CANtrace Release Notes

A powerful CAN bus analyser software and diagnostic tool

Release Notes

Release notes for CANtrace, detailing the latest updates, new features, and bug fixes. Stay informed about the newest enhancements and improvements by reading through the notes below. Enjoy the latest version of CANtrace!

With this release, CANtrace has improved the built-in scripting, by including many common Python modules in the installer. This allows making more advanced scripts, by using existing file handling, calculation, and data manipulation functions provided by modules.

There’s now full support for multiplexed signals in databases. Multiplexed signals allows decoding complex CAN protocols and there’s now support added to the trace, data and graph tabs to display signals from multiplexed CAN messages. Also the send tab now allows you to easily edit and send messages that contain multiplexed signals.

We have also added time synchronization of the CAN channels, when going on-bus. This means that in multi-channel setups you will be able to compare timestamps between channels as they have the same time base.

In addition there’s a number of other improvements, like better handling of corrupt log files and invalid J1939 DTCs, more modern graphics for the splash screen and installer, better display of hexadecimal numbers, improved help file and a guide on how to use the Kvaser
Memorator with CANtrace.

There has also been a lot of effort put into fixing user interface issues in the trace and send tabs, improve the project management, and fix issues in the logging configuration.

New and Changed Functionality

  • #2665 – Now synchronizes the time between CAN channels when going on bus
  • #2537 – Many Python modules now included in CANtrace
  • #2672 – Improved detection of corrupt files in log playback
  • #2351 – Now prevents unassigned channel from being selected for log playback
  • #2637 – J1939 DTC decoding has improved display of invalid DTCs
  • #2508 – Instructions on how to log with Kvaser Memorators added to the help file
  • #2734 – The Help file Send Tab section has been improved
  • #2432, #2662 – Updated graphics in the splash screen and in the installer
  • #2033 – Databases with multiplexed signals are now supported
  • #1009 – Hexadecimal values are now printed with capital letters


  • #2650 – Now prevents error frames and CAN ID zero from overwriting each other in the fixed trace
  • #2615 – Expand / Collapse signals now works correctly when the same CAN message has both a TX and RX entry.
  • #2668 – Log settings dialogue is now reset correctly when doing New Project
  • #2670 – TXT files are now visible in the file selector of the log settings dialogue
  • #2671 – Cancel button in the log settings dialogue now resets all values
  • #2734, #2263 – Fixed duplicate values and errors in the send tab DLC list box
  • #2310 – New preserves data bytes correctly when changing the DLC in send tab
  • #2706 – Fixed spurious exceptions when going off bus at the end of log playback
  • #2728 – Fixed problems when adding a database message to the send tab
  • #2353 – Removed inconsistencies in Log playback error messages
  • #2709 – Fixed a problem slowing down CANtrace when debugging
  • #2643 – The integration test has been updated to fix various issues
  • #2641 – The CANopen node scanner is now cleared when doing New Project
  • #2152 – Removes exceptions caused by missing CAN driver
  • #2080 – Configuration of hidden tabs now saved to project file with the other tabs
  • #1992 – Now prevents logging to the same file used for playback
  • #1008 – Trace tab settings now set to default when selecting File->New Project

This release adds support for CAN-FD messages when using Kvaser interfaces. Long CAN-FD messages can be received and displayed in the trace window, signals from long CAN-FD messages can be decoded and shown in the data and graph tabs. There is also full support for logging and playback of CAN FD messages in ASC format.

A number of usability features have also been added. We made small updates on layout of the trace tab, so CANtrace looks even better when you open it. And now you can see the line numbers for exceptions from the Python code.

In addition, Log Playback now supports better file experience. Selected extension is saved in the registry and will be automatically selected the next time you open the Log Playback

File dialogue. Also, text in the data tab has also been enlarged to make it easier to read in the field.

This release of CANtrace also officially supports Windows 11 and all CANtrace functionality can be used without an Internet connection.

There’s also a number of minor fixes.

New and Changed Functionality

  • #1109 – Update file extensions for the Log Playback
  • #1484 – Support CAN FD Data Display
  • #2002 – Dlc column is too narrow to display dlc larger than 9
  • #2284 – Fill trace tab with the blue background color
  • #2439 – Add line numbers to exceptions in status bar
  • #2496 – Add support for Windows 11
  • #2535 – CANtrace fully usable offline
  • #2540 – Add Python performance requirements
  • #2566 – Log and Playback of long CAN FD messages in the ASC log file
  • #2600 – Increase font size in Data Tab


  • #1447 – The clear text message name is attached to the wrong message
  • #1675 – Database information in the log file as comments are displayed without //comment sign
  • #1798 – Last line in trace windows not always visible
  • #1867 – The Help button in Add Signal dialogue opens Send Tab help
  • #1916 – Possible to configure log playback with no file selected
  • #2110 – Signal Settings can be changed without having a signal selected
  • #2124 – DBC Log Settings can be changed while on bus
  • #2142 – Trace not on menu bar after starting CANtrace
  • #2143 – Remove the “Signal Color” option from the “Configure Signals” window
  • #2160 – Error in SDO abort code interpretation.
  • #2276 – LSS commands interpreted as heartbeat messages
  • #2322 – Database on channel 0 cannot be re-associated to channel 1
  • #2445 – Display type drop down allows text input and produces error
  • #2453 – Very small numbers in scientific notation are displayed incorrectly

This release of CANtrace introduces the new Python scripting functionality. Users can use additional Python scripts inside the program to extend the default functionality of CANtrace. Scripts can be used to create, filter, and modify signals dynamically for different uses. Descriptive example projects are also included in the public CANtrace folder.

The included J1939 database has been updated to use the latest version of J1939 Digital Annex at the time of release. Also support for DM2 and RQST messages and DTC decoding from DM1 and DM2 messages has been added.

Also a number of quality of life improving features and bugfixes has been implemented in this release. Graph tab received an update where now the Y-Axis changes its precision dynamically. In the Trace window signals are now sorted by  their start bit, from lowest to highest. Also a bug with duplicate CAN IDs from Primary DBC translation has been fixed for this version.

A bug with uninstalling CANtrace while it’s running has been fixed in this version. Before uninstalling CANtrace the program must be completely closed. This ensures that all unnecessary files are deleted in the uninstallation process.

Support for Windows 7 operating system has been ended in this release. Reasoning for this is that Microsoft ended their support for Windows 7 operating system on January 14,2020.

New and Changed Functionality

  • #1848 – Data cursor and Y-axis resolution limited to one decimal
  • #2079 – Python Scripting
  • #2311 – Display signals sorted by start bit, from low to high
  • #2317 – Removed support for Windows 7
  • #2319 – Decode DTC from DM1 and DM2 messages using SigType=DTC
  • #2377 – Support DM2 and RQST messages in database
  • #2433 – Updated J1939 database to use latest Digital Annex


  • #2300 – J1939 demo log file does not open in CANtrace
  • #2337 – CANtrace can be uninstalled while running
  • #2357 – Empty folder hierarchy created in installation folder
  • #2376 – Exception because of duplicate CAN ID from Primary DBC translation

This release adds playback of log files to the CAN bus, which can be used for simulation, testing and bus traffic generation. Any log file in ASC format can be used to generate data on the CAN bus.

For those working with J1939 this release adds masking of priority bits in J1939 databases. This allows using the default priority in the database, while still matching messages on the bus that uses a different priority.

This feature works well with the included J1939 database, which in this release has been enhanced with the DM1 and Address Claimed messages, which are common in J1939 networks.

A number of usability features have also been added. The fixed view in the trace tab can now be sorted on any column, also while on-bus and receiving data. There is an additional toolbar button for opening the frequently used CAN settings dialogue. Also the redundant and annoying level in the right click menu has now been removed for faster access to options in the trace, data and graph tabs.

This release also includes the latest version (3.9.864) of the Kvaser Database Editor, as well as a number of bugfixes described below.

By far the most important bugfix is that timestamps are no longer corrupted at high busloads. This was happening when you did both tx and rx on the same channel, combined with a relatively high busload.

In addition the toolbar buttons have been fixed to scale properly, the send tab has been improved with better verification of entered parameters and we had situations where CANtrace would crash when you used the report-a-bug feature which has now been resolved.

There’s also a number of minor fixes mainly related to the help system.

New and Changed Functionality

  • #684 – Play back log file to real CAN bus
  • #2042 – Mask priority bits in J1939 databases
  • #2031 – Adds DM1 and Address Claimed messages to J1939 database
  • #1763 – Sorting of all columns in trace view, also when on bus
  • #1182 – Removes the unnecessary level from the right click menu
  • #1160 – Adds settings button to toolbar
  • #2297 – Updated Kvaser Database Editor to latest version
  • #2295 – Generate CANtrace version from GIT
  • #2084 – Autogenerate copyright info in Splash screen
  • #2304 – Update contact information link to new webpage


  • #2144 – Timestamp corrupted at high bus loads
  • #2289 – Fixes bad scaling of several toolbar icons
  • #1789 – If cycle and burst in send tab set to nothing there is an exception
  • #1388 – CANtrace crashes when using “report a bug”-feature
  • #2126 – Help button in Send Tab – Add Signals does not work
  • #2111 – Fixes missing text in Data – Configure Signals
  • #2281 – Softing missing on some help pages
  • #2115 – Updates outdated screenshots of Vector HW Conf in Help
  • #1989 – Help button on Associate Database dialogue opens wrong section
  • #2285 – Installer exe has File version

The main feature in release 3.16 is that CANtrace now includes support for Softing’s CANpro USB hardware interfaces, as well as any other interface using the Softing API.

There’s also improvements to the user experience when running on Windows 10, the CANtrace window should no longer hide behind other windows or the taskbar when starting up.

Another new thing you will notice is that when playing back a log file, there’s now an option to play back at the rate recorded, instead of at full speed. There’s also a change when assigning databases to channels. The default channel is now 1, which is what most users want.

Also improving the user experience is a function that automatically removes space characters and line endings from before and after the license key, when adding it. These characters, if present, are invisible but makes the license key invalid and was causing issues with license keys copied from email messages.

Finally the EULA has been updated with a privacy section compliant with the EU data protection laws (GDPR) and with this release Windows 8.1 is no longer officially supported. You can still run CANtrace on Windows 8.1, but we don’t test or support it anymore.

New and Changed Functionality

  • #2275 – Support Softing CAN interfaces
  • #2233 – Remove support for Windows 8
  • #2163 – Make SW channel 1 the default in associate database
  • #2145 – Add GDPR compatible data processing notice in EULA
  • #2017 – Insert license contains line ending failed
  • #1114 – Play back messages at the rate recorded


  • #2201 – CANtrace starts up behind taskbar in Win10
  • #2200 – CANtrace window is hidden when CANtrace starts in Windows 10
  • #2147 – CANtrace Installer EULA is not same as the one on Website and in distribution package

CANtrace now includes a comprehensive J1939 database in DBC format. This allows CANtrace to natively decode all standard 8 byte J1939 signals, which makes up the majority of most J1939 networks.

CANtrace also supports combining the included J1939 database with your own manufacturer specific database allowing it to decode also vehicle specific signals you have defined.

Also introduced in this release is delta time, that is, displaying the time delay between the reception of two messages of the same kind, instead of the absolute timestamp.

The bundled Kvaser Database Editor has now been updated to version 3.

In addition a number of bugs have been fixed related to logging and J1939 database support, and the J1939 and CANopen sections in the help file has been revised.

The complete list of changes can be found below.

New and Changed Functionality

  • #356 – Delta time in trace tab
  • #1788 – Make J1939 database file and include it in CANtrace
  • #1988 – Integrate new version of Kvaser Database Editor
  • #1999 – Better structure of the help file
  • #2078 – Update company contact details in help file


  • #1995 – [Log] Support customer .asc file logged by customers tool
  • #1986 – [Log] Wrong J1939 transport layer long frames logged to the log file
  • #1985 – [SendTab] Changing source address of J1939 message in Send tab does not work
  • #1881 – Help button opens wrong section in Help file
  • #1810 – Graph signal doesn’t work with normal database created by Kvaser database editor tool
  • #1642 – J1939 and CANopen features not documented
  • #1198 – Include attribution and licenses for third party products
  • #2064 – Update copy right year to 2018

This release of CANtrace now officially supports Windows 10 and it comes with a new easy-to-use installer.

The send tab now fully supports editing single bit signals, as well as non-aligned Motorola format signals.

The complete list of changes can be found below.

New and Changed Functionality

  • #1953 – Add support for Windows 10
  • #1790 – Upgrade to Inno Setup Installer
  • #1786 – Upgrade to Visual Studio 2015
  • #1778 – Upgrade .Net Framwork version to 4.5
  • #1921 – Upgrade Graph component to new version
  • #1969 – Update copyright year to 2017
  • #1960 – Remove support for Windows XP


  • #1883 – Graph appears to draw extra lines in Win 10
  • #1882 – License manager shows OS: Win 8 on Win 10
  • #1239 – Single bit signals cannot be entered on Send tab
  • #1242 – Bit with value 128 cannot be entered on Send tab
  • #1910 – Change CANtrace3, CANtrace PC to CANtrace PC or CANtrace in all places
  • #1912 – Status bar text box size too small
  • #1943 – Kvaser database editor registry key reading failed after upgraded to .Net

Framework 4.5

  • #1197 – Graph tab nag screen issue when compiled on Windows 7
  • #1792 – Upgrade log4net project to .Net framework 4.5

This release of CANtrace has an updated formatting of the version information in the splash screen.

New and Changed Functionality

  • Splash screen version should have the same format as in the About box. #1851
  • Update copyright information to 2016. #1850

Bugs Fixed

  • None

This release of CANtrace provides major improvements to the usability of the graph window and better handling of corrupt database files and unexpected errors. It also introduces the License Manager that helps keep track if installed licenses.

It supports hide/show vertical y-axis of the signal on graph window and data cursor which enables you to read/measure the data value directly from the graph. New release also includes the latest Kvaser Database Editor.

The commonly used bit rate 83.3 kbps in automotive industry has been added for Peak and Kvaser CAN interfaces, and the CANopen bitrate 800kbps to the Peak interface.

Also in this version the licenses are stored separately for every user. This makes it easy for non-admin users to add licenses, but you have to remember to add the same license to every user account that uses CANtrace.

The complete list of changes can be found below.

New and Changed Functionality

  • Included option to turn off vertical axis display on graph view. #1562
  • Includes the new version of Kvaser database editor. #1720
  • Added data cursors to the graph view. #1721
  • Display unhandled exceptions before CANtrace crashes. #1744
  • Support automotive bitrate 83.3 kbps. #1760
  • Add display of units for the bitrate and sampling point in CAN Settings. #1761
  • Add bitrate 800 kbps and 83 kbps for Peak. #1764
  • Only use for bug reports. #1771
  • Add License Manager message box to list License info. #1774
  • Move licenses in registry to HKEY_CURRENT_USER. #1780
  • Move the CANtrace3 folder in registry to TK Engineering Oy/CANtrace. #1781
  • Move dbcBindingCanBeLost in registry to the TK Engineering Oy\CANtrace in registry. #1782


  • Obsolete registry usage on Windows 7 and 8 fixed. #1686
  • Add documentation for Win 8.1 user to install .Net Framework. #1785
  • Catch all the exceptions on Add Licnese dialog. #1772
  • Add license for Kvaser USBcan II doesn’t work. #1769
  • Update copyright year to 2015. #1768
  • Remove unused Bus Type property on Configure Signals window. #1753
  • Hide raw/physical display type in Configure Signals on graph window. #1752
  • Configure Signals window clears previous unchanged signal’s graph. #1750
  • File changed detection failed on number of signals configured on graph window. #1749
  • Previous configured Buffer Size is missing when opening Configure Signals window on graph window. #1747
  • J1939 protocol engine crashes on invalid BAM frame. #1742
  • Rename CANtrace.msi to Archive.msi. #1741
  • Cannot open corrupted customer DBC file. #1682
  • Pause buffer size is now correctly saved in the Project file. #1279
  • The limit checking have been improved to prevent unhandled exceptions when entering the Pause Buffer Size. #1017
  • Added documentation for fixed view message sorting. #934

Known Issues

This release of CANtrace is known to have the following open issues

  • If using both a database (DBC file) and protocol interpretation at the same time, the message name and interpretation texts will overwrite each other in the trace view. Most of the time this is not a problem.

This release of CANtrace provides major improvements to the usability and provides better accuracy of data. In addition it brings official support for Windows 8 and for the Kvaser Eagle and Blackbird v2 (Wifi) CAN interfaces.

The handling of CAN hardware internally in the software have been overhauled to provide better handling of unplugged hardware, support silent mode on different CAN hardware, provide better error messages and easier configuration.

Also the old “Save configuration” has been replaced with a modern project management framework, where you can new, open and save a project and changed settings will be automatically detected.

You can even specify a project file on the command line to automatically load the right settings for a specific job in field service or production line testing.

You may also notice that the time stamps now have a fixed 4 decimals in the trace view, and 6 decimals in the log file, that the Tx timestamp for Kvaser, Peak and Castor USB hardware have been added, that silent mode is now supported also for Peak and Castor USB hardware and that broken log files are better accepted.

The complete list of changes can be found below.

New and Changed Functionality

  • Official support for Windows 8. #1490
  • Separate Tx and Rx messages in fixed view. #1096
  • Support for Kvaser Eagle and Blackbird v2. #1420, #1559
  • Improved configuration of acknowledge bit (silent mode). #1226
  • Improvements to help file. #1227, #1524, #1574, #1590, #1647, #1661
  • Project management improved with standard new, open and save project file. #1693, #1039, #1177, #1243, #1696, #1281, #1280
  • Message send bursts limited to values 1-100. #1202
  • Timestamps in log file set to fixed 6 decimals. #1276
  • Tracing CAN messages from another software connected to the same CAN interface as CANtrace now supported on Kvaser hardware. #1551
  • Support for silent mode also on Peak and Castor USB hardware. #1555
  • Improvements to the management of CAN hardware, better error messages, more convenient handling of unplugged devices. #1559, #1567, #1571, #1680
  • Log file playback now with improved handling of malformed log files. #1137, #1576
  • Data files now stored in the Documents folder instead of in Application folder. #1649, #1650
  • Increased time stamp decimals to 4 in trace window. #1671
  • Added a shortcut to the help documentation in start menu. #1732


  • Fixed issues with handling unplugged CAN hardware. #1278, #1402, #1559, #1571, #1680
  • Fixed extended message ID and RTR display in log file. #1446, #1514
  • Fixed problems with silent mode on Kvaser and Vector hardware. #1226
  • Improved error message if non-admin tries to add a license on XP. FS#1509
  • Fixed missing Tx timestamp for Peak, Kvaser and Castor USB hardware in trace window. #936
  • Changed default sampling point for Vector hardware to 87,5. #1084
  • Added missing background color for unit columnt in trace view. #1162
  • Standardized the menu naming with appropriate “…” suffix. #1254
  • Better testing of using CANtrace as non-admin user. #1505
  • Now prevents user from sending messages when in silent mode. #1554
  • Fixed scaling of Rx timestamp for Castor USB interface. #1566
  • Fixed problems with the command line parameters. #1596
  • CANopen SDO abort message interpretation fixed. #1710
  • Removed extra files in install package. #1726, #1727
  • Fixed the bug that CANtrace crashes on Windows XP without .Net Framework3.5 installed. #1734

Known Issues

This release of CANtrace is known to have the following open issues

  • Pause buffer size is not saved when saving the configuration to file. You have to manually set the pause buffer size after you load a saved configuration.
  • If using both a database (DBC file) and protocol interpretation at the same time, the message name and interpretation texts will overwrite each other in the trace view. Most of the time this is not a problem.

This release has support for two simultaneous Peak USB interfaces and also fixes a few bugs in the Peak driver. There is also a new about box and support for opening configuration files created with a different version of the application.

New and Changed Functionality

  • Now supports using two Peak interfaces at the same time. #1151
  • Removed obsolete support for Softing interfaces. #1165
  • Allows opening of configuration files created with a different version of CANtrace as long as the file formats are compatible. #1174, #1171
  • Removed the scrollbar from the DLC dropdown in the send tab to make it easier to use. #1176
  • New, modern design for about box #1191


  • Fixed the display of days left for demo licenses in the about box. The wrong number of days left was displayed. #1195
  • Fixed application shutdown with Peak interface. When closing the application with the Peak driver on bus it could hang. #1209, #1216, #1221
  • Fixed timestamps from Peak interface. The timestamp did not start from zero when going on bus. Now it does. #1099
  • Fixed an issue where the Kvaser Database Editor could open when CANtrace was closed. #1230

Known Issues

This release of CANtrace is known to have the following open issues

  • A CAN device may sometimes be removed from the configuration if you go on bus with the device unplugged. To fix just plug in the device and add to configuration.
  • Pause buffer size is not saved when saving the configuration to file. You have to manually set the pause buffer size after you load a saved configuration.