pc LAN card as ethernet shield??

To me the ethernet shield+module appear to be a bit expensive when compared to a simple lan card for desktop pcs... Is it somehow possible to use them instead?? Would it be tough? Sorry if this might be a stupid question... I'm an absolute newbie, but willing to learn!

To me the ethernet shield+module appear to be a bit expensive when compared to a simple lan card for desktop pcs...

PC NICs have a few advantages, among them the fact that they're made by the millions, so they've got an incredible economy of scale.

Is it somehow possible to use them instead?? Would it be tough?

I seriously doubt it's possible, and it would certainly be a challenge if it were.


Also, the PC cards do not have the TCP/IP stack on the card.

If you want an Ethernet card for the Arduino, you can get something like this: http://www.nuelectronics.com/estore/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4

But the TCP/IP software has to reside in the Arduino memory so although its cheaper than the Arduino Ethernet shields that have the stack in firmware, its more limited in functionality. But for budget networking it works quite well

Not to mention you would need an ISA, PCI, or PCI-Express to SPI converter and that wouldn't work very well

The arduino wouldn't be able to keep up or even buffer the data

On AVR32 systems you can actually have a couple of 10/100 chips on the board because the CPU is much more powerful and you actually have enough RAM for buffer space and such



I realized yesterday evening how stupid my question was... Someone gave me a broken laptop so I could open it up and look for useful stuff... Well I realized how not even usb ports can be re-used as they are soldered on the mother-board... Though I did get a small LCD, speakers, fan, etc...

Has anyone tried the products from nuelectronics? Any quality or compatibility issues?

Nick, I have a board that uses the same chip as the nuelectronics board and I have it working without problems with UDP and very simple TCP messaging using the stack linked on the nuelectronics site. Note that the Ethernet chip used does not have the TCP/IP stack in firmware so check that the functionality you want is supported by the code in the linked library. That code is not the same as the Arduino Ethernet code distributed with version 0012 so its not compatable with arduino sketches that use the Arduino 0012 code. But its easy to use and that nuelectronics board seems an inexpensive way of getting basic internet functionality

I use a hot air gun to remove components from circuit boards. It works EXTREMELY well. I am able to remove complex jacks and plugs, even IC sockets perfectly.

I heat the bottom of the board and give the board a whack and the parts fall out clean. The hot air turns the solder to a liquid and gravity makes them fall out. I let them fall into an old tin cookie box.

I went to the hardware store and purchased a paint stripper (from the paint department) for about $10.

I removed over 100 capacitors, pots and some ICs from an old VCR in less than 5 mins. All of them fell out in perfect condition. Note: it takes a few tries to get it perfect, if the heat is too cold they will not fall out; too hot and you start to burn the board. Practice with a garbage board first.


For about $100 - $150 you can pickup a hot air soldering station which is temperature adjustable

A basic refurbished model can go for less than $100, I have seen them for about $60

It still takes practice but once you get the hang of it you can recover most components including SMT SMD and even BGA



thx guys! I'm so happy to have found about ARDUINO!

The hot gun idea seems cool... I used to wonder and wonder how they did all those e-waste management... now it seems a great possibility.