It’s just over 2 months ago that I reported 10.000 active devices with CanZE installed (Android stats only). We went over 11.000 on December 9th . 10% in just under 2 months, it doesn’t seem much, but a compound growth of 77% annually is nothing to sneeze at. I doubt we will reach that BTW; compared to December 2020 the real compound growth was 42%. Still great I would say. And that’s up from 29% the 12 months before that.

A big thank you to all users, new and existing, of CanZE!

Last weekend we handily crossed the 10.000 “active installed devices” benchmark (on Android). It’s just an arbitrary number, but hey ho! Thank you all for using CanZE!

A few weeks ago we announced a new release of CanSee. After running it for quite a bit, it’s now time for a true release. As said in the linked announcement, it is truly significantly faster and more stable.

If you have made your own version, you need to merge the changes, or (after checking with this release) issue a pull request so we can incorporate your changes, that have to be non-breaking and configurable of course.

Warning: this is a geek post pertaining to the CanSee dongle, not CanZE, nor the ELM style dongles.

In the CanSee design we’ve specified the SN65HVD23x chip to translate the micro-controller’s logic levels to the CANbus. The beauty of this series of chips is that it runs on 3.3 volt, thus requiring no level shifting and only one supply rail. As reported earlier we’ve seen many bad chips though. Lately I have been involved in a commercial project and we selected the same chip for the same reason. To make a very long (debugging) story short, faulty chips bit us again, and these were sourced through a reputable PCB manufacturer. I also received a few chips from a friend and again, one was bad. Either there is a huge manufacturing problem, or there is a massive batch of fake chips on the market, or these chips are extremely prone to damage.

This problem has been haunting us for well over a year now and after wasting many, many hours again sifting through chips, re-soldering, messing with the firmware, and countless other botches, the camel’s back has now definitely broken. I am changing the public design to set the DC-DC converter’s voltage to 5V, use that to supply the development board AND the alternative transceiver chip (an NXP TJA1050). I’ll also add two resistors to level-shift the signal from the transceiver to the ESP32.

We’ve made a significant change to the CanSee dongle firmware. Nothing is visible from the outside of course, but internally, the CANbus driver we used earlier has been replaced in it’s entirety with the native driver supplied by Espressif, the supplier of the ESP32 micro-controller used in a CanSee dongle. This solves a problem when using the most recent wafer versions of the ESP32 (v3) with the bus speed, and improves stability significantly.

This change is published in the development branch of CanSee and under test right now. Feel free to grab it and give it a spin. If we don’t encounter issues it will be released to production in a few weeks.

For those of you wanting to delve into the technical nitty gritty of things, here is the explanation. If you are into the ESP32, using it’s CANbus controller, and doing so using the Arduino framework, I would urge you to have a good look at that comment and it’s follow up. It took me way too long and way too much head scratching before I ran into that post and have my “ah-ha” moment.

Growth has slowed down a bit but that doesn’t mean we’re not baffled to find our app on so many devices! This week we broke through CanZE being installed on 9000 devices. Google’s definition is: “The number of active devices that the app is installed on. An active device is one that has been turned on at least once in the previous 30 days”.