Controlling Cerbuino directly from PC via USB


I’m quite new to this stuff so please bear with me.

What I’m trying to achieve is to use a Cerbuino (or similar) device to control a bunch of 7 segment LED’s directly from my PC. I’m planning on using a MAX7219 or MAX7221 serial display driver to drive the LED’s via SPI. Is it possible to directly control the Cerbuino from a PC using C# to do this? If it’s possible, is there any other hardware and or software required to be able to do this? Like a FTDI cable, or can the standard USB interface be used for this?

Please note that I do not want this app to run directly on the Cerbuino as the values which must be displayed on the LED’s are produced in real time on the PC.

Is the FEZ Cerbuino Bee a suitable solution for this, or should I use something else?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.


Under support Support – GHI Electronics and gadgeteer tab, you will find “Device to PC Communication”. Is this what you need?

Welcome to the community.

You could use the Serial-USB module and send “serial” commands from the PC to the Cerbuino. A “simple” interpreter program would be running on the Cerbuino and would decrypt the commands you send from the PC.

Depending on the refresh frequency, I think all boards (including Panda II or mini) can do the job.

Thanks guys, that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.

Another question: Would it be possible to give an estimate as to the delay that might be expected by sending a value to the Cerbuino, decoding it and outputting it on the LED display? It would be no good if the refrech rate would only be once a second or so…

Any thought? Guestimates?


It is faster than your eyes can see :slight_smile:

or blink :slight_smile:


Just to make sure… To be able to “control” the Cerbuino from a PC I need to use the Serial-USB module. Is this module required for all FEZ boards, or only certain ones?

Why can’t the onboard USB client port be used? Or is this port only used for programming/debugging?

Also, do I need to buy the 10-pin connectors and make my own cables or are they supplied with the mainboard / module?


If by “control”, you mean send serial data to/from the Cerbuino, yes.

CDC is not supported in the OSHW offering. That does not mean it can’t be done. You could implement it, although it’s a much more challenging task than buying a separate serial module and implementing your own serial commands.

Cables are supplied with each module, not the mainboard. For example, the T35 display requires 4 cables. They are included when you buy it.

@ ransomhall -