WiFi RS21 Module and Hydra


I’m new to the forum, im just in perhaps purchasing the hydra, just a couple of questions please?

Will this device work with the Fez Hydra out of interest?
Can I power the device with a 9v battery?


No. Please see hydra product page on catalog for full details.

Thanks Gus for the response. Is there a wifi product for the fez?

From hydra product page http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/328
“Ethernet support is available through Ethernet ENC28 Module. WiFi support is available through XBee Module.”

and from the XBee adapter module product page http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/314
“Another important XBee offer is the WiFi option. Some gadgeteer mainboards may not have support for the WiFi RS21 Module GHI offers…”

Hope this help and welcome to the community.

Thanks Gus again. I might hold off on the hydra until a new compatible wifi unit is released then, im not to keen on going down the xbee route. thanks though.

You can also get the ethernet module and use the bridge GHI has for sale: [url]http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/263[/url]

Additionally, SparkFun (an others) sell the Roving Networks WiFly that fits in an Xbee pinout: [url]http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10822[/url] I have one of these and it’s great. The command API is nothing like Xbee, but is straightforward. It’s also cheaper because it does not have a 802.11N radio.

Keep an eye on the Gadgeteer Xbee Driver project a few of us are working on here if you go this route. Eventually we’ll add support for the Xbee WiFi component.

I understand that RS21 Wi-Fi module is currently not supported on Hydra.

Unfortunately, because a proof of concept product I have made based on EMX is running on the edge of EMX capabilities (speed). A xBee WiFi on my Hydra board would not help because of data speed limitation between CPU and xBee module.

I havent gone through the whole porting kit documents yet but was just wondering : When using the porting kit should I be able to create a driver for RS21, or any other piece of hardware, And use it like the current RS21 implementation for EMX. For example if I was able to write some code should I be able to integrate it and use it like WiFi.Enable(…)) and so that it hooks up in the network stack of .NET MF

Just wondering if I should invest time in the porting kit because I am highly interested in using the new RedPine RS-WC-201 module in combination with Fez-Hydra.

Thanks in advance!

I believe this is an assumption. How do you know speed won’t be enough?

Yes of course you can do it. Just to give you an idea. This took GHI about 3 months to get redpine NDAs in place and understand the module and then 6 months to write the drivers… which we are still improving. Note this was done by our networking/wifi expert. So plan on a year of work to add this support yourself :slight_smile:

Thanks Gus for your reply!

The xBee data sheet mentions 1Mbit speed in UART mode. And i indeed assumed that this is the limit and that the device is connected as serial device.

related to the porting kit, I understand its not done in a week or a month :wink:

ok so now i’m totally stumped…I brought the RS21 intending to use it with the Fez Hydra, what options do I have…
Use the .Net Gadgeteer api?
Use an alternative to the RS21?[/ulist]

What is confusing? Isn’t the product page clear?


wifi module

…well, I kind of had the impression that I could use it with the Fez Hydra, obviously I’ve made a mistake, as the documentation clearly states that it only works with the Fez Spider. But I was really hoping to build a gadgeteer based prototype with wifi and gprs…beginning to feel like i’m barking up the wrong tree.

So far i’ve managed to get the board firmware updated, and the LED and light sensor are working absolutely brilliantly. The GHI api for the sensors is superb, as I am a c# .net programmer by trade, but this is my first try at hardware.

What would you suggest?

You surly can use wifi but not that one particle module (yet!)

You can use Ethernet wifi bridge or use xbee wifi pluged into xbee module.

ok so when you say…yet? do you have any timescales in mind. I guess we are talking fez hydra drivers?..could be tricky?

or alternatively can I use this module directly through the microsoft gadgeteer API?

The only way to use it is by writing te needed drivers. Hydra firmware is open so you could add the drivers from redpine.

ok, I’m guessing that would involve doing some work outside the gadgeteer framework, which is probably outside my comfort zone, can the Hydra firmware be comiled in visual studio? If so I’ll certainly have a crack at it. Is this a considerable piece of work or would I be better swapping my Hydra board for a Spider ( I initially thought the specs on the Hydra looked really good, so that why I bought it)

right then, well how difficult can it be to add the drivers?.

To me WIFI capabilities on a gadget are essential. In an ideal world a motherboard with wifi and cellular could be used in all sorts of exciting ways in order to truly make an ‘Internet of things’. Surely we are right on the brink of achieving this?, and it just seems to me that this is a real functionality gap.

At the moment, the Hydra feels a little bit like a Rolls Royce with no seats in!! So I guess it’s a case of getting the firmware and the drivers and sorting it out.

I can only guess you guys have had problems getting this together that u r not able to make public If u have any good advice, gratefully appreciated as I haven’t written any drivers b4

Like suggested on hydra product page, you can use wifi on hydra today. You need xbee wifi module.

is that a better way forward then Gus? I could ask mouser if they will swap my wifi module for an xbee?