Amateur radio, programming, electronics and other musings

Announcing Trimble Thunderbolt Monitor 1.0 (Netduino)

This post is to introduce my new open source Trimble Thunderbolt Monitor v1.0. It is based on the Netduino hardware platform. It displays the status of the Thunderbolt on a 4×20 LCD screen. It is purely the first iteration of the code and I have a number of extra features to add in point releases.

There are 4 main screens and these currently rotate 1-4 every 10 seconds. There are a couple of finishing touches which need to be made (perhaps tomorrow) – these are rotating between the active alarms when on the alarm page and investigating why Lat/Long/Locator is not showing once a GPS lock is made.

Planned improvements are as follows:

  • v1.1 – Big Time – Perfect for the shack, a large UTC clock filling the 4×20 display.
  • v1.2 – Hardware buttons to issue fixed commands (a la Trimble Commander)
  • v1.3 – NTP Server (requires Netduino Plus)
  • v1.4 – Web Server – Allow basic remote monitoring / commands via browser (requires Netduino Plus)

I was going to add serial over IP support but struggle to see when I would need it. I’ll see what interest I get in the feature.

I have a couple of Netduinos, the original and the new Plus 2. I will produce two solutions, one with network support and the other without.

The project is built on SDK v4.2.2 so ensure your Netduino is running this firmware revision.

I plan to produce a PCB shield which contains all the hardware required to simplify the wiring. EG: MAX232, button inputs, led outputs for power, alarms and activity, alarm relays for external triggers, and LCD header pins. Let me know if this is something you are interested in (so I can prioritise.)

Some code was borrowed from a monitor application written by N7HQ back in 2009.

Pretty happy with v1.0 although some text to tidy up and a little more testing required.

I hope you like the project. Feel free to tweet or mail me with comments or suggestions.

PS: Thanks to VK4GHZ for inspiring me with his monitor project.

UPDATE: fixed the lat/long issue seen in the video.