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Yes We CAN

Written on June 18th, 2024

Technology touches almost everything we use whether you see it or not. These systems can be increasingly complicated, leading to more technology being implemented to quite literally bridge the gaps. In mobile equipment and vehicles, the CAN bridge is one such component. To keep all the relevant controls operating as designed, many electronic messages are shared between sensors, modules, control inputs, displays, etc. These messages travel via CAN bus network – and each component on that bus knows which messages to pay attention to and which ones to ignore.

The M-Flex CAN Bridge is a two-channel CAN bus bridge for interconnecting two CAN bus networks, and is built to withstand the harsh temperatures, shock and vibration, moisture and electrical transients that are common to these environments. An Isolated CAN Bridge interconnects two CAN bus networks with power isolation.

Digital filters allow desired messages to flow from one network to the other despite differences in baud rate. This allows the bridge module to act as a node on each network while also serving as a bridge between networks.
A key feature of the M-Flex CAN Bridge modules is the ability to filter messages passed between the two networks. Filters are available for each channel that can be configured to pass or block messages based upon the entire CAN ID, J1939 PGN or J1939 Source Address. This provides a simple, efficient means of bus load management and optimizing network performance effortlessly.

Vehicles often have multiple bus networks – to separate the CAN bus messages that are used in the engine control area, power transmission, auxiliary equipment, etc. This allows each bus not to become overloaded with too many messages, and to separate information leading to better control decisions. There is some information that needs to be shared between different CAN bus networks, and that’s where a CAN bridge module can be extremely useful. M-FLEX CAN bridges are also able to pass messages back and forth between networks with different baud rates.

CAN bridge modules connect to multiple buses at the same time, connecting them and passing information from one bus to the other, either in one direction or in both directions. These relatively inexpensive devices provide the ability to share CAN bus messages as you direct. Choosing the right hardware solution and software configuration allows you to accomplish your messaging goals.

Assuming (as in most cases) your buses are the same electrical potential, a standard CAN bridge module will be great. This module is electrically connected across both bus networks, with direct circuitry connection. If your two buses are at different electrical potential, then you will want to choose an isolated CAN bridge. This solid-state solution has no direct electrical connection between the two networks, so there will be no shorting from one to the other.
Both standard and isolated CAN bridge modules can handle CAN bus networks operating at different speeds, and these are configured in the setup of this type of module. Another significant difference between the two CAN bridges is 20 filters available on the standard module, while there are 40 filters available on the isolated CAN bridge module. These differences can be seen in more detail on our product page.