I had DFRobot send me a collection of their Gadget Modules and when they arrived my jaw hit the deck pretty hard as I was expecting just the couple of modules they had posted currently on their web site, but what I got was about 30 modules. Now to be perfectly honest some were pretty lame (some old prototypes I think), but on the other hand most were pretty awesome and I can hardly wait till they hit their web site for sale. What is very clear is that DFRobot wants to be a Gadgeteer player and I think everyone is more then OK with that. I asked if they would mind me posting a photo of the collection they sent me and they were OK as they should be coming onto their web site fairly soon.
Wow! Nice! Anything you like the most?
go gadgeteer go!
I particularly like the flux capacitor module. I could use it to fix modules I have smoked.
OHHHHH a smiley module
Woot! Do you have a list of what they all are ?
I was surprised by the number of daisy chained modules like the IR Distance Module which would be very cool for industrial type applications as would their optical detector and the real time clock modules I was already interested in. There are some cool modules for sure. I was strangely excited by the yellow 5 button module until I saw it was an ‘A’ socket which made me wonder but their RFID module could be killer as its a 13.56 MHz MIFARE setup (someone else had one before but hasn’t finished the drivers for it yet and you know who you are )
Like I said its a win day for Gadgeteer as more modules mean more possibilities which means more developers, which means more demand for modules.
All these modules are great for Gadgeteer as long as they come with high quality drivers/software.
Software is as important as the hardware. Maybe more important… Sorry Gus
I would tend to agree with you Mike, if after starting several companies the one key thing I’ve learned is to remove all barriers to people buying using your product and for Gadgeteer that means provide software drivers. I needed their UVSensor for a project I was working on so I wrote a driver for it and there are a couple of other modules that I need so likely I’ll end up writing drivers for them as well, but in my conversations with DFRobot, I think they get it about the drivers so they are trying to ramp up on driver support for their modules. I think the user community will help like I am to get them going initially but afterwards I wouldn’t be surprised if DFRobot starts building their own drivers.
I should add that is why I love getting my modules from GHI as I know they come with supported drivers, I can hardly wait for the next batch of modules from GHI.
I completely agree with you Mike but software is something community can improve, build, change…etc.
Of course in GHI’s case, customers are used to having things done and working perfectly so we are always working on improving. We may not be 100% today because of the 4.2 SDK took most of our time but this will not be the case for too long. We shall prevail!
Totally agree with you there. That’s one of the my two main problems. I loved making the two modules I’ve done so far and really want to do more but i am neither an electronics or software guy by profession and both are a pretty steep learning curve.
I hate the idea that we might be missing some cool modules because building drivers are daunting. I’m not a driver guru, but there are some guys here who are, but myself and others would be willing to help when possible. Is building drivers something more people would like to learn about? Do I need to do an intro to driver building video on youtube using my UV Sensor driver as it was about as simple as they come, but at least it would be an intro into building drivers and what tools etc are used.
I think the solution is simple. Anyone making module and doesn’t know how to write drivers can do this “Guys, I need help writing drivers for this module X and whoever helps gets a free module”.
Agree that’s a nice option. Problem is, that’s still a cost to the person. The more likely thing is “Guys, here’s this module but I don’t do software, so buy it at your own peril and make sure you publish what you write for it as a driver”. That’s not overly bad, at least it’s clearly stated up front. The even worse scenario, that I think we’ve seen, is “Shiny module over here” and that’s all you know. I agree for some of us who are exposed to this stuff regularly we’re more likely to cry out for help than those who are “transient” and just do what they need to get by themselves.
Someone is selling modules but can’t afford giving couple away for free? This will not be the case I do not think?
If you are not selling and only doing one for your own use then the driver doesn’t matter.
agreed that if it’s a one-off, the problem is your own. If I on the other hand decided that I’d make a few modules of a particular type for more than just my own use, say to get a price break on board setup costs, and then wanted to sell them to the community, I wouldn’t necessarily want to give one away (hypothetically speaking - if I did do this, I personally would do that)
Wow! Nice. You Canadians must have a slick tongue.
He must have sweet talked JLo
I think doing a vid would be a good plan. It will help people to understand the process and help build confidence that its not as bad as it first appears.
Plus its another vid to share round the web
HughB and others, I agree, starting a driver project seems daunting to the uninitiated, but I expect that once we understand the framework it would be little different to writing regular netmf code. A video or some other type of tutorial would be a big hit with me as I just completed serial to parallel to serial board to testing up to 16 channel of open/short circuit and a driver would be a nice to have.