an advanced web server with a microcrontroller

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

An Internet connection would be a valuable addition to many projects, but often designers are put off by the complexities involved. The NetWorker`, which consists of a small printed circuit board, a free software library and a ready-to-use microcontroller-based web server, solves these problems and allows beginners to add Internet connectivity to

an advanced web server with a microcrontroller
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their projects. More experienced users will benefit from features such as SPI communications, power over Ethernet (PoE) and more. There are three key elements in connecting a device to an Ethernet network: the Ethernet connection hardware itself, the software library (called the stack`) responsible for handling the various protocol layers, and finally the top-level firmware functions. For example, to allow access to a device from anywhere in the world, it is possible to use a small web server running in a microcontroller. Compact ready-made modules are available on the market to cover the first two of these elements. They allow you to connect a microcontroller to a network without having to get involved in the gritty details of its protocols. However, programming against the libraries provided can be a daunting task for the beginner; and more experienced users often find it necessary to work around` the firmware provided with the module to enhance or modify it. The solution provided here hides the complexity of the network protocols from the application programmer, and is simple to extend and very versatile. The circuit is based around a Microchip PIC18-family microcontroller which includes a built-in Ethernet transceiver. The author has added a few new functions to the free C software library available from the manufacturer that implements the TCP/IP stack. The final element of the project is a web server running on the...

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