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SwitchBlox - A Tiny 5 port Ethernet Switch Designed for Robotics

SKU 3191
Sold out
£72.00 inc VAT
£60.00 ex VAT

The Small, Open Source Ethernet Switch

SwitchBlox is a small Ethernet switch with five 10/100MB ports, specifically designed for space constrained and noisy environments. With an overall size of 44.5mm (1.75 inches) by 44.5mm (1.75 inches), SwitchBlox is the smallest network switch in the world, making it perfect for robots, drones or any space limited networking application.

Plug and play network switch

As an un-managed network switch it works straight out the box, all you need to do is:

  1. Apply a 5 to 51V DC supply.
  2. Connect your devices using the included cable set.
  3. It will automatically begin forwarding packets, no coding or setup needed.

Firmware for advanced switch behaviour (BETA FEATURE!)

SwitchBlox requires no firmware to work, however they wanted to make it easy for uses to create customised switch behaviour. To do this they’ve embedded an ATtiny202 onto the board, that controls the onboard RTL8305 Ethernet switch over an SMI interface.

Users can program the ATTiny202 over UPDI, which then configures the RTL8305 over SMI via its internal registers.

This feature is current in beta while they work on drivers to make this easy.

Dimensions

They’ve squeezed all necessary Ethernet circuitry into SwitchBlox without making performance compromises. They use magnetics for improved signal integrity and electrical isolation between each Ethernet bus.

Cabling

They use Molex Picoblade connectors on all their boards to keep them tiny, and have include all the cables needed to get started, including:

1 x SwitchBlox to SwitchBlox Coupler 300mm (Molex male to Molex male)

Use this cable to connect two SwitchBlox together to form a larger network.

5 x SwitchBlox RJ-45 Network Cables 300mm (Molex male to RJ-45)

Use this cable to connect any external Ethernet device with a RJ-45 port

2 x SwitchBlox Power Cables 300mm (Molex male to tinned wires)

Use this cable to connect a 5 – 51V DC power supply to power SwitchBlox.

Also use this cable to get a clean 5V, 1A supply from SwitchBlox to power external devices like Embedded Computers, Motor drivers or IP Cameras.

Ethernet Pinout

Below is a handy graphic that shows how it transitions from a Molex Picoblade pinout to the standard RJ-45 ethernet cables. For 10/100 Mbps ethernet using two differential channels, transmit and receive, for a total of four conductors.

PoE injection onboard

They've added circuitry to SwitchBlox that allows you to inject voltage onto any combination of the ports, simply by toggling a DIP switch on the back.

In the off position, the ethernet port functions as standard, AC coupled ethernet signals.

In the on position the ethernet signal is shifted up by whatever the input voltage is to the board. Using an input voltage of 44-48V makes this IEEE 802.3af PoE compatible, allowing you to power downstream devices directly from SwitchBlox with up to 330mA of current (around 15W of power delivery).

PoE Pinout

  • TX+/TX- DC Voltage = 0V
  • RX+RX- DC Voltage = Vin

Firmware for advanced switch behaviour (BETA FEATURE!)

They’ve embedded an STM32 onto SwitchBlox Rev D and above. It doesn’t do anything yet, but stay tuned; we’re developing a whole suite of managed switch features.

  • Small Ethernet Switch for demanding applications.
  • Wide, protected input voltage range from 5 to 51V.
  • 5V, 1A auxiliary output onboard.
  • 5 port Ethernet network switch works out the box.
  • 10/100MB Speed.
  • Auto MDI-X crossover.
  • All cables included.
  • ATtiny202 embedded onboard for custom firmware upload (currently a BETA feature).
  • PoE injector onboard (IEEE 802.3af compatible for PoE devices).