Project Description

Honorable Mention #3

FATE: Flexible Audio Transmission Over Ethernet

John Clayton


This project addresses the idea of digital audio for the masses. The purpose of flexible audio transmission over Ethernet (FATE) is to set up a simple dedicated wired Ethernet network. You can then use the network to coordinate the distribution of high-quality audio signals throughout a building and the area around it. The useful design uses a full parallel bus interface to a WIZnet W5100 IC. The IC is memory mapped on the “auxiliary bus” (expansion bus) of the processor core. Its register values can be seen and manipulated at any time. Interrupts aren’t used.


“My project is an atypical way of looking at audio distribution to speaker boxes. It separates the audio signal from the raw power. That way, the power can be provided right at the speaker boxes, and the information signal can be transmitted to a set of surround-sound speakers directly, using dedicated CAT-5 wired Ethernet links. Digital audio is noise immune, and the mantra of my project becomes: ‘No more MONSTER cables! Use these cheap CAT-5 cables instead!’ I enjoyed the self-contained nature of the WIZ810MJ, especially the cool Ethernet jack with built-in pulse transformer. I also liked the ‘auto-crossover-cable adjustment’ feature of the W5100 chip.” — John Clayton