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My Ixxat CAN Interface is Here

Ixxat Box

Ixxat Box

I recently received an impressive blue ESD safe box.  Inside was the  Ixxat USB-to-CAN compact interface which I had ordered from the CAN Connection store.

So why spend the money on the Ixxat when I already have two CAN interfaces?  Software support.  I decided I needed a CAN interface which is supported by the manufacturer’s setup and tuning software.

I like USB to CAN interfaces – I do not having to open up my computer to plug cards in (although I do wish USB connectors could lock – it’s very easy for them to become disconnected if I have to move my computer around).  I’d like an Ethernet to CAN interface even better, but the only semi-affordable ones I know of are the Anagate CAN interfaces (about $300-$450), which are only supported by CANFestival (but not by AMC, Copley, Elmo, etc).

Only Kvaser and Ixxat CAN interfaces are supported by all of the CANOpen servo drives I own (AMC, Copley, Elmo), so I decided to buy either a Ixxat USB-to-CAN compact or a Kvaser Leaf Light.  I decided to buy the Ixxat because:

  1. I like the Ixxat physical arrangement better (only the USB cable is permanently attached).
  2. Kvaser currently does not have a CANFestival driver, which is very important since I plan on using CANFestival.
  3. Faulhaber and Maxon support Ixxat but not Kvaser.
Ixxat USB to CAN compact

Ixxat USB to CAN compact

My Ixxat does have a quality feel to it, and unlike many CAN interfaces, does pack substantial processing power (a 24MHz Infineon C161 with 128K SRAM and 512K flash).  It is available with either a single RJ45 or single DB9M connector.  I choose the DB9M version since my other CAN interfaces use DB9M connectors.

Right now I am using the Ixxat with the Copley CMO COM library.  One quirk – Copley supports Ixxat in their CMO and CML libraries, but not in CME2 (Copley’s setup and tuning application).  Copley supports Kvaser in all three.

CME2 is needed to setup the drives.  The CAN baud rate has to be set from CME2, as well as the amplifier settings such as Hall sensor settings.  However, it’s easy to connect using the Copley’s serial port and a properly wired RJ12 to DB9F cable.

8 comments

1 Richard Orwell { 09.16.10 at 10:14 pm }

Can you give me a quotation for 1 unit IXXAT USB-TO-CAN
Compact Interface with sub D9 plug ( 1.01.0087.10100 ).

Thank You

2 Tony { 09.21.10 at 6:15 pm }

Go to the CAN Connection web store (first link in the post); IIRC, they’re about $335.

3 Steven McNulty { 03.25.11 at 8:36 am }

Tony,
Do you know if any other software works with the IXXAT CAN analyzers besides what they have listed in their webstore? Someone I know is willing to sell me their USB-to-CAN device but their software is too expensive for me to buy outright. I know it comes with a limited free version but I don’t think it has enough functionality for what I need.
Thank you

4 Tony { 03.25.11 at 4:05 pm }

Steve,
I looked around a bit and didn’t find any third party solutions for Ixxat. I took a quick look at Minimon II (the included Ixxat application), and it does look pretty basic. Some suggestions:
1. Call Ixxat and see if they know of any
2. It’s possible some of the other CAN interface’s bundled software might work (e.g. Kvaser, Peak), but I doubt it.
3. Look at other software first, and see what hardware it’s tied to. For example, Peak’s PCAN Explorer is ~$600, has a trial version, but only works with Peak hardware. Both Phytec and Gridconnect sell Peak (OK, Grid Connect relabels, and you have to get the Performance Adapter ($265); the Light ($149) is a relabelled Acacetus). Grid Connect does take returns within 30 days without fees (although I’d call first to verify), so you should be able to get the Peak adapter from Grid Connect and try it out.
4. I’m sure there are other options (e.g. Vector, Kvaser, Kvaser third party), but a lot of the companies don’t like to list their prices.
5. You could use the Ixxat API and write your own, but unless you have really unusual requirements, that’s probably not worth the time it would take.
Good luck,
Tony

5 martin.cutlan { 10.28.11 at 12:43 am }

Tony, Are you still using your Ixxat CAN Interface – i need one and if you interested in selling it please let me know.
Regards Martin.

6 Tony { 10.28.11 at 12:57 pm }

Nope, I still use it. There’s one on sale now (through 10/29/2011) on eBay for $170. That’s a little on the high end, but worth considering if you need an USB to CAN compact now.

7 Ben Posuniak { 12.07.11 at 8:25 am }

Call Vector for all your CAN needs!

8 Tony { 12.07.11 at 11:05 am }

Unfortunately Vector isn’t a good fit for interfacing to CANOpen drives (my main interest) because there is very little manufacturer support. At least on Linux there is a CAN interface standard (socket-CAN) but there is no standard on Windows, so each vendor (Copley, AMC, Elmo, Maxon, Faulhaber, Schneider, etc) picks which CAN interfaces they support. Analyzing a CAN bus is a different situation, of course…

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