View Full Version : Do I NEED an ethernet "module"?

- 28th May 2014, 15:00
I have a project where I'm building a self-acquire satellite dish. It has a satellite modem which fortunately, is already designed for an android app, and has a built in web function to query the current signal. You send one http web request, and you are returned one line of text. That's all. The line of text, I'll then need to extract the signal as it sends several status parameters back, but that's no problem. For such a crazy simple task, do I HAVE to have a module, or is there some way I could wire it into pins and do it with a stack or library? I have one I bought back a couple months ago when I started this project by seeedstudio, but its a discontinued model and I can't find any instructions ANYWHERE on how to actually use it. On top of that, it's a shield, and so a lil large, and I'm now getting tight on space inside the waterproof housing I have to work within...

- 28th May 2014, 22:31
I have not used this but here is what you are looking for.

- 29th May 2014, 06:11
You will need either a "module" or a PIC with built in Ethernet controller and the a TCP/IP (or UDP) software stack. Microchips stack is in C and I'm pretty sure it's a no-go with PBP (I'll happily stand corrected though). Quite some years ago there was some work done on getting a software TCP/IP (http://www.picbasic.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=7321) stack working with PBP, I don't really know anything about it or its current status.

With that said, writing, managing or even using such a beast is not a simple task as I'm sure you either know or will find out once you start looking at the amount of code required. It'll be SO much easier to use a module of some sort. I mean, if you're building thousands (or as a true learning experience) then investing the time in getting a software stack working might be worth it but for a one-off just use whatever module capable of getting the job done.

The only one I've got personal experience with is the W5100 chip from Wiznet. It's now pretty outdated (though I'm pretty sure it would work for this application) and the new W5500 looks pretty nice, there's a developmenent module available called WIZ550IO which is available from Digikey for less than 20 bucks. Now, this is still at a fairly low level and you need to write some code for it but compared to a software stack it would be like a walk in the park.

On the other hand you could get a module with the W5100 chip and pretty much just use the W5100 code that's available here (http://www.picbasic.co.uk/forum/content.php?r=365-Using-the-Arduino-Ethernet-shield-with-AMICUS18).

- 29th May 2014, 15:35
Looks like it.... but it's written in C... And I have already ported this project from arduino to pbp and I aint doin THAT again. I know arduino is BASICALLY C, but different enough to be a pain. Hmmm. I suppose I could throw a smaller pic in there programmed basically just for that in C and have it send the info over UART.... I got a pile of smaller ones laying around like 14 pins and 18 pins.... I think I could figure out enough C to do that pretty easy... have to think on that one a minute... thanks guys