I put a new project together this weekend. It is called Net-Hatchling. It’s a break-out board for the ENC28J60. The ENC28J60 is a micro-chip ethernet controller. It’s relatively inexpensive and available in a DIP format. There are essentially two alternatives for ethernet in the Arduino world, this chip and a Wiznet5100. Wiznet 5100 is only available in a SOIC format which is not hobbyist friendly.
The idea for net-hatchling is that it packages a power supply, the ethernet controller, and an ethernet jack. I’m using USB for a power source again and then regulating it to 3.3v. Fair warning the ENC28J60 is a 3.3v chip that is 5v tolerant. This means you can talk to it with a 5v arduino, but you can’t listen to it without some level converters… unless you run the Arduino at 3.3v which is supported.
After I get the prototype boards in I will offer this as a kit via Tindie. I want to make sure there aren’t any mistakes before I offer it for sale. There are cheaper ways to get a ENC28J60 ethernet for arduino, but I’m not aware of any kits that use the DIP variant.
There are some libraries for this and so it should be a pretty easy off the shelf widget… and it’s alot cheaper then an ethernet shield.
Please let me know if this is something you find interesting.
Many thanks to Sparkfun for their Eagle Library. I used their open-source part library and customized a version for the DIP package.
This design is based off of several published open source schematics and datasheet examples including the ENC28J60 datasheet from MicroChip. ENC28J60 Datasheet