One of the little time-saving tricks I use in my home automation system is setting the Ethernet MAC address automatically on each device. This saves having to set the address manually in the sketch of every device.
I’ve written it up in a tutorial on the Freetronics site:
Setting Arduino Ethernet MAC addresses manually and automatically
I’ve found that the second-hand Ethernet switches I use in my home automation system have annoyingly loud fans, so I modified them to run the fans more slowly and connect to my Arduino-based environmental monitoring system.
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