Web Interface Device

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dave8976
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Web Interface Device

Post by dave8976 » Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:56 am

Has anyone tried to build a project whereby the device controller had a web HTML interface. This would permit the project to be connected to a local LAN that allow a peron to access this controller to status or to control a function. I notice a few devices advertized in the Nuts & Volts publication but I am looking for personal experiences and recomendations. For example I was thinking of creatig a device where I could access it from a remote computer through a LAN connection for the device to display a message on a LED panel. The device would also inform me on what was being displayed. Thank you Dave

Engineer1138
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Post by Engineer1138 » Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:22 am

I've never purchased anything like that, but I did have a temperature sensor, webcam and a relay controller connected to my Apache webserver a few years back. Write a few lines of Python or your favorite scripting language and you're golden.

Are you talking about a light controller hosted by a separate PC, or a light controller with a built in webserver?

hp
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Post by hp » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:56 pm

I have used the siteplayer webserver module from Netmedia ( http://www.siteplayer.com/main_content.htm ). The module is very easy to use and generally requires a microcontroller to interface with it. If all you need to do is send serial strings via a web interface or do some minor I/O (on/off), then you won't need an external processor.

Make sure you get the siteplayer server (not telnet edition). The telnet edition is only useful if you need to access a serial device via the telnet protocol.

I have a weather station using the siteplayer server. The station uses a PIC16F876 microcontroller and a some weather sensors to display the data. The weather station is located at http://wx.harrisonpham.com/ if you want to look at it.

Harrison

dave8976
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Post by dave8976 » Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:30 pm

Thank you Harrison, this is exactly what I was looking for. I notice from your site significant that the interface can be customize significantly to provide a friendly user interface. I was thinking of design a device where by I would couple this site server to a controller that would manage a digital LED outdoor display sign. I am wondering if it would easier to deign the LED display from scratch or if theri are modules already build that could perform this function and be coupled to the site server device.
Thanks Dave

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philba
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Post by philba » Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:22 am

just about any project can be enabled this way. Digi, Lantronix and others sell numerous products that allow you to do this. I've use the XPort from Lantroniix but the Digi stuff looks nicer. There are also WiFi versions.

nothing new.

dave8976
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Post by dave8976 » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:21 pm

Harrison, that is a nice display of information. With your arrangement you have the siteplayer web server connected to another microprocessor that gathers the information from the weather site sensors? You mentioned that the siteplayerr is easy to set up. I am assuming one will need to also buy the development kit? Dave

hp
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Post by hp » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:21 pm

The siteplayer uses a system called 'site objects' that are really just specialized tags that follow the format ^tag^. The tags are replaced by data in specific memory locations in the siteplayer module's ram.

You can specify your own tags and memory types and locations. By doing so, you can utilize a specialized serial protocol to set the data in the siteplayer memory, thus allowing you to show custom data.

The html files and definition (siteobjects) files are linked together and downloaded to the siteplayer with a proprietary program called 'SiteLinker', which is free for download on the siteplayer website. Netmedia also has a program called 'Siteplayer PC' which emulates the siteplayer module's functions, and is very useful to see if it will work in your application.

You don't necessarily need the development kit (I personally think it is not worth the cost if you know how to follow a schematic and how to work with microcontrollers). The development carrier board's schematic is on the siteplayer site if you want to build it yourself. The hardest item to get is the ethernet magnetics. Some people recommend PCA's custom siteplayer magnetics which are available at: http://pca.com/onlineshop/store.cfm . Choose the siteplayer magnetics on the top right of the page. I personally have not used these specific magnetics, so I would recommend you email PCA sales.

There are other devices, but I find some of them harder to work with and more expensive. The siteplayer module is $29, and when combined with ethernet magnetics, you can web enable your project for around $35, which isn't bad at all.

Harrison

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Sambuchi
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Post by Sambuchi » Fri Oct 13, 2006 1:31 am

you may want to check this out

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/catego ... cPath=2_11

the first 3 links are EasyWEB's using the MSP430 from TI

They give you a schematics to look at to see how it works with code!

dave8976
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Post by dave8976 » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:56 am

Harrison when I review the Sitemedia site for product, I do see teh web server but no carrier circuit board product. I noticed one does get the carrier board with the development kit but you mentined that the development kit is not required. I am assuming the carrier board basically allows one to interface the web server external.

Dave

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