Introducing Ethernet boards

Coming soon!

Ethernet combined with certain Home Automation and LED projects can be a worthwhile upgrade over using WiFi. WiFi isn’t as always as usable as you’d like. Maybe you have a crappy provider router or live in a very WiFi congested area. A second reason, with the LED projects is that streaming a large amount of real-time pixel data using E1.31 or Artnet can sometimes overwhelm WiFi, especially if we’re talking multiple boards running at the same time. For these situations, where WiFi is not 99.9% reliable, I’m introducing a custom ESP32 variant, building on my recently introduced QuinLED-ESP32 development board and with it’s custom changes, adding Ethernet to it!

These Ethernet version carry all the upgrades that come with the QuinLED-ESP32 board (Like USB-C!). Since we make everything in house, we’ll also have a much better hand at quality control then currently possible with buying externally made Mini 32 boards.

And the best news, ESPhome and WLED both support Ethernet already and work perfectly, so you can use it with your favorite software out of the box! So it doesn’t matter if you are buying a board to go onto one of my QuinLED controllers or are going to use it for your own project, if you are looking for a Ethernet enabled ESP32, this might be the board you’ve been looking for!

 

Ethernet board features

The Ethernet board will only be sold combined with an the custom QuinLED-ESP32 board. Although it’s a top plug-in board combined with it, I don’t feel comfortable selling it as a separate upgrade option because of the pinout involved and the custom features it makes use of on the underlying board, you need this exact match to make it all work.

There isn’t too much to write about the features of the board, it carries all the features of the regular QuinLED-ESP32 board but adds a 10/100 Mbit RJ45 Ethernet port on top of it! The board features it’s own 5v -> 3.3v Linear regulator and draws power through the QuinLED-ESP32 and gets it through the custom 5vF (5v Fused) of it. That means that if you power the QuinLED-ESP32 either using the 5vIN pin on the bottom of the board both the ESP32 and the Ethernet board will be provided with power.

Ethernet cable length has been tested up to 50m without issues, I am current assuming the signal will remain fine up to the specified 100m distance with decent CAT5e Ethernet cable.

No it does not have POE support! 😉

 

Ethernet Pin out and limitations

The Ethernet implementation on the ESP32 with the LAN8720 chip takes up quite a few pins! The following pins are used for the integration and cannot be used in your projects:

Please make sure to avoid using these pins!

Some other useful information:

  • Type is LAN8720
  • Clock is taken from the ESP32 internally and connected on GPIO17 (So “GPIO17_OUT” for ESPhome and “ETH_CLOCK_GPIO17_OUT” for WLED)
  • The Ethernet chip is turned off during boot and needs an enable signal using GPIO5
  • Physical address of the chip is 0

Compatibility with older version Dig boards

You might have noticed that some of the pins mentioned conflict with pins available on the QuinLED-Dig-Uno_v2 or QuinLED-Dig-Quad_v1. Because of this new versions where introduced (with some other changes), please see the following article detailing the exact limitations for your configuration.

 

Example configurations

Here are some examples configurations to help you along!

ESPhome

For ESPhome you can use these configuration values.

ethernet:
  type: LAN8720
  mdc_pin: GPIO23
  mdio_pin: GPIO18
  clk_mode: GPIO17_OUT
  phy_addr: 0
  power_pin: GPIO5

WLED

When you custom compile WLED, please use the following settings.

 -D WLED_USE_ETHERNET 
 -D PHY_ADDR=0 -D ETH_PHY_POWER=5 -D ETH_PHY_MDC=23 -D ETH_PHY_MDIO=18
 -D ETH_CLK_MODE=ETH_CLOCK_GPIO17_OUT

End conclusion

Ethernet can bring stability back to your Home Automation or LED setup where wireless was failing before. Because of the complexity of these modules, just like the QuinLED-ESP32 these modules will only be sold pre-assembled and as mentioned above, combined with an ESP32 board! Please visit the buying page here if you’d like to purchase one (thank you!).