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Topic: Seeking Collaboration on a Internet Arduino Device (Read 10327 times) previous topic - next topic


but no one had the time to polish the user experience to the extent needed to make a good Arduino product.

To be honest, it kinda pains me to know there's an essentially electrically complete official board that seems like it is being re-invented by the community.

I totally understand the reluctance about releasing an Arduino-labelled product that lacks the user experience polish.

I do wonder though if there's some mid-point that would mean it could be made available as a "beta" product or something that would allow the more technical users of the community to work with it and potentially contribute back some of the needed polish.

I realise the whole Arduino/community "work division" question can be a contentious issue but I do think it's a discussion worth having here. As the Arduino community grows I don't anticipate the time pressure on the core developers getting less. The all-in-one Ethernet board is a great form-factor and together with the WizNet chip I think it would be a really great development and it would be a shame if time was spent re-inventing the hardware rather than making progress on the software.

Does Arduino need a pre-release developer hardware programme? I suspect many people would be happy to buy pre-release hardware with the understanding that it's not yet Arduino-release quality. (I would suggest Betaduino but I wouldn't want to contribute to more abuse of certain a Arduino team member's native tongue. :-) )



Jan 21, 2009, 04:01 am Last Edit: Jan 21, 2009, 04:03 am by Oracle Reason: 1
To be honest, it kinda pains me to know there's an essentially electrically complete official board that seems like it is being re-invented by the community.

That was my reaction too.  It's too bad there can't be a mechanism in place where we, as members of the community, can contribute back to the official core.

The blue boards are production and red boards are prototypes.  Why not release black boards to more technical users who are able to contribute that polish?

Especially this functionality in particular is a bit of a holy grail for a core Arduino product.  


Jan 21, 2009, 05:49 am Last Edit: Jan 21, 2009, 06:14 am by westfw Reason: 1
Why not release black boards to more technical users who are able to contribute that polish?

I doubt whether they'd pay for themselves.  Besides, Mellis said there were "problems" getting them to boot, which I take as "SIGNIFICANT problems."

It seems like a lot of effort to go to when (IMO, as someone who has done a LOT of internet development) an AVR is a pretty weak CPU on which to write internet applications.  Even with protocol offload into a chip like the Wiznet,  a lot of Internet protocols sort of assume lots of RAM and some sort of mutitasking kernel.  And you can get boards like the Luminary Ethernet Eval Board ($69 http://www.luminarymicro.com/products/lm3s6965_ethernet_evaluation_kit.html) or a RabbitCore ($49 http://www.rabbit.com/products/rcm5700/) that were designed for Internet Apps from the ground up; it might be simpler to port the Arduino core environment (which is nice and simple) to one of those, than it is to be an internet infrastructure to Ardunio...

I guess what it amounts it is that it seems (to me) to be cheaper and easier to increase hardware capability than it is to develop software.  (Thus the 2gigaflop 2gigabyte laptop I use to read mail :-)  If you're making new hardware anyway, it makes sense to throw excessive hardware at the problem to make the software easier.  The Wiznet chip is an example of this, but the ATmega168 isn't...  (Of course, get too much more powerful and you get out of the the "easy to build yourself DIP-packaged chips.  Sigh.)


I've created a board design for the device.  I feel like it could be layed out much more efficiently.  if anyone has any suggestions on how to do it, or would like to take a stab at creating their own version and upload it to the code.google site that would be great. Here is a image of the board.

The files are available here: http://code.google.com/p/etherduino/downloads/list
If you create your own version please upload it to the google page.  Thanks for everyone's support.


Jan 21, 2009, 04:42 pm Last Edit: Jan 21, 2009, 04:43 pm by Oracle Reason: 1
It seems like a lot of effort to go to when (IMO, as someone who has done a LOT of internet development) an AVR is a pretty weak CPU on which to write internet applications.

My internet development has all been on PCs running linux (working at the socket level), so I guess I'm not in the habbit of considering hardware requirments.

What I envision for the Arduino is pretty simple though.  I am thinking of a device that will connect, either send a variable or receive one, and disconnect.  So you just need to connect, send a command, possibly receive a reply depending on the command, and disconnect.  That leaves most of the work on the server (which can be a full workstation).   If you want to display a web page, you send the key data (temperature, voltage, etc) in the manner I described, the server logs it and generates the web pages on demand.   Similarly to send information to the Arduino, the server can collect whatever data is needed, parse it, and give the result to the Arduino.

I don't think that should be too hard to implement, though I am not too familiar with the hardware and mac layers.

I doubt whether they'd pay for themselves.  

They don't have to pay for themselves, it's a development expense, the Arduino team is getting free labour for the loss on the boards.  But it shouldn't be that bad to make 10-20 if they don't have the fab assemble the boards (and remember the target of these boards is the more technical users who can do some basic surface mount work).


It's a good idea to distribute some prototypes to people who can help develop the software.  Can you email me if you're interested (dam@mellis.org)?  I'll discuss it with the team.  As you point out, there's not much to lose and a lot to gain (possibly).


Once I get the board designed (something I still need help with) I was planning on sending it out and getting a panel manufactured with some chap fab house in China (ourpcb or gold phoenix) I was going to offer the PCB for sale at cost.  If anyone wants to design the board (the files are up on the code.google page) I'll send you a free PCB. I don't think I know enough about creating boards to do a good enough job, the only thing I've made before was a simple LED breakout board.  I also don't have the materials to create a prototype at my apartment so I can't really test my design, so whatever is sent to get manufactured will be untested by me, and I don't have enough faith in my abilities to do that.

does anyone know where to order the whiznet modules The wiznet site is sold out of the specific model.  I know adafruit sells them ( at kind of a steep mark-up) If anyone knows of any other suppliers that are cheaper that would be great. I'll probably just end up purchasing it from adafruit.



Feb 28, 2009, 08:09 pm Last Edit: Feb 28, 2009, 08:11 pm by mp2000 Reason: 1
any progress on this ?

this is exactly what I had in mind but I am also a beginner in micro controller.

I would buy the pcb.


looking back to this old post...
the project is still alive or definitely freezed?


It's on the back burner right now, I just received a wiznet module a few days ago, although it is for a client so I won't be able to do much with it until the project is done. I then plan on working on this project again.


I designed an Ethernet Shield based on the WIZ812MJ board:



I'm doing something like your project with a modern devices BBB and I constructed a piggyback proto-board that the wiznet board mounts onto.
I have been playing with some code that I have on the net at wb2ibo.myvnc.com:5050 Feel free to toggle the outputs, it is interfaced to LED's. I am wiring up a single board solution that will have LED's and a small prototyping area along with headers to interface with the outside world.
I would like to make several of these boards and am looking into even expanding it to a larger AVR chip as well.
I need to clean up my code and will post it when I get that done.

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