Non-contact sensors from HIOKI read CAN bus signals without the need to strip cables

Signals can be reliably read from CAN bus cables without the need for bare wire connections thanks to the new HIOKI sensors now available from MDL Technologies.

In the development and verification of CAN bus systems, engineers will be familiar with the problem that when measuring CAN bus signals part of the cable insulation must be removed to directly probe the bare wiring.

With the new SP7000 series sensors, this time-consuming process is no longer necessary. Their extremely high resolution measurement characteristics enable reliable and reproducible detection of even weak signals through the cable insulation.

As the cable insulation is not damaged, cables do not have to be replaced after the measurements have been taken. Another advantage is that there is no risk of measurement errors or unwanted influence from ECUs that can be introduced when using direct metal-to-wire contact. As a result, CAN bus analysis can be performed more quickly, more precisely and more reliably.

There are two types of sensors in the SP7000 family. The SP7001 supports both the CAN and CAN-FD protocols at up to 3 Mbit/s, while the SP7002 is designed for compatibility with CAN networks at up to 1 Mbit/s. Each of the sensor variants is equipped with a standard D-SUB 9-pin interface, which can be used to connect any conventional CAN bus analyser. This saves users from having to invest in new analytical equipment.

The HIOKI measurement probes play an important part in the high performance of the SP7000 series. The hook-shaped tip of the measuring head has an opening that allows it to be simply hung on the cable. A few turns of the clamping screw below the head then allows the probes to be quickly and securely fixed in place, even in the presence of shock or vibration. They are suitable for use with cables with outer diameter from 1.2 to 2.0 mm.

“The sensors will be of great benefit in the automotive industry, especially in engine and vehicle development, where a substantial amount of time is wasted in stripping cable insulation and replacing the damaged cables,” said MDL managing director Mark Lucock.

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