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Retired RETIRED

This product has been retired from our catalog and is no longer for sale.

This page is made available for those looking for datasheets and the simply curious. Please refer to the description to see if a replacement part is available.

Replacement: DEV-10749. The FEZ Domino has been discontinued. We recommend the FEZ Panda II as the replacement. This page is for reference only.

Description: Say hello to the FEZ  domino. This is a tiny open source board running Microsoft .NET Micro Framework. This allows you to more efficiently write code using Microsoft’s free Visual C# express and the C# programming language. Build your next projects in minutes by connecting FEZ Domino to one of the shields or the many available components. Many libraries are already included like FAT file system, threading, UART, SPI, I2C, GPIO, PWM, ADC, DAC and many more.

Check out this comparison chart between the FEZ Domino and the FEZ Panda.

 

Features:

  • Based on Microsoft's .NET Micro Framework
  • Runs on 72Mhz NXP ARM processors
  • Pin compatible with Arduino
  • Shield Compatable
  • It's freakin' easy to use!

Documents:

   

Comments 121 comments

  • GHIFEZSupport,
    I’ve watched the Getting Started videos and while having a “real” IDE behind it for autocompletes and debugging I really don’t get the “Freakin' Easy” sales pitch. Compared to working with something like the Arduino, the number of steps involved in turning on a simple onboard LED was astounding. I’m guessing that the “easy” bit comes in when working with more complicated projects but your 3 part video series to blink an LED is a huge turn off. Perhaps you just need to reshoot the video and not over-explain everything. The super slow talking and repetition of everything wasn’t making it easier to figure out, it made it just made excruciating to watch and caused me to be WAY less excited about this product.
    I’d also like to point out that calling people’s work here “hobby toys” really isn’t going to win you many friends in this community.

    • couldn’t agree more!. at first glance the board seems really awesome, but then you realize it’s really dull.
      HUGE ARM processor!… but you only get like 20 pins…
      FREAKING EAZY!!!!111one!!111!1oneoneone1!!!… but not really… i can make a 555 led blinker in my protoboard faster than it took the video to explain how to blink a led. By the way, having to use 99999999x libraries and weird non logical calls/functions TO BLINK A LED is so ridiculous i cant explain.
      also, nice one GHIFEZSupport, next time why don’t you try to be a bit more respectful with your customers/partners.
      Wouldn’t use one of this even if someone gave it to me for free.

    • I think that half the problem with the video was the video itself, I just wanted to pull my hair out. All I kept thinking was, “Get on with it already! Blink the F@&$%ing LED already!"
      Sparkfun… I hope you guys are planning an introductory video/tutorial for this because it does intrigue me.
      I also think that the all the people who put three whole years of work into this should reconsider who they have representing them with public posts.

  • I received mine yesterday from GHI, and although it pains me to say so, this is an extremely powerful development environment. It actually piqued my interest in their more expensive development tools, like ChipworkX.
    I did waste a lot of time getting everything started because (1) the link to Express C# now points to the 2010 version, which is not compatible with this product; and (2) I had to learn how to upgrade the firmware to make it compatible with the GHI framework.
    Once you know which assemblies to reference (the e-book is very helpful in getting started) you can do very powerful things, very gracefully. Once I had the code for blinking an LED running, I was able to read an SD card and a USB Mass Storage device within about 10 minutes.
    Debugging is also very straightforward.
    I’m not sure yet how useful it is at 72MHz (specifically for networking), but I intend to find out.
    It’s definitely not as simple to get started as Arduino– there is a ton of setup– but then again, the power of what you can do with so little code blows Arduino out of the water.

    • The new 4.1 firmware is compatable with VS 2010.
      Not sure about tons of setup. You have upload 4.1 firmware via TeraTerm, but that takes a few seconds. After that, programming and interactive debuging with VS is a dream. I had zero experience with hw, and was doing fairly advanced apps after first day. If your know c# already, it will be as natural as just another console app and hitting Run to deploy. If you don’t know c# or .Net then you will have some ramp up on VS. Some features I really like:
      - Seemless VS support and compiler features like intellisense, compiler query expression support, Extention methods, Help, etc.
      - Integrated emulator for dev if you don’t have a board.
      - Can dev and run programs on your pc as console app then move over logic as needed. Same c# on both.
      - Seemless framework (subset) support. Naturally, full framework not carried over, but broad for device apps.
      - Can use same USB port for both debugging and a virtual comm port.

  • RobertC.: Ok everyone. This board isn’t perfect. Not a single product we sell is perfect. Each has its own application for which it works well. Like it or not, this product has uses and for some people will be perfect. For others, it won’t be. If you know Microsoft .NET, this is exciting! If you don’t, it might not be. Let’s just keep it at that.
    Mr. C.S.Manager, Just like you my company pays me to look at the roof till I figure out how big is the universe, till then I’ll have lots of free time, And because of that you find me here having fun with other people who like me think that this product is CRAP, so just deal with it.

  • As a software engineer that uses C# every day this looks really enticing. A good featured affordable board that runs .Net and has lots of libraries plus there a lots of Arduino shields I can just plug in. For me C# is very productive and I will be getting a Fez for that reason.
    Here’s some good things about C# & .Net for those unfamiliar:
    - Type safety
    - Strings are a first class citizen.
    - C# is the swiss army knife of languages. It combines advanced OO, Functional and Procedural programming in the same language and does it well.
    - Garbage collection == Less code == less bugs. Does not cause latency issues if used right. Successfully used in XNA games for xbox.
    - With .Net4 bug free concurrency and coordination of multithreaded code has been made easy. This is a mega huge plus for any IO bound situation like robotics.
    Shame this thread is a dump on MS at times. C#/.Net is built by very smart engineers like Anders Hejlsberg & Erik Meijer. The’re not evil MBA’s in suits. Just nerds that produce exceptional engineering that is a pleasure to learn.

  • Alright, listen up.
    My FEZ (with included USB cable!) came today. After a little bit for installation (And upgrading the firmware), I had my first program loaded.
    The FEZ is plenty easy. There are a few things that aren’t so easy for Joe Smo (installing drivers), but anyone commenting here about “OMG WORST PRODUCT EVAR” is full of crap. .net works perfectly fine, and the board doesn’t feel slow at all.
    My first program used a USB joystick to control an RGB LED (yaw=red, pitch=green, roll=blue). It really couldn’t have been much easier to code it up and, just like the Arduino, you can deploy the program with a single click.
    I understand there are people here who are going to flame the product “OMG MICRO$haft SUXXXX”, but do yourself a favor and ignore them. I actually own one of these, and I am very happy with it so far.
    Haters gonna hate

  • Finally a real computer on a board complete with mass storage, multiple UART’s, PWM outputs, USB Host, and everything else I always wanted. And I get to program it in my favorite language!!! When will they be in stock again?

      • BeagleBoard is not Freakn'Easy!!!
        There is no way I can get something out of this in months

        • The poster didn’t say they were looking for “freaking easy.” They said they were looking for a single board computer with a ton of features, and beagleboard has all this and more (except that you can’t program it in c#).
          Have you watched the videos for fez? This doesn’t seem as “freaking easy” as they say it is. Maybe if you’ve only done software development before, this is an easy way to make a transition to physical computing. But I can blink an LED in assembly in fewer steps than it takes to do this. Someone else mentioned that it probably would save time on more advanced projects, which I would believe. But if you’re just getting started it’s not any freaking easier than any other development platform.
          I’m not saying it’s a bad product; I’d try it. But I’m also not a Microsoft fanboy either and I’d never go with a solution just because it’s Microsoft - which is what a lot of these Microsoft partners like to tell us to do. They like to say “Oh, it’s Microsoft, so you know it’s the best tool for the job. Not necessarily.

          • Russosv my friend,
            Are you basing you conclusion about this product on only the getting started video? It is pretty unfair, isn’t it?
            Have you taken a look at tinyclr.com website and the tutorials? Even a small kid without any background about electronics or embedded systems can use it.
            I agree with you that blinking LED is not a big deal but did you see how easy you can get other high level features such as accessing files on SD card and how to read the USB mouse or GPS?
            Man you can even make an MP3 player in no time with few lines of code and few hardware plug-ins. ;)
            I respect your thoughts that you are not a Microsoft fan. But as I understood .NET Micro Framework is really open source and you can use the IDE for free too. This is a good point I think.

            • The videos are not covering “how to blink an led”. They are very detailed and sometimes too detailed to make sure everything is covered. Yes they can be boring especially if you do not have hardware and all you want to see is a blinking LED. These are instructional and deep detailed videos that are only useful if you own the hardware.
              It would be more interesting to see other videos that are more fun and less instructional. The video wouldn’t teach much but would show the basic setup.

              • The videos weren’t boring, but they make it look like a lot of work to do something simple like blink an LED. As someone else mentioned, the savings of effort comes in when you’re doing a much more complex project, like making an MP3 player or reading an SD card.
                The issue is that there’s a certain amount of “overhead” preparation that you have to do in any project – linking in libraries, tweaking code – but once that’s done, it’s easy to make the project as simple or as complex as you want. This is pretty common to the .NET environment in general, I think.
                You can’t really compare this and Arduino (it’s like comparing a Ferrari to a Ford Focus: ARM is a much more powerful processor than AVR.) However, the great appeal to Arduino for a beginner is that doing simple things “feels” simple; whereas in a .NET environment, doing something simple sometimes feels like it’s not worth all the effort. In the PC environment, I’ll often find myself using ActivePerl or VBScript to do something simple like text file processing instead of starting a new .NET project.

            • Hi Joe1234,
              Please read my post before you refute my comments. I clearly said “I’m not saying it’s a bad product; I’d try it."
              My conclusion of MS devel tools (not this product specifically) is based on the fact that I use them every day. I program in VB.NET at work, and I’ve used Visual C++ extensively, and I’ve also tried out C#. I am quite familiar with the concept of CLR.
              I am sure that you can get an MP3 player running quite easily, but I’m also sure that you can get an MP3 player running easily on BeagleBoard once you have an operating system like Linux installed on it (incidentally, it’s not that hard to get Linux running on the beagle board).
              I don’t have anything against Microsoft per se, but they have not "played well” with the open source community in the past. Nor do they like to adhere to standards.
              Furthermore, to answer your question, yes I have watched all 3 videos and I’ve visited the TinyCLR web site, as well as some other links, and I’ve also seen some YouTube videos of the projects people have done. It seems very powerful.
              I think this is a very nice board, and it’s not my intention to dissuade anyone from using it. I think if you’re a C# programmer wanting to branch out into embedded development, this is your ticket. It’s my gut instinct, however, that once you experiment with it, that you’re going to want to delve deeper into the electronics and discover how it works.
              That said, if you just want to get a product to market, and you already know C#, maybe you’d use this too.
              Would I personally develop a product based on it? I don’t know for sure, but I’d sure have to investigate licensing issues and versioning support before I decided on it.

      • I forgot to add ‘For under $100’. :)

  • After a few days of having this board, I can say I absolutely LOVE it!!
    It would be nice if Sparkfun removed all the comments made by idiots who have no clue as to what they are talking about. Hardly any of them have any grain of truth to them, and they are only going to scare people away who may contribute to the product.
    Seriously, MS haters -> GTFO

  • I think one of the real values of this board (and .NET MF in general) is that .NET devs now have a bridge to get started in the embedded world using tools they’re already comfortable with.
    The decision to use this board is going to depend on who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. I don’t think the “FEZ vs. Arduino vs. Whatever” arguments are really fair to any of the platforms. Some folks may deem it unacceptable to have a managed code runtime layer living between their code and the hardware, performing garbage collections and such. On the flipside, someone coming from .NET may put greater value on the fact that they’re able to use a familiar IDE and they can accomplish high-level operations with little code and familiar libraries.
    I’m glad to see that the members of this community are willing to give it a shot. Every product released by MSFT has been panned in some form; MF will be no different, but I hope folks are able to look past the fact that the “Evil Empire” was involved in the creation of this, so it has a chance to gain community support.

  • I doubt code efficiency through Microcoft’s .NET Framework. And by experience, i don’t trust anything running under microsoft platform. Sorry.

  • BeagleBoard is not Freakn'Easy!!!
    There is no way I can get something out of this in months

  • Personally I have all these knee-jerk reactions when it comes to something like this: like “embedded products should run native-compiled code rather than interpreters” (I mean, seriously, why would you -not- native compile your code?) - and I tend not to like Microsoft in general - but at the same time, this thing is damn cool.
    I mean, look at Arduino’s stated goals from “getting started” - inexpensive, cross-platform, simple & clear programming environment, and open source everything. This board isn’t as cheap as an Arduino, and I don’t know how the software is licensed - but for “cross-platform” and “simple & clear programming” it seems like a board like this has some real advantages… Especially if you were looking at this from the perspective of someone who is less adept at programming (or tackling a rather ambitious project), and looking at the microcontroller board strictly as a means to an end for a project - from that perspective something like this has a lot going for it.
    Not the board for me, I think - Not really into .NET, never entirely satisfied with the idea of key components of the system being closed-source - but it seems like a great board…

    • I do not 100% agree but over all, an excellent and fair opinion. With every device/system there are pros and cons. Is native code good for every project? no! Is managed good for every project? no!
      Same goes for Arduino vs. FEZ. Each one has its own place where it fits best.

      • Well, I would certainly agree that there are places where you don’t -need- native code and interpreted code is adequate. For those cases I believe a product like this could be a good starting point, because the FEZ is apparently very strong on the merits of its software and built-in peripherals.
        However, it seems to me that a virtual machine on a platform like this has potentially significant disadvantages (reduced speed, mainly), but it’s hard to envision a scenario in which the advantages of the VM would be meaningful. Though, I don’t know. I guess another advantage might be the availability of closed-source, third-party .NET libraries. The VM makes deployment of that sort of thing a lot easier.
        I did like your point about network interface chips, etc. being closed-source. If that thing were deployed as a software-only driver, closed-source, there’d be a lot more opposition to it from the “open source”-oriented culture. But sell it as a hardware item (an IC with proprietary microcode loaded onto it) and it’s suddenly a lot more palatable. Kind of a double-standard in a way…

    • For robots and sensor devices, this is plenty fast enouph. When it comes to speed, the question is not native or interpreted, but does the app perform within the specs needed. If not, then dig into perf. If still need more, they have a native excape hatch with RLP assemblies.

  • The HW is open source but not the BSP or “Glue” To me this is should be all open source.

    • When you buy W5100 TCP/IP chip, do you ask for source code? Not really ;-)
      Still NETMF is open source http://www.netmf.com/WhatIsMicroFramework.aspx
      Keep in mind that NETMF is not an experimental open project like others, this is designed by tens of professional engineers who worked on it for long years and it is used in many professional products, not just hobby toys.

      • For myself, the goal of buying boards like this is to learn how the controller works along with all pieces of firmware. Once something is closed source, then it takes a way from the learning experience. How many people would change the code? not many… but it is another value add to the product.

      • GHIFEZSupport: When you buy W5100 TCP/IP chip, do you ask for source code? Not really ;-)
        Still NETMF is open source http://www.netmf.com/WhatIsMicroFramework.aspx
        Keep in mind that NETMF is not an experimental open project like others, this is designed by tens of professional engineers who worked on it for long years and it is used in many professional products, not just hobby toys.

        This isn’t just a single TCP/IP chip, you’d be basing an entire product design on a framework that can be changed at whim.
        “Open Source” does not equal “experimental”.

        • “… you’d be basing an entire product design on a framework that can be changed at whim."
          Who is going to change it? This is standard .NET with full Microsoft support and, most importantly, with years of work. Making any change, from GHI or Microsoft, will cost thousands of dollars plus months of work. This framework is not going to change anytime soon, trust me ;-)
          "Open Source” does not equal “experimental”.
          Yes if you are talking about Linux and similar large projects. What is “experimental” is the million hobby projects you see online using Arduino. Give it few months to see what people can do with FEZ, that they could never do with Arduino/BS/PICAXE, then you will know what I am talking about.
          I do not want anyone to get me wrong, Arduino is a lot of fun, there is a reason why it is so popular. But, it is extremely limited, not suitable for professional use and no availability of larger devices that use the same platform (devices with large color display and MBs of RAM like EMX/ChipworkX).

          • If you think Microsoft product does not change very much, you are mistaken. I have been developing software using Microsoft product for years and well know the frustration it brings about.
            Take for example of DirectX from Microsoft and OpenGL. DirectX is younger than OpenGL but right now its in Version 12 and many of the version update renders code written in previous version completely unusable. OpenGL is only in their Version 4 but still maintain full compatibility with Version 1. The best part is, each time Microsoft updates its DirectX, it only brings one step closer to OpenGL.
            As for C#, its a descendant of J#, a copycat from Java which brought law suits from Sun Microsystems and changed to C# and Microsoft keeps changing it too. Just go to the wikipedia page for C# for more references.
            In embedded systems, Microsoft is still inexperienced. I won’t be surprised to see frequent updates of its .Net Micro.

            • Thanks clearsky, my point exactly. Working with Microsoft is frustrating. Versions of their products are not always forward compatible, and I have had a lot of frustration with that.

              • P.S. What is “standard .NET”? On my PC system, I have to install a different “.NET” framework for almost every program I have, because such and such requires “.NET framework 3.14.1.59.27”

            • A minor cleanup that doesn’t change your point: OpenGL 4 is not compatible with OpenGL 1. The latest that still is compatible is OpenGL 3.3 Compatibility Profile. The legacy had to be dropped.
              The reason behind DX being in its 12th incarnation is commerce. A dumb customer will not want to pay for a minor version bump, e.g. from 3.2 to 3.3. He’ll want to see the big number go up. And he’ll want to see stuff look different. That’s why there are more major version bumps in the commercial sphere. Another good example is 3ds Max, currently in version 13 - each major version really brings only a puny improvement. Compare with Blender, where each subminor (2.48 -> 2.49) brings a host of new features that would be grounds for a major version bump in a commercial program. Minor version bump (2.4x -> 2.5) is being done for a complete rewrite, something unseen in commercial software.

  • For the comments on the IOs, yes the processor has some free IOs but FEZ Domino is made to be as compatible as possible with Arduino Duemilanove. Also, when you talk about IOs, you are forgetting few important points:
    1. Arduino uses COM1 for deploying but FEZ COM1 is totally free for your use.
    2. The USB host, USB device, SD card are all connected directly to the processor and so using those will not reduce your free IO count. (we use SD in real SD mode which requires 6 pins)
    3. We have added UEXT connector with 8 more IOs.
    With that said, the board is open source so anyone wanting more IOs can take the board and add more IOs to it. See this long post on FEZ forum http://www.tinyclr.com/forum/6/64/
    Now for the comments on C#, FEZ is running a .NET CLR. In theory, FEZ can run any .NET assembly no matter what language you have used, VB, Java or Delphi! Once it is compiled to .net assembly then it can work on FEZ. C# is the one officially supported so far. Also, we will provide an article soon on how to use Visual Basic with FEZ. As for other languages, you never know what people will do in future, especially if someone got MONO working on FEZ.

    • I like the board but would like to make some changes. The forum mentions “take the FEZ Domino board design (we provide it for free) and modify it”.
      Is there a more explicit license ? Apache / Creative Commons / GPL maybe ?

  • Hmm, wonder if you could do anything useful with this using Mono?
    Eh. I’ll stick to Arduino, methinks.

    • What would be the point of using Mono? Nobody would use Mono if .Net was supported on linux. In this case, .Net is supported (and OS) on the hw, so not sure what mono would bring to the party. And vs express is free.

  • There is another one similar to this but cheaper called a netduino. Sparkfun should get it !!!

    • We will be carrying the NetDuino soon.

    • I’ve got 2 netduinos and they are very nice (and a great price at $35). I also have a Domino. The Netduino is a very new device so they are still working out a couple of things but there’s a lot of potential there. The Fez is a pretty mature product.

  • Hopefully this is helpful to someone: my review/getting started guide, and a networking tutorial for FEZ Domino.

  • When I first saw this, I honestly thought it was a joke. Something along the lines of “Arduino, now powered by the Intel Core i7."
    But on second thought, I mean, Visual Basic is a very capable language, and perhaps learning C for doing embedded design can be a daunting task for some people. So if you have the resources and you don’t want to be forced to learn something new, then hey, why not?
    So now for my next embedded project, I’m going to have to decide whether to go with another $4 ATMega chip or a $75 FEZ Domino. I mean, it is a 100% Microsoft workflow… but on the other hand, that’s a of cheezburgers.

  • I’ve investigated the .net kernel and framework some time ago, Ive seen nice demonstrations of what this framework can do, mostly multimedia applications, and basically this is a niche framework for embedded multimedia applications.
    There is Java and other crappy frameworks out there but why buy this board if you can have a picoITX of nanoITX for almost the same price but ten times more features and a full flagged OS running on it?
    And btw, 75Mhz is really slow if you want to try some of the eye catching demos that do video or sound, If you are really interested in this technology I would recommend you to go to saelig.com they have quite a few boards with different features and several IO expansion possibilities.
    But honestly, why but this ? a closed kernel a closed compiler, and the funniest part: SF calls C# a efficient programming language, please… keep it real people.
    I’m not an arduino fun but I do admit that there is an open and productive ecosystem around it and this community is just amazing, this framwork will never compete agains that.
    Ben

  • Ok everyone. This board isn’t perfect. Not a single product we sell is perfect. Each has its own application for which it works well. Like it or not, this product has uses and for some people will be perfect. For others, it won’t be. If you know Microsoft .NET, this is exciting! If you don’t, it might not be. Let’s just keep it at that.

  • Like the previous poster I actually have one (or two). I’m using them to control a 2 axis positioning table and a scientific imaging lighting sytem. I’ve used everything from the Basic STAMP, to PICs, to AVRs and hands down for my needs being able to use a real IDE (Visual studio) is a game changer for me! I can now do all the little projects I have without spending my whole day learning new IDE’s, Debuggers, programmers etc.
    However I agree with others that mimicing the Arduino layout was a bad choice. They need to expose more of the power of the processor, hell you bought it why not make use of it.
    This really is a winner for me!

  • For all the critics, i actually have one.
    after some initial messing around with firmware (i have the usbizi, which is internally the same thing) everything works like a charm.
    (keep a copy of the whole thing! firmware and compiler, this is different from using gcc or such, they have to match.)
    Don’t give me ‘blinking leds is easier with avr’. this is only true if you know what you are doing already. The debugging in C# is perfect, and the lib’s for string manipulation, usb etc etc are also perfect. getting debugging to work for avr with eclipse was a disaster compared to this. so for projects that arent too time critical i like it a lot.
    my only problem is that it uses c#, which i simply don’t know to well. for c i have an excellent side-kick i can rely on.
    so to conclude, i actually bought a stm32 board to be able to develop in ansi C, but i will use this board to get into c# and see how the community develops.
    hope this is of any use for anyone:)

    • I don’t think anyone was saying that blinking an LED using an AVR is easier, it’s just the video showing how to use it was frustratingly slow.
      I think you should be able to you any Visual Studio language to write code for the chip. I think the Fez people said that they would be coming out with a demo soon using Visual Basic.

  • I think this looks like a great board.
    I am also a 20 year vet of Micro$oft development and although MS will come out with a new micro CLR in a year or so (tongue firmly planted in cheek) they have becomes world better at backwards compatibility in their dev tools. (Visual Studio 2010 allows .NET 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 targets)
    That being said, this board will not be all things to all people. I’m looking forward to experimenting with it.
    Thanks FEZ & Sparkfun!
    Brian

  • If we wipe the ARM processor for a while, then decide to go back to .NET development, where do we find the original firmware?
    I’d personally would like to see the source code for everything short of the actual .NET Micro Framework.
    Also, does the microSD card use the SPI low speed access or the high speed SD bus?
    Seriously? You are selling an ARM processor with access to only 20 pins. Add another row of headers along the back edge!

    • I’d personally would like to see the source code for >>everything short of the actual .NET Micro Framework.
      We will not put 3 years of work out for public ;-)
      Also, does the microSD card use the SPI low speed >>access or the high speed SD bus?
      High speed bus
      Seriously? You are selling an ARM processor with >>access to only 20 pins. Add another row of headers >>along the back edge!
      If you see it this way then just do not buy it ;-) I am sorry you see it this way! Read the FAQ, manual and tutorial then you will learn what we are offering. Still can’t see it, then just keep on using what you have now FEZ is not for you.
      FED Domino is just a demonstration of what you can do with USBizi chipset in particular and NETMF in general. You can buy the USBizi chip and expose all 70 IOs if you like. Is all you need is IOs? Your PC doesn’t have IOs but I see it being very useful.
      I hope that one day you will learn what FEZ is about ;-)

      • My pc have lots of I/Os, if yours don’t have any you’re probably sitting in front of a chunk of steel.

  • I wouldn’t want to do embedded work in C#, but crap that is a very featured board for that price. Is it possible to “jail break” to write native code for the ARM processor?

    • Why C# is scaring some people? You would have to try it before you judge it ;-)

      • We use C# for our pc software, and C on msp430’s for most everything else. We’ve done some stuff with gumstix too but we’re a pretty small company so being able to use these boards in place of gumstix is making life a lot easier. Being able to just stick with C on the msp430’s for low power stuff and c# for larger embedded applications and pc software is turning out to be pretty great for us so I appreciate these boards a lot.
        I’ve used just about every arduino and they’re great too but you can’t beat the rapid development these boards open up for people who use C# for their PC applications.

      • Nice board. Any notes on performance ? Like bitbanging IO in a loop ?
        Any idea how the preformance compares to the mbed or jumentum ? I’d like to have an idea how the performance hit of the VM compares to the not so big advantage of C# over C++ and the quite big advantage of not having to deal with jtag debuggers and GDB.

        • Is assembly faster than C? Yes! Is C faster in C++? Yes in embedded space. Is C++ faster than JAVA or C#? Yes it is and much faster! But, FEZ is not entirely C#, internally it is C/C++ and even assembly.
          If your project requires very high speed bit banging then you should use assembly not C nor C#.
          With that said, FEZ is very fast because all internal code is written in C/C++, not C#. What you have on high level are C# wrappers to give you access to the low level services like create files, XML handling, encryption, USB host/device…many more.
          This and most questions are already answered in details on the FEZ website FAQ http://www.tinyclr.com/faq/

      • Very interesting choice of C#. Is this board actually from Microsoft?

  • WOW
    Arduino format, C# code and a real debugger to step through code using the cool and free Visual Studio Express edition.

  • i have to agree…i might actually buy this next month

  • Built-in microSD and USB slots? Standard ADC/DAC libraries?
    Hot dang, this is nice.

  • Hey…
    Does anyone know whether these babies are shipped with 4.2-capable firmware? Since the NETMF 4.2 SDK is out and all…

  • eh, microsoft doesn’t always have my vote, but I have enjoyed their development environments, and with the I/Os on this thing, I can’t really put it down. I’ve had some issues with Arduino libs not being available, so sometimes open source doesn’t always deliver.
    I do love the arduino, but have found some of the hardware features on the FEZ to be very welcome, especially in place of all the shields one could put onto their arduino to get close to full compatibility.
    maybe an openFEZ would make everyone happy? …maybe not, this is the internet after all…

  • ok so would adding a usb wifi adapter work the same as this http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9473 ? just wondering cuse i have a few adapters and i rather use them than buy something thats 25$

  • I used it but now I want to change with Arduino because the support isn’t good than Arduino.
    If you want start a project I suggest to buy an Arduino board

    • It’s true that in terms of community, there’s nothing even close to what you have around the Arduino…
      However, I wouldn’t go that far and using a 32bit processor and especially being able to program it in a high level program/environment like C# has huge advantages (or at least for me, being a professional developer by day…)
      In any case, here are a couple of examples that show how easy it is to hook it up to stuff like the Wii motion plus, etc. …
      http://trandi.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/the-wiimote-and-fez-domino/
      http://trandi.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/fez-domino-net-micro-framework/
      dan

    • Could please explain a bit more about you concern? Probably you did not visit the correct website for support.
      Please visit this page, it has shortcuts to the information that you will need, beginner or advanced user.
      http://tinyclr.com/support
      It includes tutorials, free ebooks, downloads.
      For open source code and projects:
      http://code.tinyclr.com
      and
      http://wiki.tinyclr.com
      If you have any question. please visit our online forum which is monitored by GHI’s engineers and tens of NETMF community members
      http://tinyclr.com/forum/
      Also you can chat with the members:
      http://tinyclr.com/chat/

  • ok im wondering would i b able to hook a xbox controller to this thu the usb host and grab the pulse and make it come out 3 time like 1 press in 3 pulse out like to make a modded xbox controller for xbox?

    • Does this project help answering your question ;)
      http://wiki.tinyclr.com/index.php?title=Xbox_Controller

      • like if could i pass the code thu this to the xbox but multiply the code like say 1 press is 101001 or whatever it uses i havent tried yet and have it come out to the xbox like 101001101001 so i can get 1 press and make it 2 do you think that will work?

      • i think so thank you

  • freakin'easy. maybe freakin'hard is more realistic.
    it was the firt time that i watch a long video for….blink a led?

    • Allan,
      You are correct, the video is probably long. The goal was to provide a very basic start for beginner users that might not know anything about electronics or programming. We will discuss making a more interesting video. Thank you for your note.

  • can you fix the video so that we can look at the pics with out having the video interrupting like its always on top so you can never see the full picture

  • Where can I get the previous version of the firmware?

    • Check with GHI electronics; http://www.tinyclr.com/ , they might have a GitHub for it or something similar

  • Hi GHIFEZSupport,
    I have a problem with deployment
    I have a FEZ domino;I can sometimes deploy a simple Debug.Prin(!text") command but when I try to blink the led on the board, the deployment fails. I have been tryimg for a day or so with no success!
    Could you please help..The firmware matches the release notes etc.

  • Video doesnt work.

  • Are there any open source tools for this device?

  • There will always be supporters and hater for any products on the market today. There will always be pros/cons for any products. After 5 yrs in embedded development and digital/analog circuits design, I have to say Microsoft did a good job on .Net micro framework, it is sooooo easy compare to assembly and C. I have done Motorolla 68XXXX series, 8051 family, PIC, ARM and to get something to work in general require much more coding than MF(micro framework) base chips and anyone with C# skill can do it otherwise you have to take time to learn the chip architecture, the compiler, the library for the controller you want to use. Last but not least, there are certain product you would require real time and some are not, so choose the right tools for the right job.

  • An update to keep this up to date, GHI is releasing an open-source firmware for FEZ. Anyone can now make their own FEZ, even sparkfun ;) GHI gives you everything for free, from software to hardware…
    The announcement: http://www.tinyclr.com/forum/15/909/
    The discussion: http://www.tinyclr.com/forum/1/910/

  • MESSAGE TO SPARKFUN!!! you guys should seriously start tutorials on this thing because of how daunting everybody thinks it is. You could even have one on how you can actually program it in C++ like arduino. It would probably get more people to buy it too once you de-scaryafy it.

  • Okay, why on earth is everyone saying how hard it is to use these? Have you people never used C# or VB.NET? They are EASY to use. In the videos it takes a long time because they are introductory videos. Anyone actually programming for one of these should be able to make the light blink within 30 seconds or so of starting Visual Studio up.
    I see a whole lot of complaining in both directions. People who say it is too complicated… Pick a different project to work on. People who say its too simple and not powerful enough… There are bigger and badder cards out there. USE THEM! I don’t sit around and complain about people who develop new modules for VB.NET because it’s too simple and not powerful enough for my particular needs, I use C++.
    Stop the sparking and spend that time finding the product that you DO need.

    • These are all old comments before the new video and before thousands of FEZ were sold. New technologies always bring hot discussions.
      If anyone is not sure if FEZ is the right option for them then please post something on the FEZ forum. There are hundreds of users that will be happy to explain everything FEZ! http://www.tinyclr.com/forum/

  • got one of these and i like it though i mainly use it for fun simple projects that are pretty much meaningless.
    if your looking for power you shouldnt buy this board because u can get the micro2440 arm9 processor board for $85 which is way more powerful. or u can buy a nintendo DS (no joke) and u get a 66MHz ARM9 + 33MHz ARM7 + 4MB ram + 2D/3D graphics hardware rendering w/ ~0.75MB of VRAM (which you can reuse as RAM if you need it all for gfx) two 256x192 LCDs (one has a touchscreen), WiFi, and microSD card storage all for about $135. there is also a lot of sites that have tutorials on how to hack the DS to run linux and such. of course some of these projects require a more thorough knowledge of code.
    looks to me as if this whole long debate is the standard “assembly or C” argument. for most applications C (or this board) is better since its easier. Of course if you want to build your own satellite (yes you can do this nowadays for about $5000), then this board will not cut it.

    • If you know low level programming then I have a better option for you. Take the FEZ Domino design and make your own board. It is open source. The board will cost you about $30. The GCC ARM compiler is also free so you can program it at no cost. The point of FEZ is bringing embedded systems to users who do not know how to read 900 page processor datasheets and do not know how to find/compile FAT file system or USB stack….and certainly do not know how to compile Linux to fit in their board.

  • could you please give me some idea on when these will be in stock again ? will it be days or weeks away ?
    thanks

    • It looks like only a quarter of the last shipment we ordered was received on the expected arrival date. Contact customerservice@sparkfun.com for the arrival of the remaining FEZ Dominos.

  • There is an RTC, although you need to supply a backup battery. ENET is not exposed. You can use the Arduino Enet shield though.

    • You’ve got to be careful with this one, the ICSP pinouts are not on the Domino board so a little creative re-wiring is in order. Other than that I’ve been VERY impressed with my FEZ Domino board. I’ve got a collection of 10 or so Arduinos and I just can’t see myself using them except for really simple things. The libraries are amazing and so much is already done for you compared to searching out libs for ‘duino

  • Well it doesn’t look like the RTC or ENET are available, but the SD, and extra UARTs are. For automobile based CAN projects I could see using it, and it might be nice to get some “bigger” libraries than what the Arduino folks cook up.

  • At first I had overlooked this board as being too powerful to stick in an Arduino package. Having said that however it looks like this package already comes with all the goodies that I’m normally adding to my arduino projects anyway. Simple things like,
    RTC, Storage (SD), UARTs, ENET and it appears to have some other goodies as well, CAN (how cool would that be), WAY more available memory, and the list goes on. I easily spend this much money making my Arduinos complete on almost every project I do. I’m checking the schematics and documentation now to see what is really available/exposed!

  • I tried to implement kalman filter in me code but apparently micro .net still not support multi-dimensional array !!!! too bad

    • A Co-worker of mine implemented a Kalman filter in the Arduino no problem ;-) It’s for use with a Gyro+Accelerometer Pitch/Roll system. I’ve read all of the comments here, and I’ve coded in C# and .NET and I think I’ll stick with the Arduino. I might have to buy shields for it, but if I wanted an all-in-one dev board I wouldn’t buy the FEZ or the Arduino. Once I figure out what I need, and code it up, I’ll just make a PCB that integrates everything together anyway. I hate when people call the Arduino a “hobby board” or “toy”… it’s a “rapid prototyping development platform”! Recognize that. I watch non-software engineering types run circles around HW and FW engineers all day long, when you put an Arduino in their toolkit.

  • micro .net framework has very poor math functions , which makes this unit handicapped specially in robotics and autonomous application

  • I recieved an e-mail notification at 2:00 pm that there where 34 of these in stock. When I visited sparkfun at 4:00 pm they were all gone! I just don’t think that this thing will ever catch on ;-)

  • Just bought one of these directly for GHI. Does anyone know if it comes with the USB cable?

  • A Microsoft foray into hardware, now I’m scared.
    It will be like ambien for hardware.
    Pop out of sleep mode to do what it wants unknowingly.
    hahaha. j.k It looks like an awesome piece of hardware. I like the arm chip.
    What about coding it in VXWorks?

  • Is the hardware .NET-specific, or is it possible to flash it to work directly with the ARM?

    • The JTAG pins of the ARM processor are not exposed but theoretically, if you connect them then you can erase our firmware and run your code. The important question is why do you want to do that?! We spent 3 years developing the firmware so it will be easy for you to use USB host/USB device/SD/FAT file system/SPI/UART/GPIO/ADC/DAC…you will simply want to remove all this and start from scratch? I would like you to take a look at the free ebook and see how easy and powerful it is to program in C# before you think about deleting our 3 years of work on few seconds ;-)
      Even if you want to it just for fun. Then spend your fun time making some amazing product instead of trying to understand how SD or USB works. This is my opinion

      • -“Even if you want to it just for fun.”-
        i think no one who wants to want to develop serious products would use a impaired devel board.
        -“Then spend your fun time making some amazing product instead of trying to understand how SD or USB works. This is my opinion”-
        true, but the problem is… it’s not really that easy. im sure you wouldn’t have to worry about how usb/sd/… works, but one would probably spend the same or more time trying to understand how does the IDE works, and what libraries to use… and how to make them behave the way you want them to…
        I’m really sorry man I truly feel kind of sad about it, but it seems to me that you spent 3 years developing a devel board that doesn’t appeal to the real needs of newcomers nor professionals.
        my advice is that you stop trying to force on your customers what you think they need, and start listening to what they’ve said they like/dont like/need.

      • I think the options should be left open. From my own experience, I buy Arduino boards but I don’t use their software framework. I simply erase their bootloader and upload my code using a programmer from Atmel.
        The reason for that is the Arduino boards are well constructed with voltage regulator and crystal and sometimes expansion ports in a small, well tested package. However, I would like to access some function of the controller hidden by the their software framework. Besides, Atmel itself has a vast amount of documentation, application notes and sample programs, which makes starting from scratch not that daunting.
        However, Arduino framework still serves as an excellent starting point for me to develop software. I guess for this board, leaving the options open will only increase its popularity.

        • However, Arduino framework still serves as an excellent starting point for me to develop software. I guess for this board, leaving the options open will only increase its popularity.
          Definitely… Arduino sometimes gets a bad rap because it’s relatively simplistic, but IMHO it’s a great thing to have in your toolbox. I used it recently in a pinch to program a non-volatile programmable oscillator via I2C, which prevented me from having to write a ton of uC code just to hard code some settings on the chip.

      • We already have a high performance linux image for ARMs ready with all the programs that we need (UAV), so it would be easier (= cheaper) to just reuse preexisting assets. Only theoretically though, this board doesn’t fit our needs (minipci being one of them). I was just curious :)

  • Nice! I love the idea of using the came tools, even some of the same code, on an embedded device, a desktop PC, a web server and a cluster. I don’t know how useful that is, but it sure sounds cool.
    FYI, nicely designed board. The gerber files can be viewed here:
    http://www.circuitpeople.com/ViewPackage.aspx?id=e83e0baf-7834-4d8e-9686-1d9ada73e7b7&dpi=100

  • This is awesome!
    BricoGeek: Maybe they will release an advanced model similar to the MEGA? That chip has a ton of I/O to play with.
    The expansion port on the back is also a nice plus over the Arduino, as is having 3 COM ports!

    • Absolutly. This board is nice but without all the pins, there is like a Ferrari running only at 10mph… :)
      I will wait until “MEGA” version release.

  • Okey… cool, sd card, tiny, easy and arduino compatible…but where is all other pins of the LPC2388??? Why making this kind of board without all the pins of the micro?
    Anyway, interesting and very powerful board. I’ll try it.

    • I completely agree with you BricoGeek. I almost wanted one until I noticed that it had pins in the Arduino layout


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