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Introducing Netduino Go


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#41 Stefan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:34 PM

(One simple (ha!) request, any chance at a USB Host with Usb Serial support? :)

Actually, since thisGadgeteer Serial to USB Module is a U-type of module, it can be used with Netduino Go!
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#42 Stefan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:35 PM

I was wondering what kind of distance can the modules be from the Netduino Go?

Good question! It kinda depends on the module I think. The button module for example will have less interfearance as the touch display module. But as long as you're using official Netduino Go! cables you'll be fine.
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#43 Stefan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:36 PM

One question did JTAG headers make it into the board layout?

There are 10 tiny holes for a mini-JTAG-connector on the mainboard and the shield base module, yes :)
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#44 Stefan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

I'm intrigued by the go!bus idea, but have some reservations. All of which may turn out to be nothing once I tinker with the final product.

Crisitism, I like :)

As someone who DOES like to get out the soldering iron, the extra layer of abstraction concerns me. I can see how it's great for some things (e.g. displays) but the fact the the button module has even become a module with an IC on board (HC589A shift register?) seems over the top. I'm hoping you can add a button just as a button like you used to in the good old Netduino/Plus days.

For people who still want to do their own electronics, we introduced the Shield Base. In the future we're going to show off more ways to tinker with the Go! Bus system itself, but for now I believe the Shield Base module is the best solution to that.

The shift register has been added for one single purpose; to auto detect the type of module. It sends back a number to the mainboard telling it "hello, here I am, and I am a ... button!". Since the shift register was very cheap, Secret Labs can still sell button modules for less then $5



Update:
A quick look at the schematic for the go main board shows that each socket has one individual GPIO. Each pair of 4 sockets shares UART and SPI. I'd guess that you can still use the GPIO as before and probably use the UART and SPI as 5 more standard GPIOs if you wanted too, much the same as you can on the Standard/Plus.

You are right :) That's also why it's possible to use Gadgeteer S, U and X modules.
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#45 Stefan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

Does the Go have to be powered via the USB?

So far, yes. Nwazet has been working on a power module though! Please stay tuned :)
"Fact that I'm a moderator doesn't make me an expert in things." Stefan, the eternal newb!
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#46 Stefan

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:42 PM

one thing that is not clear to me is how does simple analogue/digital inputs work now. do i have to get the base module to still use simple pots, force flex, light sensors and other analogue/digital input devices that are wired up on a bread board?

With the Shield Base module you can still do all of that indeed. I hope soon there are more options for electronics tinkerers. Please stay tuned :)

also the board support S U X modules, so i would assume any of the FEZ modules that work on S U or X would work?

Good assumption :)
"Fact that I'm a moderator doesn't make me an expert in things." Stefan, the eternal newb!
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#47 Matt Isenhower

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:24 PM

Congratulations on the release, the new boards look awesome! :)

I'm happy to see that there is an Ethernet module in development. Are there currently any other compatible Ethernet modules on the market? The only ones I've found require an E type socket.

We can take a small number of developers into our module builder's group for the next few months...once we feel that everything is ready for widespread module building we'll open it up to everyone.

I'd definitely be interested in this if you are looking for developers. I have a few modules in mind so any additional information on the module requirements would be helpful.

Matt
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#48 ErikN

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:15 PM

If you want to use the go!bus compatibility logo, you'll need to use go!bus IO virtualization firmware on your chip (STM8S and STM32 supported soon, AVR and others hopefully supported in the future). It does fun things like let us know how much power you need and lets you build a super-low-cost-module with both tons of intelligence and plug and play ease.

BTW, the STM8S chips are thirty-something-cents in reels. I kid you not.


The on-module processor is there to speak the go!bus protocol and virtualize your IOs. So that your driver on the Netduino Go mainboard sees its IOs, SPI bus, I2C bus, UARTs, PWMs, ADCs, etc. as its own. We can take a small number of developers into our module builder's group for the next few months...once we feel that everything is ready for widespread module building we'll open it up to everyone. 100% cross-board compatibility is our utmost concern.


Will there be a module development board making its way out of that builder's group? I think it'd be good for developers to have a standardized module for creating their go!bus compatible modules. Sure we could use the shield base but that will be flashed specifically for the shield. Would a board with the micro, a go!bus socket, maybe some DIP switches for any configurable settings (power requirements you mentioned...?) and breakouts of pins from the micro be feasible and more useful than the shield base itself?

Heck, this might even be easier for creating limited run modules for special purposes if you offered some cases that fit around the module with a hole for the bus cable. It'd be a heck of a lot easier than designing the PCB, sources the electronics (without bulk pricing! oh noes!) etc. Then if it turns into something people want en masse, the work to turn it into a real and true module could be done at that time.

Is there already an offering or alternative I've failed to consider?

#49 Nathan Baker

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:37 PM

This looks great for those who want the modules! :)
I'm glad you added the base shield, but I am curious about whether the Netduino will be shifting more to modules or simply have a module friendly version. I guess my biggest question is, can we expect to see a Netduino Plus with this same speed at any point? Posted Image
Posted Image

#50 Patrick

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:45 PM

Well crap, on 00101011 I bought 4 netduinos for a project... :) looks awesome, I'll pick on up ASAP.

#51 Chris Walker

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:51 PM

Hi unr34l-dud3, The traditional Netduino form factor (with Arduino shields) is not going away. We believe that people should be able to enter the hardware world from either side...and we will continue supporting and loving all the Netduino family members. The Shield Base is in effect an updated Netduino Classic--but with a go!bus connector providing power and communication instead of USB. Once it comes out of beta, we can certainly look at updating the traditional boards as well. The faster speed is nice...but for most applications the current boards seem to be working really well for most people. Chris

#52 Roy Salisbury

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:51 PM

Hi unr34l-dud3,

The traditional Netduino form factor (with Arduino shields) is not going away. We believe that people should be able to enter the hardware world from either side...and we will continue supporting and loving all the Netduino family members.

The Shield Base is in effect an updated Netduino Classic--but with a go!bus connector providing power and communication instead of USB. Once it comes out of beta, we can certainly look at updating the traditional boards as well. The faster speed is nice...but for most applications the current boards seem to be working really well for most people.

Chris



How about a Netduino to Go Bus shield. :)

#53 Chris Walker

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:12 PM

How about a Netduino to Go Bus shield. :)

That would be cool. We'd need to work out the flash requirements for the virtualization--but we might be able to make it work. Not an overnight project...but quite possible :)

Chris

#54 AUGuru

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:42 AM

I'm a big Netduino fan and user for robotics projects. I like the existing form factors and I'm not afraid of the soldering iron. That said, I like the increase in speed and memory. My biggest question is (I'm warming up the credit card right now) can I use multiple shield base modules on a single Netduino Go? An answer of Yes will make my day. :)

#55 Chris Walker

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:58 AM

Hi AUGuru,

I'm a big Netduino fan and user for robotics projects. I like the existing form factors and I'm not afraid of the soldering iron. That said, I like the increase in speed and memory.

My biggest question is (I'm warming up the credit card right now) can I use multiple shield base modules on a single Netduino Go? An answer of Yes will make my day. :)

During the early beta period, we're using the slow comm channel (UART of Gadgeteer compatibility mode) for the Shield Base. So you're limited to just one...for a few weeks. We want to make sure that things are working well for people before turning on the fire hose.

After that, we'll be moving to the CRC-protected fast SPI channel. At that point, you'll be able to plug in 2 of them. By the time the beta is over, we'll support 8 Shield Bases...although if you use that many you can't get 250mA per shield base of course :)

BTW, one of the big things about Netduino Go is that it's designed for both no-solder users and those who love getting their hands dirty. There will also be an IO breakout board (coming from one of the early go! module partners) so you won't be limited to just the Arduino form factor.

Does that make at least your morning? :)

Chris

#56 AUGuru

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 03:21 AM



Does that make at least your morning? :)


That makes me very happy and excited to wait for things to flesh out. This will help solve the problem of using Arduino shields with pin conflicts. I'm more interested in being able to have remote breakout of multiple IO's over a fast bus, more PWM's, etc. I'd love a Netduino in a Mega form factor, but I'll take the IOs however I can get them.

As for current, I'd hope for a ground and VIN on the IO boards to help provide and sink more. At least the sinking part. I prefer not to rely too much on providing power from GPIO ports.

#57 StanDeMan

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:14 PM

Wow! Incredible. :P Till when do you plan the world wide rollout? I'll be really glad to get one in Europe. Cheers, StanDeMan

#58 Chris Walker

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:23 PM

Hi StanDeMan,

Wow! Incredible. :P
Till when do you plan the world wide rollout?
I'll be really glad to get one in Europe.

We're shipping them out to SK Pang in the UK and UAM in the CZ and GoTronic in FR this weekend. They should have them in the next week or two.

In the meantime, both Nwazet and Proto-Advantage offer affordable international shipping. And Nwazet has an awesome touchscreen display for Netduino Go (and relay...coming soon).
http://www.netduino..../?pn=netduinogo

Thank you for your enthusiasm!

Chris

#59 mikepo

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

Three questions about the Go! ports and the firmware: 1. It looks like the Go! ports basically expose SPI1 or SPI2 together with a dedicated CS pin for each port. Does the firmware allow direct access to SPI1 and SPI2 without that virtualization layer, e.g if I wanted to talk to an SPI sensor/EEPROM directly? 2. does the firmware support I2C? It looks like the hardware I2C2 is available through GPIO_SOCKET8 (I2C2_SCK) and SPI_CS_SOCKET1 (I2C2_SDA). So will it be possible to get access to I2C even if one has to take a pin from Port1 and one from Port8. Or is there a software (bitbanged) I2C implementation in the firmware? 3. OneWire support: Is OneWire directly supported through a pin on the Go! port or does one need another shield/module for that? Thanks, Mike

#60 Chris Walker

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:41 PM

Hi mikepo,

1. It looks like the Go! ports basically expose SPI1 or SPI2 together with a dedicated CS pin for each port. Does the firmware allow direct access to SPI1 and SPI2 without that virtualization layer, e.g if I wanted to talk to an SPI sensor/EEPROM directly?

Yes, you can access them directly. Officially if you use them you need to manually manage SPI on all four sockets of that go!bus channel (i.e. that SPI bus). Technically they can share today...but that may change in the future as we performance tune things so we're saying that it's either-or at this point... But please, hack away :)

2. does the firmware support I2C? It looks like the hardware I2C2 is available through GPIO_SOCKET8 (I2C2_SCK) and SPI_CS_SOCKET1 (I2C2_SDA). So will it be possible to get access to I2C even if one has to take a pin from Port1 and one from Port8. Or is there a software (bitbanged) I2C implementation in the firmware?

You could add this in, but we didn't integrate it. I2C will be supported through virtualized IO (including soon on the shield base) on modules. If you build a module/breakout using an STM8S chip, you'll have hardware I2C and you'll be able to use the NETMF I2C classes to control it seamleslly.

3. OneWire support: Is OneWire directly supported through a pin on the Go! port or does one need another shield/module for that?

With Netduino Go, the sockets are ports for plugging in rich modules. OneWire will be supported through Virtualized IO (i.e. on the modules). That said, there's no reason you couldn't use a bitbanged version in your own custom firmware...but we're trying to keep the official messaging simple.

Chris




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