Are interested in helping FEZopen? Where is your contribution?

FEZopen project has been out on codeplex for months but I haven’t seen any contributions from anyone. Seen users asked for such thing before and this is where I started the project but no one seem to be interested in working on it. I guess why bother when GHI gives you a commercial-quality firmware that is up to date and with new feature every few weeks :slight_smile:
I am going to still work on this on my free time but since I am not seeing interest then I will give it a very low priority.

If you are interested then why haven’t you contributed yet? To the book or to the code?

I think the main reason is that most of us buy a common Panda without knowing its locked as it is not listed anywhere but the forum.

I’m not complaining here, I think Panda its a great board and worth its price.

You should not expect to much activity until you provide a way to erase the board.

Yeah but then what do you do once you erase it but not able to work with FEZopen? Since FEZopen is an still in progress, you will have a blank board.

We DO provide a way of erasing your Panda, that is by asking us to do so. We intentionally do this to make sure whoever is interested in erasing his board has full understanding of what he is trying to do. Once FEZopen project is in a usable stage (beta) then we can make the erasing feature easily available to everyone. Please understand that we are doping this for your own sake (a users, not you personally). Do you agree?

Have already erased pandas for users but they were interested in programming the board in C language, not to work on FEZopen.

Hi Gus. I have done a few open community projects before. And what you are seeing was my experience as well. Many people voice-up about open-this, open- that. But when it comes down to brass tacks, nobody wants to work. Or they look at it once and feel good about the idea that “someday” they could change something if they needed and promptly move on. Even extreamly popular OS projects (by OS standards) only get a meager few folks. Do I sound jaded? Maybe will just take more time?

Seem that is the case William. I guess users think NEWTMF sources is this 100-line-code-file that they can modify easily but when it comes to reality and see how complex the work can be, no one wants to do the work?

I would love to help anyone trying to help in this code/book but it is non sense for me to do the work alone. Especially that GHI already have a commercial-grade firmware. I am guessing this comunity would rather me spend free time on maybe an advanced NETMF book (WPF, IFU, RLP and more advanced topic) vs porting NETMF book?

Gus. I want all your free time doing web controlled robots hosted at ghi so I can crash them at full speed :slight_smile: Cheers.

I want to crash them too :slight_smile:

FFor me, I need a “remote” way to flash a Panda since it’s not economically viable to send one back to you just for that. I totally get the fact that you don’t want someone doing this and then compaining about a trashed board. A triple-disclaimer is probably not enough, but there must be some limit to click-thru nagging that might make sense :slight_smile:

But having said that I too agree; I am not stressed sufficiently by what I can’t do on my GHI firmware to want to dig into the bigger task that FezOpen is, and I have active projects using the GHI firmware that I’d preferentially spend my limited hobby-time on.

@ Gus:

lack of community contribution might have many reasons:

I just found out about FEZOpen by accident (NETMF Blog). I see no link or mention of FEZOpen on the GHI Website. So people might just don’t know about it.

It would maybe also help to have a Forum just for FEZOpen here.

As a FEZ/NETMF beginner, looking at the PK is sure a bit intimidating at first. But it looks like NETMF 4.2 will provide a new IDE to aid porting. This might be very interesting. Maybe community support takes off with 4.2.

I have a few questions - the threads on FEZOpen are a bit outdated:

  1. What is the current state of FEZOpen? Is there an up to date list of features ported, not ported? Comparison of what you get more using the GHI Firmware (like CAN, USB client, OutputPort, RLP, etc)
  2. Will FEZOpen work on a Cobra board?
  3. Is it still not possible to go back to the GHI firmware once a Panda is flashed for FEZOpen? I saw a new utility to flash the Panda and Cobra in the beta forum.
  4. WIll FEZOpen support the ChipworkX module

Awesome work Gus! I hope Ill be able to contribute when I get a bit more comfortable with NETMF and the processors.


This was a personal interest of mine to create an open source version of the GHI firmware. It won’t be a stable and as commercial as GHI’s but it would be a an open and fun project fro those who love to tinker with things. After few months of zero contributions, I decided to put this aside till someone serious comes along and help out.

To answer all your questions, this is an open project with expected and required community contribution so what it will have and support is up to the contributors, not me personally. As of now, it is a starting point and there is some good chunk of details on how to build NETMF in GHI’s wiki if you want to dig into it.

I read the porting kit manual, and downloaded the FEZopen code. Still I have no clue what is implemented and what not - UART, SPI, I2C, interrupts, GPIO, ADC, timers

Not knowing anything about it, makes me a bit hesitant to clear my Panda.

All basics are there but they are not tested so they may not work all together. I wouldn’t clear your board till you have full understanding of the PK and able to compile the code.

Note that I did this as a personal interest and for the fun of it, so there is little personal time I can provide right now. I may have more free time in future though to get back to it.

Hi Gus,
iMSX compiles, haven’t tried FEZopen yet.
Finding Sourcery G++ Lite is quite hard, looks like they’ve hidden it well.

I noted your FEZHacker soldering videos (Youtube) are down. I’d love to see them; maybe I build my own FEZ Hacker. Looks fun.


All videos were moved to GHI’s youtube channel. Can you please update the wiki with new links to videos.

Gus, these videos are awesome!

I made some small corrections on the Wiki.