Getting started with the Netduino

Being a software guy all my life, I’ve always been curious about the hardware side, but never had the opportunity to explore.  With the recent boom of the Arduino, my interest was piqued.  Then the follow on port of the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework to the Netduino, I was finally our of excuses.

I just got my Netduino Starter pack today and I’ll be honest and say I’m more than a little overwhelmed.  Things seemed simple enough until I tried to read the electrical schematics that accompany most posts.  Thankfully there is a growing community of noobs to help out folks like myself without an electrical engineering background.

For now, my usage is on par to that of a complicated Lego set where I’m just assembling the pieces in the same pattern as the examples I find.  It’s a great place to start and with each assembly I learn more about the components.

Right now, I’m working with the LCD module I picked up.  It’s an Arduino based component, but I read that it was Netduino compatible.  When I received the LCD, it came in a bag with the manufacturer’s name and website; nothing more.  When I checked out the website for connection instructions, the website was offline… indefinitely.  Thanks to the kind and helpful Pete Brown, who published the following post, I was able to get my LCD working relatively trouble free.

A shameless plug and a quick picture for the Facebook/Twitter followers and we’re off to the races.

I’m still not sure what I’m going to pursue as a larger project.  However, I’ve been very intrigued and inspired reading about node.js and Arduino interaction.   Porting Node Serialport to C# seems like a no-brainer and with the onboard ethernet port, I’ve got nearly everything I need.

The last component and the hardest to come by… free time.  More to come!


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