Quail board: A new addition to the NETMF family

 I just got word that the Quail board from the MikroBus.NET team is now shipping. This is a new development board built around the popular STM32 that supports the ‘click’ modules that use MikroBUS connections. MikroBUS is a connector definition created by MikroElektronika that covers ‘most of today’s accessory boards’ and provides simple integration with a standard socket. 

The Quail board is made up of the STM32, 8MB Flash, RTC, 4 ‘click’ module sockets, 24 screw terminals (GPIO, SPI, I2C,..), and several USB ports including one for USB sticks. The purpose of the Quail board lines up perfectly with NETMF as they say themselves – “The core idea behind Quail was to empower embedded developers with the same modern tools and technologies used by those who develop desktop applications. On the flip-side, Quail also allows desktop .NET programmers to delve into the world of hardware development, with ease.”

The Quail board is can be purchased at http://www.mikroe.com/quail/ for $49 and they ship worldwide. MikroBUS.NET offers board customization services to fit your needs. Now this is a really impressive set of modules – on rough count over 100. You can peruse them at http://www.mikroe.com/click/ . There are all of your old favorites plus many that you may not have seen. Have you needed to measure Hall effects?   They have several that do that. Ever wanted to interface with fiber optics? They have that covered. How about integrating speech recognition? And the ThunderClick module that "detects the presence and proximity of potentially hazardous lightning activity in the vicinity and provides estimated distance to the center of the storm." I really enjoyed going through the list and thinking about the projects that I still have to do. Fortunately, I will have to try out this board as soon as I can get an order in so keep an eye out and I will share my experience as soon as I’m done. IOh, and if you are worried that you wont be able to use up all the fun modules you find with the four connectors on the quail board, as long as you pay attention to the documentation on the pins used by each module, you can stack them. https://youtu.be/HB5EHtOLjp0

Here is what the MikroBus.NET team wants you to know about themselves:

  • All our drivers and core assembly are open-source and pure NETMF
  • We provide free support on our forum
  • We have some very nice software features like Virtual Sockets and the Storage class
  • We are starting to add drivers for Gadgeteer modules sold by GHI, thanks to our G-Adapters (by the way, 2 or 3 more drivers will be added this week)
  • We can design custom NETMF boards if needed