Hardware for simple CAN project (newbie question)

Hi, I am completely new to Arduino but am thinking of a small project where I want to monitor whether a switch is open or closed, and send out messages on the CANbus accordingly.

What do I need in addition to the MKR CAN Shield to accomplish this. A small form factor is preferred.

Next step: To have a wireless link (a few meters) between the switch and the CAN node, what would be the easiest path?



Welcome to the forum.

Please read the first post in any forum entitled how to use this forum.
http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php/topic,148850.0.html .

What is your electronics, programming, arduino, hardware experience?
What is the canbus part of?
Will the canbus accept an extra node and will the node that you are going to send the data, accept the data.

Just adding a node and sending data to it is of no advantage, if the receiving node does not know the ID of the sender and what to do with the data.

Canbus is a standardised transmission protocol, not actual data processing code.

Thanks.. Tom... :slight_smile:

Thanks Tom,

Sorry for my ignorance and being a bit lazy posting here before doing more searching... I think I have found out that I can use a Uno board, in addition to either the MKR CAN shield or a Sparkfun canbus shield CAN-BUS Shield - DEV-13262 - SparkFun Electronics, but any furher advice is welcome:

I have no Arduino and limited electronics experience. I do have some programming experience, Pascal mostly. I have Lazarus installed, a quick search indicate this can be used to program for Arduino. No C or Python experience, but perhaps with some sample code to start with I can learn enough.

The canbus is part of a GPS system for tractors, which I resell. We have a terminal (display) in the cab and can add various CAN modules, these will communicate with the display and perform various tasks on farming implements.

One of these modules can do the exact same thing as I now want to accomplish, plus some other functionalities. The problem is it is too expencive and too big, so I want to make a cheaper and smaller module for this simple task: When a simple on/off switch is closed, it will tell the terminal to log the GPS positions (the path of the vehicle), and when it is open it will stop logging.

The plan is to look at the CAN communication with the original CAN module connected, and try to replicate this.

Hope this gives a better understanding of what I want to do.


Several CAN solutions can be found with an arduino DUE board. This board embedds 2 CAN controllers, therefore you need to add 3.3 V CAN transceivers.

Different solutions/shields:

and an excellent CAN library:

or a smaller DUE footprint with the DUE Core:

Plus 3.3V transceivers:

Or this type of shield: