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Get your next FEZ for $25!


ok I am kidding ;D we do not have any FEZ for $25 :wink:

…but really, I am asking this out of curiosity. Let us assume there is some new FEZ that has same FEZ Domino layout (Arduino) but also assume that the board doesn’t have SD card connector and it doesn’t have USB host (Just like Arduino…nothing more) then how much would you pay for this board? Maybe it is on eBay and you get to bid your max price :wink:

To me, a board that is exactly just like Arduino (USB connector + processor + some IOs) but it is 72Mhz 32-bit ARM processor and can be programmed and debugged using VS2010 is worth $50, since Arduino is $30. What about you? Please be serious with your answer :slight_smile:


I don’t know about the price, but Domino without USB host & SD card looks like FEZ Mini, no ? Then why not creating a “shield” that would give it (FEZ Mini) Arduino pinout instead ?

The Domino is not that expensive since it has almost everything (including Arduino compatibility).

I know I didn’t answer to the question ???


Yes mini is great at $50 but if you are planning on making the shield then that will add another $25 to the cost then this is just Domino so having a shield is really pointless.


If the shield is $25, then of course you’re right. I didn’t know it could be that expensive for a simple board.


It is $10 base cost but then add the sales/marketing/website/support cost and add the distributor cut (most want huge margin!) and then it is much more than $10 :slight_smile:

Of course if you are only making one board (not volume production) then the cost is well over $25 anyways :o. Did you every try to order a single PCB? It is scary how much they charge.


It is amazing how much a single PCB or even a small number can cost to get made. I have one product I sell that uses a thumbnail sized PCB. I made the first several prototypes myself and then had 100 boards made by a board house for beta testing. After that I had 1000 made for production and found the cost of 1000 boards was only a few dollars higher than for 100! :wall:


Exactly like a arduino. I would pay around 35-45 bucks. Not only does it keep the price competitive with those other types but you can make a spot on it for the shield like the mini for the SD card maybe with a right angle header.


After I have been thinking about this some more I could see stripped down version of the Domino being offered as a more Ardunio like product. Personally if I knew nothing about any of these products I might think, “Hey I could get something way better than the Ardunio for about the same price.” My own take when looking at the the FEZ line was, “Wow, look at everything that the Domino will do and it is a really great value.”

To the beginner price == value, once you gain a little experience you can see where spending another $15~$20 up front saves you a lot later on because you don’t need to buy a bunch of shields to get that same functionality.

Given the choice between the two I would probably choose the Domino every time.

I wonder what it would cost to take an Ardunio and buy enough shields to give it the similar peripherals to the Domino. You probably could not get a USB host shield though. Still it would be interesting and make a good visual and monetary statement. (Picture a Ardunio with a whole pile of shields that does less and cost more than a Domino.)


I am also thinking that around the $35-$40 mark for a direct competitor to the Arduino. An Aussie company sells something for AU$39.95, which is about $35.99 at current OANDA conversion rates (

One of the great value-add of a Domino for instance is actually all the other stuff that you can do, that you’re contemplating about possibly removing - I can see that USB host is a flexible thing that you may not need when doing your direct Arduino thing, but gee there are times when you could !

( the other aspect though is that Arduino has a benefit over NetMF of years of community shared projects and code, and I hate to say it but potentially an easier learning curve than C#. That means for a pure novice or someone with little skill, there’s not much needed to actually get things working. I know we’re all part of helping change that situation and cause an inflection, but I can still see people wanting to go with a “same cost” solution if they have a simpler ramp up or code base to draw on )


If you are going to market it as an advanced Arduino to newcomers, $45 seems like a very good price. Now if you are just gonna market is as a cheaper Domino to people that generally have an idea what they are looking for, then the $50-$55 range seems like a good price to me.

Personally if I had to choose I’d give a few extra dollars and get the full blown Domino(or Rhino).


Is arduino really easier? It is only easier in the first week when all you want to do is blink some LEDs. Now try to handle a button on an event base or need threading or just spi bus the netmf quickly becomes easier. I didn’t even count for things that arduino or any other micro can not do like debugging and USB host/device.

The only advantage is that arduino is years old and fez is months old. I never seen a user that used fez then went back to arduion or anything else. Plus in a year or so we will have much larger community for fez and this should erase arduino I hope :slight_smile:


I generally like the idea of a cheaper model of FEZ. It would act as a sort of sample for people to see NETMF. If they like it, GREAT, we have a another developer, and you have another customer. If they don’t, well, they didn’t lose much.


Interesting caption !

Gus, what are we shooting for here ? Cost or versatility ?

I am looking for a compact FEZ that has power, clock and a USB client (for debug), all the other pins are broken out into pins. The user can add this to any application to provide the control.

I have started some work on these lines but still there is more to think on. The board will have the crystals, decoupling caps and a USB connector.

I want this to be as compact as possible :slight_smile:

Will let the community know if anything happens. :slight_smile:


Not shooting for anything, just trying to see what the community have to say about all this :wink:

I love what I have seen so far. I try to listen to what the guys discuss at GHI and also listen to what community say, since I am the “forum-guy” who also works at GHI :smiley: I can take your input and feed it back to the GHI management.


Gus, what are we shooting for here ? Cost or versatility ?

I am looking for a compact FEZ that has power, clock and a USB client (for debug), all the other pins are broken out into pins. The user can add this to any application to provide the control.[/quote]
If I understand correctly, the point of such a board would be for a simple, cost effective device to get people into NETMF. Once they know they want to use it, then they can spring for a board with more advanced features.


Hello Gus,

The idea of a Domino Light is not really i was looking for, can can miss the USB Host. But love the possibility to have the SD card. I see that as a plus point against the Arduino. On thing i love to see is the possibility to have a battery incl on-board battery charger like with the MAX1555.
I think this makes the Domino a stand alone to use.



Gus, my point was more that Arduino has a lot of code that can be found on the net, as either doing almost exactly what you need, or as a starting point for a project. I didn’t think people would move back, I agree Fez is better and once you get there you wouldn’t go back, but for someone looking for a first time product, at similar price points, there’s still a chance they’d choose “them” and not buy a Fez :frowning:


domino light, price will be to high as you still use a 30 or 27 dollar USBizi uC :wink:
an USB port costs 1 dollar for the connector or so, SD card slot again 1 or 2 dollars :stuck_out_tongue:
save 3 dollars if you take a USBizi 100 instead of a 144.
so its what, 5 maybe 10 dollars cheaper on hardware costs.

but 40 euro/50 dollars would be a nice price for it.


that is the price for a single chip with alll cost included(also the first class support)

Yes , for one device , but when you have to make 1000 or 2000 pieces it will become more and more important

In my opinion , for me it would be good for the price of FEZ Mini , but also around 60$

So between Mini and Domino


GHI has been trying to close the gap on cheaper hobby products and itself. When i first started researching what you guys had i noticed prices much lower than your competitors. You are taking this even lower now. The result of this and what you have already done will open the .NET micro framework to many more people. This is exciting to see. My excitement for the community and the company behind creating this community is growing every day. I really want to say thanks for bringing a product to the price level I could take the chance. What you have done for customers, GHI and the .net micro framework community at large will be felt for many years to come.