Nwazet Data Acquisition Module for Netduino Go!

 Our Nwazet Data Acquisition module (DAQ for short) is designed for Netduino Go! users looking for a simple, cost-effective platform for integrating analog and digital I/Os, off-the-shelf I2C sensors, time tracking, SDHC storage (up to 16GB) and serial communications to their projects.

When we set out to design the DAQ module 5 months ago, we put a great deal of thought into the real-world scenarios shared by our customers when Netduino Go! launched and how many wanted to apply the power of the .Net Micro Framework in the context of rapid system prototyping, light industrial control systems, home automation, hydroponic growing systems, security systems, UAVs, robots and of course, Internet-connected devices.

The first design choice we made was to choose an extremely robust spring-loaded wire connection system, providing power, data and ground on every port where they’re needed. On ports that are 5v and 3.3v tolerant, both power types are available. Because each wire is held securely in its place with strong springs that can only be released by applying pressure with a very small screwdriver, communications are more reliable and power to sensors and analog devices is more stable than in conventional systems using female pin headers. In addition, our spring-loaded wiring system enabled us to design a smaller and lighter board than would have been possible with screw connectors.

Our second design choice was to enable our customers to leverage the large array of existing I2C-compliant sensors on the market today without having to wait long development cycles for similar Go! modules to be brought to market. To this end, we have partnered with Adafruit to provide a variety of useful I2C sensors that work ‘out-of-the-box’ with our DAQ module in order to help you get started quickly with your designs. We are also committed to developing a comprehensive driver library for popular sensors from Adafruit and other vendors over time.

Our third design choice was to place user-controllable status LEDs on each I/O port of the DAQ module, allowing for a simple and effective method of providing user feedback from an application at no additional cost and without consuming the DAQ’s digital I/Os for that purpose alone. We also embedded extensive sub-system diagnostics into the DAQ, available on-demand, in plain English through the serial port to help with troubleshooting issues in the field as well as easing the development of custom application drivers.

Our final design choice was to provide a complete, easy to hack system, with SDHC storage, a real-time clock, optional external power, and above all, capable of being used as a stand-alone 48Mhz ARM-Cortex M0 micro-controller programmable in C/C++ using a standard 0.1″ JTAG/SWD pin header. In fact, an STM32F051 Discovery board, costing less than $10, was used for its embedded STLink/V2 interface throughout the entire development of the DAQ module firmware.

We believe that you’ll find this module extremely useful in unlocking the full potential of Netduino Go! and building amazing applications right now. We also have a feature road map for the DAQ module and you can expect to see more smart functions, performance improvements and your very own feedback embedded in upcoming versions of the firmware. Last but not least, the DAQ module will be ready to leverage Go!Bus protocol advancements when the time comes.

You can find in-depth specifications about the Nwazet DAQ module on our site.

Cheers,

-Fabien.

What Is an Arduino Shield and Why Should My Netduino Care? (Part 1)

 I started writing a series of articles for Channel9 on interfacing Arduino shields with the Netduino / Plus. The first installment discusses how to identify Arduino shields that are good candidates for a Netduino adaptation and walks through the process of building a simple shield from scratch (click to enlarge)

interfacing a Netduino / Plus with a Netduino Go! Touch Display module:

and here’s a short video showing a Netduino Plus driving the Netduino Go! Touch Display module:

Cheers,

-Fabien.

Seattle Mini Maker Faire: [nwazet demos source code / designs

We just updated our BitBucket repository with the  source code of the demos and supporting drivers, libraries and designs that we showed at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire a few weeks ago, including:

and the supporting bits:
  • Nwazet Adafruit Max6675 Thermocouple amplifier C# driver
  • Nwazet RGB LED Display driver for the Adafruit LPD8806
  • Nwazet Joystick module STM8S C driver
  • Nwazet Joystick module Eagle schematics / board layout
  • Nwazet Joystick module C# driver
  • Nwazet SerialLib message handler

We hope that you will find this code fun and useful in getting started building real applications with Netduino Go! today: with a little bit of creativity, it is easy to adapt a wide variety of existing hardware components for integration with Netduino Go!

No need to wait: just jump in and start building and integrating 🙂

Cheers,

-Fabien & Bertrand.

Video walkthrough of the demos

[nwazet Nutshell – Visual screen designer and C# code generator

We all know that designing a polished user-interface by crafting code can be a slow and tedious process. So, we created a visual design tool called Nutshell for our Netduino Go! Touch Display moduleNutshell offers access to most of the features supported by the Touch Display’s API and generates the corresponding C# code on the fly for you. Just copy/paste the resulting code in Visual Studio when you’re done!

You can use Nutshell without installing anything since the tool runs JavaScript in your web browser.

You’ll never go back to the old way of crafting a user interface on your Netduino microcontroller after you discover Nutshell Posted Image
Here’s a tutorial showing how to build a screen in Nutshell

 

Nutshell source code: https://github.com/nwazet/Nwazet.Nutshell

Touch Display module schematics and firmware: https://bitbucket.org/fabienroyer/nwazet.go/src

Cheers,

-Fabien.

New PIX-6T4 Game: “Nom Nom” by Stefan Thoolen

The latest addition to the growing collection of classic arcade games  for the PIX-6T4 comes from Stefan Thoolen. The game called “Nom Nom” is a beautifully minimalist take on the “Snake Game”.

Stefan built his PIX-6T4 kit in one evening and developed “Nom Nom” the following day, successfully putting to the test the PIX-6T4 library and its features.

Great work Stefan! Thank you for this very nice contribution 🙂

“Nom Nom” is now included to the games coming with the PIX-6T4 distribution. You can download the source code from \netduino.helpers\Samples\PIX6T4 or in binary format from the PIX-6T4 site.

 

Cheers,

-Fabien

Pete Brown’s tutorial on creating his ‘Sixty4Racer’ game for the PIX-6T4

In a great follow-up to his previous article on assembling the PIX-6T4, Pete Brown puts the console’s rapid game development concept to the test and whips up a racing game in one evening.  Pete does a fantastic job at explaining the design process step-by-step, starting from the game concept all the way to creating  a standalone game ‘cartridge’ for all of us to enjoy. Awesome job Pete and thanks for sharing this excellent tutorial.

Cheers,

-Fabien.