Adding TCP/IP Ethernet to PIC - how?


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  1. #1
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    Default Adding TCP/IP Ethernet to PIC - how?

    Hi All,

    After searching a few threads with not quite the answers i'm looking for, i'd like to know what the preferable way is, to add TCP/IP into a PIC project.

    I'm looking at using the ENC28J60 Ethernet interface, but not sure if that's the popular choice for a newbie?

    From what i (mis)understand, some interfaces are somewhat intelligent and handle all the tcp/ip protocol itself, whereas the smaller cheaper interfaces are nothing more than a physical interface into the pic, and i'd need to code a LOT more low-level tcp-handling routines.....something i don't want to do.

    So, trying to keep things as simply as possible, are there preferred interfaces i should go with? is there a 'how to get started/basics' thread hidden somewhere here or elsewhere on the net?

    Ultimately, (like most people) i'd like to control my Pic project via the net (or internal network), simply toggling a bit on/off from a Webpage elsewhere would be nice, or serving a webpage telemetry/status indication that i can view anywhere would also be of great use.

    Thanx in advance,
    Marty.

  2. #2
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    Default

    gtvmarty, I had in the past thought about designing my own hardware but have recently purchased one of the NET232 interfaces for my solar array tracker. It is easy to use and I can now connect to it anywhere in the house with my laptop over the wireless router.. It cost about $100 but an investment I think is well worth it....

    Dave Purola,
    N8NTA

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    I've just been looking thru some ethernet items from 'Tibbo', they seem to have a lot of positive support (simple to use etc) when i look thru some other threads on here.

    Marty.

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    If you are in the USA you should avoid Tibbo like the plague. They have discontinued some of their devices with absolutely no warning (obviously due to patent infringement issues) and repeatedly misrepresented why they were discontinued and when they would offer a replacement.

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    I'm in Australia, but it sounds like i shouldn't touch it at all no matter 'where' i am

    Thanx for the headsup.
    Marty.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhouston View Post
    If you are in the USA you should avoid Tibbo like the plague. They have discontinued some of their devices with absolutely no warning (obviously due to patent infringement issues) and repeatedly misrepresented why they were discontinued and when they would offer a replacement.

  6. #6

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    net232... i'm guessing HS serial to ETH remodulator... like the max232?

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    I'll add my favorite, the Lantronix XPort. I have thousands of them connected to PICs, and they are very reliable.
    You can configure them from the "network side" or the PIC side (RS-232).
    Charles Linquist

  8. #8
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    I like ConnectOne's nano LanReach. It does e-mail.or, if you can use an external adapter and don't need e-mail
    Last edited by dhouston; - 7th October 2009 at 14:58.

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    Charles Linquis, The NET232 is based on the Lantronix XPort. I do like the configuration over the network..

    Dave Purola,
    N8NTA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Linquis View Post
    I'll add my favorite, the Lantronix XPort.
    I haven't looked at these in depth for a few years. As I recall, they had email limitations. (You had to predefine the receipient. It could not handle authentication.) Has this improved?

  11. #11
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    Default Lan serial

    dhustion
    I just purchased one of the http://www.connectone.com/products.asp?did=73&pid=93
    37.00 not bad thanks for the tip been looking for one to play with

  12. #12
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    The LanReach looks like a good one.

    And no - the XPORT still doesn't have decent email support. But I have a TON of code that supports it. With the help of special firmware (from GridConnect), I do things that the standard XPORT can't.
    Charles Linquist

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    Quote Originally Posted by l_gaminde View Post
    I just purchased one of the http://www.connectone.com/products.asp?did=73&pid=93
    37.00 not bad thanks for the tip been looking for one to play with
    I probably should note a couple of gotchas.

    1. The spacing of the headers is not 0.100" but 2mm (0.079") so you cannot use the $37 model in a breadboard.

    2. These are 3.3V devices and the pins are not 5V tolerant. If you connect to 5V PIC input pins that have Schmitt Trigger buffers, you will need level shifters capable of handling both high and low logic levels which probably means a transistor or mosfet. 5V outputs from a PIC to the device's 3.3V inputs will also require level shifting. Here's a chart showing various logic levels.SparkFun has an inexpensive 4-channel level converter.You can, however, solder leads to the $38 model for testing. The pinout is given in the documentation for their evaluation board.
    Last edited by dhouston; - 8th October 2009 at 13:52. Reason: added Spark Fun link

  14. #14
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    Default 3.3

    I was thinking that there were some pics that I could run on 3.3 for testing

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    Default WiFi

    Another option is...It lists SMTP among the protocols supported but that is incorrect. It does not support SMTP but is attractively priced for a WiFi to serial adapter.
    Last edited by dhouston; - 8th October 2009 at 16:22.

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    Quote Originally Posted by l_gaminde View Post
    I was thinking that there were some pics that I could run on 3.3 for testing
    I did not have that option. I had nearly 100 partially assembled PCBs that were designed for the Tibbo EM202. I used the ZX-40a (ZBasic) as the CPU and, while my board is designed to use a wall transformer (switchmode) supply, the ZX-40a must run at 5V or the software UARTS (full duplex background operation) must be limited to 4800bps. I had to design a 5V to 3.3V adapter board so I could use the nano LanReach, instead of the Tibbo which was discontinued just as I ordered the first batch.

  17. #17
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    > I was thinking that there were some pics that I could run on 3.3 for testing

    Lots of PICs run at 3.3v... even the 10F series, go ahead and play...

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    Quote Originally Posted by l_gaminde View Post
    I was thinking that there were some pics that I could run on 3.3 for testing
    Look at the electrical spec part of the data sheet and it tells you there how fast the PIC can be run at what voltage. Slower the speed the lower the voltage.

    But...

    If you need the speed and low voltage go with an 18Fer. For example: I run 18F4550 with an external 4 Mhz resonator at 3.~ volts. Using the PLL option it is cranked up to 48Mhz.
    Works great when you need to connect to something like a SD card. The whole system can then run at the 3.~ volts at a speed fast enough to get something done.
    Dave
    Always wear safety glasses while programming.

  19. #19
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    Default EZWebLynx from CCS

    Hi,

    CCS makes one product called EZWeblynx : http://www.ezweblynx.com

    Available as :

    1. 5V Rev1 -- PIC18F2685
    2. 5V Rev2 -- PIC18F6722
    3. 3.3V -- PIC18F67J60

    It is programmable simply through HTML. Can take inputs (I/O, serial) can drive LCD/LEDs.
    Uses a modified Microchip TCP/IP stack. So possible to develop your own sometimes...
    Cheap. $54
    Regards

    Sougata

  20. #20
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    Default

    Thanx for suggestions everyone.

    I can grab the ENC28J60 locally, but i'm also interested in the "Connect One" modules too....awaiting order to be processed....

    As much as i've read thru tcp/ip stack docs, and several webpages etc, it's still not clear (to me anyway, and i've sat thru Cisco CCNA 1+2) about HOW i get these ethernet modules to work.

    Can somebody give me some BASIC pointers or links to 'HOW TO' sites....
    A simple checklist of things that need to be done would be VERY handy.

    Even the data sheets from various vendors state things like
    "by implementing the use of....."
    "by simply adding...."
    "with the simple addition of......"

    but these statements dont ANSWER anything.....
    they tell me WHAT needs to be done, but now HOW it's done......

    So far, all i seem to find in many forums and sites are comments like "i used this, i used that, i added this, and implementd that" which is really NO HELP to me at all when i actually wanted to know HOW they achieved a working unit.

    For starters:

    Is the ethernet device pre-programmed ready to use?

    what do i do with the microchip tcp/ip stack?
    Does it program into the ethernet device? into my code? called from my code using the include statement or something else?

    It seems many ethernet modules claim "a simple way to connect any mcu onto the internet" and yet i'm finding it to be the most complex task to achive, what am i missing?

    For the people out there who have bought these modules, and already tinkered with them for testing, PLEASE share HOW & WHAT you did to get things up'n'running......

    I hope someday i'll look back on this and laugh, I know a challenge is good, but frustratiion isn't welcome....

    Sorry if i'm ranting & raving, but sheesh, it shouldn't be this hard????

    Thanx in advance,
    Marty.

  21. #21
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    With the ConnectOne modules (and the ENC28J60) you do not need the Microchip stack. You connect using either serial (RS232 TTL) or SPI.

    Read the ConnectOne AT+i Programmer's Manual. Basically, you communicate with the nano LanReach using AT commands in the same manner as with a modem using the serial interface. It's very simple.

    With the ENC28J60, you are working at a lower level and it is far more complicated.

    Stick with ConnectOne.

  22. #22
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    Thanx for that,

    That's just another plus to choose the "Connect One" then ;-)

    There were some issues with Mouser being restricted to Export Connect One devices to Australia, although now i'm informed by Connect One the restriction will be lifted in a few days, and i should contact Mouser again to place orders.....

    In my initial research i thought ALL ethernet modules were simply controlled with serial/spi commands, but after digging deeper i started finding that wasn't always the case, and some modules required lower level information etc.....something i DIDN'T want to embark on......

    Thanx again.



    Quote Originally Posted by dhouston View Post
    With the ConnectOne modules (and the ENC28J60) you do not need the Microchip stack. You connect using either serial (RS232 TTL) or SPI.

    Read the ConnectOne AT+i Programmer's Manual. Basically, you communicate with the nano LanReach using AT commands in the same manner as with a modem using the serial interface. It's very simple.

    With the ENC28J60, you are working at a lower level and it is far more complicated.

    Stick with ConnectOne.

  23. #23
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    I am looking to save a few lines of data logging text from a PIC to a text file on a PC network.

    Are any of the previously mentioned devices capable of this or is a
    Delphi/VB program required to receive the data and then save the text lines?

    Norm

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtvmarty View Post
    There were some issues with Mouser being restricted to Export Connect One devices to Australia, although now i'm informed by Connect One the restriction will be lifted in a few days, and i should contact Mouser again to place orders.....
    ConnectOne has been saying that for a few months now so I would not give it a lot of credence. Check the Where To Buy link on the ConnectOne website - they list a number of distributors around the world so you can probably find another source. Mouser is being overly aggressive in (mis)interpreting post-9/11 rules on technology exports.

  25. #25
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    I first tried Mouser China, as they're the contact point for Australasia, they said "No go".
    Then i moved onto Mouser USA, "No Go",
    Then Connect One said it won't be a problem, so now i wait.....

    Any of you guys in USA wanna buy+onsell me some Connect One devices? go ahead !!!!

    Marty.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Normnet View Post
    I am looking to save a few lines of data logging text from a PIC to a text file on a PC network.

    Are any of the previously mentioned devices capable of this or is a
    Delphi/VB program required to receive the data and then save the text lines?
    I am not aware of any that can do what you want. You might, however, find a terminal program that can automatically log what it receives. Since I write my own interfaces (using Purebasic) I've never had occasion to search for anything like this. If you pick a module that has a virtual serial port on the PC side (e.g. XPort, NET232) you might be able to use something like http://www.eltima.com/products/rs232-data-logger/ to log the activity.

    IIRC, Hyperterminal allows you to manually save what it has received to a text file.
    Last edited by dhouston; - 15th October 2009 at 13:51.

  27. #27
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    Default

    gtvmarty, Why not just use PicBasic Terminal? It will allow you to save data to a file and I beleive it comes with MCS. I personally use TeraTerm Pro. It will allow you to run multiple occurances and also to use TCP connections for interanet communications. They are both FREE...

    Dave Purola,
    N8NTA

  28. #28
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    @Normnet
    Hyperterminal will log automatically but with two gotchas. It does not timestamp entries and you have to stop logging in order to view the log file.

    Google on ethernet serial software and you'll find a lot of freeware that allows you to communicate over ethernet as if it were RS232. That plus the WIZ110SR ($25) on the PIC end plus a terminal/logger app that timestamps entries would be an inexpensive solution.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    gtvmarty, Why not just use PicBasic Terminal? It will allow you to save data to a file and I beleive it comes with MCS. I personally use TeraTerm Pro. It will allow you to run multiple occurances and also to use TCP connections for interanet communications. They are both FREE...
    Dave Purola,
    N8NTA
    Dave, You're referring to NORMNET's question (not mine), as the recent few responses have HIJACKED my initial thread.

    NORMNET:
    PLEASE go and post your question in a NEW thread, the hijacking of my thread has now strayed away from my original question.....please RESPECT this...

    THIS thread is about WHICH ethernet adaptor to use and HOW.....nothing more !

    Marty.

  30. #30
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    Default Any update?

    Hi gtvmarty,

    Any update from you about this thread?

    I'm starting in TCP communication and have exactly the same questions you had.

    Would be nice to see where you have got so far
    Roger

  31. #31
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    Hi Roger,

    No assistance at all, we're on our own ;-(

    Using TCP/IP is a major secret, and *anyone* who's mastered attaching an ethernet-tcp/ip adapter to their pic is happy to say "i've done it" but not keen on saying "what/how i did it".... ;-)

    Even the microchip text(s) state "by using the microchip tcp/ip stack...."

    Yeh, great, HOW do we use it, .....

    Most of the users are no help help either, MANY of them say this.... "i received my ethernet adapter today, plugged in onto my pic and was connected in no time".......

    what the F*#K is the point of adding empty comments like those....how does that help anyone....sheesh....

    Good luck to you mate.

  32. #32
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    Most of the users are no help help either
    Really?? I used DT's search for ConnectOne and found this
    http://www.picbasic.co.uk/forum/show...4859#post84859
    A complete example using a ConnectOne module for sending email and FTP.

    No assistance at all, we're on our own ;-(
    Yup, I figure you might be now..
    Good luck.
    Dave
    Always wear safety glasses while programming.

  33. #33
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    thanx mackracket for the link/help....

    However, please note your informative post was posted much later than my initial postings/responses.....

    I'm sure as time went on, more and more people kept badgering away to find answers....

    Don't get me entirely wrong, the companies themselves have documentation that isn't exactly informative, and HIGHLY assumptious.....

    As i pointed out above, microchip's datasheet simply said "just sue the stack....." with no mention about HOW to use it, or what commands you need from your pic to their interface........lack of REAL documents is what kills products overnight...

    amen!

  34. #34
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    @gtvmarty,

    Maybe you are asking too much.

    Back near the beginning of the thread, I recommended ConnectOne's nano LANReach. As far as interfacing with it via serial, it is identical to the ConnectOne wireless module mackrackit used. And, while they don't offer any PIC code, the ConnectOne documentation is excellent. Anyone with a modicum of experience should be able to create something similar to mackrackit's code (not to disparage his skills).

    I also recommended the WIZ110SR which is equally simple to work with. Their documentation should be more than adequate although, again, there are no PIC code examples. It will, however, require you to make the TCP or UDP connections in your PIC code but there was a recent example of SNTP (using a different adapter) on this forum from Charles Linquis.

    None of the manufacturers of simple ethernet/serial adapters are likely to offer any microcontroller example code - it would take too much time and effort (and handholding) to provide examples for even the 4-5 most popular microcontrollers.

    I spent most of the past 10 months hospitalized and/or recovering from major surgery so I haven't been active on the forum. In my absence there have been some developments.

    Tibbo has finally released a replacement for their discontinued modules. Their USA distributor has been stocking it for a few months now. The EM500 is programmable in Tibbo's Basic dialect and they have several examples for SMTP (email), SNTP (time), HTTP (web server) on Tibbo's web site. You can also purchase direct from Tibbo for under $40. One caveat - It has 22 pins in a 2x11x0.050inch spacing and it needs an RJ45+magnetics (available from Tibbo and dealers) so you cannot breadboard it. Also, it's a 3.3V device but all the pins you need are 5V tolerant. You will need pull-ups on outputs if using a 5V PIC. Their online documentation is complete but requires a lot of hipping and hopping - old geezers like me prefer more linear arrangements. They do have an $85 evaluation board which includes everything you need and also illustrates an ingenious method of designing a PCB that allows plugging in the EM500 instead of soldering the closely spaced pins. It has a lot of flash memory available (320KB IIRC) for user programs. On the PIC end, code would be quite similar (but simpler) to mackrackit's example.

    Also, Mouser still has a "may need an export license" disclaimer on all of the ConnectOne devices. I don't know whether that means they won't ship overseas or whether it means they are selective about where they will ship.
    Last edited by dhouston; - 11th November 2010 at 13:35. Reason: corrected spelling of mackrackit :-(

  35. #35
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    Thanx Dave for the comments,

    Yes, i went thru the connect one/mouser/export issues, at the end connect one stated to mouser "there are NO restrictions" worldwide, which is good to know.

    While i didnt expect the manufacturers/distributors to provide "pic code" i did expect theyd at least show "what codes" are needed to initialise the ethernet adapter, and then how/what is expected to be sent to the adapter to get it to do "whatever"....

    A year has passed, and at least something is starting to surface (more than likely from end-users hassling them), both from manufacturers/distributors and forums.....

    I'm not the bad guy here, MANY people are sharing my ethernet frustrations, the absolute LACK of info (at least a year ago) was the hot topic for everyone interested in using those ethernet modules.....

    More frustrating (as said in my earlier comments above) was the mere fact that some forum users DID get their modules to work, without any form of sharing, or at least anything worthy of helping the rest of us to get up'n'running too.....


    I'm sorry, but users who insist on stating "i got mine going easy" just doesn't cut it with me, and many others.....
    The point of a forum is to learn and share, but i cant help but seeing "show offs" in many forums....and this isnt limited to pic forums either....

    As soon as i get my own adaptors working, i'll happily share my step-by-step info to help other newbies "get connected".....thats what we're all here for...

    Marty.

  36. #36
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    @gtvmarty

    The Mouser issue is really with the USA's Homeland Security Department created after 9/11 which is staffed with bureaucrats who are all trying overly hard to be sure they won't be the one to miss the next terrorist. It's more than a bit ironic that they want to prevent the export of a device that was imported to begin with.

    I'm not trying to make you the bad guy, merely trying to point out the reality. I used to run an international operation (US subsidiary of a European company) so I have different point of view. The manufacturers, besides not wanting to get bogged down in minutia, probably see a potential liability if they provide too much help and detail especially for another company's product. Like Homeland Security they err on the side of caution although it's those other terrorists (trial lawyers) who worry them.

    I realize that there's a fine line on these (and other) forums between a beginner asking for help and asking that someone do all the work for them but, maybe you should have responded earlier that you had read the docs (citing them with some specifics) for a particular device but still needed help getting started. That may have elicited some help from myself, mackrackit, Charles Linquis, ioannis or ????. Maybe I didn't read your earlier posts as carefully as I should but I don't recall getting the feeling that you were a complete beginner. Plus, the ConnectOne and WIZNet docs do
    at least show "what codes" are needed to initialise the ethernet adapter, and then how/what is expected to be sent to the adapter to get it to do "whatever"....
    After all, that's where mackrackit got the info he used to get his device working. And it's why I recommend those specific devices - because I know they have provided all the needed detail. I think you either did not look hard enough or did not understand the manuals.

    Section 4.1 of the WIZ110SR User Manual (Version 2) available as a PDF on their website shows step-by-step how to configure the device over the serial link. You can experiment from a PC and then connect to your PIC serial port and send the serial commands that way. If you are asking how to establish a UDP or TCP link or do SNTP, SMTP, etc. that is not part of their instructions but you can read the Internet RFCs - most of the protocols use plain text commands or you can look at Tibbo's examples which, while written for their device in their Basic dialect are easily converted for use elsewhere.

    ConnectOne has a Programmer's Manual that details all of their ATi+ serial commands for configuring and communicating via the serial link. IIRC you need the manual for the specific chip used in the device you use. The docs are at...http://www.connectone.com/support.asp?did=42
    Last edited by dhouston; - 11th November 2010 at 16:04.

  37. #37
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    Default Some Ethernet communication basics would be highly appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by mackrackit View Post
    Here is a test thingy I have running part of the time. http://mackrackit.com/mac/ichip/ichip.html
    Hi mackrackit,

    Thanks a lot for this example; sure, it'll help a lot for a start

    I'd like to ask a few questions here and hope some of you can give a neophyte-style answers. And please, forgive-me if my questions sound stupid, I just have no clue what the answers are!

    1.- Assuming I connect a well-configured ConnectOne NANO LANReach module to a network (office or so), is it going to be "pingable" just like if I ping another PC?

    2.- What is different between the possible protocols the module supports? Is it only the way the data is organized in the packet?

    3.- Is there a difference if the module is directly connected to a PC or the module is connected to a network (i.e. via a switch)?

    4.- What makes a module's address unique? The IP address and the port? Or is it the MAC address?

    That's enough for now
    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by flotulopex View Post
    1.- Assuming I connect a well-configured ConnectOne NANO LANReach module to a network (office or so), is it going to be "pingable" just like if I ping another PC?
    Yes - but only if you've written PIC code to respond to a ping.
    Quote Originally Posted by flotulopex View Post
    2.- What is different between the possible protocols the module supports? Is it only the way the data is organized in the packet?
    This is is too big a topic to discuss meaningfully here. Try...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Protocol
    Quote Originally Posted by flotulopex View Post
    3.- Is there a difference if the module is directly connected to a PC or the module is connected to a network (i.e. via a switch)?
    No, except you will probably need a cross-over cable for the direct PC connection.
    Quote Originally Posted by flotulopex View Post
    4.- What makes a module's address unique? The IP address and the port? Or is it the MAC address?
    The MAC address is usually fixed and unique. the IP address is changeable.
    Quote Originally Posted by flotulopex View Post
    That's enough for now
    Good - I'm tapped out. Maybe mackrackit can elaborate on my answers.

  39. #39
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    Default Cool!

    Thanks a lot Dave.

    I'll give that module a go...and see
    Roger

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    Default

    A couple of things about the ConnectOne.
    The pins spacings are metric
    if you plan to use it as a web page server it only does port 80.

    Other than that it is a good part. I have six in use currently.
    Dave
    Always wear safety glasses while programming.

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