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Why isn't Panda II Gadgeteer?


#1

I got the Panda II thinking it was Gadgeteer, I really need to read. but an interesting question is what makes a mainboard Gadgeteer? I hope to read the Gadgeteer Mainboard builder guide PDF from the Gadgeteer codeplex site. but until then hope for some info. can the gadgeteer modules work with Panda II?


#2

Paul, the short answer is that the Panda-II existed long before Gadgeteer even existed. There are many differences between a traditional NETMF board (Panda-II) and a Gadgeteer board. Check out the free eBook under “Downloads & Tutorials” above for all the juicy details. The most obvious difference however is the form factor. The Panda-II is based on the Arduino form factor that uses shields and Gadgeteer moved to a socket form factor that uses modules. Don’t feel too bad. The Panda-II is a great board that you can have a lot of fun with but unless you’re an advanced user I wouldn’t try using Gadgeteer modules with it.

All of the currently available GHI Gadgeteer mainboards can be found here:
http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/category/274/

Welcome to the community!


#3

The Gadgeteer “concept” is about simple plug-and-play modules that go on defined ports and just work. Specifically, when you have a set of sensors/devices you need to rearrange many different times/types for prototypes, Gadgeteer helps you avoid the common pitfalls of connecting to the wrong type of port (as long as you do what the design surface tells you :)).

But fundamentally, things underneath the gadgeteer layer are netmf. That means that with a non-gadgeteer mainboard you could still “figure out” what the gadgeteer socket connections are doing and “wire” it up yourself. Use all the Gadgeteer functions and higher level abstraction that it brings, but not with the hardware aspect of PnP.

As Ian says, if you’re advanced then you should be able to get most modules to work if you wanted, but the experience wouldn’t be great, it’d require you to have jumper wires, sockets, all kinds of things that wouldn’t make it simple. And obviously you would have to figure out the points to wire each part of your system to. It’s possible, and I’m sure we can all assist if needed. But if you want the true PnP of Gadgeteer then you want a real Gadgeteer mainboard.


#4

Now I think of it, wouldn’t it be possible for GHI to create a Panda II shield that exposes Gadgeteer sockets?


#5

I guess anyone could if they chose to. The gotcha would be wrapping USBizi into Gadgeteer, as there currently isn’t a Gadgeteer board using USBizi; I don’t know how much effort that would be?


#6

It seems the Gadgeteer layers requires additional resources on top of the .NETCF. I’m not sure if the USBizi has enough resources to do so…


#7

the usbizi does not have enough resources for gadgeteer. blinking a gadgeteer led takes about 250k of flash, and 54kb of available memory is not very much.

with the Cerberus why would anyone want a usbizi based gadgetee board?


#8

stable firmware?


#9

for what? Panda-II firmware is rock solid.


#10

On what?


#11

So many questions here :slight_smile:


#12

Why do you say that? :wink:


#13

Ok I wasn’t clear…

with the Cerberus why would anyone want a usbizi based gadgetee board?

I meant one would want such a thing because usbizi’s firmware is stable. Although the Cerberus has more potential, it’s still under development and in my opinion it would be plain headache if you just want to develop software.


#14

@ Farsa

You are right. The Cerberus is in its early stages of development. It will be a while before it reaches the stability of the USBzi device. Of course, being open source, the Cerberus firmware will need the contributions of the the community to reach such a level.


#15

why does Gadgeteer take up so much memory?

Just got my Cerberus and man that thing is tiny! it’ll be a lot of fun testing the firmware and driving the quality up, might take a couple months to be usable by the masses but man, once we get the xbee drivers you got a complete usable wireless device for under a hundred bucks that’s easy to program. well worth the wait and effort.


#16

Yep, we all love cerberus and its cousins :slight_smile:


#17

Isn’t the Cerberus a 3 headed beast?


#18

You mean this? http://www.ghielectronics.com/images/catalog/349-2_large.jpg