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Anyone ever build an ISOBUS task controller?
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Posted 2/10/2018 21:49 (#6569363 - in reply to #6568717)
Subject: RE: Anyone ever build an ISOBUS task controller?

Lakefield, MN
I do have limited CAN development experience from another life as an engineer before coming back to the farm, but my knowledge of the details of the ISO11783 structure is limited. I have, however, sat through a few classes on it. Bear with me as its been a few years.

Are you looking at just pulling certain messages off of a CAN bus or are you wanting to go full ISO? Most tractor side busses will be running with the J1939 protocol which is a heck of a lot simpler than doing all the ISO business with object pools and that good stuff to talk between a tractor and an implement. The J1939 message structure documents are out there on the internet, but a lot of manufacturers are going to use the proprietary message PGNs quite extensively that will make it pretty hard to know what you are looking at. I suspect because you mention task controller you are actually wanting to go down the 11783 rabbit hole.

We always used Kvaser Leaf USB to CAN gateways. I believe many of the OEMS re-brand these for their service tools. They do have some software that goes along with them. A company called Vector is just about everywhere in the CAN system development/training/diagnostics area. They have a piece of software called CANalyzer that makes sense of CAN messages very well, but it is expensive. They do have classes around the US that are good, but expensive if your employer isn't paying for them.

Drag and drop programming systems like the Parker IQAN or Sauer Plus 1 Guide system are really quick and easy ways to build CAN systems, however, you are going to be in it a few thousand dollars just to get started with programming your first controller. These systems are used extensively by small OEMs that don't have the resources to design their own hardware and can be programmed in a visual block diagram environment. If you were serious about trying to get to a market ready product as quick as possible I would start here, but it's not going to be 'open' in the end.

It seems to me that the ISO11783 standard is inherently limited in that its going to be a slow moving animal when it comes to change. Some companies are embracing it, but others are going other directions. I think it would be nice in some applications to have a simple implement controller that could push some sensor readings into a VT, but if I was going to design something of substance I would probably look real hard at using an android tablet as the user interface. There is just way more information out there on that type of system. That said, if you want to put yourself to sleep, the J1939 standard as well as the ISO 11783 (ISOBUS) standard documents are very detailed if I remember correctly.

The engineer in me wants to remind everyone that dabbling in this environment can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. After all, these CAN systems run EVERYTHING nowadays.
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