I pulled out the PICAXE documentation, fired up the development environment and started to write some code. It didn’t take too long before I worked out that the picaxe was just not up to the job of processing the serial traffic from the Thunderbolt. It might just be my limited experience but I wasn’t prepared to spend any more time on it when I knew there were alternatives available. I jumped onto the web and ordered a Netduino which is an open source electronics platform using the .NET Micro Framework. Featuring a 32-bit microcontroller and a rich development environment it is perfect for me who is very comfortable with the C# programming environment.
It arrived on Friday and I spent the evening playing with it. I have got the device talking to a display which will be the subject of another future post.
The unit has two serial ports built in and a handful of analogue and digital input/outputs. This will now form the base of the project. It has made it a little more expensive than I had originally thought but the extra power available will give me more versatility and allow me to work faster than before. I even have old code written for other projects which will be able to be used here.
The next post is already in draft and will introduce us to the displays available for electronics projects, how to interface etc. I will continue to post various PICAXE items here too as they are still useful for smaller projects (and I still have many of them)