The new release of PCB v2.0 (which is PIC based project) is produced. It is based on PIC67J60 and an integrated Ethernet controller inside the PIC microcontroller. The board support serial interface (RS-232) to allow communication with external terminals or LED displays. The pins allow the board to be used as development board for wide range applications. It is possible to use external SPI/I2C modules, interrupt inputs, timer inputs etc. The software stack is the Microchips’ TCP/IP stack and it is free (based on ANSI-C and C18 compiler). Now we work to implement the Etherfeed application (open source and open hardware project) on this PCB for PIC based developers, also to make wide range applications (open source based) like WEB thermometers, frequency and voltage meters, RFID controllers etc.
If you have a website, blog or any other web service than the etherfeed is for you. The etherfeed is a small standalone network device, it connects to the Internet and displays statistical data about your website like number of unique visitors, number of pageviews, PayPal sales (SUM of sales via the PayPal IPN), Facebook likes for your brand / group and weather data like temperature, humidity for your location.
How it works?
The system consist of two parts. The first part is a set of php scripts responsible for collecting data from Google Analytics, PayPal, Facebook and Google weather data. These scripts shall be installed on the target website.
The second part is the etherfeed device which connects to the internet via a router, and access one of the above mentioned php scripts, collects the data and displays it on the etherfeed 16×1 Blue backlight LCD Display.
- Live Google Analytics data for you website
- Unique visitors count
- New visits in %
- All other metrics from Google Analytics
- Google Weather data for the selected location (Town)
- Humidity %
- Facebook number of “Likes” for your brand / Group
- PayPal IPN Sales data (SUM amount)
The features listed above are currently supported by the server side script, however the script is quite hackable and it can be easily changed to display various feed data like currency exchange course, weather data from other sources, stocks data e.t.c. See the server side script Documentation for more information on how to make changes / add more display options. The Google Analytics for example has a plenty of other options that you may be interested in to be displayed in real time on the etherfeed display. Read more the Google’s Analytics Dimensions and Metrics data API . The PHP script is responsible for collecting all the data from Google Analytics, PayPal and Facebook. The etherfeed hardware connects to your server via a HTTP GET request, fetches the data and displays it on it’s 16×1 LCD Display.
The Etherfeed AVR version is using the Atmega644 microcontroller, connected to a enc28j60 chip assuring the ethernet connectivity. The UIP stack is used within the microcontroller to assure the TCP/IP communication. The user configuration parameters are available via the embedded web server application which runs on the MEGA and allows the user to change the network parameters like IP,Netmask,Gateway. The TCP/IP stack supports also DHCP for easy and fast parameters acquisition. The configuration webpage is written in HTML 5 and it is optimized for many devices like smartphones, tablets etc so that you could do your configuration flawlessly.
Another application, called “web client” reads the predefined settings and connects to your web server reads the data (Google Analytics data, Google weather data and / or Paypal Sales) and displays it on the etherfeed cool character LCD Display. By default the webclient application which runs on the avr etherfeed module updates the data every 30 seconds, however the update interval can be changed from the web configuration interface.
The power supply is by USB cable or USB power adapter. It can “steal” power also from your router USB port. Both the software and the hardware of the etherfeed project are open to the public and can be used under the terms of the GNU GPL (for the software) and OSHW 1.0 (for the hardware)
There is a server side php script which has to be installed on your web server in order for the above mentioned analytical data to be available. The server side application is written in PHP5, it requires one MYSQL database (for storing the config parameters and paypal sales data) and it has a user-friendly mobile optimized web configuration interface.
The idea for the etherfeed project came from the electrobob’s “egobox” a physical hitcounter based on pic microcontroller and a 7 segment LCD Display. There are two versions of the etherfeed device – the UIP version by Georgi Bakalski which is based on AVR microcontroller and the UIP TCP/IP stack and another version realized via pic microcontroller by Boris Ribov. Both versions use the same case (a nice lasercut box) and the same 16×1 LCD. Both the AVR and the pic versions are open source / open hardware projects.