Nah, you don’t need an Ethernet module for your Arduino

[Andy] needed a cheap Internet connection between a data-gathering Arduino and his home server. An Ethernet shield would suffice, but he couldn’t run CAT5 to the Arduino’s location. Wireless shields are hideously expensive, and after looking over the popular Zigbee modules, [Andy] had a few concerns about range and build complexity.

The obvious solution to this problem was getting a cheap WiFi router, flashing OpenWRT firmware on the device, and piping sensor data through the Arduino’s USB port, through the router, and over a WiFi connection to the server.

[Andy] used a TP-Link TL-WR703N wireless ‘travel router’ available on eBay £15 (~$30 USD when we checked). After flashing the router with OpenWRT, [Andy] had a wireless connection from a remote data-collecting Arduino directly to his server.

Attentive Hack a Day readers will note this is the third ‘wireless router + OpenWRT as a dev board’ build this week (first one, second one) . No, we don’t know what’s going on, or why the collective unconscious of makers around the globe decided to latch onto this type of build so suddenly. OpenWRT is available for hundreds of different routers, and anything that keeps disused routers out of the landfill (with the bonus of doing something useful) is alright in our book, so if you have another similar build, send it in and we’ll get around to it sometime.

Comments

  1. aquascummm says:

    what no writeup? Build log? Pics?

    Anything?

  2. chango says:

    Haven’t we seen at least a few router + micro + RC car projects around here over the years?

  3. dmcbeing says:

    Why not use just the router.
    With open wrt the sky is the limit since you can run anything on it(and have more resources than an AVR).

    • chango says:

      Many reasons: lack of real time, lack of I/Os, level translation unpleasantness, convenience of prototyping the hardware interface with a PC then moving it to the router…

      • canidsong says:

        i wonder if one could use one of the free RTOSes available for MIPS such as eCos, RTEMS or RT-Thread on chipsets like the broadcom ones. you *could* have realtime directly on the router.

  4. DjBiohazard says:

    Dear Hackaday

    Please stop using “alright”, because it isn’t

    Thank you

  5. Zooch says:

    It seemed like he was hacking together a way of sending the micro serial port data to the wifi connection by using shell scripts. I would recommend an openwrt package ser2net.

  6. Denbo says:

    “…after looking over the popular Zigbee modules, [Andy] had a few concerns about range and build complexity”

    I don’t get the concerns here. They are pretty easy to setup and configure. Range isn’t a problem if wifi originally met his needs.

  7. ddoss says:

    Instructable on OpenWrt Arduino and WR703N
    home automation server

    http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-set-up-OpenWRT-on-a-pocket-router-WR703N/

  8. noonv1 says:
  9. Dave says:

    Oh if i thought this was hack a day worthy i would have written something up for my dd-wrt router that connects to my etherten and an infra red led.

  10. m!nus says:

    OpenWrt might run on many devices, but it’s also good to brick them :(

    Bricked my Linksys E3000 when I tried to flash from dd-wrt.

    Anyway, using a router for a little data mining seems a bit overkill.

  11. MB says:

    Don’t forget that there is a port for perl on the openwrt

  12. Roel says:

    Great! I (also?) feel that there is a gap between the way too expensive xbee modules, and cheap 433mhz (or similar) modules. Attaching a whole router to your microcontroller just for comm. isn’t quite elegant, but it is cost efficient though.

  13. frugalfellow says:

    The link appears to be bad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,656 other followers