Presenting Serial miniNest: Controlling serial devices over the Internet in a breeze

Posted by openPicus | On: May 21 2012
Here we are: a brand new expansion board for Flyport, the so-called Serial MiniNest, is coming in June!

In the professional and industrial context, serial protocols (either RS485 or RS232) are still widely used as extremely robust and low-cost solutions. Many industrial devices feature a simple onboard 8-bit processors, exposing a natural serial connectivity.

The Serial MiniNest sports one RS232 and one RS485 port. It’s compatible with both Ethernet and Wi-Fi Flyport, so you can control serial devices via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

The new Serial MiniNest prototype with Flyport Ethernet plugged in.

There is an enormous potential of adoption by the machinery industry as many traditional machines that we face every day are changing, and interaction designers are experimenting with new features all over the world.

Think about remotely distributed machines (for example, the ones placed in large environments such as airports, parks, plants or laboratories) and about the possibility to deploy complex configurations and re-configurations via the internet, even wirelessly. All this and much more would be possible with the new Serial MiniNest!

Some of the most clear ones – and let me say that we actually received many inquiries from machines manufacturers to develop this kind of extension – pertain to the following markets:

  • Vending and customer facing machines (even totems)
  • Scales and Measurement Systems 
  • RFID and proximity Readers
  • Presence detectors or distributed complex sensors
  • Lab appliances 
  • CNC Machines, Laser cutters and all the machines that are used in most of the digital fabrication process
  • …and many more!
Some examples of using SerialNest
Coming back to the schedule, the new Serial MiniNest will be available in June. We will also create a new firmware that as always will be released  in open source to allow you to create a “Serial Port over IP”.
The firmware uses the webserver for the configuration of network parameters, addresses, socket ports and serial port configuration.
Meanwhile, have a look to Serial MiniNest schematics and assembly steps don’t forget to reach out for suggestions, inquiries and even pre-orders!

Posted by openPicus Team, @openpicus


  1. Charudatt says:

    Something I was eagerly waiting for, thanks.

  2. Hi to all, about Serial Port over IP… It is a very useful application, just keep in mind that the delay introduced by internet on the serial communication may cause problems with devices having strict communication timing requirements. … But only on low bandwidth connection and only with a few devices (I’ve seen it with old Philips PBXs).
    Overall it is a very useful expansion board! Good job!

  3. Yes we made lot of testing and up to 230400 baud it’s working great! I’ve experience on wireless serial (I started 10 years ago….sigh I’m getting old….) with Bluetooth to serial modules and I think the Serial to Wi-Fi is much better in terms of performance (of course depends also on the network traffic)

  4. Hi Claudio, I agree with you about the Serial to Wifi performances 😉 On a local WiFi connection it should work perfectly without any issue :)

    I just think that some problems may occur if the connection to the flyport is made through a router using a remote connection (e.g. from office to home). In this case we could have annoying delays, caused by the bandwidth of the internet link, because sometime also DSL or 3G connections could be slow 😐
    Anyway… Very nice extension board, it is very useful!

  5. Yes I agree with you. But of course I guess that mission critical info will be managed into local connection. If you are far away you need a kind of handshaking protocol with looooong timeouts! :-)

  6. I’m using AutoCAD (one of those multi-thousand dollar packages) but it’s a very old version I got in the course of a previous job; two employers ago, I think.

Leave a comment