A Different Type Of Arduino Internet Shield


The cost of an Ethernet shield for an Arduino isn’t horrible; generally between $17 and $32 depending on which one you buy. But have you seen the cost of a WiFi shield? Those are running North of $70! [Martin Melchior] has a solution that provides your choice of Ethernet or WiFi at a low-cost and it’ll work for most applications. He’s using a WiFi router as an Arduino Internet shield.

This is the TP-Link WR703N which has been very popular with hackers because of its combination of low price (easy to find at $25 or less) and many features: the USB is super hand and, well, it’s a WiFi router! The Arduino Pro Mini shown dead-bug style is talking to the router using its serial port. [Martin] wires a pin socket to the router, which makes the rest of assembly as easy as plugging the two together. The rest of his post deals with handling bi-directional communications with Arduino code.

If you really just need that direct Ethernet pipe consider building an ENC28J60 chip into your designs.

25 thoughts on “A Different Type Of Arduino Internet Shield

    1. Probably because he wants to use the I/O of the Arduino to interface with sensors, relays, motors, etc. which is harder to do with the router. The router provides the ability to control, log, or switch things from the internet. It may be a waste of the router’s computational power, but once again it is a lot cheaper than the alternatives.

          1. Good link, thanks.
            Nice to see a compact but complete thing on a clear site that does not focus on having scripted nonsense and a total lack of info for a change.

    2. this is the course of arduino, people dont learn system design/programming/microcontrollers, they learn to copy sketches
      next thing you know someone will come up with a sketch compiler for mips because learning Python or C is too difficult/scary

      1. Why is it a curse though? It’s not like anybody forces anybody if you want to be more upscale and use python and more complex setups then you can, and for people who lack such skill/interest they can do it ‘the easy way’.

        Not to mention that you can use python on a PC and such to control an arduino of course.

        And although I like python, it’s a bit annoying that half the stuff only runs on 2.6/7 and the other half on 3.x and you can’t easily install both simultaneously since it uses environment vars and registry settings to point to default locations. /rant

      1. It is a cool module. The bootloader is locked down. The only known way to flash it is by unsoldering the flash IC and reprogramming it. If you press the WPS button during boot it will download a file via tftp, but this file needs to be in an unknown format to do anything. Probably reverse engineering the u-boot would yield details on how to flash it properly…

  1. The logical extension of your notion is that the curse of microcontrollers are people don’t build their own relay computers/develop their own instruction sets/hand compile their own code. They just use libraries and copy and adapt code snippets from stackexchange.com.

  2. The WizNet W5100 from sparkfun is $25, and there is an adapter to a Teensy 2.0 (++). The Wiznet example code works – but run it thru the cpp with the defines for your interface first, and leave the comments in. After cleaning up the code, the driver works. Warning: there are some *funky* things the Wiznet driver does – just go with the code. The hardware is a bit weird, but works really well. 1..4 channels, any can be a client or server. Fixed IP or DHCP. I recommend the parallel interface.

    Used one on a professional project. The W5100 was solid once I believed the driver code example

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