Small board + LCD + Ethernet looking for advice

Hi! I'm a total newbie and I have a couple of questions that I'm having trouble finding answers for before I buy the parts that I need.

I want to build something that:

  • Access a web page using Ethernet
  • Displays a bit of information in a LCD
  • Does that when pushing a button
  • Works without being plugged to a computer (plugged to a power outlet)
  • Has space limitations

Normally I'd go for a starter kit with an Arduino Uno, but the Uno won't fit in the space that I have. So I started looking at other boards and I have some questions:

  • Is there any difference for my case between the Mini, the Nano and the Sparkfun Pro Micro?
  • Will all of them run Firmata + Johnny Five?
  • The Ethernet shield looks about the size of the Uno. Is there something smaller?
  • Can I use a laptop-like power adapter with a smaller board?


Ethernet shields are about the same size as a Uno. An ENC28J60 board is half the size.

That looks perfect! Thanks!

How about any of the other questions?

Also, will an Micro/Nano have enough pins for both the LCD and the Ethernet controller?

I don't know anything about those small micros but they are well endowed with pins and have the SPI and I2C busses, so there should be no problem. I understand they are powered the same way as any other Arduino. While "laptop type" is a pretty loose term, a laptop power supply per se would be a bad choice as they are typically 19v.

No comment on Firmata, and I have never heard of Johnny Five. I understand those micros have similar memory to a Uno and thus will run the same software. You just need to check that. Your project doesn't sound too demanding and you shouldn't have any problems. I understand the ENC28J60 module is just as easy to use as the standard Ethernet these days, but I haven't actually use mine.

I can confirm a Nano V3 is able to run Firmata over Ethernet and drive an LCD connected to I2C-bus without problems. You get nice ENC28J60 based ethernet-shields for the Nano (Nano plugs directly into the shield) on ebay, but any other enc28j60 module will do as well. Micro Pro should work too (have not tried, but is equivalent to the Nano in terms of Flash, RAM, SPI and I2C). I don't know about Firmata over Ethernet-support in Jonny-five, I use perl-firmata for that. You can find examples for both Firmata over Ethernet and LCD via Firmata+I2C there to combine.



Both answer were ridiculously helpful. Thanks a lot! \o/