An AVR microcontroller based Ethernet device

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

Ethernet has traditionally been a quite complex interface. All Ethernet chips until today had 100 pins or more, where difficult to find in small quantities and difficult to use from a small microcontroller with little memory. Microchip has changed the world with their new ENC28J60 Ethernet chip! This opens a whole world of completely new applicati

An AVR microcontroller based Ethernet device
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

ons. You can easily build small devices which can be spread all over the house and simply connected to ethernet. The ENC28J60 from Microchip is a fantastic chip. It has Tx/Rx, MAC and PHY in one small chip. There are very few external parts. Basically just a crystal and an Ethernet transformer, aka magnetics. All this comes in an convenient 28-pin DIP package. Easy to solder and perfect for hobby applications. The microcontroller can then control any hardware you like: You can attach some sensor (light, temperature), you can switch on an off something you can attach a LCD display, etc. In this first article we will build a generic hardware with lots of IO interfaces and analog to digital converter inputs. We will however only control a small relay to switch on or off something. In later articles we can then use the same hardware and do more complicated things. The main purpose is to show here the circuit diagram and explain the software. We use a UDP application to send commands to the microcontroller. Those commands will then cause the microcontroller to switch on or off the relay. It think it will be possible to even implement TCP. The current UDP software is less than 3k bytes and that is not even half of the memory on an Atmega88. TCP would then allow us to control the device via a web browser. I have however not tried it yet. Here is the circuit diagram. Most of it is very straight forward and standard for the...

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