Products - I'm a bit confused

I’m reading a doc I found here “EMX User Manual” it says in there “The EMX Development System is the official kit from GHI Electronics for the EMX module.”

If I search the website though I cannot see any such complete packaged kit, though I can find an EMX board.

I also have several more questions.

  1. The System on Module page - this is not clear, is this page just a high level overview of what GHI offer or is it something else?

  2. The “Offer Types” page - is this describing two categories of different products or is it saying I can get any product in one of two formats?

  3. Just to be 100% clear - a “Mainboard” is a board with a processor, memory and support chips?

  4. Just to be 100% clear - a “Module” is a board which contains one or more peripheral subsystems like camera or motor driver etc?

  5. There are two PHYSICAL formats for these Main and Module boards?
    a. Arduino
    b. Gadgeteer

  6. The only Arduino compatible boards provided by GHI are Mainboards? (Processor boards)?

  7. All Module boards from GHI are in the Gadgeteer format only?

  8. Naturally - if we want a Arduino Module we just get that from Arduino or whatever?

  9. Is there a Gadgeteer Mainboard which also has at least one Module function on the same board?

  10. Why is there such a large price difference between the Spider Mainboard and the Cerberus?

  11. Briefly what is the core difference between a Spider and Raptor mainboard?

  12. There is nothing stopping us from designing and creating or own Gadgeteer PCB with our own electronics on there if we want? Is the necessary interfacing for thus well documented?

  13. Whether it be Arduino or Gadgeteer - systems can be built by physically stacking boards or is that just something offered by Arduino?

Finally is there any spreadsheet or tabular summary of this kind of information?

Sorry to ask so many questions and sorry if some them turn out to be dumb! I’m just trying to get the lay of the land in an area that is pretty much new to me.

Many thanks


EMX Dev Sys is the original reference system for EMX. Spider uses EMX, as does original Cobra, but the EMX Dev Sys is no longer produced.

  1. SOM means it’s not a “ready to use” board. It’s a module, and it has to be incorporated into some other product.

  2. The two types of offer are different. Look at a device, say Cerberus, and you’ll see it’s an OSHW type. Look at a Spider, and you’ll see it’s a GHI Premium. It basically tells you whether you get the Premium value-add components on a device.

  3. a Mainboard is a stand-alone device, yes. It doesn’t necessarily have all of the things you mention but it is stand-alone (note: most require power of some form which may require a separate power module)

  4. a module is a “function” that can be plugged into one or more Gadgeteer socket/s. Sub-system is a good way to think about it

  5. No there are more physical designs than that… What is your real question here? Arduino is a new set of offerings from GHI in one respect, but they have offered boards that are compatible with Arduino shields for many years. Cobra2 has some Gadgeteer sockets but also has a long strip connector. So many answers

  6. Perhaps no, perhaps yes. Again what is the reason you’re asking? What is not clear about any particular device?

  7. Kind of. Think of the Gadgeteer module design as two things - a standard connector type so you know what type of plug and socket you need to connect the two items in question, and then a logical definition of what types of electrical pins are needed on a particular socket to operate a class of device (which is signified by a single letter on the module, and the mainboard end defines multiple letters that will operate on that socket)

  8. No, GHI provide Arduino compatible hardware that does not require purchase of Arduino devices from others. Again, hot sure what you’re trying to ask.

  9. Yes. Why?

  10. memory, functionality, number of sockets, etc etc. Look at the offers page to see.

  11. Spider is EMX based, Raptor is based on the newer G400 module.

  12. Nope. In fact, you can take any open design and change it. All documentation is very clear.

  13. Gadgeteer doesn’t “stack”.

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[quote=“Barraty”]12. There is nothing stopping us from designing and creating or own Gadgeteer PCB with our own electronics on there if we want? Is the necessary interfacing for thus well documented?

Here’s some documentation from MS about the Gadgeteer spec.

On the bottom of the page are 2 documents, for mainboards and modules.

FWIW, The Mountaineer mainboards that were being distributed by GHI until recently didn’t completely follow the spec (as I understand it at least) - 1 had USB and another had also Ethernet. Both boards also we “red” boards, in that they handle power on board, instead of via a module.