Wired Networking For The ESP8266

The ever popular ESP8266 is popping up in more and more projects. There are CNC controllers, blinkey WiFi lighting, and downright bizarre WiFi to Ethernet bridges. [Cicero] has thrown his hat into the ring with one of these Ethernet-enabled ESP8266 builds, and right now everything works, it’s simple to put together, and cheap to build.

Astute readers will notice we’ve seen something like this before. A few months ago, [cnlohr] discovered the Ethernet controller in the ESP8266. This was, by every account, the hard way of doing things. [cnlohr] was driving the Ethernet directly through the ESP’s I2S bus. [Cicero]’s project does not. It uses the cheap ENC28J60 SPI to Ethernet adapter to put the ESP on a wired network. Is one solution better than the other? That’s arguable. Is one solution much simpler than the other? Yes, [Cicero]’s work allows anyone to add Ethernet to the ESP8266 with a few resistors and a module that costs $3 from the usual online shops.

With the Ethernet stack taken from [Ulrich Radig], the SPI driver from [MetalPhreak], and an ESP8266-based web server from [Sprite_tm], [Cicero] managed to serve up web pages through both the wired and wireless connections.

Although this build is not as technically amazeballs as [cnlohr]’s work with driving Ethernet directly from the ESP, it is very easy to implement, opening up the doors to a few of the more interesting capabilities of a wired ESP. With the Ethernet unlocked, there’s a free WiFi interface to wardrive, snoop around in promiscuous mode, inject packets, bridge a bunch of ESPs in mesh mode to another network, and other network shenanigans. The ENC28J60 modules have probably already found their way into a few parts bins and junk boxes already, making [Cicero]’s work the quick start guide to wired networking on the ESP.

Thanks [PuceBaboon] for sending this one in.

41 thoughts on “Wired Networking For The ESP8266

        1. I would love if more teenagers read HaD. Stop being so hostile to them. Hackers usually start young. My youngest is 7 and he can already design toys on the computer and 3d print them. He proudly calls himself a toy engineer by trade. He just learned what an aerospace engineer does, and he wants to grow up to be one.

          Anything that gets a young person to say shit like “amazeballs” is amazeballs in my books. That goes for adults too. This is a hacker space, not a church function. You’re living proof that there’s a demographic far more socially inept than hackers. How do you even go outside without getting offended?

        2. My 53 year old decidedly non geek sister uses the term amazeballs all the time, and has been for years.

          Personally i think if anyone take offense, it is their issues they need to overcome.

        3. My wife uses the term “amazeballs” and she’s 40 years old and very much a female. At least I’m pretty sure I’m not married to a teenage boy.

          Perhaps if more girls were interested in hacking.

          I have a hard time not sounding like a dick in general, but more so on this topic than anything else…

          Hacking and electronics are what they are and are what they have been for a very long time. Turning it into something its not – like a fucking sewing project – is the most sexist thing we are doing by trying to fix a problem that begins and ends with females. You either like electronics or you do not… You either like hacking or you do not….
          Trying to make it seem more “girly” is fucking stupid, sexist and wrong.
          I’ve tried to convince my cat that he is a dog. But he refuses, has zero interest in being a dog no matter how many rawhide bones I buy him or doghouses I build him. You see where I’m at with this?

          Stop trying to turn hacking into arts and fucking crafts because “we all know girls just LOVE arts and crafts”.

          Let hacking and electronics be hacking and electronics and get girls involved, and if they are interested, GREAT, if not, GREAT.

          We are not doing any favors by trying to make cats be dogs or convince people that have zero interest in something that it is great because it is just like the stereotype “we all know” they are…..

    1. Why would the word amazeballs discourage specificity women? *hint not every word with balls in it is anything to do with the male reproductive organs. So stop being sexist and try and be more inclusive Julia.

    2. You could, you know stop projecting your own insecurities as the problem in the community. There is a difference in insulting someone and directing it at them and at that point it doesn’t matter what words you use because any word can be used as an insult but when you read a post that was not directed at anyone in particular and get offended at a word that could be described as the word to use for dragonballs wish granting balls (wish granting being pretty amazing) then you need to take a hard look at yourself because you read the text and took it as a personal attack.

      Hacker places are a meritocracy, it don’t matter what color you are, what sex you identify with, the only thing that matters is skill and the quest for more knowledge, if you act like a dumbass you will be treated like one.

    3. Ah, the easily “offended” looking for anything, anytime to be offended.

      I bet you are offended by the term “Balls Out” which has zero meaning to any body part.

        1. Yes, send my your $100 subscription and I will send you a newsletter describing exactly how you can make things magically appear in your letter box using money.

  1. “discovered the Ethernet controller in the ESP8266” this is stating there is a true phy on board, it should be re-worded along the lines of “figured out a way to get Ethernet on the ESP”. Heck, that original article even self-deprecates its false click-baitey title…

    1. -2

      Common’ guys, can’t you take a touch of humor ?? cnlohr did indeed “found” an ethernet PHY in his esp8266, only it was mostly a software-based PHY that he (brillantly) programmed himself… Semiconductors companies hate him ! :D

      Editors probably thought it would be less of a boring title than “Bitbanging Ethernet pulse modulation on ESP8266″… And if we get more clickbaits article like this one about a great and cheaply reproducible hack of a popular chip (with a cleverly detailed explanation that also served as a nice introduction to low level knowledge of such a generic protocol), I’m all for it !

      1. Using “discover” in the past article, then “unlock” in this is misleading, and it might end up confusing someone who’s poring over the ESP’s datasheet, wondering where his Ethernet modules are. Brian, you know full well there isn’t one. Why mislead people? It’s only going to cause confusion and frustration, if somebody’s helpless enough to trust an article about electronics on a website that covers lots of electronics. Just tell the truth! I don’t see what’s to gain…

        Wait, you’re trolling again, aren’t you? Either get some cream for that Syndrome, or have a bloody holiday. Actively trolling the readers is a pretty strong indicator of Stage 3 Benchoff’s Syndrome. Seriously you need to sort your shit out.

  2. I was going to say meh… then I saw how cheap those ENC28J60 modules have got. I think that even leaves enough pins free to connect an equally cheap ESP-USB nodule, if for some reason you need a device that can act as a gateway but only be monitored by a local machine via the USB serial link, which may be more secure. The entire build is under $10

  3. Are there by now any reliable measurements of the UART performance in terms of what throughput WIFIUART is achievable without packet loss and can I even have multiple UARTs? Any information is most appreciated. (Or will the ESP learn how to make toast via USB3.0, before we can have reliable UART connections with some decent performance beyond 115k because no one needs a reliable UART connection?)

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