Arduino Web Server – Part 2

Introduction


In my previous post, I showed you how to use AJAX and JavaScript to make a very responsive Web server on Arduino. In Part 2, we will look at making some important modifications.

Arduino has limited storage space – Use an SD Card

As all of us already know, the Arduino, especially the Uno and Nano, has very limited storage space. If we want to create a truly useful IoT Web server device, we need to do something to increase the available storage space on our Arduino Device.

We can however not increase the program memory. What we can do is store our static HTML page, as well as any images and icons, on a SD-CARD. These come in many sizes,
but for our example, I will use a 2gb card, not that we will use all of it anyway.

The standard Arduino Ethernet Shield also comes standard with a SD-CARD reader slot already built in.

Arduino Ethernet Shield for Arduino Uno or Mega. Note That SD Card Slot is already built in

This makes our lives a lot easier. You can also buy a stand-alone SPI SD Card module for a few bucks online. This will be needed if you try to make this project using an Arduino Nano.

Preparing the Card for use

You should format your card using your computer, and a suitable adapter. The card should be formatted to the FAT filesystem. NTFS or other filesystems does unfortunately not work as far as I know.

SD Card IO – How to use the SD Card in Arduino

The Arduino IDE already includes an SD Card library. You can also download additional libraries from the internet that allows more specialized control and functionality. The standard library will however be sufficient for our needs.

It is also easy to test if your card is working or not. The code below is from the “CardInfo” example that ships with the Arduino IDE

/*
  SD card test

  This example shows how use the utility libraries on which the'
  SD library is based in order to get info about your SD card.
  Very useful for testing a card when you're not sure whether its working or not.

  The circuit:
    SD card attached to SPI bus as follows:
 ** MOSI - pin 11 on Arduino Uno/Duemilanove/Diecimila
 ** MISO - pin 12 on Arduino Uno/Duemilanove/Diecimila
 ** CLK - pin 13 on Arduino Uno/Duemilanove/Diecimila
 ** CS - depends on your SD card shield or module.
 		Pin 4 used here for consistency with other Arduino examples


  created  28 Mar 2011
  by Limor Fried
  modified 9 Apr 2012
  by Tom Igoe
*/
// include the SD library:
#include <SPI.h>
#include <SD.h>

// set up variables using the SD utility library functions:
Sd2Card card;
SdVolume volume;
SdFile root;

// change this to match your SD shield or module;
// Arduino Ethernet shield: pin 4
// Adafruit SD shields and modules: pin 10
// Sparkfun SD shield: pin 8
// MKRZero SD: SDCARD_SS_PIN
const int chipSelect = 4;

void setup() {
  // Open serial communications and wait for port to open:
  Serial.begin(9600);
  while (!Serial) {
    ; // wait for serial port to connect. Needed for native USB port only
  }


  Serial.print("\nInitializing SD card...");

  // we'll use the initialization code from the utility libraries
  // since we're just testing if the card is working!
  if (!card.init(SPI_HALF_SPEED, chipSelect)) {
    Serial.println("initialization failed. Things to check:");
    Serial.println("* is a card inserted?");
    Serial.println("* is your wiring correct?");
    Serial.println("* did you change the chipSelect pin to match your shield or module?");
    while (1);
  } else {
    Serial.println("Wiring is correct and a card is present.");
  }

  // print the type of card
  Serial.println();
  Serial.print("Card type:         ");
  switch (card.type()) {
    case SD_CARD_TYPE_SD1:
      Serial.println("SD1");
      break;
    case SD_CARD_TYPE_SD2:
      Serial.println("SD2");
      break;
    case SD_CARD_TYPE_SDHC:
      Serial.println("SDHC");
      break;
    default:
      Serial.println("Unknown");
  }

  // Now we will try to open the 'volume'/'partition' - it should be FAT16 or FAT32
  if (!volume.init(card)) {
    Serial.println("Could not find FAT16/FAT32 partition.\nMake sure you've formatted the card");
    while (1);
  }

  Serial.print("Clusters:          ");
  Serial.println(volume.clusterCount());
  Serial.print("Blocks x Cluster:  ");
  Serial.println(volume.blocksPerCluster());

  Serial.print("Total Blocks:      ");
  Serial.println(volume.blocksPerCluster() * volume.clusterCount());
  Serial.println();

  // print the type and size of the first FAT-type volume
  uint32_t volumesize;
  Serial.print("Volume type is:    FAT");
  Serial.println(volume.fatType(), DEC);

  volumesize = volume.blocksPerCluster();    // clusters are collections of blocks
  volumesize *= volume.clusterCount();       // we'll have a lot of clusters
  volumesize /= 2;                           // SD card blocks are always 512 bytes (2 blocks are 1KB)
  Serial.print("Volume size (Kb):  ");
  Serial.println(volumesize);
  Serial.print("Volume size (Mb):  ");
  volumesize /= 1024;
  Serial.println(volumesize);
  Serial.print("Volume size (Gb):  ");
  Serial.println((float)volumesize / 1024.0);

  Serial.println("\nFiles found on the card (name, date and size in bytes): ");
  root.openRoot(volume);

  // list all files in the card with date and size
  root.ls(LS_R | LS_DATE | LS_SIZE);
}

void loop(void) {
}

Open this example in your Arduino IDE, and then make sure that the CS pin is set to the correct pin for your Ethernet Shield ( Pin 10 is for Ethernet, Pin 4 is usually for the SD Card).

Both of these devices will be connected to the SPI bus on your Arduino, and the CS pin will determine which device is active, by being pulled LOW.

Insert your formatted card into the slot, power on the Arduino, and upload the sketch to the Arduino. Open the Serial monitor. If all goes well, you should see information about your SD Card ( Size, sectors etc being displayed ). If your card was already formatted to the FAT file system and contained other files, the names of these files will also be displayed.

Create your Web Page

Power down the Arduino, and remove the SD Card. Put it into the relevant adapter and connect it to your computer.

Now, open a plain text editor, notepad on windows, or any other specialized html editor, as long as you feel comfortable with it, and create a simple html file. Feel free to use my example below, and modify it to your liking

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
    <head>
        <title>Arduino SD Card Web Page EXAMPLE - Maker and IOT Ideas</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <h1>Welcome to your Arduino Based Web Server</h1>
        <p>This page is stored on the SD Card connected to your Arduino.</p>
        <p>Please do not remove the card while the Arduino is connected to a power source</p>

    </body>
</html>

Save this file as index.htm, and remove the card from your computer, making sure that you properly stop it as per the standard procedures for your operating system.

Put it back into the slot on the Arduino Ethernet Shield, open the serial monitor, and apply power to your Arduino. make sure that you see the file, index.htm listed in the output.

Coding your Webserver

Our next step will be to write the code to create our Arduino Web Server. This code will be similar to the code in part 1 of this series, but I recommend that you start fresh, open a new sketch, and copy-paste my code into the IDE. you can always modify it later to suit your needs…

#include <SPI.h>
#include <Ethernet.h>
#include <SD.h>

// MAC address from Ethernet shield sticker under board
byte mac[] = { 0xDE, 0xAD, 0xBE, 0xEF, 0xFE, 0xED };
IPAddress ip(192, 168, 100, 32); // IP address, may need to change depending on network
EthernetServer server(80);  // create a server at port 80

File webFile;

void setup()
{
    
    
    // initialize SD card
    Serial.println("Initializing SD card...");
    if (!SD.begin(4)) {
        Serial.println("ERROR - SD card initialization failed!");
        return;    // init failed
    }
    Serial.println("SD card initialized. [OK]");
    // check for index.htm file
    if (!SD.exists("index.htm")) {
        Serial.println("ERROR - Can't find index.htm file!");
        return;  // can't find index file
    }
    Serial.println("index.htm file found - Starting Webserver");

    Ethernet.begin(mac, ip);  // initialize Ethernet device
    server.begin();           // start to listen for clients
    Serial.begin(9600);       // for debugging
}

void loop()
{
    EthernetClient client = server.available();  // try to get client

    if (client) {  // got client?
        boolean currentLineIsBlank = true;
        while (client.connected()) {
            if (client.available()) {   // client data available to read
                char c = client.read(); // read 1 byte (character) from client
                // last line of client request is blank and ends with \n
                // respond to client only after last line received
                if (c == '\n' && currentLineIsBlank) {
                    // send a standard http response header
                    client.println("HTTP/1.1 200 OK");
                    client.println("Content-Type: text/html");
                    client.println("Connection: close");
                    client.println();
                    // send web page
                    webFile = SD.open("index.htm");        // open web page file
                    if (webFile) {
                        while(webFile.available()) {
                            client.write(webFile.read()); // send web page to client
                        }
                        webFile.close();
                    }
                    break;
                }
                // every line of text received from the client ends with \r\n
                if (c == '\n') {
                    // last character on line of received text
                    // starting new line with next character read
                    currentLineIsBlank = true;
                } 
                else if (c != '\r') {
                    // a text character was received from client
                    currentLineIsBlank = false;
                }
            } // end if (client.available())
        } // end while (client.connected())
        delay(1);      // give the web browser time to receive the data
        client.stop(); // close the connection
    } // end if (client)
}

Upload the sketch to your Arduino and navigate to the IP Address of the server using your browser. You should see the page displayed as you coded it.

What to do from here

You can now modify your page to include links and even images and CSS styling. You should however remember that the Arduino also does not have a lot of RAM memory.
You should thus not add extremely large images or pages. Those will take a long time to display, or may even time-out and not display at all

In the next part of this series, I will show you how to add links, images and CSS to make your page look a bit more visually appealing. We will also integrate the AJAX and JavaScript
functionality from the previous part of the series, to allow our server to interact with the inputs and outputs on the Arduino.

Arduino Web Server using AJAX – Part 1

There are many ways to use Arduino to create your own IoT device. One of the easiest is to configure your Arduino as a Web Server. This way, you can connect to it from any browser capable device on your home network. It is also quite a bit safer to do it this way, as you don’t have to expose your device to the internet, reducing the security implications of many of the other methods available.

It does, however, have the disadvantage of not being able to connect to your device from outside your home network. ( In a later part of this series, I will show you how to do this relatively safely, but take note that you still won’t have SSH encryption to the device, that is a huge security risk in today’s online world.

What use will this kind of IoT device have?

You can use an Arduino based web server to monitor various devices in your home, as well as control them. Many of us have old Android tablets and other devices lying around, that may be to old to run the newest Android Operating System. Such a Tablet can however be mounted to a wall, to provide a permanent display and control device. You will only be limited by your imagination, as well as your skill with interfacing your devices with electronics and Arduino.

A few examples of this can be
– controlling lights
– controlling a fan
– measuring temperature and light levels using various sensors, and performing actions based on those values

But Arduino Web Servers are slow

The normal Arduino web servers that we have all seen in various projects on the internet are indeed slow and cumbersome. This is because they usually have to refresh and reload the entire page to display every single update of a switch or output. We can however take advantage of technology used on computer web servers, as well as the browser of the end user.

Ajax and Javascript

What is AJAX?

AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.

AJAX is basically the use of JavaScript functions for getting information from the webserver (Your Arduino). This means that data on a web page can be updated without fetching the whole page each time.

This means that only the relevant part of the web page will be updated, either automatically, or when the end user performs an action, like click on a button, or when an input on the actual Arduino changes state.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a client-side scripting language. This means that the code will run on the web browser. Meaning on the end-user computer or mobile device.

The JavaScript is included in the HTML page that will be served by the Arduino Webserver. When you load the web page hosted by the Arduino, the page and the JavaScript is loaded to your browser. Your browser then runs the JavaScript code (provided that you have not disabled JavaScript in your browser).

What will we need to do this?

You will need the following hardware and software to do this project

– Arduino UNO or Compatible
– Arduino Ethernet Shield with NO SD-Card Inserted
– Breadboard
– 1K resistor
– LED
– 10k OR 22k Resistor
– Hookup Wire (5 pieces)
– Push Button

The Circuit

Wire the following circuit on your breadboard

Circuit Diagram for the Arduino AJAX Web Server – Part 1

Connect your Ethernet Shield to the Arduino Uno.
Connect the Resistors, LED and push-button Switch as shown.
Connect +5v from Arduino to Red Line, Gnd From Arduino to Blue line

Connect Orange Wire from Arduino Pin 2 to a hole BETWEEN the 10k resistor and the switch ( See Diagram).
Connect Green Wire from Arduino Pin 3 to a hole above the 1k resistor ( See Diagram)

The Code

Copy the following code into your Arduino IDE, Or download the file below

#include <SPI.h>
#include <Ethernet.h>
// MAC address from Ethernet shield sticker under board
byte mac[] = { 0xDE, 0xAD, 0xBE, 0xEF, 0xFE, 0xED };
IPAddress ip(192, 168, 100, 32); // IP address, may need to change depending on network
EthernetServer server(80); // create a server at port 80
String HTTP_req; // stores the HTTP request

void setup()
{
Ethernet.begin(mac, ip); // initialize Ethernet device
server.begin(); // start to listen for clients
Serial.begin(9600); // for diagnostics
pinMode(2, INPUT_PULLUP); // switch is attached to Arduino pin 2
pinMode(3, OUTPUT);
digitalWrite(3,LOW);
}

void loop()
{
EthernetClient client = server.available(); // try to get client
if (client) { // got client? 
boolean currentLineIsBlank = true; 
while (client.connected()) 
{ if (client.available()) 
{ // client data available to read char c = client.read(); // read 1 byte (character) from client HTTP_req += c; // save the HTTP request 1 char at a time 
// last line of client request is blank and ends with \n 
// respond to client only after last line received 
if (c == '\n' && currentLineIsBlank) { // send a standard http response header client.println("HTTP/1.1 200 OK"); 
client.println("Content-Type: text/html"); 
client.println("Connection: keep-alive"); 
client.println(); // AJAX request for switch state 
if (HTTP_req.indexOf("ajax_switch") > -1) 
{ 
// read switch state and send appropriate paragraph text 
GetSwitchState(client); 
} else 
{ 
// HTTP request for web page // send web page - contains JavaScript with AJAX calls 
client.println("<!DOCTYPE html>"); 
client.println("<html>"); 
client.println("<head>"); 
client.println("<title>Arduino Web Page with AJAX - Maker and IoT Ideas</title>"); 
client.println("<script>"); 
client.println("function GetSwitchState() {"); 
client.println("nocache = \"&nocache=\"\ + Math.random() * 1000000;"); 
client.println("var request = new XMLHttpRequest();"); 
client.println("request.onreadystatechange = function() {"); 
client.println("if (this.readyState == 4) {"); 
client.println("if (this.status == 200) {"); 
client.println("if (this.responseText != null) {"); client.println("document.getElementById(\"switch_txt\")\.innerHTML =this.responseText;");

client.println("}}}}");
client.println("request.open(\"GET\", \"ajax_switch\" + nocache, true);");
client.println("request.send(null);");
client.println("setTimeout('GetSwitchState()', 1000);");
client.println("}");
client.println("");
client.println("");
client.println(""); 
client.println("Arduino Web Server with AJAX"); 
client.println("Switch Status on D2"); 
client.println( "Switch state: Not requested…"); 
client.println("");
client.println("");
}
// display received HTTP request on serial port
Serial.print(HTTP_req);
HTTP_req = ""; // finished with request, empty string
break;
}
// every line of text received from the client ends with \r\n
if (c == '\n') {
// last character on line of received text
// starting new line with next character read
currentLineIsBlank = true;
}
else if (c != '\r') {
// a text character was received from client
currentLineIsBlank = false;
}
} // end if (client.available())
} // end while (client.connected())
delay(1); // give the web browser time to receive the data
client.stop(); // close the connection
} // end if (client)
}

// send the state of the switch to the web browser
void GetSwitchState(EthernetClient cl)
{
if (digitalRead(2)) {
cl.println("Switch at D2 is: OFF, LED at D3 is OFF");
digitalWrite(3,LOW);
}
else {
cl.println("Switch at D2 is: ON, LED at D2 is ON");
digitalWrite(3,HIGH);
}
}

Upload the code to your Arduino

Testing the results

Open a web browser and go to the IP Address of the server ( the one you set in your code).
If you did everything correctly, you should see a screen similar to this.

The Ajax Web Server shows the button and LED is OFF

Now press the button

The web page should immediately update and tell you that the button is On, and the LED is ON


Ajax Web Server showing Status of Button and LED as ON

The Generated HTML will look like this

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<head>

<title>Arduino Web Page with AJAX - Maker and IoT Ideas</title>

<script>

function GetSwitchState() {

nocache = "&nocache=" + Math.random() * 1000000;

var request = new XMLHttpRequest();

request.onreadystatechange = function() {

if (this.readyState == 4) {

if (this.status == 200) {

if (this.responseText != null) {

document.getElementById("switch_txt").innerHTML = this.responseText;

}}}}

request.open("GET", "ajax_switch" + nocache, true);

request.send(null);

setTimeout('GetSwitchState()', 1000);

}

</script>

</head>

<body onload="GetSwitchState()">

<h1>Arduino Web Server with AJAX</h1>

<h3>Switch Status on D2</h3>

<p id="switch_txt">Switch state: Not requested...</p>

</body>

</html>

Images of the Working Hardware

Please note that I did not use a push button switch in my example. I have just used a piece of hookup wire to connect the pulled-up pin to ground, as it is easier to photograph that way, without my finger being in the way on a button. đŸ™‚

Conclusion

This concludes part 1 of this series. This example can very easily be extended to be more useful, as well as be modified to work on other platforms, like ESP32.
In further parts, I will show you how to extend this very simple server into becoming something much more useful. Please visit again to see the rest of this series.