FAQ

My Nanode can't access the ENC28J60 and comes up ENC28J60 Version 0

Nanode uses an ethernet library which was written specifically to drive the ENC28J60 ethernet controller.

This device is used on several similar designs, and it must be noted that the library needs to be tailored so that it correctly addresses the ENC28J60 via digital pin 8, and not pin 10 as used in some ethernet shields.

To do this look at the DHCP test sketch and identify the line

es.ES_enc28j60Init(mymac);

for Nanode version 5 users this should be changed to:

es.ES_enc28j60Init(mymac,8);

Pin 8 is the pin used by the microcontroller to select the ENC28J60 for the SPI bus and if you don’t add this, the MCU won’t be able to communicate with the ENC28J60.

If you forget to do this, when you first power up there will be a message

ENC28J60 Version 0

This will appear as ENC28J60 Version 7 after the change has been made and you will know that all is well.

We are in the process of creating a Nanode specific library that defaults to pin 8, so this change will not be needed in the future.

How do I get in touch with other people with Nanodes?

If you’ve not used IRC before there are many tutorials out there for you. [1] [2] [3] [4]

If you’re unsure of IRC etiquette, this guide might be worth a glance. More irritable users tend to get annoyed at away messages, so you may want to find out how to turn this off.

A good option if you have a server is to set up a screen session to run Irssi so that you don’t miss anything. [5] is a good guide to using screen and Irssi.

How do I connect External Power to my Nanode?

There are at least 3 ways to power the Nanode

  1. With a 5V FTDI cable or adaptor
  2. With a standard USB lead
  3. With an external dc power supply

When using the FTDI cable, put the black wire closest to the USB socket.

With external dc power, use a supply less than 12V, 9V is preferable and connect the positive to the screw terminal closest to the Magjack and the 0V to the next terminal along.

If you want to use 12V or higher, you will need to fit a suitably sized TO220 heatsink (say 50mm x 25mm)to the tag of the 7805 regulator. The Voltage range for the regulator is 7V to 35V, but in the interests of power efficiency and overheating we do not recommend more than 12V dc.

What are the other screw terminal for?

Nanodes can be connected to networks in a number of ways, and the screw terminals provides a low cost wired serial bus. Nanodes can be wired together using 4 core telephone cable or network cable, which provides power distribution and communication between Nodes. A separate wiki page describing this feature will be published in the near future.

Why do I need an FTDI cable? (and where can I get one ?)

The Nanode is intended to be a low-cost ethernet-connected arduino alternative for use in sensors, distributed control etc. As a result, it will usually be deployed in a fixed location once the code has been written, and the software will not often be changed. To reduce the cost, the board does not include the FTDI USB-to-serial chip commonly used on Arduino, but instead uses an external cable that can be re-used on other nanodes (or, indeed, other programming projects).

Sources of these cables are listed in Project:Nanode/Programming_cables

Where can I get a driver for the FTDI cable?

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What's the difference between nanode and arduino?

Basically not much, they are both open source. They are both multi function electronics boards that come in different versions (ie. with rf radio links, with wifi, without wifi and radio etc)

They all have ethernet built in so are ready for the internet out of the box.

They both use the same microchips to operate. (The AT Mega 328 IC)

All the software for them is the same so if you see something you like for arduino, just download it and use it on your nanode

But the best thing, it costs less. With more as standard. Same quality, Same functionality. Nothing is missing.

Do I need to know how to program or have experience in electronics?

Nope.

You can just download stuff from all over the internet, for free!

Upload it, follow a diagram or video on which connections to make and off you go..

It’s very easy to learn once you want to make your own or change how a program works etc

You can even chop bits out of other programs and make your own out of stuff you like.

The main calculations have all been done for you, for basic circuits and projects you find on the internet it will tell you which resistors to use, which capacitors, which wire where .. etc and so on

Once you get into it you can learn to do this yourself if and when you need to, we also have some beginner to advanced guides on here for electronics and programming.

sweet.

What can I do with it? I still don't quite get it ..

Does it just flash an led on and off? is that it ..

Or is it only for complicated robotics?

It does both of those, and literally millions more ‘things’

What kind of things? ..

You can make lights flash, control motors, make mini robots, big robots, connect it to a temperature sensor or a whole weather station, you can make it into an mp3 player, you connect it to the internet to control your bathroom tap and make the water flash different colours with led’s if you want to, and control all that from your phone or a website.

You could use it as a small computer to connect to a tv and play ‘pong’ or other games, you can display information from any sensors you connect to it, or other nanodes.

You could connect to other nanodes across the world to share data as part of a project, like weather and/or earthquake monitoring. You can monitor and record the energy used in buildings, make charts and graphs.

You could make a lock for your bedroom door and use your ‘oyster travel’ card to unlock your bedroom

Hopefully you get the idea!

A great place to look is <a href=”http://www.instructables.com” target=”_blank”>http://www.instructables.com</a> and search for nanode or arduino projects to see what people are doing with them.

Or take a look at the <a title=”Projects” href=”http://www.hp4colour.co.uk/sketch/nanode/?page_id=79″>Projects</a> section on our site …

Do you ship overseas?

Yes. Our shop will calculate shipping costs to anywhere in the world.

More information can be found on the Project:Nanode page on the London Hackspace wiki.