This is a very long-term project, and one that I’ve been wanting to start for a few years. I purchased the Ultimate Microcontroller Kit with a Netduino microcontroller from Make (p/n MSUMP2). That part number is no longer available, however the kit and controller can be purchased for about the same price. The kit is here and the controller here. I highly recommend the kit, it has everything needed to experiment with: LEDs, servos, motors, LCD panel and the MakerShield (assembly required)
I decided on the Netduino instead of the Arduino mainly because I’m in IT and felt that learning a MS product is going to be useful in my career as well.
Having some electronics in my background, I’m comfortable with the hardware aspect. Well, at least I don’t feel overwhelmed with it. The software/programming side is a different story. Luckily there are quite a few resources to get started with. First and foremost is the excellent starter info from Make. Once the software is installed and configured, then code can be written and pushed to the controller. It’s really that simple. If you know how to code. Which I don’t.
Since C# is a Microsoft product, there is very good support. On the MSDN site, I located a series of instructional videos geared to the beginner that does not have any programming experience. At the time of this writing, I’ve completed seven videos. They are quite good and so far I’m understanding the concepts presented.
Over the next weeks and months, I will be updating with progress and intend to share all that I’ve learned: schematics, code and other informational sources.