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After supplying all your  Embedded Development Tool needs for 42 years
 Computer Solutions Ltd and its web shop are now closed.



 Having reached the grand old age of 75 it is time to relax and fulfil other ambitions.

 Its been an exciting ride with you, our customers, often on the bleeding edge of technology
 and I thank you for your friendship, your trust, and your orders.

Stay well        I wish you all success in your future projects.

Chris Stephens.



     But what to do with the web site ?  It has taken >12 man years of work to create a repository of knowledge on many aspects of the art and science of embedded microprocessor development and even after closing the shop it still gets over 4,000 visitors per month.  So as a service to my customers I have decide to keep it live providing my technical insights on the products and then redirecting viewers to sites where they can purchase the items they used to buy from us. Follow the link   "Home"

       The  "Information zone"  consists of articles produced as background tutorials on subjects of interest to those designing new products.  As different CPUs have became available this has lead to new development techniques and in particular to new ways of communicating between nodes.


Home Information Zone

Plug-in interfaces for CAN and LIN bus systems

Plug-in interfaces for CAN and LIN bus systems

An enhanced range of plug-in interfaces for CAN and LIN bus systems is now available from Computer Solutions. Some recent additions to the range include a CAN to PCMCIA interface, software for controlling and monitoring a CANopen network and a LIN/CAN gateway and interface.

The Peak PCAN-PC interface provides a simple plug-in card that connects portables equipped with the PC bus interface (otherwise known as PCMCIA slots) and CAN networks. It supports both 11-bit and 29-bit ID CAN specifications with a maximum speed of 1 MBaud. Source code for programs to control the CAN bus is included, as is PCAN-VIEW - a program which provides simple CAN control and diagnostics. A more powerful CAN logging application, PCAN Explorer, is also available for use with the PCMCIA card and provides a macro-based control language, full message decoding and even strip-chart graphical displays of message values.

PCAN open Magic is a software package that provides simple control and monitoring of a CANopen network. CANopen is a set of extensions to the CAN standard designed with control applications in mind, and is based on the full CAN (ISO 11898-2) 5 V bus. It limits the number of nodes to 127 and allocates each node as ID. Profiles have been specified for each type of CAN device by the CiA (CAN in Automation users and manufacturers group) to simplify using systems from multiple manufacturers. Common network commands allow modules to be automatically identified for synchronised data reads and writes as well as for transferring large blocks of data.

The PCAN open Magic software provides network management of selected nodes or all nodes, data download and upload to or from a selected node, indication of the current state of a node, indication of the last emergency transmitted by a node, indication of the bus load, errors, transmit and receive activity as well as configuration of transmit messages.

A trace display shows current messages on the CAN bus along with corresponding CANopen interpretations of the messages, while an automated network scan feature allows all nodes on the network to be identified using a single mouse click and displayed in a network overview window.

The Peak PCAN-LIN interface and gateway module acts as a gateway between a CAN bus and a LIN bus. The LIN (Local Interconnect Network) bus is simpler than CAN and is often used in automotive functions where performance is not critical but cost is. In many applications LIN is used as a low-cost, low-performance, local data-collection or control bus with CAN being used to integrate the operation of multiple LIN sub networks. LIN is a single-master/multiple-slave system that uses a 12 V single-wire physical layer with a UART/SDI and master-driven self-synchronisation. It is capable of running at data rates of up to 20 kbit/s over a maximum distance of 40 m.

A software package is provided with the PCAN-LIN interface that can set it up in one of a number of modes: CAN to LIN, serial to CAN or serial to LIN. In the CAN to LIN mode, the module acts as a LIN master and sends incoming CAN packets to LIN and LIN to CAN (with configurable offsets). For simple interfacing between a PC and a LIN bus, PCAN-LIN can be used as a bus converter in conjunction with a Peak parallel or USB CAN interface. In this way, full advantage may be taken of the free software included with the CAN interface to view the contents of the LIN bus and to control it from the PC.


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Computer Solutions Ltd. is the UK's premier supplier of microprocessor development tools. It supplies a wide range of software and hardware tools that support over 100 different microprocessor families. Hardware products include: BDM and JTAG interfaced debuggers, In-circuit emulators , EPROM emulators USB, Ethernet, RS232 & CAN analysers and device programmers. Software tools include: assemblers, debuggers, compilers, real-time executives, TCP/IP stacks and other high-level protocol libraries.

With 40 years' experience, Computer Solutions Ltd. has unrivalled expertise in embedded tools, consultancy and support.

For further colour photographs, graphics, technical or marketing information,

            Contact: Chris Stephens, MD, Computer Solutions Ltd

Press releases are available by email if you wish - send your request to

For more information on Peak CAN & LIN products :

         CAN products             LIN products              Peak System's Website


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Computer Solutions Ltd
87 Briar Road,  Shepperton,  Middx,  TW17 0JB
Telephone: +44 (0) 77 4342 2526   
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