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Add-ons supply CAN FD to Raspberry Pi Zero and Pico

Jul 21, 2021 — by Eric Brown 1,085 views

Copperhill has launched a $71.95 “PiCAN FD Zero” HAT for the Raspberry Pi Zero with CAN FD and a 1A SMPS. There is also a new “CANPico” carrier board that integrates an RPi Pico.

Copperhill Technologies has introduced two new CAN FD add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi. The $71.95 PiCAN FD Zero supports the Raspberry Pi Zero while the $59.95 CANPico is pre-installed with the MCU-based Raspberry Pi Pico (see farther below.)

PiCAN FD Zero (left) and CANPico with soldered Raspberry Pi Pico
(click images to enlarge)

Copperhill has previously launched CAN-equipped add-ons for the Raspberry Pi including the PiCAN3 and more recently, the PiCAN-M HAT with CAN-based NMEA 2000 and RS-422 driven NMEA 0183 ports for marine applications. Like these products, the PiCAN FD Zero and CANPico are collaborations with SD Pang Electronics, which also sells the boards.

Both products support the more recent CAN FD standard. Compared to the original CAN, CAN FD extends the length of the CANBus message frame to up to 64 bytes per frame and boosts the data rate up to 8Mbps. Schematics are available for both products.



The PiCAN FD Zero is equipped with a Microchip MCP2518FD CAN controller and MCP2562FD CAN transceiver. The add-on board provides a CAN Arbitration Bit Rate up to 1Mbps and a Data Bit Rate up to 8Mbps.

PiCAN FD Zero with RPi Zero (left) and with attached Qwiic sensor module
(click images to enlarge)

CAN-FD CAN_H and CAN_L signals are supported via a 4-way plug-in terminal that also inputs 12VDC power for the add-on board and the RPi Zero. The PiCAN FD Zero is equipped with a 1A SMPS (switched-mode power supply) with a 6-20VDC input range, and is said to be “120 Ω terminator ready.”

The PiCAN FD Zero is compliant with ISO 11898-1:2015 and supports CAN FD Controller modes, as well as a CAN 2.0B mode and a mixed CAN 2.0B and CAN FD mode. The board supplies a high-speed SPI interface and an I2C based Qwiic connector to connect Sparkfun’s Qwiic sensor modules.

Other features include a Python-hackable SocketCAN driver, an LED, and “Interrupt RX on GPIO25 or GPIO6.” Presumably, the board also supports the WiFi-enabled Raspberry Pi Zero W.


The CANPico is a tiny carrier board equipped with the Raspberry Pi Pico, which launched in January. Like almost all things Pi, the Pico has enjoyed great success. The dual Cortex-M0+ based Pico, which does not run Linux, is soldered onto the CANPico.

(click image to enlarge)

The CANPico is equipped with the same CAN controller and transceiver as the PiCAN FD Zero but offers a simpler screw terminal for accessing the CAN High/Low twisted pair wiring. Other features include logic analyzer access to digital CAN signals (TX and RX pins), a header for oscilloscope access to the analog CAN signals, GPIO control over the transceiver, and several jumpers. The CANPico is supported with the open-source MicroPython SDK from Canis Labs.

Further information

The PiCAN FD Zero is available for $71.95 at Copperhill and 55.08 Pounds (incl. VAT) from SK Pang.

The CANPico, including Raspberry Pi Pico, is available for $59.95 at Copperhill and 38.28 Pounds (incl. VAT) at SK Pang (currently sold out).

More information may be found in Copperhill Technologies’ joint product announcement.


(advertise here)

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