Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Latest Arduino Ethernet Board.

Got a brand new ethernet board and mega2560 to build a whole house controller and web interface.  The mega is a great board and the ethernet board has some improvements.  It has a reset controller that makes sure it gets properly reset when the power fails.  However, I had to disconnect it.  Seems the new board has the same problems as the old one regarding connections not establishing and being maintained.  I had to make the same modifications to this board as the old one like I detailed in the thermostat pages.  Sigh.  There have been a bunch of people complain about these problems, but most of them seem to have given up.  The method I use works well and has been in place for a few months now with no problems.

So, anyway, I have an XBee hooked up to the mega running in API mode because there are problems with collisions after all.  The checksum on the frame works well and you can tell when you get a bad packet by checking it; this requires API mode or creating my own checksums.  API mode gives me originator address and some other stuff that will come in handy later.  So, I catch the broadcast messages and present them with a web page and also forward them to Pachube.  Slick.  I have a bunch of stuff in mind for this board including X10, and a bunch of XBee interaction.  I even want temperature sensors in each room eventually.  For now though, I'm going to fix the problems I encountered when my WiShield went bad by using the XBee network and put this device in a box with enough room to handle some more interface devices.


  1. I was thinking about an Arduino Mega project too, and had a couple of questions. First, where did you end up getting the Arduino? It seems there are many knockoffs on eBay, did you get a genuine one? What about a seeeduino mega? I am also wondering what the cost difference is between using the XBee and the Ethernet Shield. The shields really add to the price. Don't you need another XBee attached to your computer to get the data?

  2. I got both the genuine mega and the genuine ethernet card from cutedigi.com. I have tried a couple of of the smaller knockoff boards (not mega) and they worked fine. Regarding cost difference using XBee vs ethernet. The Xbees are cheaper, but you need two of them, one on each end. With ethernet you only need the one on the arduino and then it can talk to another computer. Where the savings start is when you want to set up a network. If you have 6-8 of the arduinos and want them to talk, the XBees are much cheaper. The other thing is that the Xbees can be deployed all alone sometimes. For example a temperature sensor can be just an Xbee and the sensor, the other end can do the calculations and display

  3. Might also check out this site