Evaluating low cost USB to Ethernet converters

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A13-OLinuXino have no wired Ethernet connection and using WIFI is not always possible so we were looking around for suitable USB to Ethernet converter which to offer.

There are tons of these convertos on ebay starting from as low as $3 including shipment!

The competition between the Chinese factories is enormous, so you can find generally thousands of variations of every product and have to be little cautious as the general Chinese business model is somehow like this: Company A release product on the market and charge let’s say 100 for it, once the product is well accepted and sales are good company B,C and D immediately are seeing business opportunity and copy the product but try to make it at lower cost, usually this comes not from some kind of innovation but just from using lower grade components or removing some components which are for the FCC/CE safety approvals and release product which looks same but sells for 70.
After a while companies E,F,G decide to enter also this market and make new iterration but now the product cost 50 and as you guess right they use even lower grade components.

On first sight all products look same, but when you got them you see that they do not function equally.
Usually there are brands in China which prduce better products and local knows them, so I asked our sourcing agent to take 4 USB to Ethernet adapters which are from brands he trust.

We got them and needless to say they were looking all the same 🙂

Imageso we start our tests:

#1 was not recognized when plugged for a first time, maybe bad USB connector? then after few plugs and unplugs it start working, we copy 60MB tar file and measure 800KB/s transfer which is not bad, opening this dongle and looking at the components it uses AX88772 USB to Ethernet converter which supports 480Mbit mode

#2 was recognized and enumerated correctly from the very first time it works 5 times slower compared to #1 and we achieved only 150KB/s, opening and looking at the components show QF9700 USB to Ethernet converter which supports USB 1.1 only 12Mbit mode (although on the package is written USB 2.0 😉 )

#3 was not recognized at the first time and after a while started working but we didn’t manage to copy file with it, probably lot of packets were lost from time to time this adapter was managing to open web site, but overall it was worst than all we evaluated, inside was QF9700

#4 worked from the first time and achieved 800KB/s same as #1 inside is AX88772 and this definitely is the best perfrming adapter of all 4 so probably this is what we are going to stock and offer as A13-USB-Ethernet adapter

out of couriousity we try LAN9512 which we put on iMX233 and the transfer was similar to AX88772 i.e. about 1MB/s.

OLIMEXINO-32U4 REVIEW

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Arduino praxis made review of OLIMEXINO-32U4 http://arduino-praxis.ch/2012/08/testbericht-olimexino-32u4/

CC3000 – add WiFi connectivity to your embedded project with only 6K flash code and 3K RAM

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The new CC3000 WiFi module from Texas Instruments just arrived to my desk 🙂

Looks like perfect candidate for next UEXT module!

CC3000 promises you to be able to connect any microcontroller with as low as 6K Flash and 3K RAM to Internet by WiFi, sendind Tweeter messages, updating your Face book, sending and receiving e-mails …  i.e. making your embedded stuff to interract with internet.

The difference between CC3000 and MOD-WiFi for instance is that MOD-WiFi is just interface, to use it you need to implement TCP-IP stack with CC3000 the stack is implemented inside, it have own processor inside the module and all you need is to work on high level with already implemented TCP-IP stack via SPI, cool isn’t it?

DuinoMite project from Skyduino 🙂

Skyduino - Le DIY à la française

Bonjour tout le monde !

Depuis hier il neige dans ma région, par conséquent il m’est impossible de continuer mon projet de ligth painting (extérieur).
Mon projet de quadcopter est lui aussi stoppé par la météo …
Ajouté à ça que en ce moment j’ai un max de travail à l’IUT, il fallait bien que je trouve un moyen de me détendre 🙂

Il n’ya pas longtemps j’ai recu ma carte duinomite-mega (une pure bête !) du coup je me suis fait un petit “hello world” :

Non vous ne rêvez pas j’ai réussi à me foirer en écrivant “world” …

J’ai vite faite regarder le langage “MMbasic” qui en faite est juste du basic “spaghetti” sous entendu du basic avec cette forme :
1 print "hello"
2 pause 1000
3 goto 1

(Il y a de forte chance que vous ayez déja vu cette syntaxe sur le web dans…

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Why we will not upgrade to Eagle 6

I guess for the same reason we didn’t upgraded to Eagle 5.

We are happy with the 4.16 version which we use and do not miss any of the new features which Eagle 5 and 6 introduce.
Each time new major version is released you have to pay new licensee fee to Cadsoft.
Eagle 4.16 installation is 5 MB and fast, Eagle 5 rise to something like 15 MB if I remember correct and we never saw something more than early bug fixes so we decided to not upgrade and pay again for something we already paid.

Now Eagle 6 is over 40 MB,  let’s see what’s new:

– XML database – we never used such nor need one
– merge schematic / boards we can do it with 4.16 too with a little bit of care
– routing enhancements – we never count on autorouter
– library editor optimisations – so small that not worth mention them
– layout editor add-ons – again insignificant to adjust new payment

what I notice though is that customers who made PCB designs and submit them for production to our PCB prototype service is that Eagle 6 do not generate correct gerbers when there are polygone fills.
I attach example of PCB made with Eagle 6 which do not generate correct polygone fill which leads to shorts on copper plane.

here is example of such board
The general impression is that Eagle 6 is done in a hurry new release to shave the customers with some $$$ which the new Eagle owner obviously need after the purchase.
The bad thing is that one used to be good product before become more buggy and less useful with it’s x10 file size increase and adding useless “features” just to do new release and ask for more money.

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