A triple dose of the .NET Micro Framework. Netduino, .NET Gadgeteer and a FEZ Hydra Basic Kit

Today's Hardware Friday is a triple dose of .NET Micro Framework and .NET Gadgeteer getting started, into, kicked off, hooked, what are they and getting started posts.

From a slide deck and great link round-up my Pete Brown, to watching him geek out for an hour to a getting started with FEZ Hydra Basic Kit post by Ian Lee, Sr. it's all here. If at the end of this, your "I wanna build something" itch isn't asking for attention...

The .NET Micro Framework and .NET Gadgeteer

At the South Florida Code Camp last week, I presented the ".NET Micro Framework and .NET Gadgeteer". The primary demo was the Gadgeteer diaper monitor, but I also showed off hardware, wired some LEDs to the Netduino etc.

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Pete Brown Geeks out on .NET Gadgeteer and Netduino

This past week, my friend and fellow Microsoftie, Pete Brown, ran a neat online symposium for the Microsoft Patterns & Practices group. As part of the event, Pete did an hour-long session introducing the .NET Micro Framework, and many of the cool things you can do with the various devices in the NETMF ecosystem, including Netduino, Netduino Go, and .NET Gadgeteer boards like the FEZ Spider. He was even kind enough to do a demo of the Meeblipiator project I put together using his Gadgeteer MIDI module (the demo is at around 45 minutes in). Here's the video…enjoy!

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Getting Started With a FEZ Hydra Basic Kit

I’m teaching a NETMF Gadgeteer lab for the Nashville .NET User’s Group this week. Our gracious sponsors have purchased several FEZ Hydra Basic Kits made by GHI Electronics that we’ll be using to introduce everyone to the Gadgeteer world.

The FEZ Hydra Basic Kit consists of:

So, the challenge is what can we build with just these components?

THE PLAN
We’re going to build a simple project that will use the green LEDs on the outer ring of the LED7R module as a gauge to show the light level that is reported by the LightSense module. In the center of the LED7R module is a bright red LED. I’m going to use the Joystick module to vary the brightness of this LED.

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Run the program and now when you move the Joystick up & down you should see a slight variation in the brightness of the red LED in the middle of the LED7R module.

Surely, you’re having fun now???

You may be asking yourself why we used Timers instead of just putting a loop in our ProgramStarted() event. This is one area where Gadgeteer is very different than traditional NETMF projects. Read this blog post for an excellent explanation and you’ll save yourself some frustration down the line.

WHAT NEXT?
Well, that’s up to you! I’ve given you a simple example of a couple things you can do with the FEZ Hydra Basic Kit. Now, take this example and improve it or come up with something better (a game maybe?). Be sure to leave a comment on this post and tell me what you did or even better post a link to a video.

Have fun!

Download the complete project source here.

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