Technical Know How, CAN Bus Accessory Controllers

CAN bus controller – how to connect accessories?

CAN bus controller illustration for motorbikes

I get a lot of questions from customers with CAN bus controllers fitted to their motorbikes that want to integrate an INNOVV camera system, heated clothing or another accessory. But they are not sure how to connect these to the CAN bus controller.

Irrespective of which CAN bus controller you have fitted, you are sure to either have a “spare port” or the ability to convert a CAN bus channel into a switched 12V supply via the user interface. Here at MOTO-MATE we sell and install CAN bus controllers from DENALI and VOLOCAN. These two brands have different methods for adding accessories.

DENALI CAN bus controller CANsmart DENDNL.WHS.11600

If you are using a DENALI controller you need to connect the controller to your laptop, switch the ignition on and open the web interface. Once the interface is open you simply select the “Single circuit override” for the CAN bus channel you wish to use. This turns the channel into a switched 12V live to power your accessories. See this screenshot:

DENALI CAN bus controller "Single Circuit Override"

Screenshot of DENALI CAN bus controller web interface. Select “Simple Circuit Over Ride”.



If your accessory requires a permanent battery connection and a switched live (the INNOVV cameras are a typical example of this), the first thing to do is to connect the battery terminals, ensuring you have the correct polarity.

Next is the switched live connection which goes to either the spare port or to the connector for the channel you want to use. Please note that several CAN bus controllers use their own specific connectors to connect to the channels.

Depending on the brand a CAN bus controller can have specific connectors

Some controllers come with what are called “pig-tails”. These are mating connectors with wires that you can use to connect to. Other controllers come with complete sealed leads with connectors on both ends. In this case you will need to cut the lead, insulate any wires you are not using. And then connect to the positive or if required positive and negative wires directly to the accessory.

Ignition live trigger or power – which channel will you need to use?

Depending what you are connecting to the controller may well dictate which channel you need to use based on the required current. If for instance you are connecting an INNOVV camera system, you only need a 12V trigger. So a low current rated channel (rear light) is fine to use. 

Should you want to connect heated clothing you will want a channel that can provide enough current, say 10A. In this case you would need to use a main lights channel. Please check the channel specification for your controller.

If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact me.

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7 thoughts on “CAN bus controller – how to connect accessories?

  1. Carlos says:

    Thanks Phil…. I think I understand…. famous last words!

  2. Phil says:

    As there is only one connection point on the bike and one connector on the bike harness you plug the controller into the bikes module (e.g. alarm, TPMS, it varies depending on the bike) you then plug the second controller into the bike connector on the first controller and then the bikes harness connector that you took out of where the first controller is plugged in.
    Phew, I hope that makes sense but effectively they are daisy chained together.

  3. Carlos says:

    Thanks Phil, do you just connect them in line or is a separate cable needed? Does the software recognise two separate units?

  4. Phil says:

    Hi Carlos,
    Yes you can indeed daisy chain two cansmart controllers

  5. Carlos says:

    Can you daisy chain twi CANsmarts?

  6. Phil says:

    Hi Nige,
    There are a couple of questions regarding your setup, I am happy to support you on this but will reply via e-mail as it might end up a bit lengthy for the website.

  7. Nige Barnett says:

    Hi, I have two Denali CANSMART 2 controllers.
    I am planning to daisy chain them because there are not enough connections on a single CANSMART.
    CANSMART number 1: Set of Denali D4, Denali sound bomb, B6 brake light.
    CANSMART number 2: T3, running lights/turn signals. White front and Red back with amber turn signals front and rear. The T3’s has a harness which uses all 4 connections on the CANSMART.
    Do I need two CANSMART, can all the above be controlled by a single controller or How do I program both CANSMART to allow all accessories to operate as expected without cutting in to the wiring harness?
    Many thanks

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