to show the
symbols such as RoadSpeedLimitStatus displayed as alphanumeric
strings, "Active" in this case, or as values - E.g.
AcceleratorPedalPosition1 is at 70% of its travel.
project window shows how the data in messages such as AAI with
message ID defined by the spec as 1CFE8CFEh consists of components
showing the Auxiliary Temperatures, Pressures and Relative Humidity
Right clicking the J1939 Database and selecting "Open in Symbol
Editor" then selecting AAI gives the screen on the right. It
shows how each of the components are packed into the message, their
data types, offsets, scaling and the data length
So far as I am aware its not yet a standard but the
9 pin DEUTSCH HD series connector is
becoming more and more popular for J1939 applications and we
can supply a converter between it and D-Sub 9 pin. see
More powerful than the 4 channel plotter
included with Explorer, this module allows unlimited numbers of channels and
multiple Y axes as well as much greater control of scales and layout.
Running in real time, dynamic X and Y
axis zooming is possible even while collecting data and multiple cursors
may be defined to allow complex relationships to be measured.
Data saved by the Trace can be imported for replay and the
resulting image can be exported in a range of image formats.
Enables CANdb descriptions to be imported into Explorer and used
as message layout definitions. Layouts defined within Explorer
can also be exported in CANdb format.
This gives the user the ability to create a virtual
instrument panel with the following elements:
- A variety of ways of outputting values - scaled digital, meters and bar
displays with adjustable scales and Max/Min
- LED-bit displays and push button switches
- Trend Plots of CAN signals
- Slider, Dial and Numeric input controls to set values
- Signal states can be used to select between images to be shown
- Signal states can specify which of a number of panels to display
Using these and the VB Script language a complete CAN application can be
controlled by an operator who need have no detailed knowledge of CAN.
Trace & Re-play your Messages
The PCAN-Trace program can be used on its own to record and log CAN
messages but its major attribute is that it can then play them back via the
CAN interface so you
can repeat the sequence of messages recorded in the field, later in the Lab,
in real-time. Breakpoints can be added and if required you can single
step through the data. Once all the data is re-played you can set it
to stop or to repeat continuously. The data record format is
compatible with PCAN-View and PCAN-Explorer and is text based so you can edit both messages and
scheduled times as you wish.
For more Information on :-
Free PEAK CAN Software
||The PCAN-Basic DLL, a
range of OS drivers and PCAN-View bus diagnostic package are all
supplied free with all Peak interfaces.
||USB, PCI, PC104, PC, PCMCIA, Express, Parallel port, ISA, RS232,
PEAK Data Acquisition Systems
||A range of CAN Data Acquisition and logging Systems from
simple logging to advanced GPRS mobile applications.
||CAN modules with
configurable digital and analogue I/O.
||CAN Diagnostics Unit,
Bus Extenders, Routers and Optical links
performance CAN cables, converters and termination
Other PEAK Software
||Software is available
to support FMS, CAN simulation, CANOpen, Linux and an Event driven
API for time critical multi-tasked operation,
||Our technical summary
for those new to CAN