CAN-BUS Shield

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Can bus shield all.jpg


CAN-BUS is a common industrial bus because of its long travel distance, medium communication speed and high reliability. It is commonly found on modern machine tools and as an automotive diagnostic bus. This CAN-BUS Shield adopts MCP2515 CAN Bus controller with SPI interface and MCP2551 CAN transceiver to give your Arduino/Seeeduino CAN-BUS capibility. With an OBD-II converter cable added on and the OBD-II library imported, you are ready to build an onboard diagnostic device or data logger.

I need a CAN Bus Shield

Note:The Library had been update to version 1.2 in July 8,2014



  • Implements CAN V2.0B at up to 1 Mb/s
  • SPI Interface up to 10 MHz
  • Standard (11 bit) and extended (29 bit) data and remote frames
  • Two receive buffers with prioritized message storage
  • Industrial standard 9 pin sub-D connector
  • Two LED indicators

Hardware Overview

Dimensions: 68x53mm
Net Weight:50g

Canbus interface.jpg


When you use more than two CAN Bus Shield in one net, you should concern about the impedance.

You can just cut P1 in the PCB with a knife, or just remove R3 on the PCB.


Can bus shield connect.jpg

1. Download the CAN-BUS Source code file for Arduino 1.0 and release it in the libraries file in the Arduino-1.0 program.: ..\arduino-1.0\libraries.

If the folder name include "-master", just remove it.

2. Open the Arduino-1.0, and you will find 3 examples: receive_check ,send and receive_interrupt. Here we'll use send and receive_check, open it then you should get two programming windows now.

Open CAN BUS examples.jpg

3. Upload two examples to two boards separately. Choose the board via the path: Tools -->Serial Port-->COMX. Note down which board is assigned as a "send" node and which board is assigned as a "receive" node.

4. Open the "Serial Monitor" on the "receive" COM, you will get message sent from the "send" node. Here we have the preset message "0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7" showing in the following picture.

CAN BUS message.jpg


1. Set the BaudRate

This function is used to initialize the baudrate of the CAN Bus system.

The available baudrates are listed as follws:


2. Set Receive Mask and Filter

There are 2 receive mask registers and 5 filter registers on the controller chip that guarantee you get data from the target device. They are useful especially in a large network consisting of numerous nodes.

We provide two functions for you to utilize these mask and filter registers. They are:

init_Mask(unsigned char num, unsigned char ext, unsigned char ulData); & init_Filt(unsigned char num, unsigned char ext, unsigned char ulData);

"num" represents which register to use. You can fill 0 or 1 for mask and 0 to 5 for filter.

"ext" represents the status of the frame. 0 means it's a mask or filter for a standard frame. 1 means it's for a extended frame.

"ulData" represents the content of the mask of filter.

3. Check Receive

The MCP2515 can operate in either a polled mode, where the software checks for a received frame, or using additional pins to signal that a frame has been received or transmit completed. Use the following function to poll for received frames.

INT8U MCP_CAN::checkReceive(void);

The function will return 1 if a frame arrives, and 0 if nothing arrives.

4. Get CAN ID

When some data arrive, you can use the following function to get the CAN ID of the "send" node.

INT32U MCP_CAN::getCanId(void)

5. Send Data

CAN.sendMsgBuf(INT8U id, INT8U ext, INT8U len, data_buf);

is a function to send data onto the bus. In which:

"id" represents where the data come from.

"ext" represents the status of the frame. '0' means standard frame. '1' means extended frame.

"len" represents the length of this frame.

"data_buf" is the content of this message.

For example, In the 'send' example, we have:

unsigned char stmp[8] = {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7};

CAN.sendMsgBuf(0x00, 0, 8, stmp); //send out the message 'stmp' to the bus and tell other devices this is a standard frame from 0x00.

6. Receive Data

The following function is used to receive data on the 'receive' node:

CAN.readMsgBuf(unsigned char len, unsigned char buf);

In conditions that masks and filters have been set. This function can only get frames that meet the requirements of masks and filters.

"len" represents the data length.

"buf" is where you store the data.


How to Change SS Pin

The SPI SS pin is default D10, you can change it to D9 easily.

Firstly, cut off the copper wire between CS and digital 10 via a knife, then do some soldering just like the following image


Then, you need to change the SS Pin in the library.

You can refer to here

CAN BUS Shield init fail

As from CAN BUS shield V1.1 to latest version, we changed CS pin from D10 to D9 by default.

So please do this modification "MCP_CAN CAN(9); // Set CS to pin 9" in the example.

How to Compatible With Arduino Mega and Leonardo

In the old version(this bug had been fixed on version 1.1) of CAN BUS Shield, SPI pin only connect to D11~D13. For Arduino UNO(Seeeduino), it works fine.

But for Mega and Leonardo, it doesn't work, because SPI pin of those board was no D11~D12, so you need to so some hack.

Just as following:


More details refer to here

Good news is that a new version of CAN BUS Shield will come soon, the SPI pin will connect to ICSP, it can easily compatible with Mega(Leonardo).

How to remove the terminal resistor

There's a 62 Ohm(120 Ohm in version 1.1 hardware) on CAN BUS Shield. Sometime it's not need. You can remove it easily, just as follow:

Can bus shield cut p1.JPG

Related Projects

If you want to make some awesome projects with CAN-BUS shield, here's one example.

Volkswagen CAN BUS Gaming


This project is still ongoing. You can play a car/truck simulator with a real dashboard on your PC after finishing it.

With this demo, the author is trying to control a VW Polo 6R dashboard via CAN Bus with an Arduino Uno and a Seeed CAN Bus Shield.

I want to make it.

More Awesome Projects by CAN-BUS Shield


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