Tag Archives: Product Ideas

Network Controller Update

We have been beavering away on our first product, the network controlled relay board ( need a catchy name really! ). Rob’s wasted no time and has a circuit and draft layout in progress. Here’s a simple block diagram of boards features ..

ARM Cortex M3 Powered network controller

For the Cortex M3 we have currently selected the LM3S6100, TI provide the StellarisWare Software library which includes a lot of example code and should make it easy enough to get it running. It also has a built-in Ethernet Mac and Phy to save on the external Phy costs.

The 4 output relays will have 2 modes, they will either be volt free contacts allowing you to attach 4 devices and switch power to them on/off. Alternatively they can be set to provide 12v AC out (from the input power supply) to reduce wiring for certain applications, like Robs garden lights.

An IRDA transceiver will let us experiment with turning the board in to a universal remote as well. This could be set up to fire off a pre-set series of commands to your home cinema whilst turning on the motor for your projector screen for example.

Which in turn is controllable via your iPhone/Android,  Exciting! If any one out there has any feature suggestions, let us know!

Where do we begin

To kick off our new ‘hobby’ Rob and I have chosen to make something we need, in the hope that someone out there might find it useful. Rob has just done some work on his garden and has fitted some deck lighting and a pond fountain. He was talking about buying a wireless relay controller so he could sit in the garden and turn things on/off. When we had the idea, how about making his phone the controller, since he always has it on him.

We have both used a few Different ARM processors in the past and I have had them running TCP/IP Stacks like lwip and uip without too much hassle. I’ve also dabbled in some iPhone and Android development so knocking up something to control it should be simple.

Since were hooking up a network controllable board to a phone I thought it would be a nice feature to include a IRDA port to allow it to learn and send IR Codes. Turn your phone into a remote!

Stay tuned for more updates!

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