If you are using an OT-2, the normal way to connect to your robot is over USB or over Wi-Fi. But if neither of those are working, or if you have more particular networking requirements, you might want to try an Ethernet cable instead. This method of connection is intended for troubleshooting.
If you are not actively working with an Opentrons Support member, you are using this form of connection at your own risk.
When you connect to your OT-2 over USB, you're actually secretly connecting to it over Ethernet. Inside the robot, there's a USB-to-Ethernet adapter. This guide will show you how to bypass that adapter, avoiding USB entirely.
An Ethernet cable
1. Expose the rear electronics
2. Unplug the built-in Ethernet cable
Once the electronics are exposed, you should see an Ethernet cable plugged into one of the circuit boards.
A tab on the back of the connector locks it in place. To unplug the connector, you will need to squeeze that tab.
On the back of the robot, there is a hole (shown below). Stick a hex driver through the hole to squeeze the tab on the connector. While doing that, use your other hand to pull the cable down and out.
3. Plug in your Ethernet cable
Now that the Ethernet jack is empty, you can plug in your own cable. Use that to connect your OT-2 to your computer or router.
Potential problems with long-term Ethernet connections
As mentioned, this form of connection is only intended for short-term troubleshooting when working with the OT-2. Using this connection method on a long-term basis can potentially lead to OT-2 brownouts, which can negatively impact protocol runs.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our live chat!