Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Gadgeteer Hardware and More...

Christmas came early... I ordered a bunch of kit that arrived yesterday, just in time for the weekend.

Development Boards
FEZ Hydra Basic Kit
FEZ Cerberus Mainboard
ST Development Board (STM32F4Discovery)

Newhaven - LCD Character Display
USB Client SP Module
RS232 Module
OLED Display Module (128x128)
Ethernet ENC28 Module
Extender Module

So far I have tested the OLED, it is much smaller than I expected but it is really a nice little screen. I can see it being very useful for low volume data that needs to be displayed.

The real fun so far was the Newhaven LCD Character display. I am a software guy, so having to solder does not make me feel comfortable. Don't get me wrong, soldering a few header pins on to a board is no issue.

The data sheet for the display refers to jumpers being set to select the communication mode for the display. but when I opened the device there were no jumpers to be found. A quick Bing search and it turns out that what they call jumper are really two pads on the board that need to be shorted. And those pads sit right next to the processor on the display controller.

When I finally decided to bite the bullet and drop a little solder between the pads, my 11 year old daughter came to check-up on what I was doing. She saw the tiny area I was tackling with what seems like a huge soldering iron and promptly offered to help, she suggested I put that the board under a magnifying glass, which I did and the end result I finally wrote a 'Hello World' .NETMF application.


Let me tell you I was quite relieved when it all worked.

Now to start playing with the STM32F4 Discovery board...