Netduino Mini “Enigma” board

I finally got a chance to solder the rest of what I am calling my “Enigma” board. It is basically a Netduino mini with USB for both power and debugging, and Xbee for communication. I made it as the receiver for my headtracking camera data but paid special attention to make it flexible enough to use on many other projects.

Here it is plugged into an enercell battery pack for power:

I wanted to make sure I paid a lot of attention to the design so I could do it on a single board (perf board from radio shack) with only one side as pcb traces (done in careful solder) and no other wires. It is bascially the same size as the netduinos but it has xbee. It could also do wifi since they make Xbee wifi modules that use the same form factor. The other components on the board are the Xbee, a MAX232 (for translating the rs232 to TTL for the Xbee), a UB232R USB fdti chip for doing USB power and debugging, and a LM1117 3.3v regulator for the Xbee power.

Here is the bottom of the board so you can see how I got away with no wires on the top:

It may seem like a lot of work, but the truth is the design part is now done so I can easily make more. I think I will do an eagle file and make some easy PCB’s next and see if anyone likes them. That is right after I finish the headtracking bit, ah so much left to do… 🙂

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Ive been reading the Getting Started with the Internet of Things as I learned to use the Netduinos. They are really great, the minis are super small and the Netduino Plus has the Cat-5 Jack, so it has simple web interaction basically built in.  I say “simple” because if you understand some of what HTTP is, and think about this as a micro device, this becomes powerful.

This is what the device looks like:


Right now I have the Netduino set to send an HTTP PUT to my Pachube.com feed.  Pachube is a simple service setup for microcontrollers. Its a great free service (as long as your posts dont happen faster than their reasonable 12 second limit) as well having a decent API, it can even post to Twitter. I set up the feed in basically 1 minute, and it only has 2 parts: humidity and the temperature.

You can see the feed in full here:  Pachube.com Feed 50487

The graph here (also show at the top) is the actual graphing of the humidity detected by the sensor and reported to pachube over the last hour (every 20 seconds):


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IRCam Headtracking with the FEZ Mini and Xbee demo (WinForm visualization)

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Gainspan Wifi breakout board for my humidor

Got the gainspan wifi breakout the other day. I am planning on using a simple serial connection with it to post my humidor data to a webservice (maybe pachube.com for now). had some initial issues with the serial communication but that started with me having the wrong docs and attempting to issue commends for a different device 🙂

Now it seems to be making sense and I am able to see external Wifi routers in my neighborhood. I can see why google used them for approximate positioning, since they all have a unique value associated.  Havent quite connected to one yet, but I just havent gotten that far. Want to make sure that I have a clear understanding of how this thing works before I move into uncharted territory.

The Saleae Logic Analyzer has been critical here. It allows me to see the serial data down to the byte level and can even interpret the data, so I know what these devices are actually saying.  Its almost like a 2-way debug, but at a much deeper level.

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got my saleae logic analyzer today

And I must say its pretty awesome, seems unthinkable how fast these things work. The logic me to see the data, capture and measured

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Projects

Welcome to my FEZ Domino Project blog.  I will be regularly posting updates to the FEZ projects I will be working on.  Right now I am concentrating on the Compass module to give my final FEZ Pathfinder a sense of direction.  Look here for more information and code examples:

FEZ Compass

FEZ Battery

Also My Kinect SDK Projects:
Minority Report Image Viewer

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