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Old 09-29-2012, 08:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Need help designing a CAN bus controller

Hi, new member here. I found this site while trying to look for a way to manage a CAN device on a non-CAN vehicle, and came across this thread where it looked like you guys were developing a CAN mileage gauge from scratch.

My project is to add an electrohydraulic power steering pump to my truck. The old way to do this was to use a Toyota MR2 power steering pump, then add power and a VSS signal to it, but these units are getting to be hard to come by. However, if a way to control one of these units that is on a car with a CAN system on it, then this would open the way for a whole new round of conversions. My problem here is I'm not an electrical engineer and wouldn't know the first thing about how to do this. I can solder parts onto a board and make it work OK, but don't know how to design the piece to begin with. Can anyone help with this?

The requirement here is to design a control unit that can take a vehicle speed sensor, decide how fast to run the pump with a higher pump speed at lower vehicle speeds, and slowing the pump for higher speeds. Ideally we'd be looking at being able to tweak this with a laptop to get a good steering wheel feel at all speeds. This controller would then need to be able to communicate with the power steering pump.

Is this something that can be done by anyone here? This can be worth a mile or two per gallon over running an engine driven pump.

Incidentally, I did try searching the site first, but it's hard to do when the subject is CAN networks as every single post that used the word "can" comes up. Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-29-2012, 01:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, I work with CAN bus a bit at work, but we always use a CAN-to-USB adapter. Those are a couple hundred dollars each. The hobbyist way is to pick up a $30 Arduino microcontroller and use it. It's almost a plug-n-play project anymore. You "could" get some kind of speed reading, run it into the arduino, and have it control your pump speed. I doubt that it would be that easy, but it's something to try.

You'll need to be able to do some programming, or have a buddy that can.

Last edited by rallen71366; 09-29-2012 at 01:39 PM.. Reason: added programming requirement.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Excellent, thanks! That's put me closer to the goal.

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