I'd like to show you my NETMF-project :)

Hi guys (and girls ;)),

After Gus posted my work on facebook and twitter, I thoungt you maybe want to know some things about it.
Sadly the board does’t allow me to post pictures into the text, so they are all on the bottom. I’m no native-english guy, so some things I wrote may sound strange :D.
I don’t exactly know where to post this, because there’s nothing like a “showroom”-board or something, well, most of the users don’t need this, because they don’t want their commercial-work to be “stolen”.

Maybe you know the wordclocks from http://qlocktwo.com/, some years ago I wanted to build one on my own. After watching some tutorials on the internet, that used a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino as their “brain”, I started to try around with those guys and some electronics. I did’t just want to reconstruct something, that someone else already built, I wanted to try it on my own.
The Raspberry was a bit overpowered in my opinion (and didn’t have a RTC), also it was hard to use for me, because I don’t have any experiences with writing programs for Linux. I tried it with C# and the mono-framework, but that didn’t bring satisfactory results for me. The first prototype was using an Intel Edison-board and many LEDs controlled via some shift-registers (I have some pictures below). The software was in C# with mono, but because was nearly nothing of the hardware-interfaces supported natively in mono, it was really laborious to get even this working (and it’s nothing super stunning :D).
So I moved on to those small guys named Arduino, nice to program, because I didn’t have to deal with an unknown OS, so at first sight that looked great. As I wrote some small programs in C# in Visual-Studio, the Arduino IDE was very unsatisfying for me, it was very simple to use, but I like the Intell-Sense-thing form Visual-Studio and somehow we didn’t become friends ???.
So a friend of mine told me about GHI, because he made some smaller projects with the Gadgeteer-modules at work. I clicked around on the GHI-page some time and found the G30, that looked fine. So I tried to order a G30TH-Module on Mouser, but they weren’t available :(, the G80TH was, so I just took that and a bare-metal G30 :D.
While waiting for my new NEFMF-devices I thought about, how to get the display-thing done. I decided, that the original-style display of the wordclock was quite unflexible to display things, because the letters are always the same. So my thoughts went so segment-LED-displays, but how the hell should I control them, there are 14/16-LEDs for each letter, until now I had only 24 outputs to switch :think:.
While looking for an affordable LED-matrix-driver, I found a module from adafruit.com. that uses a cheap driver to control a 14-segment-display, so I ordered one of these, to find out how it works and if i fits in my needs.
In the meantime the G80 arrived so I could start to discover the NETFM-things surprisingly it was a lot easier than I thougt to get things running with my not that large programming-skills. After killing two G30s while trying to hand-solder them (R.I.P. :'() I ordered a G120TH to try around, because it looked way easier to solder it later.
After a figured out how to use the adafruit display-module I ordered, I got one of these matrix-drivers and wired it up on a breadboard with some segment-LEDs, as that worked I started to develop a displayboard-PCB with CadSoft Eagle.
With the G120 there were a lot more possibilities that with the G30/G80, so I added a Wifi-Module, so I could obtain the time via NTP and got a (very) simple webserver running and a SD-card-slot to store the Wifi-access-data. After everything was running on my breadboard (the Wifi doesn’t run fine on a breadboard by the way), I designed another PCB for the G120 with its Wifi-module. Inspired by the Gadgeteer-modules I use a modified Gadgeteer-I-Socket to connect the controller-board to the display. I made a red and a yellow display, but I perfer the yellow one, it looks nicer in my eyes :).
As a housing for the components, I just made a simple wooden frame, I think it looks nice and fits into the ‘retro-look’ of the segment-LEDs :).
The clock can only ‘speak’ german by now, but it’s planed to add other languages (via XML-files maybe).
If it’s a bit more finished (especially the software) I can share the code and the PCB-files if someone is interested.

Below are some pictures how it looks until now :)…


that is an awesome project, well done, and a HUGE thank you for sharing it !

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I wish I have time to build cool projects like this.Well done.

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You’re doing really a great work! Looking for more!
Thanks for sharing! :slight_smile:

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:clap: :clap: :clap:

Gut gemacht.

Well done.

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@ glx -

ausgezeichnet post! Love it…

Nice work!

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Where can I get an English speaking version?

It looks to me that “Hello…” on the display is in English.

That is just one word… 8)

NO MSG also sounds familiar


You know most people don’t realize that. Nice clock. Now I’m inspired to make that propeller clock I’ve always wanted.

Humm, actually my workshop does need a clock…

Then you can make an AC Thermostat with all that extra functionality. ;D

Sorry for some reason I misread and thought you mean don’t need a clock. Must be my extremely powerful painkillers :wall: :open_mouth:

I plan to teach her a bit more XML, so the language (and daylight-saving-options) can be easily edited :).