K, Theo, Andrew, etc.,

I've looked at several of the STM32 projects supporting ethernet, and have
a few questions.

First, which project would you guys recommend as a starting point for
RocketTracks (RTx)? I'll need to both communicate between STM32-based
modules and at least support future communication with a laptop. My first
step is the get two dev boards talking over enet. I'm assuming UDP only
unless someone talks me out of it.

It seems the projects all use an FTDI serial interface rather than USB for
shell support. I intend to use the shell for development only- and I've
used FTDI chips (designed them into hardware) but never an FTDI cable
straight to a UART- is this the way to go or should we just use the USB
peripheral like I planned?

Andrew, take note: Ethernet switches- on-board or off-the-shelf? I expect
we will need to connect up to 3 devices on the RTx net, the RTx controller
we'll be designing, the Sightline SLA-1500, and a laptop. I like that
buying a switch (a PoE in particular) is easy, and given our timeline and
loss of a team member my preferred method, but it's something I'd like
input on.

If anyone wants to refer to it, there are block diagrams, etc. here:

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