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Hello Everyone ,

Im working with a Mega and a Ethernet shield and I have designed a controller/software for ws2801 LED pixels that allows me to control them with the ART-Net protocol.

My question is how do I take this project to the next level? I would like to be able to combine the 2 unit's into one PCB board so i can make a cheaper controller but i simply don't know what todo next.

Dose anyone know what i should do next? Or somewhere i can go to gain more info?

Thanks in advance ,

Larry 
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Massachusetts, USA
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You should probably look for someone with electronic design experience to collaborate with.  You should be able to get a big head start by merging the Arduino MEGA reference design and Arduino Ethernet Shield reference design.

An alternative would be to use the existing EtherMega from Freetronics:

http://www.freetronics.com/products/ethermega-arduino-mega-2560-compatible-with-onboard-ethernet#.UM4BCKVLjYg

Then you could just design a simple shield to do the wiring.
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That link is pretty cool but still costs about the same as my current setup.

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If you want to minimise costs wherever possible then look at whether the 1284 (or even 644) can do what you need from it, rather than needing the 2560, and a suitable Ethernet module so you can design a custom PCB. I'm assuming you needed the 2560 over 328 for flash/SRAM/EEPROM and/or pins?

If the 1284 or 644 is suitable then you should be able to get cost down to at least half of what a Mega + Ethernet Shield costs I'd have thought.

I'm at the stage now where I've moved away from shields completely, in order to keep costs low and have maximum control over how I attach things to what pins. That has involved moving from the Wiznet5100 to ENC18J60 modules, which required some rewriting of the Ethernet functions. The ENC also has the TCP stack in RAM so needs a bit more resources.

You'll need to prototype a PCB and get some made, cheapest from China, then make sure it all works. After that look for someone to make the PCB's as well as source and populate the boards for you I guess.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 01:54:59 pm by tack » Logged

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To keep things simple I would need to stay with the wiznet w5100 chipset.  I was told the software will run on a Mega 1280 but im currently running it on a 2560.

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