One beginner’s question about digital I/O on Spider

What is the easiest way to access FEZ Spider digital I/O ports? On Panda II you just look on the board, find new empty PIN and his number, create new OutputPort and write to it. No additional hardware required and so.
Can I do something similar also on Spider, without getting a few new Extenders? Can all pins on Extender be digital I/O (on which Gadgeteer port) and why there are only 7 pins and not 8?

Thank you for your help

Check this thread:

Ten pins minus one each for 3.3V, 5.5V, and GND, equals seven.

Also, the extender module is not required, but the only other option would be to breakout each wire from a ribbon cable and solder it to your header of choice. This would be tricky considering each wire in the ribbon cable is very small.

Wow, that was fast! Thank you both of you.
Ransomhall, so every Gadgeteer port has 7 IO ports? I guess 3.3V, 5.5V you cant access programmatically.

@ jernejk

Check out this chart that Architect helpfully added to the Wiki:

It shows which kinds of I/Os are supported by each socket type. Note that not all socket types are supported on every Gadgeteer-compatible board, so it’s always a good idea to check for the desired I/O before deciding on a board (IIRC, Spider does support all socket types, but other boards may not have every type available).

@ devhammer

Thank you for you reply. I found this table before, but I have one question. I can use only port types and pins where I found GPIO in table on link you provided? So I can’t use for example any PIN on port E and pin 7 on A type? But I can use PIN 6 on A type and any pin on Y type?

@ jernejk

Socket type E is for ethernet modules, so you would likely not use that for digital I/O.

Socket type Y is optimal for digital I/O, since it offers 7 pins of GPIO, one of which (pin 3) is interrupt-capable. So with an extender module (or ransomhall’s forthcoming MakeBread module: you could use a single Y socket to provide up to 7 digital I/O pins.

And yes, you could also use pin 6 on socket type A for digital I/O as well, and also pins 3 and 4 (if the pin has a (G) in the table, that means it can be used for GPIO in addition to its primary use) but since there are typically more X or Y sockets, I’d tend toward X or Y for digital I/O, and use the A sockets for analog needs, since that’s what they’re optimized for.

@ devhammer

Thank you for your explanation. Now I understand. I can use any GPIO pin or pin with (G) beside it’s primary use. And I’m not allowed to use [UN] ports.

Yes, that’s correct.

You’re quite welcome. I’m glad I could help!