Sale ends todayGet 30% off any course (excluding packages)

Ends in --- --- ---

CAN Analyzer

General Tuning Discussion

Forum Posts



Tech Articles

Discuss all things tuning in this section. News, products, problems and results. 

= Resolved threads


Have we got any members on here using CAN Analyzer products? We are intending to produce some CAN bus course material and want to know what products you guys have found to be effective for analysing CAN bus data streams.

I grappled with the same question a short while ago. What I found out, a oszilloscope which has a significant faster sample rate than the CAN bus data rate has, should do the job well. Most standard highspeed bus has a data rate of 1Mbit/s and lowspeed 125kbit/s . The oszilloscope must have a big buffer hence you can record and review the signal for enough long period of time. Technical the buffer is needed, because the USB 3.0 transmission line is to slow too transfer and store samples at such high rate direct to the PC. Picoscope has very nice Automotiv oscilloscopes and kits which are well suited for CAN and FlexRay and a whole bunch other measurements. All that said I honestly haven't dissasembled a CAN until today, but I have to in near future.


Have also a look on this and other videos from piccoscope, which I found very informativ.

An Introduction to CAN Bus: https://youtu.be/J-T62NPYxPQ

PicoScope 6: Serial Decoding of CAN Bus Signals: https://youtu.be/bNzKc_sHPXk

I don't sell piccoscope, just found they have very nice products and they share alot of usefull infos ;-)

Hoi Adrian

a scope can help in troubleshooting CAN, but for the purpose of decoding binary packages it is absolutely useless. A tool like the CANALYZER 8.1 ( Mercedes-Benz uses it since the 90's as a development tool)

is much more appropriate. Having said that, inside factory information is needed to effectively work with it. Motec and probably others have done reverse engineering, which is extremely tedious but possible.


Hi Dynodom

CANAnalyzer looks like a much more advanced software, which is specially made for that purpose. That may be the right choice for OEM decoding. I'm afraid, that this software is very very expensive.

Piccoscope does have a serial decoding function for CAN, Flexray and many other and support many standard protocols. As i said, I haven't done that yet, so I can't comment how well I does work. Hopefully there is somebody which can share some on hands experience.

Anyway you can find some info about the capabilities of the piccoscope software here: https://www.picotech.com/library/oscilloscopes/serial-bus-decoding-protocol-analysis

Hi Andre,

We use these units for basic CAN Analysis, VSCom USB to Can they are good for sniffing at a basic level, where they have a limit is in the software that they work with. We use Busmaster, which is a good mid range package, but has limitations in the way it works. Having said that, 90%+ of the CAN Bus analysis work that I do is done with these products, and for most people who are wanting to be able to sniff what is going on on the CAN Bus and diagnose any problems that may be occurring, these tools will do the job.

There are better packages available, but they have a high cost of entry in the cost of the software and hardware.

PS, did your Toyota 86 Cruise Control wiring issue get resolved?

Thanks for your input guys.

For what we are looking at doing, I'm not sure the oscilloscope route will be particularly useful as the user interface will be quite critical to us. We are currently considering CAN Capture which is $1295 USD and is being used by at least one of the aftermarket ECU manufacturers we deal with for reverse engineering OEM CAN bus data. I thought it would be interesting to see what others here are using.

BlackRex, the issue is pretty basic really - Just a wire omitted from the adaptor harness. Haven't had the car for the last little while so haven't been able to do much :(

Hi guys,

I have been doing quite a lot of can bus development and tried a couple of devceis. Since all of mine projects has been locost I have bought equipment in the lower range. I have tried a 10 $ china analyser which actually worked but only outputting data in a terminal window. that was difficult to wotk with!

The products I am using at the moment is the microchip can bus analyser and peak PCan device.

as long it gives you the feature of fixed tracing then it becomes quite easy to detect changes in byte values and then calculate the msb and lsb values into correct 16 bit values (at least for the channels where 16 bit resolution is used).

My last project was detecting can bus from a magnetti marelli motorsports ecu which worked well, and within an hour had all channels detected. Oem is a bitch to be honest!

Best regards


Thanks for the feedback mads. Appreciate your input.

Let me try and dig up some info on Paul Yaw's facebook. I remember seeing Kvaser software brought up. I'll tag you in the information Andre.

For "quick and dirty" work we use the USB to CAN adapter from Peak Systems (also marketed by Gridconnect in the US) with the free PCan software. This USB to CAN adapter is used by a lot of the smaller hardware manufacturers in as a progamming tool. There are also some other USB to CAN adapters which will use this same software.

For more serious work we use an ECOM cable and CANCapture software from www.cancapture.com.

Thanks mitchdetailed, I actually remember the discussion now you mention it.

Thanks for the input Richard. I'll have a look at the Peak Systems product too.

The Lawicel CANUSB ( http://www.can232.com/?page_id=16 ) is pretty effective and inexpensive. It uses the common serial line can protocol and can be used by lots of different software. You can even set it up as a CAN network interface in Linux and use Wireshark with it.

Thanks for the input fxfrax.

I wanted to update this, I am using a Can2usb module from 8devices Link Here

the EasySync Cable is what this unit can utilize to plug into the obd2 connector Link Here

Using Linux Ubuntu's Terminal using Can-utils package. it was pretty easy to set up after watching a few videos and reading a few documentaries.

the module was about 120$ shipped, and the cable was 15$ (usd).

Chris Smith has written a VERY good book explaining in great detail how to hack computer networks. he even goes into understanding protocols deeper than CAN if that interests anyone here. Link Here

Here's chris's Website and Youtube channel

We usually reply within 12hrs (often sooner)

Need Help?

Need help choosing a course?

Experiencing website difficulties?

Or need to contact us for any other reason?