SparkFun Aims for Easier 10BASE-T1L Experimentation with Its MicroMod Single-Pair Ethernet Kit

Offering 10Mbps communication over cables up to a mile long, single-pair Ethernet has never been easier to play with.

Gareth Halfacree
4 months ago β€’ Internet of Things / HW101

SparkFun has launched a new entry in its MicroMod family, aimed at those who want to experiment with long-distance wired communication using the 10BASE-T1L Two-Wire Ethernet standard: the MicroMod Single Pair Ethernet Kit.

"The SparkFun MicroMod Single Pair Ethernet Kit demonstrates 10BASE-T1L Two-Wire Ethernet protocol within the SparkFun MicroMod ecosystem by using two SparkFun MicroMod Single Pair Ethernet Function Boards," SparkFun's Chris McCarty writes of the new bundle, "including all the accessories to run a proof of concept example over 0.5 meters [around 1.6 feet] of cable, which can be helpful before installing application nodes 1,700 meters [around 5,600 feet] apart to monitor remote equipment."

SparkFun has announced a quick-start bundle for those looking to experiment with single-pair Ethernet. (πŸ“Ή: SparkFun)

Single-pair Ethernet, as the name implies, runs on a just a single two-wire pair of an Ethernet cable. Developed for industrial and automotive communications, the standard allows for wired connections to reach well over a kilometer (around 0.6 miles) β€” albeit at 10Mbps, rather than the faster throughput of modern multi-pair Ethernet.

Designed as an almost-all-in-one kit for single-pair Ethernet experiments, SparkFun's latest MicroMod bundle includes two MicroMod Main Boards and a matched pair of MicroMod Single Pair Ethernet Function Boards based around the Analog Devices ADIN1110 10BASE-T1L transceiver. While there's an Ethernet cable in the bundle too, there's a couple of pieces missing: the MicroMod Processor Boards, which are left up to the user to pick from a selection including Espressif ESP32 and Raspberry Pi RP2040 versions.

There are a couple of other caveats to note, too. The first is a question of power: the single-pair Ethernet standard allows for both data and power to be carried across the cable to remote devices, but in the case of this bundle each MicroMod Main Board has to be powered separately as the connection is data-only. The other is that the network cable is terminated for an industrial connector which, SparkFun warns, "is no longer the main medium for Ethernet of the 10BASE-T1L variety."

The bundle is now available on the SparkFun store at $89.95 before volume discounts, with MicroMod Processor Boards starting at $12.95.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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