Software & Hardware for CAN Decode

This topic is to track suggested toolsets for use with collecting and decoding CAN traffic. Feel free to post about any other tools you use or if you want help using the tools. I’ll edit this post with updates as I try the various tools.

Remember this is just my opinion and preferences, we can all use the tools we like :smiley:

Mike’s Recommended Software List

Mike’s Recommended Hardware List

Busmaster is an open source tool developed by ETAS. It works similarly to the “Vector” tools. It is reliable and robust and highly configurable. User interface is a bit complex at first but is reasonably logical. Hardware support is limited and detailed here. Some strange quirks exist.


  • Reliable and robust logging
  • Captures all data on the Bus


  • Limited Hardware support, IXXAT driver can only accept one interface at a time
  • Transmit on bus is not reliable
  • Single use device, no GPS

SW - SavvyCAN
(Disclaimer: I’ve only briefly assessed it with OVMS) Another open source tool, has some clever statistical tools but appears to struggle with unfiltered logging (crashes at circa 100K frames recieved)


  • Has some interesting statistical analysis
  • Seems easy to use and install
  • Cheaper HW options are possible
  • Works with OVMS


  • App appears to crash if it receives too many messages
  • Less features than Busmaster

I managed to pick a few of these up on eBay, these are reasonably small devices with a D-Sub 9 connector. Can reliably collect CAN logs with all the messages sent on the bus. Single channel device.

HW - MHS Electronik Tiny-CAN
TBC - I have one of these, need to test, should be supported by Busmaster and work in the same way as the IXXAT device.

OVMS has some very interesting features for hacking and reverse engineering. TBC

SD-Card Logging untested - TBC

WiFi Streaming to SavvyCAN. If this works it would be ideal. However,I have only briefly tested this feature, and it is unclear if it officially suppored yet. SavvyCAN was too unreliable in my testing to make this a viable logging option for the moment.