Raspberry Pi-Driven Fanless CANbus Controller

March 15, 2017

Based on the ubiquitous Raspberry Pi 3, emPC-A/RPI3 Industrial Controller includes many extra features that expand the usefulness of the Raspberry Pi computer for industrial applications, such as a CANbus interface. An enhanced version of the tried-and-tested emPC-A/RPI2, the emPC-A/RPI3 has been designed especially for automation and control applications.


The new system not only delivers enhanced performance, it also has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi interfaces for mobile communication that can be used to create networks for mobile machines. Raspbian Jessie Light is the recommended operating system, and, like the previous model, the new version also offers CODESYS control software compatibility as well as CANbus and other communication features.


The Raspberry Pi embedded computer has shown that it is suited to industrial demands when fitted with the additional customized Janz power supply and I/O resources.  The Janz additions provide a 24V power supply, an optically-isolated CAN interface, a real-time clock, digital I/O, and an additional RS232/RS485 interface.  The device is supplied in a robust, lightweight (1lb) EMI-proof plastic housing (4" x 3.8" x 1.2") that is suitable for desktop, wall, or DINrail mounting.


The fanless emPC-A/RPI3 is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, with 1GB DDR2 RAM system memory, and an externally-accessible microSD card slot for holding the operating system and driver software.  The input power supply required is 9-32VDC , and the interfaces provided include: 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet, WiFi/WLAN, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), HDMI graphic interface, 4 x USB2.0, RS232, CANbus, RS232 (Rx, Tx, RTS, CTS) switchable to RS485, 4 x digital inputs (24VDC), 4 x digital outputs (24VDC).


  • Powered by Raspberry Pi 3, Model B
  • Quad-Core CPU based on ARM Cortex-A53 with 4 x 1.2 GHz 1)
  • Fanless cooling concept
  • Real-time clock, battery buffered



  • System memory 1 GB DDR2 RAM
  • External accessible µSD card slot



  • Ambient operating temperature 0 °C ... 35/40°C 2)
  • Non-operating temperature -20 °C … 75 °C
  • Humidity 5 % ~ 95 %, non-condensing
  • Dimensions (w x d x h): 99.8 x 96.7 x 30.0 mm
  • Desktop, Wall or DIN rail mounting


Power Supply

  • Input 9 … 32 VDC
  • Connectors and Interfaces
  • 1 x 10/100 MBit/s Ethernet
  • BCM43143 WiFi/WLAN on board
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on board 3)
  • 1 x HDMI graphic interface
  • 4 x USB (v2.0)
  • 1 x 9-pin D-SUB connector for serial debug console (RS232 only with RxD and TxD) 3)
  • 1 x I/O connector, providing:
  • 1 x CAN (ISO/DIS 11989-2, opto-isolated, term. settings via jumper, SocketCAN supported)
  • 1 x RS232 (Rx, Tx, RTS, CTS) or switchable to RS485 (half duplex; term. settings via jumper)
  • 4 x digital inputs (24VDC)
  • 4 x digital outputs (24VDC)



  • Raspian JESSIE lite operating system
  • CODESYS V3 runtime environment
  • Oracle Java Embedded
  • CANopen protocol stack and tools