The future of Gadgeteer

Yup. Me too, on both counts (PCB and foundation).

Yup again…I built a mini RGB LED lightbox for fun using a a FEZ Panda II and eblocks, and I have bunches and bunches of eblocks from back in the early days of Gadgeteer when using them with the expansion module provided a good bit of variety for demo-land.

So sad to hear this!

Is this all just a ploy for you to launch a hostile takeover and start asset stripping?? 8)

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I was sorry to read this news. However, if the market is not there to support the system needed to support the product, it is understandable.

@ GHI: How is the FEZ Cream doing? I ask because this supports the Gadgeteer hardware.
I also wonder if there were a NETMF board that used the same form factor/pinout as the Raspberry Pi would be a way to leverage the Rasperberry crowd? If a user could user ether the Rasberry Pi or NETMF, depending on the program complexity, and other requirements, then this might be a good way to mingle markets of users. Also this might capture some of the Netduino crowd that has been left hanging…

Just a thought… And thanks for all the nice Gadgeteer products in the past. And also thanks for not just disappearing like another manufacturer in the NETMF space!


@ rockybooth - even on that front, looks like gadgeteer is not the preferred choice. There are few Microsoft official Windows and azure kits with RPI, gadgeteer is not one of them.

We have just finished implementation of our new commercial product (1+ year of development) and are going to order first 100 custom pcbs, we just signed contract to deliver 40 devices until end of this year so I am “stressed” a bit :slight_smile:
Our product is based on G400-S SoM and uses T43 display. Just few straight questions :slight_smile: :

  1. Will you continue to produce G400-S? (I know you mention you going to continue NETMF but …)
  2. Are you going to release new SDKs with bugfixes etc. (I don’t care about Gadgeteer libs, we always used pure NETMF)
  3. Our pcb uses 4 gadgeteer sockets for T43 display, does it mean you discontinue to sell T43, if yes then what about New Heaven displays, will you still offer NHVN module? Should we look for another display and custom/other connector?
  4. Is NETMF dead? Should we move to another platform?
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I’d like to echo pretty much exactly what vooba just posted. We are in a very similar position where we are ramping up production of a couple of products that use the FEZ Spider II or G120, Display NHVN, and some modules like Ethernet J11, and Rotary H1, etc.

See, displays !

My answers, not GHIs.

  1. G400-S is unrelated to this Gadgeteer announcement. GHI have many other commercial customers and have really good product end-of-supply processes, so I think you’d have heard about that if there was any reason for concern.
  2. GHI have said they continue to support Netmf. What that means is that they’re not shying away from revising things as needed. They haven’t announced any other plans (and I suspect will not) about future SDK releases, but there’s nothing to suggest 2016R1 is the last NETMF SDK you’ll see, just the last one with Gadgeteer included
  3. Displays! Yeah I personally LOVE the flexibility that the Gadgeteer sockets bring for displays. I suspect GHI will stop producing T43, but the NHVN one may be simpler to produce, but there’s still not a high demand. There is also the 4.3", 5", and 7" Newhaven PCBs that @ Dave McLaughlin has released with his company’s branding that could be an option for you
  4. Only you can evaluate that, but there’s no sign of GHI giving up on the platform as a whole; diversifying yes, but for my money there’s plenty of reasons to be here in the first place that won’t change

@ Darren SFI,

J11 is a specific beast I think, but it’s design isn’t hard to replicate either. Same for RotaryH1. GHI haven’t said what if anything they intend to do with design files and gerbers, perhaps an appropriate ask is where possible that they release those to the community as well. And if you’re going to use G120, then you are designing custom PCB, easy enough to add most of the capability onto your design in the first place.

@ vooba - G400 is not gadgeteer. Still, we are available by phone and email to discuss your needs. Please give us a call, our Gary would love to talk to you.

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@ Darren SFI - spider is nothing but a breakout for the SoM, where the SoM is in full production. Please give us a call, our Gary would love to learn about your needs.

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I’m using the modules in a few of my designs in production. I’ve never used the gadgeteer side of things. But whenever I produce something with a G120, I use the left over pins to add gadgeteer ports in case I can use the board in the future. Please make sure you leave up the schematics for the modules, that’s like my favourite cheat sheet for development. I guess I could produce the modules myself, but I’d never be able to do it for the same price. Could you continue to stock them for twice the price or something?

I think gadgeteer has never been able to compete with Arduino, such as price and performance.
better TH modules, even if Is it necessary to make changes

  1. develop a simple ethernet module.
  2. supply the module with a single power supply (3.3V or 5V)
  3. develop additional modules such adafruit feather
  4. develop a lighter ide instead of visual studio (plugin for SharpDevelop)
  5. develop official libraries to interface with external hardware (GPS, rtc, ir etc.)
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Check - J11D or ENC28

Check - By definition Pins 1 & 2 on the Gadgeteer sockets are for 3.3V & 5V

You can’t call the Feather a ‘Module’ it’s a cpu in it’s own right.

Why? It’s not like you have to deploy the whole of VS to the device - and it’s a free download with superb debugging.

That’s exactly what you get with the Gadgeteer modules! Have you ever used Gadgeteer?


WRONG… Try debugging and single stepping your code in Arduino. Not possible. There are some add ons but they are not free and a little cumbersome to setup. VS just works out of the box.

Now, get yourself C# .NETMF and you can do this via the USB port. Bingo, faster debugging and testing.

Visual Studio may be more work regards installation but you get way MORE than the Arduino IDE.

Intellisense code completion. Arduino has nothing like this at all.


attention, I’m talking about TH modules.
the J11d and ENC28 ethernet modules are gadgeteer, in the catalog does not contain a module directly linked to a TH Module.

The TH modules (for example G30 TH) must be powered with 5v and 3.3v, should be mounted in a controller module for it to food can with a single voltage.
I did not understand your reference to sockets gadgeteer!


SharpDevelop is much lighter than VS, faster installation, small installation file

gadgeteer is dead, I am proposing alternatives to it.

@ marco_lai - I believe only a single voltage is needed to power up any TH board. Where do you see any different?

And I agree display and networking options are needed.

the VisualStudio qualities are undisputed. I did not mention the Arduino IDE. Arduino means the entire platform, not only the ide.
I think that SharpDevelop is perfect as a development environment like visual studio (intellisense, debugging and testing) because it is much lighter, faster to install (the installation does not require internet connection)

Hi Gus
for example, in the G30 and G80 form should I feed with 5Vdc pin V + (pin40) and 3.3VDC 3v3 pin (pin39)
If I connect only the USB port, I can not programming the TH Module, I must provide the external 3.3V

You only need 3.3V. The 5V pin is connected to USB so that is 5V OUT when the USB cable is connected. This is useful if you want to put a regulator that gets its power from USB and then it feeds 3.3V into the system.

Note that for things to be easy, you need a FEZ (freakin’ easy) board. TH boards are meant to be highly customizable, where FEZ boards are made to be very user friendly.

IMO Gadgeteer suffered from a serious case of “not invented here”. ENC28 modules (for example) are widely and cheaply available, but Gadgeteer needed its own version, which was something like 10x more expensive (it’s only >3x more expensive now). Another good example was the original 7" display; it was roughly the same price as a 7" Google Nexus tablet at the time.

Gadgeteer didn’t play nicely with the wider hardware community. Instead of building whole new (and very expensive) versions of commonly-available sensors and modules, maybe we should have concentrated on building adapter and interface boards without any components on them.

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