CAN keypads for switching and display functions

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CAN keypads for switching and display functions

Today, drivers‘ cabs in vehicles (whether utility vehicles or special purpose vehicles) are more and more resembling the cockpit of an airplane or a control centre. Requirements regarding ergonomics, operability and visual perceptibility and design are becoming increasingly stringent. Miunske switch and display elements – we refer to them as CAN keypads – set the standard in modern utility vehicles.

CAN-Schalt- und Anzeigeeinheiten

Technical data of CAN keypads

Mounting dimensions


Keypads with encoder

Optionally, CAN keypads can be combined with encoders. For externally connected encoders, one keypad field is
connected in parallel for the encoder‘s switching function. This means that even an encoder without push function can be supplemented with this switching function via this keypad field. If the parallel or extended switching functions are not required, this keypad field can be used as display element or for other functions.

IP 67 version

In order to meet even the most rigorous demands reliably, all keypad fronts are optionally available in a dust and water-proof version acc. to IP 67 . Thanks to the pure foam seal, they are ideally suited for outdoor applications.

Doming for haptic feedback

Handling a machine requires the operator‘s full concentration and even small distractions can be safety-critical. For this reason, we offer our CAN keypads in 2 doming versions which ensure blind keypad handling . For haptic user support, keypads may feature a grid structure, which makes individual keys clearly discernible from each other. Or buttons may feature domed surfaces, the so-called doming pads. These buttons are slightly elevated. For customised installation, we will gladly supply you with a positioning aid.

CAN keypads

Perfect night design

In the dark, Miunske CAN keypads reveal their superiority: extremely bright, without glare and homogeneously illuminated panel. This is made possible by placing lighting elements in individual light shafts, which are movable for switch elements and stationary for display fields. This spatial separation prevents stray light. At the same time, all light shafts are deep enough to comply with any thermal requirements. Even at full level control, when brightly illuminated by sunlight. Even so, at 25 mm, installation depth is significantly
lower than in conventional rocker switches. And by the way, length and widths of our CAN keypads are designed to fit standard panel dimensions. This way, they can be easily installed either vertically or horizontally in existing recesses. An integrated light sensor automatically adjusts lighting intensity. This is based on pulse width modulation in order to maintain colour accuracy even in poor lighting conditions. By using multicolour
LEDs, the individual display elements can be illuminated in any colour. The precision graduation even provides
for adaptation to individual colour schemes or predefined product designs.

Robust construction

Micro switches ensure for functional safety even after 1 million times of pressing the key. The high-quality injection moulding housings are very robust. This protects the electronics inside allows an easy and faultless installation. The housing is front-sided designed in compliance with IP67.

Individual design possibilities

Miunske CAN keypads are available with 4, 6 or 12 fields which can be defined as switches, buttons or pulse buttons. The fields are illuminated with multicolour LEDs. In addition, each field can be fitted with vertical or horizontal bar graph display elements. The colour of these unicoloured LEDs is defined through the hardware.

Technical features at a glance

  • Two Inputs to control the location lighting, the idle bus or as digital input for analysing on the CAN-Bus.
  • CAN speeds of 20 kbit/s up to 1 Mbit/s, adaptable to existing CAN systems
  • Bar graph LEDs assignable to 72 different positions and individually selectable colours (red, green, yellow, white, blue, orange)
  • Absolute colour fidelity during dimming even at the lowest brightness settings.
  • Keys parametrisable in 4 different fixed states, or full control via CAN information (colour, brightness or flashing)
  • Flashing frequency freely parametrisable with customisable flashing harmony (range: 0.2 Hz – 50 Hz)
  • CAN messages can be freely parametrised bit-by-bit and both be assigned to the receive (RX) and the transmit side (TX)
  • Cyclic transmission of a freely parametrisable fixed value as CAN message, serves as function control and self diagnosis (heartbeat)
  • Timeout control (RX) through monitoring received messages based on time
  • Voltage control through cyclic measurement of supply voltage, signal output if voltage drops below a minimum voltage and/or if the keypad is shut off.
  • Configuration of variables (meta data) for customer-specific functions
  • Software update in the installed network, during runtime
  • Front side, in compliance with IP 67
  • Connection of external encoders for operation of CAN based function parameters
Customised function layout

Development of a CAN control unit with applicationspecific function layout

1 - Definition of hardware properties

Each field is defined either as a mere display field or a combined display / actuation field. Each switching and display field on a Miunske CAN keypad can be configured with a vertical or horizontal bar graph display. The maximum number of possible bar graph displays depend on the layout. (12 button keypad with max. 4 fully equipped bar graphs, for 4 and 6 button keypads, max. 2 bar graphs). Alternatively, individual bar graph LEDs can be punctually actuated on several fields.

2 - Creation of the functional design

The first step is to define the functions: What function is to be assigned to each individual switching and display field. For the layout of the backlit symbols and status fields, developers can draw from an extensive
database with graphics, which is part of the Miunske Toolchain software. The database can be complemented with individual symbols anytime. In subsequent production steps, a special laser procedure incorporates these symbols in a transparent surface.

3 - Surface design and cover foil

In addition to the switching and display fields, the keypad foil can also be printed with a functional representation. This way, explanatory hints and pictograms can be integrated. In the simplest case, the manufacturer‘ s logo is placed here.

4 - Procurement of application-specific keypad hardware

The finished foil layout. Small batches of switching and display fields are manufactured cost-efficiently using laser technology. Larger batches are realised by means of printing technology.

5 steps towards your customised keypad
  • Step 1: Install the Toolchain software on your PC.
  • Step 2: Connect a CAN interface to the PC‘s USB port.
  • Step 3: Connect the CAN keypad to the connecting adapter and power supply.
  • Step 4: Start the Toolchain software on the PC. Set the baud rate to 250 kBit/s and let the software
    locate the device.
  • Step 5: Done! Now you can start development work: Use the Toolchain software to draft your own keypad
CiA447 Tastatur

With its CAN keypads, Miunske offers switch and display units that are much superior to other solutions.

Information to CiA Gateway can be found here.