FYI - A recommendation...SavvyCAN for reverse engineering CAN codes

Hey folks...I've been struggling to reverse engineer CAN codes for my car (F82 M4). I recently discovered the open source CAN visualization tool SavvyCAN. It has been a total game changer, and has helped me decipher codes that I just don't think I would have found otherwise (BONUS--for me at least: it runs on a Mac). Took me a few hours to figure it out and few more to become somewhat proficient in its use, but was well worth the time. It can be used in real-time mode (if you have a compatible device--I don't) or in offline mode by importing log files (it supports multiple formats). If you're struggling, like me, with other means to find the forest while staring at the cells on leaves, I suggest you give it a look.

P. S. - For the record, I have absolutely nothing to do with, nor interest in SavvyCAN (didn't even know it existed a few days ago, Just looking provide awareness of tool that I found helpful.

Have fun and good luck!


  • @jgunny good tip, I'll try that!
  • If someone finds a compatible dongle/adapter to use with MacOS, let me know. Macchina M2 and A0 are sold out everywhere I looked.
  • J2534 works with SavvyCAN too-- openport is probably your best option there. Price isn't quite appealing as the A0, but the knockoffs might work ok too.
  • edited January 28
    It's interesting that it's open source!

    That means it can be integrated with this library:
    and you can easily build a DIY device to use instead of a dongle:

    It's under the MIT license, so it could even be repackaged and integrated as a CAN setup wizard into RaceChrono...
  • Well, integrating it to RC might not be worthwhile, but having this thing support OBDLink's flavour of ELM327 protocol, or having it support one of our DIY devices would be absolutely fantastic. Reverse engineering is important step, but it is done only once, so having to use a laptop is not too bad.
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