Dongle firmware

The software consists of a few functional parts.

First, there is the CANbus library. While the ESP32 is around for a while now and there is good CAN support in Espressif’s IDF, the support in the Arduino environment is mediocre at best. For instance, the receiving is implemented using proper FreeRtos queues, but sending a frame is totally unbuffered and without any success/failure feedback. Still, it works.

Then there is a simple I/O system that handles communication on basically a character by character basis to and from the Serial-over-USB, Bluetooth and Wifi (basically a socket connection over TCP/IP, and a local access point). While it takes some tinkering to get the WiFi sockets play nicely, all this stuff is very well supported in the ESP32 tool chain for Arduino. A simple command interpreter handles the commands. The language used is called BobDue for historical reasons.

Free frames on the bus are simply received, stored in an array with one element for each ID. When a frame is requested, the latest value is simply pulled from the array. Note that all this traffic is very volatile and it serves no purpose whatsoever to do complex queuing for any other reason than keeping up with the data speed.

ISO-TP frames are decoded and buffered, but only if they match up with the requested ID. Flow control is handled as is message assembly. We don’t support multi-package frame sending yet. Edit: we now fully support long message sending!

The main loop checks if there is a new frame on the queue and if so, having it processed. Then it checks for new characters from the I/O subsystem. Finally it calls a few ticker functions to send out queued ISO-TP frames and other housekeeping tasks, such as aging the free frame array.

The entire source is reasonably commented C code, and can be found on Just load the source into PlatformIO, select the board, and upload. This is all a work in progress and at this moment your best bet is the development branch. As soon things settle a bit, we will start doing decent releases with pre-compiled binaries attached.

While developing, tons of new ideas are popping up. Will talk about those later.

One comment on “Dongle firmware
  1. Norbert Molnar says:

    Great! 🙂

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