Data logger listens to ECU system bus

June 25, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Embedded brains GmbH, a company focused on custom-made solutions for automotive, industrial and aerospace applications, has launched what it claims to be the most powerful data logger for the automotive industry. The DP2 enables ECU designers to track signal behavior and logic processes in their devices.

When fully equipped the data logger acquires signals through three independent channels. These signals are recorded and processed along with their timing correlation. In addition, the built-in GPS module enables recording the position data associated to the measurement data.

An intelligent "head unit" can be connected directly to the ECU system bus, enables the recording without any delay. In comparison to data acquisition through existing interfaces this concept allows for much higher sampling rates without the need to modify the ECU software. Coupling the head unit directly to the ECU system bus has an additional advantage, embedded brains says: Since an increasing number of functions is combined in a single ECU, in many cases it is not possible to associate acquired data sets to a certain function. The DP2, in contrast can discriminate between the functions since it is listening directly on the system bus.

Implemented as a distributed system, the data logger consists of the controller box and one or more head units. Up to three head units can be connected to the controller. Thanks to its modular, compact design, the head units can be adapted to the target system bus quickly and with little effort. Alternatively the data can also be recorded through existing ECU interfaces such as CAN. The controller box is equipped with additional interfaces, offering flexible connection options for many application cases.

The data logger is offered in two versions: DP2 Compact and DP2 Multichannel. Both versions provide sampling rates of less than 1 millisecond. In multichannel mode, the power consumption is less than 20W, the Compact version requires less than 15W. The box meets IP68 which means that is practically watertight. The head unit works off supply voltages from 4 to 7VDC. Memory capacity is 16GByte. The recording bandwidth for the Compact version is maximum 4MByte/s depending on which interfaces are mounted. The Controller box offers CAN, Ethernet, USB and GPS antenna interfaces as