Welcome

The Dallas .NET Micro User Group focuses on the .NET Micro Framework (NETMF) from Microsoft. The group meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month at Improving Enterprises and our meetings are free to attend. Please RSVP according to the monthly meeting announcement to assure plenty of food and drinks for everyone.

Newsletter

What is NETMF?

.NET Micro Framework (NETMF) is an open source platform that expands the power and versatility of .NET to the world of small embedded applications. Desktop programmers can harness their existing .NET knowledge base to bring complex embedded concepts to market on time (and under budget).  Embedded Developers can tap into the massive productivity gains that have been seen on the Desktop.

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User Group News

Other News

Thursday, July 31, 2014 7:11:05 AM
The long-awaited-for NETMF 4.3 release from GHI Electronics is finally here. We did not just switch to 4.3 but we have made some major changes that should simplify the use of GHI NETMF devices, for newcomers and for experts alike. For starters, there is no "premium" and "OSHW" libraries anymore. All libraries are now simply "GHI" libraries. They run across all devices, no matter what features are included

This release is highly recommended for everyone, unless a product is already released and locked with earlier versions. There will be no improvements or bug fixes made on the discontinued NETMF 4.2; however, NETMF 4.2 is still included in this SDK, along with NETMF 4.3. This should make it easier to transition to the new release.

Secondly, the software for Cerb-family devices is no longer open source. This was done to provide for better support and quality on these smaller and lower power devices. Users in need for open source can use the NETMF 4.2 sources or use the STM32 release found in the porting kit.

As a supporter of open source hardware (OSHW), we are keeping the FEZ Hydra open source with a new low price of $24.95! This at-near-cost price is a thank you from GHI to anyone interested in being part of the internal NETMF development efforts.

Documentation, documentation... we know that many of you, and sometimes even us, were lost between NETMF and Gadgeteer, between 4.2 and 4.3, between premium and OSHW! The new NETMF 4.3 is reorganized as explained earlier and we have rewrote the NETMF documentation to be directly related to this new clean release. All needed docs can be found under the NETMF tag, http://www.ghielectronics.com/docs?tags=netmf

Unfortunately, not all features have made it to the current SDK. Features like PPP and USB Host on the Cerb-family will have to be added in upcoming releases. On the bright side, all other features are stable. We would like to say "Thank You" to our great community for helping us in testing the earlier beta releases!

As always, the NETMF support page has everything needed, http://www.ghielectronics.com/support/netmf

Friday, June 27, 2014 5:41:00 PM
It’s been a while since the .NET Micro Framework team has provided an update about the project. Well the team is here and has been busy gathering feedback from the community, thinking about future direction of the project and at the same time starting...(read more)
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 5:10:06 AM
In recent days product prices have been lowered drastically on almost all products as previously announced, http://www.ghielectronics.com/community/forum/topic?id=15888 , and today we are adding more. the G120HDR is down to $39.95 from $49.95 and the Multicolor LEDs are down to $7.95 from $15.95! We hope the new prices will be to everyone's liking.

We know LEDs are just pure fun so we did not stop at lowering the price. We are also offering a one time deal on these chainable multicolor LEDs. We have a 12 LED pack at $24.95 each, that is a whole dozen for only $24.95. Only few kits are made so make sure you grab your pack today.

As for the clearance and discontinued items, we have three kits with discounts of up to 80%! The price of the kit is almost the price of the cables and connector alone! Very few of these are available so do not wait. The kits are listed under the sale category. If you do not see them then they are gone already!

Clearance Kits: http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/sale
Multicolor LEDs: http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/272
G120HDR: http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/431

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:43:20 AM
It is finally here, the 4.3 beta SDK with support for all GHI Electronics' NETMF devices. As explained in previous announcements, all devices now share the same GHI extensions, same libraries and same documentation. Due to memory limitations, the Cerb-family firmware may not have all features, no SQLite for example. We are still squeezing more into the firmware so there is no official list of what is not supported yet. This also means the Cerb-family firmware is no longer open source; however, the porting kit includes the STM32 sources and our 4.2 sources are also available.

As for the FEZ Hydra, it is still open source and now distributed at cost, only $24.95! We are hoping that this open source NETMF board will aid anyone interested in learning to port NETMF. The firmware can be compiled with GCC and the board layout is done in EAGLE. This combination is the complete solution for an open source hardware (OSHW) design. Note that the any extensions FEZ Hydra my have will be using the same GHI libraries from the official SDK, which are not open source. This should not reduce the openness of FEZ Hydra as these are simply C# wrappers around the interops and they can also be easily decompiled using available free tools, like Reflector from Redgate.

Another exciting change is PPP, which has now been added to the SDK. We did not do any testing in this release but we are planning on doing so in the coming days. Please consider it as not functional for now but, if you want to help us in testing, please let us know what you find.

Finally, a separate SDK will be provided for all discontinued products. This will allow us to continue to improve the quality and simplify the main SDK and then freeze the discontinued products into a separate SDK. Of course, the source code for the drivers are still openly available under the Apache 2 license, allowing for commercial and non-commercial use. Documentation regarding the Discontinued Gadgeteer Product SDK can be found here, http://www.ghielectronics.com/docs/299/discontinued-gadgeteer-product-drivers. This link will also be available on the NETMF support page, http://www.ghielectronics.com/support/netmf.

Please post any bug reports on this new thread dedicated for beta 3 issues on our beta forum, https://www.ghielectronics.com/community/forum/topic?id=15983.

As always, your feedback is most appreciated.

NETMF and Gadgeteer Package 2014 R2 Beta-3 : http://www.ghielectronics.com/support/netmf/sdk/16/netmf-and-gadgeteer-package-2014-r2-beta-3

Monday, June 23, 2014 7:02:07 AM
GHI Electronics has been a world leader in hardware-file-system solutions since 2003. Ten years into the future and ALFAT was released in 2013, to be the most powerful and complete offering. Today, we are announcing the release of ALFAT 2. This new major release for ALFAT is 100% backwards compatible with ALFAT 1 making the upgrade an easy choice for current ALFAT customers. ALFAT 1 and ALFAT 2 are identical when it comes to the hardware. Developers can simply upgrade or downgrade any ALFAT chip at any time.

The all new SD-Reader mode
In addition to the numerous small updates and improvements, ALFAT 2 includes an SD-Reader mode. This mode allows ALFAT to present itself as an SD reader, making it ideal for data-logger applications. The product hosting ALFAT 2 will be able to access files on SD cards (and USB sticks) just like before, using UART, SPI or I2C. But once that same host product is connected to a PC, via a standard USB cable, ALFAT becomes a card reader where a user can now access the files through the PC. Please see the block diagram image below for more details.

Road Map
ALFAT 1 will be discontinued and replaced with ALFAT 2, which is 100% backwards compatible. ALFAT 2 will start shipping on July 14th, 2014.

The Evaluation Kit
Available today is the ALFAT Evaluation Kit. This kit is highly recommend to quickly learn ALFAT's command structure, thanks to the included software. The source code of the included software is also available under resources to aid in developing any needed drivers.

ALFAT 2 SoC Processor: http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/512
ALFAT Evaluation Kit: https://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/524
ALFAT OEM Board: https://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/337
ALFAT SDR Board: https://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/523
ALFAT SD Board: https://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/338
ALFAT USB Board: https://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/428

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