What is it that attracts you to Gadgeteer?

@ Pete - I’m not so familiar with snapdragon stuff, so what board are you refering to, if known of course.

See that first link in my previous post.


@ Pete Brown - Oops, sometimes reading a post can help … :-[

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@ Pete

Just spotted this. For me I used some C++ solutions which mimicked a mobile phone mainly due to trying to learn new things. Then I saw a video regarding .net gadgeteer on Channel 9 which made me jump at using .net to do similar things, and eventually VB.net. It was a spider kit which I initially started to use and it grew from there.

I’m mainly a casual/hobbyist wanting to learn new things.

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@ Pete Brown

I think Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi 2 is a game changer for NETMF. Or equation changer?

NETMF was/is a way I could easily use .NET and Visual Studio for my projects. With Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi 2, I see limited future personal needs for NETMF, except for projects that require something “smaller” than the Pi. For example, lower power requirements. I am assuming that there will be a version of .NET for the Pi which is closer to full .NET than NETMF.

Running Mono on the Raspberry Pi gave me a sense of what could/will be with Windows 10. It was exciting!

To me, the best part of Gadgeteer is the sockets. The additional level of abstraction provided by Gadgeteer software, to me, often confuse things. I have to constantly go to the source to figure out what is happening behind the scenes. I would be happy with a thinner abstraction which just provided access to socket/pin functionality.

For me, it is hard to compare one to another.

Features of G400:
GPIO - 88
PWM - 4
Analog In - 12
UART - 6
SPI - 2
CAN - 2

Features of G120:
GPIO - 72
PWM - 12
Analog In - 8
UART - 5
SPI - 3
CAN - 2
Analog Out - 1

Yes, you can use extender ICs, but that is not the same.

I’d be surprised if an I/O expander accessed via native drivers was much slower than accessing pins via interpreted NETMF.

Yep. This is the typical Microcontroller vs. Microprocessor thing. Microcontrollers almost always have more (and faster) GPIO/PWM/etc.

But with boards built like traditional computers/phones, you tend to get much better networking, display, touch, bluetooth, file system, and similar support.

This is why many developers these days are using a big brain/little brain approach. That’s pretty much how PCs are built in any case. Support processors handle a lot of the hard-core IO.


Agree. A good example is $70 Windows phone: https://www.ghielectronics.com/community/forum/topic?id=18739

You are talking about finished products here, I guess. As it says “Gadgeteer is a rapid prototyping platform”. I believe you won’t see Gadgeteer being used in the finished product, instead there will be pure NETMF. I think we need to focus on the word “prototyping” here.

[quote=“Pete Brown”]I’m curious how many here have heard about what we’re doing to put Windows 10 on tiny devices (Raspberry Pi 2, MinnowBoard Max, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410). I know that doesn’t have Gadgeteer sockets or a designer, but it does support the languages you want. Of course, nothing is available to the public just yet.


For you, does that change the equation at all? (Note that I’m not talking about walking away from NETMF or Gadgeteer here at all, so please don’t assume that.)


Potentially. I’m not a commercial (barely a hobby) hardware/solution engineer. So pure embedded vs. SoC OS isn’t a big concern to me.

I really enjoy using embedded systems to build devices - I get a real sense of accomplishment – if/when it works ;). I don’t want to delve too deeply into hw design, which is why I like Gadgeteer.

For me, the Pi hats are an extension to the shield style, so that doesn’t appeal to me so much. But I do like that the networking is abstracted away (in that the OS is handling it). So it would depend how much an GHat (a.s.s.) for Gadgeteer would add to the overall cost.

Also, it would depends on if the project needs pins that a Pi doesn’t natively have and how much it would cost/effort take to add them via modules/ICs/etc.

MinnowMax is interesting, but for me, I couldn’t justify the additional cost over Pi if I am not going NETMF. Will need to see what the 410 offers and how much it costs.

@ mhectorgato - In case you didn’t know … just ran into this …

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Thanks … no word of cost. Looking it over, I wouldn’t be surprised it was > $200 USD.

The 8xx based boards are $450+ (http://shop.intrinsyc.com/collections/snapdragon-1)

While 410 is appealing, if the price is going to that high, it’s hard for me to justify that over the Pi.

edit – maybe I’m off on the $200 cost → http://www.inforcelive.com/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=ifc6410&product_id=53

Wonder devices like this will eventually support Win10?

@ Pete any word on this? Understood that initial support will be for 3 you mentioned. Any longer term plans that can be shared?

If I could use VS and C# on a Raspberry Pi using a commercial quality solution then that would be a highly attractive alternative. If I need some bit banging or low level hardware manipulation I’d likely hang a small Arduino clone off the I2C, keep the allocated functionality simple and low level and then let it do its thing.

I suspect (but have no knowledge to back this up or qualify it in any way) that the Snapdragon 410’s are Quallcomm’s foray into cheap devices and while may not meet the price point of the Pi, with the same Windows 10 story already announced for this they have to be hoping to target the same market/s and therefore won’t be too far off the money.

Not sure on price. Folks generally talk about the MBM as being the “maker pro” board due to price. I haven’t heard the Snapdragon board talked about in the same way.

The dragonboard is essentially the guts of an inexpensive phone.

Other boards: too early to say at this point.


For me it’s the ability to leverage existing investment in personnel training, infrastructure and project management from enterprise development activities to embedded development activities.

Thank you everyone for taking time to share your reasons here.

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