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Communication is Key: Why 4-Pin CAN Connections Matter

Why do relationships fail?

That’s the question we subconsciously ask when a relationship, whether with a friend, family member, or significant other, goes awry. We might have a list of “They did that,” ’s or “I need this and that just doesn’t work for me,” ’s, but ultimately it comes down to mankind’s greatest ability: communication.

Not intellect? Not endurance? Not imagination? While these qualities are certainly admirable in any single individual and have led to great achievements, what lasting human achievement has ever been accomplished without being shared, at the very least? The greatest achievements are the result of many, many people all working together. And this requires good communication. Just the same, our most human accomplishment, healthy relationships with each other, are established and survive by good communication.

If we fail to communicate, you need only to remember the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel to understand what happens.

In terms of the importance of communication, it should come as no surprise that a CAN network is like humans. The nodes “talk” to each other, do they not? Without communication, a CAN network can accomplish nothing. We like to create in our own image.

Any functioning CANBUS necessitates good communication between nodes; failure in communication, for a CAN network, results in phenomena like the “babbling-idiot”, a node that continuously, erroneously sends high-priority messages that eat up the bandwidth of the system and prevent important messages from being communicated. (The term “babbling” or “babble” originates from Babel in reference to that Biblical story, as it so happens.)

The babbling-idiot phenomenon is just one of a few issues a poorly-designed CAN network can run into.

It’s important that a CAN network is founded on a robust hardware layer. Nodes must provide for a fault-tolerant system. The xtremeDB is one such node, which, well-designed in its own right, does not require the additional precaution of CAN shielding to accomplish the necessary robustness of its hardware layer. What often results in the combination of 3-pin and 2-pin CAN communication ports, the xtremeDB can accomplish in a single 4-pin port. CAN High, CAN Low, Power, Ground—all accounted for in one connection. And because DEUTSCH pins are rated for 13 Amps each, a single xtremeDB CAN Splitter, with its ten CAN ports, can power any number of nodes within the 13-Amp limit.

Fewer ports… So what? To bring the topic back around to communication: fewer crossed wires. With only four pins, wiring is simplified, and with fewer ports required to accomplish the same goal, less cabling. This translates to installation time savings, weight savings, and, you guessed it, a more robust system.

The true test of any human relationship, of any human accomplishment, is how well those involved communicated. The true test of a CAN network is much the same.

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