Choosing the proper board

Hello, I have been trying to work on a device capable of coping files from one USB thumb drive to another. I was working with two uALFAT boards only to realize that it wasn’t possible and it was recommended to try FEZ.

There are a few FEZ boards and im not sure which I should go with since I could not locate one that had 2 USB connections.

I need a LCD screen with a few navigation buttons for input and two USB ports (one for each drive) also it wouldn’t hurt having the option to do a SD card.

Can anyone please point me in the right direction.


Well, you could do everything you want with as little as a Domino and as much as a Cobra. It really depends on if you want a case, if you want a colro screen, etc.

The FEZs are compatible with USB hubs, so the single USB port is not an issue.

See this

Thank you for the quick and informative response. I have a couple more newbie questions that hopefully someone can take a crack at.

I have looked and the domino seems to be a good choice for the project. I am looking to make the device portable so I will need to either design a case in the machine shop at school or buy one here.

Question 1: Where can I find a simple hub that has a fairly small outline?

Question 2: I need an LCD, doesn’t have to be color but I would like to be able to show at least five or six files at a time so the user can browse through the contents of a thumb drive. Is there a LCD that does this that comes with driver code?

Best Regards,

This is a pretty loaded question. There a TON and TONS of USB hubs around. Try scrolling through here until you find something:

EDIT: Also, you want a powered hub. Make sure the hub is powered (IE, comes with an AC adapter) before you pull the trigger on it.

I think the Cobra is the way to go for this, then. There is plenty of demo code, yes. If you do go with the Cobra, you will never talk to the LCD. you will talk to the low level driver that will talk to the LCD. You only need ot mess with the very high level stuff.

I have a USB hub on my computer right now that has power running from the wall, so I could even plug this into it. That seems straight forward. If I wanted to integrate a hub onto my PCB board is there a company that sells chips or would it be best to dismantle one of these hubs? I know thats a really strange question.

About the cobra, my professor is requiring me to make my own PCB board so after I use the prototype board to develop the code I would need to order the chips and solder them on a custom board. The chips on the cobra seem to have an outline that I wont be able to solder by hand. Also this seems to be over kill for my little project.

The domino has chips that could be solder to a board and seems simple enough to create a custom PCB for. Is there a favorite LCD among the users for the domino that has enough sample code to get a project going?

Sorry for the many questions, thanks for your patience.


Hi Aaron,

Yes, you can buy hub chipsets, but it does seem a little odd that your prof is requiring you to make a single board. Just out of curiosity, what kind of class is this?

Both the USBizi and Cobra are SMT components.

I’d go with a Domino, its cheap and the graphical display looks very good for your purpose. When you are done you could just order a USBizi 144 chip and use the open source design schematics to make your own PCB.

The class is called senior design where we form teams and choose projects that we need to design and present finished projects in a competition.

The cobra looks to have a QFN surface mount package where I can’t see the pins so I dont think I could solder that to a board. is a link to the cobra, there is many more chips on it

The domino has a LQFP I think, which is really hard to solder but since the pins are sticking out it’s possible (I know my professor can solder it, but I would mess it up).

Which graphical display works best with the domino? And is there sample code for the display.


Yes it has drivers and a sample.

The blue board on the cobra is the EMX module, that is sold as 1 part which you can then solder to your own board. It looks exceedingly easy to solder (far easier than the USBizi)