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Topic: arduino networking on a budget, can it be done? (Read 2925 times) previous topic - next topic


My project requires "some kind of remote communication to the PC" in order to work.  It doesn't have to be wireless, wired is fine.  The project is a desktop JAVA app that can either use the serial data, or use web data gotten via PUT and GET (see https://github.com/jjg/RESTduino)

I've just priced all the available options: Ethernet shields, WiFi sheilds, XBee (which I could make work I think)...and it's all really just too expensive.

I need to keep the price of the finished project super super cheap.

Is there another way to get this done?  I guess the short question is "what is the cheapest way to maintain comms between PC and the ardunio?"

I guess I could just use a super long USB cable and use the serial data?  That seems ghetto though...there's got to be a cheap way to do ethernet?


My project requires "some kind of remote communication to the PC" in order to work.

Just use the USB cable. It fits well with the ghetto thinking and budget.
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Apr 24, 2011, 09:14 am Last Edit: Apr 24, 2011, 09:16 am by tkbyd Reason: 1
Ethernet shield: $25. ArduServer.com

Maybe later... product not yet released: DCDWireless.com, if from-sensor-to-Arduino enough.

Or why not just a serial connection between them?

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This is from a recent posting. I've just ordered and going to try out bluetooth.




Apr 26, 2011, 01:22 pm Last Edit: Apr 26, 2011, 01:27 pm by robtillaart Reason: 1
Can't you can get an old - win95/98 - PC/ laptop from a digital scrapheap for free. Connect the Arduino to its serial port and use the PC's network card ...

It takes some tinkering (python/php/...) but it could be the cheapest solution -  not energy efficient although ;)

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Apr 26, 2011, 02:41 pm Last Edit: Apr 26, 2011, 10:31 pm by maniacbug Reason: 1
Usb serial is definitely the answer.  But if there is some prob with that, try an Ethernet module from mdfly.com for $16.  http://www.mdfly.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=9_41&products_id=484

Ran Talbott

some kind of remote communication to the PC

How "remote"?  You can do simple serial up to hundreds of meters using Cat5 with RS-422.

For shorter distances, you can use RS-232, with a serial-based Arduino to save cost.

For a "super super cheap" Arduino core (if you don't need shield compatibility),  be sure to check out the RBBB.


try an Ethernet module from mdfly.com...

... but if you go that route... and many other Ethernet i/f modules are like this... you will need a source of 3.3v for the Ethernet i/f. (Of course, if you are using a Mega, it has an onboard 3v3 generator.)

One of the advantages of following unit is that it only needs 5v (it has a 3v3 generating circuit onboard)...


(About $20, (GBP 12.50))


Why not try DMX (RS-485), unique addressing, 32 nodes per master, and there is an absolute wealth of pc->dmx devices out there, you can even use the arduino as an opendmx interface


Why not try DMX (RS-485)

Fascinating.  Do you have a good reference for getting started?  Simple web search reveals lots of complex details, but nothing that really explains it from a high level, like with maybe some easy tutorials.


If you have a search of the old forum, there is a few threads going into it, like you when i started playing with I found next to nothing to get me started.

When I get time i'll dig out the code I used with an example.

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