Automotive CAN bus hacking

This 1st video shows the dashboard of a VW Passat B6 2006 being controlled directly by a micro-controller (an old ARM M3 on a LM3S8962 Texas Instruments discovery board) using the automotive CAN bus.

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Wii Motion Plus gyros on LM3S8962 (I2C on CooCox)

After the initial discovery and a brief “hello world” on my new Arm Cortex M3 board using the CooCox environment, it’s now time for something more “involved”…

And because I’m still in the middle of my quadcopter project, and refactoring it to use the gyroscopes from a wii motion + , what better test than try to read these sensors from the new board ?

LM3S8962 with the Wii Motion Plus gyroscopes connected through I2C

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CooCox Hello World

As per my previous post, I started yesterday playing with a 32bit ARM processor, using the LM3S8962 evaluation board.

However, this comes with an evaluation version of the IAR compiler, which is limited to 32KB max code size and buying a licence is prohibitively expensive. Not only this, but the GUI seems somehow old and overcrowded, probably perfect for engineers that do this all day, but quite a steep learning curve for a beginner…

So here comes CooCox which is a “new and highly-integrated software development environment for ARM cortex M3 and M0 based microcontrollers, which includes all the tools necessary to develop high-quality software solutions in a timely and cost effective manner“.

It also includes CoOS which is a small real time OS, similar I suppose to the more well known FreeRTOS ?

So here’s how it looks the CoIDE, Eclipse based, quite clean and nice to use !

CoIDE - a clean and easy to use, Eclipse based IDE

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LM3S8962 Unboxing

It’s been a while since I started telling myself that I had to try the 32bit microcontrollers at some point… the 8bit AtMega and others similar to Arduino are nice and more than enough most of the time, but you can’ t do any proper multi-threading on them.

The occasion came unexpectedly when a friend told me they were using an ARM 32 bit cortex M3 for one of their devices and I immediately said that I needed to hack it… πŸ™‚

Getting an evaluation board for free (they are not hugely expensive, but it feels wrong to pay for something I’m not sure I’ll ever use for real…) was the harder part with Texas Instruments support being quite nice and helpful (even calling back) but unable to send me one.

I finally got my hands on one board a few weeks ago, when the aforementionned friend sent me one of the 2 he has.

So without further due, here’s the “beast” :

LM3S8962 in its original box

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