Is nobody playing with Spinneret Webserver anymore??

Hi all.
I just wondered if the Spinneret Webserver is on its way out of the Parallax sortiment? Seems like nobody here on the forum discuss Spinneret anymore, or am I compleetly wrong here?. Why not put the Spinneret back as its own category?
I`m using the Spinneret all the times for different projects, and I love it. Feeling kind alone...
I`m not updated at the Parallax product line, som maybe there`s some other nice equipment that`s taking over for the Spinneret?
That`s why I`m worried about that maybe the Spinneret will soon disappear. I`m really hope it does not.., I have so many projects in mind.
Any others out there using Spinneret anymore???
:cat: Peter ***Aafjord, Norway***

Comments

  • 22 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Just a suggestion, why don't you show case some of your projects to get members excited about Spinneret? I have one but not having any idea on what projects to go on it.

    Kenichi
  • Sadly, The Spinnernet has been discontinued:

    https://www.parallax.com/product/32203

    But some people out there with the product would like to collaborate on some projects.


    Infernal Machine
  • Peter JakackiPeter Jakacki Posts: 6,618
    edited February 12 Vote Up0Vote Down
    How are you using the Spinneret? The board itself might be a good demonstrator for the W5100 but it lacks connectivity and besides the W5100 chip is obsolete. I haven't seen any useful OBEX code for this board either and most of the stuff is very limited too.

    If you are interested in using the Prop and accessing via hard-wired Ethernet I designed a plug-in module a couple of years ago, the IoT5500 with the WIZnet W5500 that is the size of the Ethernet jack, complete with a Prop and pins to spare or as the bare module to add to a Prop board. There's also interactive server software for FTP, HTTP, and Telnet too. Here is the forum link.

    BTW, I also wrote drivers for the W5100 on the Spinneret plus the W5200 in addition to the W5500 so that you can run the server software on a Spinneret.
    Tachyon Forth - compact, fast, forthwright and interactive
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  • Sadly mine is collecting dust as well. If I saw more projects being done and material in OBEX I'd consider dusting it off.

    Also keep in mind they just released ESP8266.
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • Thanks for info. Sad to hear that the Spinneret is discontinued.
    My main project that includes Spinneret, is my "home monitoring system".
    It is very usefull to see the conditions at my different installations via WEB.
    Me and my friend Moskog also built a monitoring system for ventilation systems at scools, offices etc, and this system includes 10 Spinnerets that serves xml-files to the main monitor. (a VB-program that shows system drawings which is tagged with data from all the sensors.) Very useful, I think. So now there`s no more "spare parts" to get for this systems anymore...
    Peter: your plug-in module looks exellent for hard-wired ethernet connection. This could really be an option.
    I`ve now also been looking at other Parallax products, and I just discovered the WX ESP8266 for wireless connections to ethernet. (so, "you did`nt see that until now",you`ll say... Maybe I`m a bit slow, haha..)
    Could I get the same features with the ESP8266 module as the Spinneret? I mean, can I make my own HTML-pages layout etc and reach it through the Internet like my Spinneret?
    Not a big deal for me that the systems always has to be hard-wired to ethernet. Wireless Access-Ponts are cheap.
    :cat: Peter ***Aafjord, Norway***
  • Re: Sad to hear that the Spinneret is discontinued.

    One of the realities of rapidly advancing technology is that the components of that technology become obsolete very quickly. The down side of this is that it is very difficult to maintain systems with long lifespans that depend on that technology. The up side is that better and more capable components usually come along that can be used to to replace and/or update the obsolete components. That does require investing a bit of time and effort to stay current, but on the whole that is a good thing.
    In science there is no authority. There is only experiment.
    Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
  • "Could I get the same features with the ESP8266 module as the Spinneret? I mean, can I make my own HTML-pages layout etc and reach it through the Internet like my Spinneret?"

    Yes you can, plus you can do it all via wifi. You can also get ESP modules off ebay ~$3.00 each. Kwinn nailed it with the newer technology making the old obsolete.


    Nate
  • One of the realities of rapidly advancing technology is that the components of that technology become obsolete very quickly. The down side of this is that it is very difficult to maintain systems with long lifespans that depend on that technology. The up side is that better and more capable components usually come along that can be used to to replace and/or update the obsolete components. That does require investing a bit of time and effort to stay current, but on the whole that is a good thing.
    Jepp. You`re absolutely right about that. Guess I have to realize that the Spinneret time is history, and start learning something new. It`s just that I`ve just started to be comfortable with the Spinneret and felt I could handle it pretty all right for my purpose. That`s life...
    Yes you can, plus you can do it all via wifi. You can also get ESP modules off ebay ~$3.00 each.
    Nice to hear and nice price on ebay. Just ordered a couple from ebay (sorry Parallax), but I still have no idea how to get it work. So now the big question is: Has anyone made a driver to push HTML websites through the ESP8266 in SPIN?? I`m only doing and understanding the SPIN languege for all my Prop projects. Did not find any at OBEX so far..
    :cat: Peter ***Aafjord, Norway***
  • You could use the Parallax WX firmware to allow you to serve pages from a Propeller. Also, the ESP8266 modules typically have some extra flash memory where you can store small web pages. This is a feature of the WX firmware and probably also other ESP8266 firmware. That would allow you to have the ESP handle the serving of pages and just have the Propeller handle HTTP requests to read sensors or control attached hardware.
  • tritoniumtritonium Posts: 210
    edited February 14 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hi

    If my fading memory recalls correctly, OBC (Oldbitcollector) did a tut on interfacing and using the ESP8266 which I almost understood, but for the life of me I can't seem to find it any more!
    Anyone know where it can be found?

    edit here tis http://www.instructables.com/id/Using-the-ESP8266-module/?ALLSTEPS

    Dave
  • homosapienhomosapien Posts: 145
    edited February 14 Vote Up0Vote Down
    One of the most confusing things about the ESP8266 is the many ways one can program and interact with it.

    It (usually) comes programmed so that it will operate as a WIFI module and communicate with outside world (ie a microcontroller) via UART using a AT command set. If you decide to use it in this mode, you will need to:

    a) Determine the version of the ESP8266 AT command set it is using (ie programmed with) - (this can be user reprogrammed/updated).
    b) Get a reference manual for whatever version you end up going with (there have been quite a few versions, and quite dramatic changes as it has evolved).
    3) Create a SPIN program to send and receive the AT commands you want to use. I have written a SPIN program that does this, but it is no where near fit for public consumption. One of the big gotcha's interacting with the ESP8266 is realizing that a webpage request, or any other web info, can be sent via UART from the ESP8266 at pretty much any time (minimal buffering). So your code will have to parse, save, and react to pertinent data that the ESP8266 sends at any time, in real time.

    The other way to use the ESP8266 is to realize that it is a full fledged, programmable uC that also has built in the needed hardware to connect to WIFI. The ESP can be programmed to be a stand-alone WIFI connected device, that needs no extra hardware. You can program it using the Arduino IDE, a programming language/IDE named lua (I believe), and there is even a C programming environment available for free from the ESP8266 makers. I am not sure what the Parallax modules are loaded with, but I am sure that is a good way to go if you want to start with something that has good documentation/explanations and examples.

    Also be aware there are multiple versions of the ESP8266 boards (ie ESP-01, ESP-05, ESP-07, ESP-11, ESP-12, etc). Different versions have different pins of the microcontroller exposed (mostly simply more pins for I/O) and different sizes of external memory.

    There is a ton of the info on the 'net on all of the above, google is your friend.


    Nate

    --- Wanted to add that I have 5 or 6 Spinneret modules kicking around - I bought them when I was just getting into to whole web enabled device thing. That hardware and the info/help I got from Parallax and the forums (Mike G is the best!) was invaluable to allow me to start to understand the whole http protocol as well as other internet protocols. I moved to the ESP8266 long before Parallax started carrying it. The support and help using Parallax items is unparalleled. If just getting started, cannot recommend their products and related documentation/support enough.

  • The world of the ESP may be very varied and confusing but...

    Problem is that the Spinneret was outrageously expensive by comparison. 60 dollars vs 2 dollars, or whatever.

    Then, an ESP user may have to get into AT commands or LUA or even Javascript. But that compares to them having to get into the Propeller and Spin.

    Today I have been playing with a tiny WIFI module that runs Linux. Can serve web pages easily. Supports SD card, USB, GPS, OLED display, SPI, GPIO etc. Out of the box. Only 5 dollars!

    It's impossible to keep up with this stuff.

  • What module is that?
  • David Betz,

    I pitched 60 dollars into the Omega2 Kickstarter project from Onion. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/onion/omega2-5-iot-computer-with-wi-fi-powered-by-linux

    They seemed like smart guys with a good track record so why not.

    Ended up paying 9 dollars for the Omega2+ with more FLASH and RAM. And some more dollars for a GPS module, OLED module and some other odds and ends.

    They delivered. It all works out of the box. In a few minutes it was set up as a WIFI access point, whilst also connecting to the internet via my home WIFI router. The OLED and GPS worked straight away.

    It's the same MIPS processor we have in many home WIFI routers.

    Now, some time ago LoopyByteLose and I got the some Propeller programmer working on cheap WIFI routers. Can't remember exactly what it was now. So my current challenge is to get OpenSpin compiled to run on the Omega2 and some how connect it's serial pads to a Prop.

    Then of course msrobots and I got Openspin, transpiled to Javascript, running in the browser. So the Omega could serve that IDE as well.



  • Heater. wrote: »
    David Betz,

    I pitched 60 dollars into the Omega2 Kickstarter project from Onion. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/onion/omega2-5-iot-computer-with-wi-fi-powered-by-linux

    They seemed like smart guys with a good track record so why not.

    Ended up paying 9 dollars for the Omega2+ with more FLASH and RAM. And some more dollars for a GPS module, OLED module and some other odds and ends.

    They delivered. It all works out of the box. In a few minutes it was set up as a WIFI access point, whilst also connecting to the internet via my home WIFI router. The OLED and GPS worked straight away.

    It's the same MIPS processor we have in many home WIFI routers.

    Now, some time ago LoopyByteLose and I got the some Propeller programmer working on cheap WIFI routers. Can't remember exactly what it was now. So my current challenge is to get OpenSpin compiled to run on the Omega2 and some how connect it's serial pads to a Prop.

    Then of course msrobots and I got Openspin, transpiled to Javascript, running in the browser. So the Omega could serve that IDE as well.


    Sounds like something I need! :-)
    The ESP8266 is fun to program but it has such limited RAM that it's hard to implement complex features. I recently got an ESP32 dev board and that has a lot more RAM, I think around 512K. We could probably put OpenSpin and a web IDE on it.

  • Yes it is!

    It's very cute. They have done a lot of good work on the documentation. It's pretty power hungry, runs toasty warm. I have not measured it yet but it sure won't replace the ESP for battery powered things.

  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    I never really got into it. Still have several PINK modules around. :innocent:
    Chris Savage | Engineering Tech | Main Office: (916) 624-8333 | Direct to Tech Support: (888) 997-8267 | Website | Twitter | Google+
  • It (usually) comes programmed so that it will operate as a WIFI module and communicate with outside world (ie a microcontroller) via UART using a AT command set. If you decide to use it in this mode, you will need to:
    I`ve done some AT-command programming to control a GSM unit I have, to send SMS. I used Full Duplex Serial for that, and it works fine. Guess maybe sort of the same could be used to control the ESP8266, of course knowing the right AT-command set.
    3) Create a SPIN program to send and receive the AT commands you want to use. I have written a SPIN program that does this, but it is no where near fit for public consumption. One of the big gotcha's interacting with the ESP8266 is realizing that a webpage request, or any other web info, can be sent via UART from the ESP8266 at pretty much any time (minimal buffering). So your code will have to parse, save, and react to pertinent data that the ESP8266 sends at any time, in real time.
    This looks like sort of the same procedure as for the Spinneret, where I also have the simple HTML-code implemented in the Spin-code. My needs for HTML WEB-pages are quite simple as this, containing text and data from sensors. Nothing advanced.
    Problem is that the Spinneret was outrageously expensive by comparison. 60 dollars vs 2 dollars, or whatever.
    Absolutely agrees in that, Heater. Spinneret was toooo expensive, but you know: fun costs.. :-)
    But what`s the reason of the costs of abt $25 for a ESP8266 from Parallax, when they`re so cheap at e-bay? Is the Parallax version stuffed with something that the "China"-version does`nt have?
    I dont know that much about the ESP8266 yet, so maybe this was a really dumb question...
    :cat: Peter ***Aafjord, Norway***
  • LA6WNA,
    But what`s the reason of the costs of abt $25 for a ESP8266 from Parallax, when they`re so cheap at e-bay?
    Not a dumb question at all.

    Made in 'merica. Must be better.

    But seriously. As noted above there is much confusion in the ESP world. Many versions. Different softwares, pinouts, etc, whatever.

    There is a case to pay more for a product that is well documented and more than likely to work out of the box without spending hundreds of hours scratching ones head, googling around, trying this and that.

    Parallax does not survive buy selling hardware like those Chinese vendors. They survive by selling working systems, well documented and tested.


  • Heater. wrote: »
    LA6WNA,
    But what`s the reason of the costs of abt $25 for a ESP8266 from Parallax, when they`re so cheap at e-bay?
    Not a dumb question at all.

    Made in 'merica. Must be better.

    But seriously. As noted above there is much confusion in the ESP world. Many versions. Different softwares, pinouts, etc, whatever.

    There is a case to pay more for a product that is well documented and more than likely to work out of the box without spending hundreds of hours scratching ones head, googling around, trying this and that.

    Parallax does not survive buy selling hardware like those Chinese vendors. They survive by selling working systems, well documented and tested.


    That`s for sure. That`s the really great thing about Parallax products. They`re well documented and proven and it`s a great support. That`s the main reason I love Parallax products, but the price difference should maybe not have to be that huge. Another thing is that the Items is getting twice as expensive for us here in Norway, due to the shipping costs.
    But OK, I understand the Parallax`s costs to give all support, documentation, high quality etc, and also to have this top and serious forum. That`s priceless for me.
    Parallax is a great company, no doubt about that.
    :cat: Peter ***Aafjord, Norway***
  • If there are any lingering questions about Parallax products' cost/benefit ratio, read this about my experiences with cheap Chinese compass modules:

    http://forums.parallax.com/discussion/158176/cheap-compass-sensors-a-cautionary-tale

    You get what you pay for, and Parallax's quality and support are second to none.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • I still use spinnerets- have 3 of them up and running and I use them with the WNCE2001 for wireless connectivity. They collect sensor data from various things and post the data (with time stamps) into mysql tables. They also call out to sntp servers to update the rtc every couple days. Some of the data is collected out of curiosity but some is very useful- for instance I have two TC74 and two analog pressure transducers used for monitoring superheat and subcooling on my heat pump.
    So far I have collected 3 years of data from 48 sensors. I haven't done anything to the setup in over a year.

    I really like the spinneret but I think I might get involved again and possibly try to make a new system using the esp8266 modules.
    With nothing but 1's and 0's to work with, you'd think it wouldn't be that difficult to get 'em all in the right order.
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