The Etherten


The Etherten is basically a kick-ass arduino and ethernet compatible board made by Freetronics.

Etherten board photo.

The Etherten with a 4GB micro SD and ethernet plugged in.

Ethernet Capability

The Etherten comes with on board ethernet meaning that it can talk to the world via the internet. It can serve webpages, update twitter feeds and notify you when you get new emails. There is an onboard ethernet jack meaning that all you need to do is find a router or computer to connect it to. Plug the IP address into your program and you’re ready to go. Then you can access it from anywhere in the world using a standard internet browser.

Mini SD card slot

That’s up to 34359738368 bytes of storage. Compared to the onboard EEPROM of a standard arduino chip (512 bytes) it’s huge. It’s enough to log temperature or whatever until the end of the universe.

It’s based on the Arduino Uno

That means that it can be used with all the arduino shields and parts. However, it can have a bit of trouble when it comes to fitting on shield s because of the large size of the ethernet jack. Interestingly, it has a mini USB plug to avoid the USB jack shorting on shields yet it has this whopping big ethernet jack. They do sell a modified prototyping shield to alleviate this. And when it’s got integrated ethernet so you don’t have to use a shield it’s hard to complain.

My Experience with it out of the box.

First impression were not too good because the guys a t Jaycar were complaining about it having some sort of a problem with it’s power over ethernet feature. They clearly hadn’t read the article on the freetronics website about this. At $80 the board was mine with many cautions about it not working.

Sure enough, I got home and the board worked perfectly. I plugged it in to my computer and tried to load it up with the Blink sketch that comes standard with the arduino IDE. it didn’t work because I had the IDE set to myduemilanove ebay board. I changed it Uno and everything was good.

So with my Etherten’s D13 light now happily flashing away I decided to just check that it’s I/O stuff was all good. I tested that by using the little single wire communication project I wrote about last time. It was all good.

I tested the micro SD  card using the SD card examples included with arduino IDE and it all worked well without modification. There’s not really all that much that you can do with and SD card apart from log data if you don’t have an internet connection. if you have an internet connection to the board you can use the SD card as remote file storage.

The internet stuff on it works fine plugged into a telstra bigpond router. But you are a bit limited in what you can do by the length of your cable. Just remember to change the IP in all demo programs to your own.

So that’s just about it for my thoughts on the ether ten.

If I were you I would get yours from Freetronics rather than Jaycar because Jaycar rip you off and there’s a 100th one free thing if you get it from Freetronics. And Freetronics is Aussie owned…….

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6 thoughts on “The Etherten

  1. Sounds like a great thing.
    Do you know if it is possible to mount the SD card when you plugin the EtherTen to your computer? F.e. to transfer files on it.
    Thanks for any hint!
    Andreas

    • I don’t think you can use the etherten as a SD card file browser as it shows up as an Freetronics Eleven (the arduino clone it is based on) not a mass storage device. But hey, you might be able to make new firmware for the onboard atmega8u2 chip that allows for this so go for it!

  2. Hi, I have an Etherten from Freetronics also and it looks very promising. One thing the concerns me though, its that when powered through the DC power jack it draws around 200mA. I plan to use this board on a remote device and dont want it using that much power. The PCB dose get very hot too. Anyone have and thoughts/ideas?

    Thanks,

    Martin
    New Zealand

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