October 28, 2010
October 23, 2010
When designing our Ethernet Shield one of the most important aspects was support for Power-over-Ethernet. I hate having to run multiple cables to Arduino-based network nodes in my home automation system, so having support for PoE was right at the top of the feature list.
PoE can be achieved the cheap DIY way, or it can be done with commercial PoE switches or midspan injectors. Because not everyone wants to use PoE we didn't include it in the basic Ethernet shield but instead brought the necessary connections up on top to a PoE header, allowing use of daughter-boards to support different types of PoE.
Now, thanks to our brand new Power-over-Ethernet Regulator 802.3af, the Ethernet Shield can operate with commercial PoE systems running at a nominal 48V. The regulator daughter-board mounts on the Ethernet Shield and implements the signalling mechanism and voltage regulation necessary to drop the 48V supplied on the wire down to 7.5V to be fed into the Arduino's onboard voltage regulator.
Because it uses a switch-mode voltage regulator it runs nice and cool - important for devices embedded in unusual places such as inside walls and ceilings!
For more background information see our tutorial "Power-over-Ethernet for Arduino".
October 03, 2010
The Online Thermometer project in my book "Practical Arduino" is a nice demonstration of using Arduino to connect sensors to a network and make them accessible online, but it was based on a version of the Seeed Studio Ethernet shield that is no longer in production. Many people have asked me how they can modify that project to make it work with an Ethernet shield based on the popular Wiznet W5100 chipset, which includes the official Arduino Ethernet shield and also our very own Freetronics Ethernet Shield with PoE Support.
So I've created a modified version of the sketch using the very cool Webduino library, and the details are written up right here:
September 29, 2010
Something that has surprised me is how global our customers are. I'd expected that we'd appeal to Australian Arduino users but assumed that people in other parts of the world would be a bit more wary of ordering from some weird Aussies down in the bottom part of the world.
I was wrong!
Today we shipped our 105th, 106th, and 107th retail orders, which were destined for Canada, Belgium, and New Zealand respectively. Over those 107 orders we've now shipped to 16 different countries:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States
September 25, 2010
September 20, 2010
Every now and then I come across something that hits just the right combination of silliness and coolness. This project from Western Australian hackerspace "Artifactory" is one of them! They've combined a bunch of Jacob's ladders, a MIDI keyboard, and a Freetronics TwentyTen to create a real "mad scientist" musical instrument. Check out the video to see the result.
September 17, 2010
After months of plotting and scheming and prototyping and testing and fighting with EAGLE, the first production batch of the Freetronics Ethernet Shield with Power-over-Ethernet support has now landed. Ahh, it's a beautiful thing:
As explained on the product page it includes a few improvements to the reference design, such as:
- Slaving the Wiznet enable line to the SPI select line
- Improved power filtering for better noise suppression
- Improvements to reset circuit to reliably reset the Wiznet chip when the Arduino resets
- Power-over-Ethernet magjack with PoE connections brought out to a header
- MASSIVE prototyping area!
With our midspan injector you don't even need to hack any network cables for a cheap DIY approach. Just plug it in and away you go.
August 13, 2010
July 20, 2010
We're starting to sell to a few international customers now (so far we've shipped to the US, South Africa, and Malaysia) so it's about time we set up some international resellers. We have five excellent resellers already (four in Australia, one in New Zealand) but we're particularly interested in adding some US-based resellers.
Want to sell our stuff? Please get in touch!