UDP advantage over serial?

Hi everyone,

I am currently gathering all the stuff needed to set up the autosteer PCB V2, and I wondered this : should I go for a UDP over Ethernet setup, or for a serial over USB one ? Advantaged of UDP over serial are not obvious to me, while serial looks more simple : the nano already has a USB port, and today most windows tablets don’t have a Ethernet port, but have USB.

So I am wonderint why so much people, including BrianTee, chose to go the UDP way. Can anyone please enlighten me ?

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I’ve been wondering this too

The future of AOG is probably UDP over ethernet. The reason is that ethernet is a really nice, fast, extensible bus for communications, and can handle multiple devices on the same bus at the same time reliably. Whereas RS232 is point to point, where you need a connection to every device. RS232 is simple and reliable over short distances. Other alternatives include can bus (j1939), but can bus is fairly slow, and the protocol is limiting (and this is not talking about the convoluted system that is isobus).

Additionally, with udp, AOG can communicate with other modules, such as rate contollers, which might be running on the same tablet as AOG, or could be on an external module like a raspberry. The nature of IP networking means it doesn’t matter to AOG whether it’s external or internal.

Also UDP allows the possibility of wireless communication. Many tablets have only one usb port (which doubles as a charging port), which limits the usefulness of serial over usb.

AOG will almost certainly always support serial (over USB), however, so for many of us, that will continue to be the most reliable way to get things done.

I fail to see the problem with com porting though it’s been working fine for me

There’s no problem with serial. It works fine for many things. UDP just offers more flexibility is all.

and of course there are some practical advantages:

Ethernet is limited to 105 m. using UTP cable, where USB is limited to 5 m. or even less (USB 3.0)
UTP is available as a rugged cable and has one connector type (RJ45) that you can easily use yourself to make cables as you wish
IP adresses don’t change (where virtual COM ports are frequently changing in Windows)

As others have said, it is up to you really, for me UDP is a nicer / better option. UDP traffic just “works” if the connection is there, no messing around with COM ports changing / having to re-connect if connection is lost etc, as soon as the data starts coming in, AOG gets it / starts working… Also means if you have section board, machine board, autosteer board and gps board, they can all plug into same network, single cable into tablet, all just using different ports, much simpler than having 3-4 com ports / trying to remember which is which etc…

Absolutely nothing wrong / no reason not to use USB, just user preference really, I am using UDP wherever I can.

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All right folks, thank you for your comments / opinions on this subject. I still didn’t experiment the serial setup (this will be done in a few days). If I get issues related with COM ports (like if they’re frequently changing) or if I feel like there is room for improvement in the system, I will keep your arguments in mind and maybe spend extra euros on a UDP setup.