June VB Guru - Reed Kimble brings us "How to Communicate with a Microcontroller or Other Serial Device in VB.Net"

Congratulations to Reed Kimble, our VB Guru winner for June 2013! To find all the competitors for June (and more information about this monthly contest), see the Wiki article: TechNet Guru Contributions for June 2013.


Reed Kimble's avatar 

About Reed: [Adult Swim] fan, EQII player, and has broad interests in computers, electronics, and programming. Enjoys outdoors in forest, mountain, and/or secluded lake settings. Fascinated by social and spiritual aspects of humanity.


Reed won with this fantastic contribution:

How to Communicate with a Microcontroller or Other Serial Device in VB.Net


Here are our VB winners:


Guru Award  Visual Basic Technical Guru - June 2013  

Gold Award Winner


Reed Kimble How to Communicate with a Microcontroller or Other Serial Device in VB.Net Richard Mueller: "A well written article with great information and a detailed code example. The explanation should allow someone to adapt this for many applications." MR: "Well written and very descriptive." Anthony D. Green: "This article has the most interesting topic but I wish it had a more concrete example like making a robot dance or something. Serial port communication is a common forum question as the writer points out - I'd be great if the user had something in the sample to run against/debug. Another suggestion I'd make is that the author break up the very long code sample into discrete steps with the paragraph describing the code following the code immediately. Right now a reader is confronted with a wall of text and has to try to grok it all at once before proceeding to the prose or scan back and forth to get it." SB: "I like the article - I've seen many issues in the past with serial communication and its always a bit of a vague topic so any article is a positive in my opinion. It would be nice to link this to Micro-framework which added VB support and is another way of working with microcontrollers. Article is well written with good clean examples." Ed Price: "Incredibly in depth with beautifully formatted code!"

Silver Award Winner


Paul Ishak Bitmap.Lockbits De-Mystified .Net Richard Mueller: "This was a difficult decision to rate these Wikis. This is a well researched article with good explanation of the steps required." Mark Rideout: "Great details, though formatting makes it hard to read." Anthony D. Green: "This was well written and well factored for reading. My only complaints are the lack of syntax colorization and the noisy line numbers. The topic is just obscure enough that it would have helped a lot to have a paragraph or two at the beginning to tell me what Lock bits is and why it's interesting rather than just jump into a deep dive. It links to another article which gives the motivation but it would have been great to have that inline." SB: "Rather than an article I felt this was more a series of code snippets. Although very useful I prefer a narrative explaining things. I think that the content is OK but it alludes to the fact of performance improvements but would like maybe a bit more info as to how much more performance improvements can be made using this." Ed Price: "I love how the article has its own banner image! Good code samples. Great job!"

Reed and Paul grab the medals for a second month in a row! Great job, guys!


Here's an excerpt from the article:



With today's low-cost electronics and micro-manufacturing techniques the average electronics hobbyist has access to a plethora of powerful little microcontrollers (MCUs), along with a huge assortment of possible peripherals, and nearly all of these require a RS-232 serial interface to communicate with a PC.  The accessibility and ease-of-use of VB.Net has made it an attractive platform for developing small purpose-driven applications meant to configure or otherwise communicate with these microcontrollers and microcontroller-based devices.  However, as obvious a choice as the SerialPort component is, there are some common pitfalls to its use; and even though these pitfalls are explained in the documentation, a proper implementation of the component can still be elusive for some developers.  This article will attempt to explain the common usage of the SerialPort component and offer a sample "SerialDevice" class which can be used to encapsulate the SerialPort component instance along with the data and logic associated with its usage.



Read the rest here:

How to Communicate with a Microcontroller or Other Serial Device in VB.Net


Thanks to Reed Kimble for your great contribution to the TechNet Guru contest! You can read about all the June winners here: TechNet Guru Award Winners - June 2013


Also, for the August Guru competition, see TechNet Guru Contributions - August 2013 .


Any questions or comments for Reed?


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