I want to buy a Mainboard + a Module or two


I want to order a Mainboard and a couple of Module boards = all Gadgeteer - to begin familiarizing myself with all this.

I can see some red mainboards that include WiFi - presumably meaning I could get code on the board to communicate over my network to my desktop with just that single board, I see the term “FEZ” on all these main boards, what does this term signify?

That Cobra II costs 125 bucks or so.

A Cerberus + an RS21 WiFi module costs 30 + 80 = 110 bucks or so.

A Cerberus + an RS9110-N-11-22-04 WiFi module costs 30 + 52 = 82 bucks or so.

Obviously I can mix/match many of these boards as I see fit (I assume their pin interconnectivity is merely academic).

But I’m still a bit unclear - for example a Spider and a Raptor are each about 120 bucks, but the differences between them are many and I’m unsure which of these is better suited to my experimentation.

Also I can see each board is “based” upon a corresponding module, the Spider is based on the EMX Module and the Raptor is based on the G400-S SoM Module, these modules are less expensive than the boards they are based upon so what does a full board have that a module alone does not?

I’d like to strongly suggest that GHI consider creating a tabular representation of these products so one can quickly glance at that and see the differences and variations between these products.

Also a web page that explains the overall product line organization would be most helpful, summarizing what a Mainboard is, what a processor Module (e.g. G400-s) is, what the various different non-processor modules are etc, for example the WiFi RS21 is called a “module” and that itself is based upon a RS9110-N-11-22-04 also called a “module” yet these are clearly different since one is a superset of the other.

Finally some boards are described as being OEM boards yet surely any board could be used by an OEM?

Once again I’m just trying to get familiar with all these products in an area that is new to me.



FEZ = Fast and EaZy

Also it looks like processor modules (like G400-S) are designed to be soldered into a system or mounted onto another board, so is it true that the Raptor board is “just” a carrier board for the module, allowing flexible interconnection to other devices/modules?

That is the Raptor board itself offers nothing from a software perspective over and above the G400-S? it’s purely a physical convenience?



A few notes from me.

  1. RS21 are old and quite buggy in my experience. [em]My experience.[/em] CC3000 should be better, but driver is still unfinished :frowning:
  2. EMX is now probably sold for existing designs mainly. G400 is 20 times faster and is even cheaper. G400 firmware still needs a few improvements, though. It’s a new design for future.

So I’d say go with Raptor. Wifi is a tougher choice…

Thanks for this info - I can see the CC3000 isn’t available yet so if the RS21 is problematic then what is my best option to play around with a Raptor and have WiFi without any issues?

I want to assume the WiFi works plain n simple, do you recall what specifically it is that bothered you about the RS21 WiFi functionality?



What I remember now is that it had issues connecting to networks. Like, it sees the SSID, it has the password, but throws a strange exceptions when it tries to connect. But if I catch the exception and try to connect a few times, eventually it succeeds. Once it’s on, it kind of works; but I didn’t test it thoroughly. It’s ok for personal use, but I wouldn’t dare to put RS21 in any commercial design.

There’s also RN171. It’s more like wireless AP, but I think it can connect to others networks, too. Didn’t test that much, maybe somebody else could shed some light on this?

More notes:

Matter of perspective, using a raptor and the Gadgeteer Module system, you don’t have constantly be looking at pins in the schematics. Prototyping is fast. When you’re ready to go down to a custom design or shrink the project physically etc. You can use the driver source (freely available) from the gadgeteer module to assist you in getting the pins, initialization, interfaces, Etc.

This in Beta, we are working on it as I write.

Well this is very important, I’ve assumed the ability to access a TCP/IP network over WiFi from code running on a board would be routine and one could take it for granted.

Surely this is a very common need because WiFi must be the dominant means for devices to communicate with other systems over a network/internet?

I can see the Cobra II offers WiFi on a processor board, but that - like the RS21 - relies upon the RS9110-N-11-22-04 module so if RS21 has shortcomings then I can expect the same from a Cobra II.

Am I better off seeking an Arduino solution here?


I wouldn’t be so sure about WiFi popularity in industry. Wired LAN — yes, but WiFi is far from dominant.

I believe bugs come from RS21 module itself, not NETMF driver. So Arduino wouldn’t help in this case. IMHO.

Have no idea.