Cicero’s Ethernet Project

A couple of months back I posted a brief article about Cicero’s project to get an ENC28J60, low-cost ethernet module working with the ESP8266.  There was a something of a hiatus with the project, with no updates appearing for a while (due to “real life”™) getting in the way, but Cicero (Mark) has been back at work, putting up the project code on GitHub, along with hardware connection details.

I note that the current implementation only runs the ethernet hardware and not both WiFi and ethernet at the same time, so there might be some contention for resources there, but I don’t have an ENC28J60 module to test with.  If you do, Mark is looking for feedback and submissions for the project, so have at it!

On a related note, has anyone tried using a Wiznet 5200 or 5500 module (such as the Wiz-820io) for a wired connection?  They’re more expensive, and perhaps not quite as versatile, but there should be considerably less overhead on the ESP8266.  Let us know in the comments if you’ve built (or seen) such a beastie.




6 thoughts on “Cicero’s Ethernet Project

  1. Thanks for the writeup, I appreciate the interest:)
    You could run both the Ethernet and wifi at the same time, I just only allow one at a time (using the ifdef’s) because I’m still testing and want to limit the debug outputs to be for the ENC only. For me, I’m going to be running the wifi in AP mode allowing both interfaces – for the webserver. But for any external server/router connections (wifi in STA mode), I’ll only allow one type of connection at a time, mainly because I want to use the MAC address of the ESP for the ENC as well…saves cost and hassle that way. I will admit though, there could be memory (heap) issues there.


    • Mark,

      Thanks for clarifying that (and thanks for checking in 🙂 ). I’m just about to place an order for an ENC. Not because I have a project that needs it, but just because the whole concept just really tickles my fancy. Can I ask what it was that drove you to create it in the first place?



      • My project is a distributed mqtt system ultimately, and having just wifi is potentially limiting. What if its a crowded/noisy area, dead zones, what if there’s an Ethernet backbone already there etc? Just knowing there’s a wired option available seems useful, and a good fall-back solution to any potential wifi issues that may creep up at different sites. Yeah its only 10BASE-T and throughput is quite slow, but its better than nothing. Plus, the fact that you can buy an ESP and ENC for about $5-6 combined cost is ridiculous.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Two years later I don’t see anyone else working on this, and it is over my head. I’ve gone to the datasheet for the enc28j60 several times with the intention of implementing my own driver, and I just get exhausted trying to figure out where to start. I want to expand on an avr-based CDP/LLDP client device to add some simple wireless troubleshooting tools, so esp8266/esp32 look like great options to build on. I’ve looked everywhere for information and your project is the only one that I’m seeing. Everyone who asks anywhere gets the same “use a wiznet” answer. That’s great if you just want to get some packets, but I have a stack of enc28j60 boards, and I don’t care about anything except CDP/LLDP and ICMP.

    I’m posting because your project page is gone. Can I find your code anywhere else?



    • HI @acecace, drop me an email on “mark at cdelec dot co dot za” and I’ll help you out.
      I removed my project from github for several reasons, but dont mind sharing in private.


  3. Hi cicero, really good job to do this.
    Have you on project to test this ESP8266 + ENC28J60 with Pixel lights? It’s could be a very cool project.
    I worked with arduino before, but tested ESP for 2 weeks, and little problems appeared, like the connection with ENC.

    Is it possible to received your code, maybe it could help me to include pixel (WS2812 ..).
    Thanks a lot


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