Ladyada’s Xport Arduino Shield
Around the beginning of the year, I ordered one of Limor/Ladyada’s XPort ethernet shields for my Arduino toy box. I *finally* soldered it up and started playing with it.
The XPort is a pretty neat piece of hardware. It’s essentially an Ethernet to serial(ttl) bridge. You could use it to put a network interface on your home theater projector’s serial port, or in this case, give the Arduino a voice on the network that doesn’t require a server. That said, I would suggest writing web gateway applications that send commands to the XPort and keep the users away from it! I’d also put it on a private network or behind a firewall since it just uses telnet.
It took a few minutes to negotiate DHCP on my network. It was so long that I thought it might be defective. After that, I connected via telnet to it and set up a static IP. Now it starts pinging within a few seconds of power up. I also finally rescued my Decimilla from my door lock – now a boarduino lives in the door lock. Since I didn’t have a ttl cable to program the boarduino on hand, I just swapped the Atmel chips between them.
Now the question is what to do with it… I’ve got a few ideas:
Networked Thermostat controller
Networked, PID controlled, power managed espresso machine
Networked 1-wire interface controller
Both the thermostat or espresso mods will save me money and the world some energy so I’ll probably build both. I’ve got some Dallas 18S20 1-wire temperature sensors that I think I’ll go ahead and wire up to get things started. The espresso setup will require a thermocouple interface, but the 18S20 will be great for ambient temp sensing for the thermostat build.