.NET Gadgeteer Designer

The Visual Studio .NET Gadgeteer Designer can graphically assemble the components of a device with an embedded microcontroller.  This example shows the .NET Gadgeteer modules included in the GHI Electronics Fez Spider Starter Kit with the Fez Spider ARM7 processor.

The Designer is a drag-and-drop interface that lets you drag modules from the Visual Studio toolbox to the design surface and efficiently connect the modules and mainboard.  The Designer makes it easy to get the connections right, but .NET Gadgeteer core libraries are designed to avoid problems even if the modules are connected to incompatible sockets.

The following illustration shows the Designer with the toolbox and the GHI Fez Spider mainboard on the design surface in a new Visual Studio project.

.NET Gadgeteer Application Designer and Toolbox

.NET Gadgeteer Application Designer and Toolbox

Drag modules from the toolbox as needed for your device.  To connect the modules, right click on the design surface and select Connect all modules.  The Designer will graphically connect modules as shown in the following illustration.  This example include three modules: a button, a camera, and a display module, which are connected to the Fez Spider mainboard:

Documentation for each module, , including example code, is integrated into the Designer.  Select a module and push the F1 key for documentation on a module.

.NET Gadgeteer Designer with Connected Modules

.NET Gadgeteer Designer with Connected Modules

The modules that appear on the design surface must be manually connected, but no soldering is required.  All connections use connectors and ten pin sockets as shown in the following illustrations.



The Dual Power module connected to the Fez Spider mainboard supplies power to the device during development via the USB port on the development computer.  It is also used to download assemblies to the mainboard.

Connect Mainboard and Dual Power module

Connected Mainboard and Dual Power module

Other components of the device are assembled in similar way using the sockets identified by the Designer. The following illustrations show GHI Electronics camera and button modules.

Camera Module

Camera Module

Button Module

Button Module


The following illustration shows the assembled components of a device with camera and display module.

Connected Modules

Connected Modules

The complete Getting Started Guide with sample code can be downloaded from http://gadgeteer.codeplex.com/SourceControl/changeset/view/13299#

Browse to: $/Main/Kits/GHIElectronics/Gadgeteer/Software/Getting Started Guide .  Download all the files in the Getting Started Guide folder, and then open GettingStarted.htm to view the guide.  If you have purchased the GHI Electronics FEZ Spider Kit for .NET Gadgeteer and installed the SDK libraries, you already have the Getting Started Guide: Start -> GHI Electronics -> GHI .NET Gadgeteer SDK -> FEZ Spider Kit -> Getting Started.

The GHI Electronics Fez Spider .NET Gadgeteer Kit is available at http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/297

The following code runs the camera example.  All the work is done in the ButtonPressed and PictureCaptured event handlers.

using System;
using Microsoft.SPOT;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Presentation;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Presentation.Controls;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Presentation.Media;

using GT = Gadgeteer;
using GTM = Gadgeteer.Modules;
using Gadgeteer.Modules.GHIElectronics;

namespace GadgeteerCamera
    public partial class Program
void ProgramStarted()
            button.ButtonPressed += new Button.ButtonEventHandler(button_ButtonPressed);
            camera.PictureCaptured +=
                           new Camera.PictureCapturedEventHandler(camera_PictureCaptured);
            // Do one-time tasks here
            Debug.Print("Program Started");

        void camera_PictureCaptured(Camera sender, GT.Picture picture)
            display.SimpleGraphics.DisplayImage(picture, 2, 2);

        void button_ButtonPressed(Button sender, Button.ButtonState state)

  1. #1 by tamberg on October 24, 2011 - 6:24 AM

    Thanks for the SDK links. Quite hard to find on GHI’s site.

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