Questions about the upcoming Ethernet board

Hi,

I am a CS undergrad student with a background in C(++), Java and networking. However, I am totally new to the field of electronics. I have a few ideas for Arduino based projects. Naturally, a few of those ideas involve some kind of networking. So, I was excited when I heard about the new Arduino Ethernet bored (particularly the ability to use Power over Ethernet and flash programs via TFTP).

I know that the board is still in testing stages, and will not be available until sometime in (late?) October. That said, I am hoping someone from the team can answer some questions about it:

  1. Will the board have a "burned in" MAC address? From what I have read about the current Ethernet shield, the MAC address is specified in the sketch. This method would be inconvenient if I want multiple boards to use the same sketch from TFTP.

  2. A) What will the Micro-SD slot be used for? B) Will it be possible to use I/O on the card from a sketch (for log files or something?) C) Will the board come with a Micro-SD card?

  3. Which PoE standard is in use on the board?

Thanks,

Sean W.

Not a lot of detail on this one yet, its due out later this year. So far the only official info I have seen came from this Blog entry. http://arduino.cc/blog/2010/09/24/dinner-is-ready/

The card is best for logging, but has even been used in previous ether cards to serve web pages and images.

In the meantime you can already do PoE with this shield: www.freetronics.com/ethernet-shield

Jon

Heh, I almost put a link to it, but thought I'd get hit for it GRIN

There was some talk about the ethernet board in the Video from the Maker Faire. http://vimeo.com/15310753 (at about 23 minutes in.) I didn't pay a lot of attention, but one of the comments was that it will have "real" PoE (802.3af, I assume. Wouldn't require 802.3at...)

I wouldn't think that there would be departure from Wiznet-based architecture, but I don't think they said explicitly.

TFTP based bootloader (I imagine that this is another advantage of having a programmable micro instead of a fixed-function USB chip?)

Yeah, I hesitated for a while before hitting “post”. I find I’m constantly in a balancing act on this forum because on one hand I don’t want to be seen as a commercial spammer that links to my own products, and on the other hand it’s a genuinely useful link that directly responds to the original question.

But then, I have no hesitation linking to other people’s products if I think it’ll help someone, so I figure it goes both ways. If it’s helpful, link it. If it’s not, don’t.

I hope the forum gods don’t strike me down for my impertinence!

Jon

There also seems to be a fine balance between trying to help someone with usefull information if your still classified a “newbie” including links to useful products like your own.

So I to am a bit gunshy and walking a tightrope (sometimes).

westfw,

I watched the video as well, and I also am under the impression that it will be fully 802.3af comparable. Do the current Wiznet shields have a default MAC, or does it have to be set via the sketch?

Jon,

Than shield looks nice; but, I think I'll stick around and wait for the new board. Because I am just starting out, I may just buy an Uno and work on the non-networked components of my projects. However, I think I'll wait about a month and see if the new board is out by then. I'm not in a hurry. Thanks for the suggestion though :)

Do the current Wiznet shields have a default MAC, or does it have to be set via the sketch?

Set via the sketch. The example Ethernet sketches included with the IDE set a MAC of "DEADBEEF" (albeit in hex) which you need to change to something of your own.

That's unfortunate because it means uploading a different sketch to each device if you're building a bunch of them: you can't just create one hex file and upload it to them all, because the MAC will clash. There are ways around it such as using some unique identifier on the board as a seed (such as a Dallas 1-wire MAC chip, or even just the ID off something like a DS18B20 temp sensor or an RTC chip) to generate the MAC on startup.

Jon

That's unfortunate because it means uploading a different sketch to each device if you're building a bunch of them: you can't just create one hex file and upload it to them all, because the MAC will clash.

Exactly. I wonder why this is considering most NICS come with the factory with a MAC "burned in"? True, it would be nice to have the option to change/spoof it; but generating one is a bit of a pain.

the ethernet board has a connector where you can plug a certified PoE power supply. This means you can connect it into any hub that supports real PoE (802.af )

Each board comes with its own mac address accessible from code. You can assign an ascii name to the board and there is a way to auto-discover the Arduino on the network.

We're finalising the security/authorisation issues

the sdcard library allows you to read and write data on the card as you like. this is sharing pins with the ethernet interface so the other pins are available to read sensors and control stuff.

at the moment this is all I can say :)

m

Sounds great! Thanks for the information!

Can anyone clarify if this ethernet shield is now released ? The latest one out does not mention things like POE or TFTP.

Is it simply software support that is not released or is there another ethernet shield due for release ???

Interesting can't wait to see this board when it comes out.

I was actually toying with an Arduino design with the ethernet added, using a low cost ethernet controller from Microchip, just haven't got round to building the prototype even though I got all the parts. My intention was to use it for Home automation.

Now that Arduino is officially going this route its really cool and there is so much potential for this.

Any updates on when it can be expected to ship?