Bricked Fez Cobra and Limited Availability?

I believe my FEZ Cobra to be dead. While I’ve no idea what caused it the board does not respond and just has a pure white display on the TFT.

If I was to attempt to reload the boot loader, etc. where would I find this version of Teraterm that’s supposedly on this site? I can’t find it anywhere.

In the mean-time I ordered a replacement so we can keep this project on track, however when I now visit GHI’s site I see that the Cobra has moved into "Limited Availability, and future orders having MOQ of 100??? This was a fairly new product and the one recommended by GHI when we purchased it in January to prototype.

How in the hell did it go from being recommended as the prototyping board to what appears to be production level runs ONLY in a matter of 4 months??


Also, you should have EMX-Updater on your pc (part of the SDK)

I think the Cobra has been available for about two years.

The Gadgeteer Spider uses the EMX module, which is also used by the Cobra, and is a better prototyping platform. I guess others have been able to recognize this and have stopped buying Cobras.

I guess when you want to use the modules sure; but I’m simply using a ton of raw digital IO’s to read one-wire devices and controlling SSRs through PWM ports. Seriously… the spider looks like a school-age plug-and-play experimentation kit rather than something you would integrate with existing sensors and relays.

I’m going to drop this here; though I may end up making a new thread on it.

The Cobra board is not leaving the bootloader. It continually boots into the boot loader regardless of how many times I update the TinyBooter. I’ve tried using both Teraterm and the provided EMX updater.

Each method allows me to sucessfully query the boot loader, erase memory, and upload the tinyBooter. Unfortunately when it resets it remains in bootloader and cannot upload the CLR.

Any ideas?

Because FEZ Spider makes prototyping easier. We are always looking to improve but we are very careful to make sure your business is not interrupted while we make changes.

I guess if you preface you opinion with “Seriously” you must know what you are talking about… :slight_smile:

We are sorry you feel that way but can you please explain what product you are trying to prototype and “gadgeteer” can’t prototype for you in 0.1% of typical prototyping methods? I have a feel you are concentrating on the mainboard itself and not seeing the complete picture. Please have a look here

I’m not… I’m just venting because this was what we wired our three devices up with using the Cobra Prototyping boards… While I get the fact that the spider is more modular it just got me irritated that after all the work we put into wiring with the 70-pin header that the product may not be available shortly.

Have you emailed GHI to express your concerns and ask them for more FEZ cobra? :slight_smile: We got your back, we will always help as much as we can.

as far as why I prefer the Cobra it’s 100% related to the way the IOs are exposed and the fact that it has built in modules. I needed something that easily exposed 20 raw digital IOs and several PWM ports. The cobra made this easy, and with the prototyping board the device could be disconnected and reconnected to another setup with one motion. We moved the two Cobra’s we have from development boxes at the desktop to the field easily and without connecting/disconnecting multiple cables.

With the Prototyping board and the 90 degree header it plugged right into breadboards on the desk. Turn the Cobra module on it’s side, press the header into the breadboard, and boom, done. How does this happen with the spider? You’ve either got to make a spaghetti mess of jumpers between the provided connections or wire up an octopus between it and a header board to have it plug/play between breadboard and the field.

Look; I get the fact that the Spider probably sells better. But it’s modular, and designed to work with your modules. I just feel that there’s still a need for something more raw – just labeled pins, etc. in a row and let me do what I want with them rather than making me use modules or pre-made cables. I’m not bashing the Spider; I’m just saying that I feel they’re not mutually exclusive.

That’s cool and all; but this is easier. The Cobra header plugged into the PC/Breadboard for code dev/debugging/etc. then moved into the field and connected to equipment with the prototyping header.

LIke I stated earlier; I don’t think the two concepts are mutually exclusive. When you work with one-(or 3-4)-off designs you’re not prototyping for mass production; which was probably our mistake to begin with. We chose an OEM style product rather than a consumer based product. I made that call because I didn’t want to mess with pre-made modules, extenders, whatever. I wanted raw IO with a host of on-board functionality. I wanted something that was easy to replace with spares if the unit failed.

Anyone can use a screwdrive, open the case, and swap out the Cobra mainboard, it requires neither skill nor detailed instructions.

ok, maybe I can use the Spider to prototype faster and make the modules a bit more dynamic, but that’s not my goal here. My goal was a board that had it all, could expand to whatever this client wanted to control with down the road (and they have crazy ideas), and be easy for them to field-swap.

Neither approach is the best for every situation.

I would suggest that you get a Spider kit and try it out. Always good to have multiple weapons in your arsenal.

I just priced out what I would need to refactor the device with a spider and modules rather than the Cobra OEM 3.5" TFT box, $322 for the spider and modules (power, net, usb, sd, IO, 3.5" TFT, extenders, keypad to replace the up/down/sel buttons) compared to the $249 for the Cobra.

I still see the Cobra being not only the better deal here, but mounted in the box with the plug-and-play ability of the prototype board it’s still a better solution for me.

and for the record; it would have been nice if GHI had some sort of press-release, or announcement, or something that indicated that the COBRA was reaching end-of-life.

Just wait till V-Next comes out, they redesign, and you’re Spiders are no longer available. I totally get depricating old products, but most companies make an announcement that gives their clients enough time to manage this. Having to go into my client’s office today and tell them that we need to look at either purchasing a back-stock of COBRAs now, or face a redesign, was not a fun thing to do.

Hey Scott, I’m sure Gus will pop along and say the same things, but as an outsider one thing I’ve always seen GHI do great at is making it easy to do business with businesses. This forum, as much as we all love it, is great for the masses, but for someone doing things with real paying customers, it’s really worth reaching out to GHI as they are always happy to not only hear your plans but to be able to help back you up. If you haven’t already done so, reach out to Gus offline and chat.

@ Brett - please see my very last reply.