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Is LabView the right tool to visualize Automotive CAN messages?


i'm absolutely new to LabVIEW and before digging into it, i'd like to know if it is the right tool for me.

I want to analyze CAN messages from automobiles, especially unknown messages to get their meaning. So visualizing and replaying data in realtime using graphs, gauges and bit-signals would be a great help.


The CAN messages comes in LAWICEL protocol, just simple TSV ASCII files.


Maybe there are some examples i should choose?

Any help would be greatly appreciated



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Message 1 of 3

LabVIEW is comparable to other programming languages in its possiblities. So, yes, you can do this in LV.

Maybe even easier than in other programming languages as you have many different types of indicators which already meet your expectations of the user interface.


I am not familiar with Lawicel, so i am not aware of specifics in this type.

There is an Automative Diagnostic Command Set Toolkit available, however i am not sure if this is compatible with that specific type of protocol.

If the toolkit doesn't help you, you still can implement an protocol interpreter on your own.



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CAN has been in NI's radar for several years, so you'll find plenty of hardware and an evolution of sotware tools and resources out there. Couple this with the application development goodies found in LabVIEW, you can probably build a nice solution to your needs.


If you're needing to convert raw CAN frames to various signals, you'll want to be familiar with NI's latest offering, NI-XNET, which you can download for free with or without NI CAN hardware.,n21:17/fmid/2834/


What's nice about NI-XNET is the ability to visually construct frames and their signals in a standalone editor and saved into a database, which is then employed by your LabVIEW code:


NI-XNET DB Editor Example.png


You can also find further discussion on CAN frame to signal conversion techniques here:


If you need to read CAN data using hardware, use XNET or become familiar with the legacy NI-CAN software drivers:



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