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Strato Pi CAN extends Raspberry Pi with CAN and 9-65V power

May 15, 2017 — by Eric Brown 2,077 views

Sfera Labs has launched its latest “Strato Pi” RPi add-on, featuring a CAN bus, galvanically isolated RS-485, an RTC, and a 9-65V power supply.

Milan, Italy based Sfera Labs, named after its Sfera open source IoT framework, has launched the fourth in its series of Strato Pi add-ons for the Raspberry Pi 2 or 3. Like its siblings, the StratoPi CAN provides a wide-range power supply and galvanically isolated RS-485 transceiver port, and it adds a CAN bus interface and a relay.

Strato Pi CAN (left) and Strato Pi CAN with Raspberry Pi 3
(click images to enlarge)

The Strato Pi CAN is available as a 91 Euro ($100) board the size of a Raspberry Pi or as a 229-Euro ($251) Strato Pi CAN Server. The Server is a preassembled industrial computer that combines the board with a Raspberry Pi 3 in a DIN-rail case. The announcement follows the March launch of an Iono Pi I/O module for the Raspberry Pi (see farther below).

Like the other Strato Pi models, including the entry level, 40-Euro Strato Pi Mini, the Strato Pi CAN provides a buzzer, a real time clock with back-up battery, and a wide-range power supply. In this case, you get a 9-65VDC input rather than 9-28VDC.

Strato Pi CAN Server (left) and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

Like the standard, 81-Euro Strato Pi Base and 91-Euro Strato Pi UPS board, the CAN model adds a watchdog, an RS-232 port, and the galvanically isolated RS-485 transceiver port. The latter provides automatic, transparent TX/RX switching, and like the RS-232 port, can be used simultaneously with the CAN port.

Strato Pi family (left to right): Mini, Base, UPS, and CAN
(click image to enlarge)

The Strato Pi CAN lacks the RS-232 port available on the Base and UPS models, and it does not include the UPS model’s uninterrupted power supply. However, it adds the CAN port, which is based on the Microchip MCP2515 controller and MCP2561 transceiver. The MCP2515 is “fully supported by the SocketCAN framework on Raspbian and other Raspberry Pi Linux distributions,” says Sfera Labs.

Strato Pi CAN block diagram (left) and board detail
(click images to enlarge)

The Strato Pi CAN is further equipped with LEDs and a relay “with both normally open and normally closed contacts, easily controlled by one GPIO line,” says Sfera Labs. Like the other models, the Strato Pi CAN supports EN61000 and EN60664 standards for electromagnetic compatibility, electrical safety, and emissions. The products ship with a detailed schematic and extensive documentation.


Iono Pi

In early March, Sfera Labs launched an Iono Pi I/O module for the Raspberry Pi, as a follow-up to its earlier Arduino-bsaed Iono. Like the Strato Pi devices, the Iono Pi is available as an add-on board (91 to 106 Euros) or a full, RPi 3 equipped computer with a DIN-rail case (198 to 213 Euros). The board is designed for data collection and analysis, as well as home and building automation.

Iono Pi board (left) and pre-assembled version
(click images to enlarge)

The Iono Pi board includes up to 6x digital inputs and 2x analog inputs, as well as 4x power relay outputs. The board supports standard interfaces including 1-Wire and Wiegand, “typical of modern PLCs,” and offers an RTC, open collector outputs, and a 9 to 28 VDC power supply, says Sfera Labs.

Further information

The Strato Pi CAN is now available for 91 Euros ($100), with initial shipping time of three to four weeks. More information may be found on the Strato Pi CAN announcement, product, and shopping pages, as well as the Sfera Labs Strato Pi Server shopping page.

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