Advanced Configuration Tool (ACT)
Powerful, yet very easy to use tool for your
FRC-EP-Series and CANnector platform
Easy to operate
Intuitive configuration and device management via drag & drop and graphical configuration elements.
Fits to your requirements – available in 3 different variants and easily expandable for your specific demands via C user code and/or Matlab/Simulink.
Support of many common database formats, including DBC, LDF, Fibex and ARXML.
Gateway / Logger / Visualization / RBS and more
Gateway / Logger / Visualization and more
Gateway / Logger / Visualization (limited functionality)
Compare the three product variants
|RBS & Signalmanipulation||Yes||–||–|
ACT functions in detail…
By means of ACT you can add a data logging functionality to your configuration. The logger bus is a “logical” bus within ACT which only allows to receive data.
Any signal within the configuration – CAN (FD), LIN, FlexRay signal/frames, UserCode, MATLAB/Simulink, etc. – can be mapped via drag & drop to the logger bus and can then be recorded on SD Card or USB mass storage device for later analysis. The logger allows to:
- record your data in CSV, ASC, BLF or MDF format
- use multiple recording groups to group the data which belongs to each other
- use trigger signals to decide what is recorded when
- use a large ring buffer system to also record data “before” a certain trigger occurs
- decide whether you record event triggered, cyclically or upon a signal change
- use the analog/digital I/O’s to have a manual triggering
- use the logger functionality alone or in combination with every other functionality being executed in parallel on the CANnector or FRC-EP series device
- access the logger via websockets in a browser
The trigger is a further logical bus which can be added to the ACT configuration. When added, every signal within the configuration can be mapped to the trigger bus by means of the drag & drop concept and being used as input signal. The trigger engine can be designed in a graphical manner. Several functional blocks can be used:
- Logical combinations
By connecting these blocks, you are enabled to define a trigger logic which is then resulting in trigger signals as output of the trigger engine. These outputs are normal signals like any other signal in the configuration. They can be used to:
- Trigger the data logger
- Drive the digital outputs of the CANnector or FRC-EP series device
- Trigger the transmission of a certain message
- Steer a binary signal on any physical bus system
- Steer a certain functionality in your UserCode or MATLAB/Simulink model
Visualization / Websockets
The visualization is a further “logical” bus which can be added to a ACT configuration. After having done, you can map any signal of your configuration to and from the so called Websocket bus.
From the Websocket to the device? Yes other than expected, the visualization can also be used to send signals and thus allow to influence your configuration by the visualization device.
How is he visualization done? You don’t need a special software, you just need a device equipped with a HTML5 capable internet browser. You connect your device via USB, Ethernet or WLAN (WiFi) with the CANnector or FRC-EP series devices and have automatically access to all signals which are mapped to the visualization.
How are the signals displayed? You can individually select which signals shall be visualized and whether they shall be displayed in textual or graphical form. Such a visualization configuration can be stored either on the CANnector/FRC-EP series or the visualization device. This allows to store views individually or to define by the person having done the configuration what is allowed to be seen.
But what can I do if I want to have a specific visualization? In the case that the default visualization is not sufficient, you can easily add your own HTML5 based visualization. You just need to connect to the standardized data exchange stream.
You need to connect your CAN (FD), FlexRay or LIN based system to modern industrial communication? No problem, just choose a CANnector or FRC-EP series device with an EtherCAT extension. Inside ACT you can then use the easy drag & drop concept to generate mappings from/to the EtherCAT slave. ACT also automatically generates a corresponding ESI file which can be used together with any capable EtherCAT master to comfortable configure your EtherCAT network.
Once connected to EtherCAT, all data – coming from the CAN (FD), Flexray or LIN bus system or from any other EtherCAT based sensor or IO device – is distributed synchronized and on the same communication system to your SPS or PC controlling the test execution.
Analog / Digital IO
The FRC-EP and CANnector devices do also provide analog or digital I/O ports. ACT allows to use these signals like any other signal in your configuration.
After configuration of data direction, range of values, conversion rules and unit, the IOs can be easily mapped via drag & drop from/to any other bus system.
By means of ACT you can add the virtual bus to your configuration. The virtual bus can be used to define your own “variables” (environment variables) in the configuration. These variables can be mapped via the drag & drop concept to/from any other bus system. This allows – for example – to calculate such a variable by your C user code module and then use it in any other bus system.
One functionality of the gateway is to generate DBC-Files based on the mapping of the different physical and logical buses – for CAN, CAN FD, Generic Ethernet, virtual CANonEthernet, CAN@net
XCPonEthernt is too complicated for you? No problem, you can also use the much easier Fast Data Exchange protocol to connect third party software solutions with the CANnector or FRC-EP series device. With ACT, all needed signals are mapped via the drag & drop concept from/to the FDX bus system. ACT is automatically generating the corresponding XML description file for the FDX bus. This XML file can be imported into your software solution and you are ready to read or send data.
Generic Ethernet / CAN@net / Virtual CAN(FD)onEthernet
You want to reduce cabling or to bridge large distances? No problem, our Generic Ethernet protocol is solving this problem. Generic Ethernet is a virtual CAN(FD), FlexRay or LIN bus system on Ethernet. By means of ACT you can map the desired data from/to the Generic Ethernet bus system.
The data is then distributed via Ethernet and can be “turned back” to the physical protocols by using a counter CANnector or FRC-EP series device. This is then the classical range extender.
In case that you intend to connect the data stream directly to a PC, you can use our VCI driver to use the device as a remote PC interface.
Up to 16 of such „virtual “ buses can be configured. Why? You can use this to distribute the desired data not to one but up to 16 different IP addresses or ports. So you can create your own Ethernet based communication network and just use CAN(FD), FlexRay or LIN protocols on the “last mile”.
The Generic Ethernet protocol allows also the combination of Ixxat CAN@net devices with CANnector or FRC-EP series devices. Not having enough CAN ports – no problem just use this possibility to extend to up to 136 CAN / 72 CAN FD interfaces.
No Windows PC allowing the usage of the VCI driver – no problem, the Generic Ethernet protocol is very easy to be implemented on any target operating system. In the easiest case you can just use a terminal program to send and receive the data.
Signal and data manipulation
You need to add specific manipulation functionality? No problem, ACT allows the integration of such functions into the overall configuration. The key feature is the C user-code module. If wanted, ACT automatically generates a C code skeleton containing all signals or frames which shall be exchanged. This C module already provides the API to the rest of the system and the signal transformation from raw to physical signal value dependent on the definitions within the underlying bus description files. The only thing you need to do is to add your desired functionality on signal or frame basis, event driven or cyclically to the C code skeleton. This is done within our integrated development tool. The executable module is automatically generated out of your C code and integrated into the overall configuration being executed standalone on the CANnector or FRC-EP series device.
Done some mistakes during your coding? No problem, you can use the integrated remote debugging feature to identify the root cause of the problem, correct it and retest it without stopping the rest of the running configuration on the device.
You are tired to write C code or do already have a functional model based on MATLAB/Simulink? No problem, ACT allows the integration of such models into the overall configuration. If wanted, ACT automatically generates a base model containing all signals which shall be exchanged. This base model contains the API to the rest of the system and the signal transformation from raw to physical signal value dependent on the definitions within the underlying bus description files.
The only thing you need to do is to design your desired functions with MATLAB/Simulink or to copy & paste the already existing model into the base model. At the end, the executable module is automatically generated out of this model and integrated into the overall configuration being executed standalone on the CANnector or FRC-EP series device.
Residual bus simulation (RBS)
THE RBS IS USED TO SIMULATE ECU’S OR PARTS OF A VEHICLE. NORMALLY YOU NEED TO CODE IT MANUALLY BY MEANS OF A SCRIPTING LANGUAGE – BUT NOT IN THE IXXAT CASE.
Our RBS ist generated automatically by means of a vehicle description database you have defined with the integrated vehicle editor. All you need to do is to select the ECU(s) you want to simulate. The boring work is automatically done by ACT:
- Detecting which messages shall be sent
- Detecting which messages do contain CRC’s or alive counters
- Generating the modules which do the CRC and alive counter calculation automatically
- Cross compile the generated C code and integrate it with highest performance into the rest of your testing configuration
All that is done with configuration wizards – there is no programming effort.
You want to influence the RBS? No problem, just add your specific code or algorithm into the automatically generated modules. At the end, the complete configuration including your RBS is executed autonomously on the devices of the FRC-EP series.
You want to control/influence the RBS executed on the FRC-EP series device? For this case XCPonEthernet can be used to connect a third party software supporting this standard.
But how is this done?If needed, ACT generates a A2L description file containing all signals which are sent by the RBS/GW configuration being executed on the device. From the perspective of the third-party tool the FRC-EP series device is a virtual ECU. By means of the A2L virtual memory locations containing the desired signals can be read or written. By doing so, you are able to influence everything what is sent on the different bus systems. Everything includes also the CRC/Alive counters generated by the RBS or signals which a calculated by your user code being executed on the device.
HIL signal manipulation
Based on the FlexRay/CAN RBS and the XCPonEthernet extension, the signals sent by the RBS can be defined and manipulated. This includes, for example:
- On/off switching of signals for a defined time or number of cycles
- Transmission of defined substitute values with switched-off signals
- Defined corrupting of CRCs and alive counters
The control of the signal manipulation can take place via user code, the gateway or XCPonEthernet.
IxAdmin is the PC based administration tool (free of charge) for the FRC-EP Series and CANnector platform which can be connected via USB, Ethernet or WLAN (Wi-Fi).
- Up-/download of configurations
- Management of multiple configurations on the device (up to 200)
- Execution of device updates
- Update firmware/board support package (BSP) of the FRC-EP/CANnector
- Runtime license management
- General settings
- Access to the web-based dashboard
- Access to logger files
- Also available as command line tool for Windows and as IxAdmin Light for Linux
Basis for most solutions are bus description files in CANdB, DBC, LDF, FIBEX or AUTOSAR-XML format. Normally, the descriptions contain a lot of information, but are missing important details like CRC/Checksum or Alive-Counter Algorithms which are needed to generate – for example – a Residual Bus Simulation.
The Vehicle Editor allows to create a complete vehicle description database containing all information needed. In case of changes during the life cycle of your testing application (e.g. new vehicle integration levels), a new variant of such a vehicle description database can be created which allows then an easy porting of existing Residual Bus or Gateway Configurations. This saves time and reduces the risk of introducing errors into already verified testing configurations.
Development Tool (C User Code)
Configurations created by ACT may easily solve many but not all problems. In such a case a configuration can be extended by own C user code. Eclipse is used as integrated development environment and helps you to get your work done. ACT generates a C user code template which already contains the API to connect your functions to the rest of the system. You just need to use Eclipse to add your functions to the template. The built-in cross compiler integrates your code as separate module into the configuration which is executed on the CANnector or FRC-EP series device. Made some mistakes – no worries. The Eclipse based Remote High Level Debugger can be used to debug your code without impacting the rest of the configuration. Once finished, your code is a integrated part of the overall configuration which is executed stand-alone.