Archive for General Information

New updated CANUSB

We have made a new updated version of CANUSB, but this update is just a new look of CANUSB (new enclosure), it is still 100% same hardware and firmware inside so all software and drivers remains the same. The reason for this update is that our supplier made an EOL (End of Life) of the enclosure and cable we have been using since 2003. So the last batch we got in December 2016 was the last and the enclosure and cable is now obsolete. We then decided to make some adjustments to the product and design our own enclosure.

The new enclosure is slightly bigger but since the original design was made for the enclosure we decided to use back in 2003 we had to put components on both sides to make it fit. Now with the new design we put the components on one side only and made an enclosure to fit that design. This is more cost efficient for production and we could maintain the same price. Also instead of having a fixed USB cable to the product, we use a standard USB cable, so any length could be used to suit customer demands. We also used same familiar blue transparent color for the enclosure and the LEDs inside could be seen through enclosure as on the CAN232.

Regarding the USB cable length, check with your local dealer which length they stock or supply was default. Below are some initial pictures how the CANUSB looks like, click on each Picture for a larger version.

Please note some dealers may still carry the original CANUSB for a while and there is no benefit to use one over the other (unless you want a shorter or longer USB cable, then the new design could be a choice).

We also want to point out again that all software and drivers that are on the market works with the new design without any software/driver update at all. We simply had to update the product due to the fact that the enclosure and cable are obsolete. Below are 3 pictures showing both old and new enclosure as a comparision, the bottom with serial number and the CANUSB with a standard 1m USB cable. Click on the pictures for a larger version.


We have decided after some long testing to stop using our own PID with CANUSB which was FFA8 and instead use standard FTDI 6001. The main reason for this is that since Windows 8.X (and Windows 10) it will not support unsigned drivers. The change will happen on new devices being made from February 2015, but it could be that our distributors have the “old” configuration for some time. Let us Point out that there is nothing wrong with using the CANUSB with either PID and you as a user will not notice any mayor difference from a program point of view, it will only show in Device Manager if you look there. The FFA8 configuration will show up as “Lawicel CANUSB” and the 6001 will show up as standard “USB Serial Converter”. The big advatage of this is that we do not need to alter the standard FTDI USB drivers and get them unsigned, it means you can use the standard off shelf FTDI USB drivers and in many cases when you have an internet connection the Windows will detect, download and install drivers it self, if it dowsn’t you can download them here from FTDI. Also using MacOS or Linux it should be easier to install drivers.

CANUSB Old versus New

The CANUSB software that you have done or any commercial software that you use as well as our CANUSB DLL do not check for the PID, so there is no difference in behaviour. We believe this is the right choice. If you for some reason do not want this, you can reprogram the standard PID 6001 to the old FFA8 or if you have an old CANUSB and want to update it, simply download the “FT Prog” software from FTDI and change it.

In order to keep track of this (for support issues) we have made a change in the serial number sticker (the yellow label on the CANUSB) and put a plus sign in front of the serial number, see the red ring on the Picture above to the right, this indicates that the CANUSB has been programmed with the PID 6001.

FT Prog

If you want to change the PID, download the “FT Prog” here from FTDI, install and run it (do this on a computer where CANUSB worked with PID FFA8, not on a PC with Windows 8.X or Windows 10). While having the CANUSB attached to an USB port, press the “Scan and Parse” icon to read in the data from the EEPROM of the CANUSB. Then select “USB Device Descriptor” as the picture above shows. In the picture above it shows the old Lawicel CANUSB PID FFA8, to change it to the new, simply select the value “FTDI Default” from the property “Custom VID/PID” drop down box. After this is done puch the flash icon from the menu and program it, now it will use the standard PID 6001 instead (after you removed it and installed drivers again). Of course a new CANUSB can also be reprogrammed to the old “FFA8 Custom PID”. DO NOT ALTER ANY OTHER CONFIGURATION!

New FTDI USB driver available

New FTDI USB driver package, version 2.08.30 CDM is added here.

New C# Project for CAN232

We have today uploaded a new C# project made in Visual Studio 2010 which can be used together with CAN232 and also CANUSB (if used with FTDI VCP USB drivers). This project is made by us and it is our first program written in C#, it comes with full source code and you are free to use it, change it and build your own programs based on the code as long as you use it with our products. You find the project in our download section. The project does not support all commands such as filtering and listen only mode, but it supports both 11bit and 29bit ID’s as well as RTR frames. We kept it simple so our users who work in C# has something to work on when making their own programs.

CANUSB and Windows 8/8.1

This post has been updated in march 2015 and is only valid for CANUSB using our own PID FFA8, if you have a newer CANUSB (we started to ship out them in February 2015) we changed PID to standard FTDI 6001 so off the shelf signed FTDI drivers could be used instead of our modified for our PID. Please read this post for more information on newer CANUSB with PID 6001 and how to verify which you have.

Below is original post from January 28th 2013. Read and use only if you have a CANUSB with PID FFA8.

We have now tested CANUSB together with Windows 8 (and later versions) and there are some things to think of when you use Windows 8. Our test PC is using Windows 8.1 Pro on 64bit but it will be same on all versions. We have updated this post with some new information as well, see bottom of this post.

Due to the requirement in Windows 8 (and later versions), that all drivers need to be signed, the FTDI driver for CANUSB will not be installed unless you change some settings in Windows 8. Please also note that in the writing of this the FTDI drivers are not approved for Windows 8 according to their web. But even if FTDI drivers later will be approved and signed for Windows 8, we need to unpack them and edit info for our CANUSB (add info for PID=0xFFA8), then pack them again and put here for download, this means they will be unsiged again. We will not send off drivers to be signed at Microsoft each time FTDI releases a new driver, it will be a costy procedure for us. This was not a problem in Windows 7, where unsigned drivers could be installed if you just said yes to the question you got, but in Windows 8 it is diffrent.

The instructions here is at your own risk, but it is easy to make Windows 8 to accept non signed drivers. You can force Windows 8 by doing the following below.

We have found this post to be the best on how to install unsigned drivers in Windows 8, so try this first before doing anything below!

How to install unsigned drivers in Windows 8.

If the above doesn’t work here are some other help:

Open a Command Promt (cmd) as Administrator and type the following 2 commands:

bcdedit -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON

With bcdedit you are configuring the boot menu of Windows, so be careful. If something goes wrong wou will need a Windows DVD to repair the bootmanager.

After a restart you can go to device manager and choose to update the FTDI driver by right clicking on CANUSB and choose to update driver, point to where you downloaded the driver and all is OK.

When FTDI USB driver is installed you can turn off this again by starting the Command Promt (cmd) as Administrator and type the following 2 commands:

bcdedit -deletevalue loadoptions
bcdedit -deletevalue TESTSIGNING

And you are back to the default values after you have restarted Windows 8. This two procedures only apply to the FTDI USB driver, our own CANUSB DLL driver do not need to be signed, it is only drivers related to hardware.

Unsure how to run cmd as an Administrator, check this post. It is not as easy as just log in as an Administrator, you need to start it as well with Administrator privileges.

There are also other ways todo this since we originally wrote this post, if you follow this links and/or this link for some valuable information on how to install unsigned drivers in Windows 8 (and later versions). You might even before you do the above on some new PC’s click the “Clear Security Bits” in the BIOS.

New Look and Feel

It was time todo something about our old fashioned static web pages for CAN232 and CANUSB so we decided to install WordPress and combine both pages into one webpage, since much information is the same plus we are right now developing products that can be used with both CAN232 and CANUSB and news is so much easier to find and read. By using WordPress it is also easier to maintain and add new information for all our staff. There are probably errors and some information hasn’t been moved yet. We will still keep the old seperate sites for a while, you can find them here for CAN232 and here for CANUSB. If you find something that is wrong or missing, please use our contact page in our webshop.

New FTDI USB driver available

New FTDI USB 2.08.24 CDM driver package added here.

New version of CANUSB DLL

We have now updated our own CANUSB driver DLL, sorted out 3 minor bugs and also made it available for a true Windows 7 64bit. If you plan to develop 32bit applications on Windows 7/64 you should still use the 32bit version of our DLL and run it as wow64. In this version we have also added interface to C# with separate C# DLL’s. You find the latest drivers at our download page.

New FTDI USB driver available

New FTDI USB 2.08.14 CDM driver package added here.

New FTDI USB driver available

New FTDI USB 2.08.02 CDM driver package added here.