2 weeks ago I talked about a new port from the newly formed Mountaineer Group. Last week they were back. They announced that they have created a new open source hardware platform on that port which is available for pre-order. The platform actually consists of two board options – with and without onboard Ethernet. The story of how these boards came into being is interesting. The Oberon team has been building high quality embedded solutions and had made a port of the Micro Framework to the STM32F1. Their problem was that they needed an affordable platform to rapidly build out solutions for their own customers. To do this, they partnered with CSA Engineering in what eventually became the Mountaineer Group. The initial intent was not to create a board that is commercially available but maybe because folks who saw their designs encouraged them so strongly, they decided to make that leap. In fact, they have announced along with GHI Electronics that the boards will also be manufactured by GHI and available through GHI’s distribution channels.
The Mountaineer boards are populated with 8 or 9 Gadgeteer sockets. With Extender modules, these sockets can be used to connect to most common types of peripherals beyond what is available in a Gadgeteer model so these are generally applicable prototyping platforms. . The boards take a slightly different approach than other Gadgeteer main boards to date. Other boards currently require that you have a power module connected with power module identified by a RED PCB to make sure you don’t connect too many. The Mountaineer boards have the USB connection right on the board making that a little simpler and that is why the Mountaineer main boards are red.
Both boards are built around the STM23F4 and the recently announced port. They include 8 MBytes of Flash along with the 1Mbytes that is on the processor. They have 192 KBytes of RAM on the processor which is enough to run the TCP/IP stack and an interesting application. They include 2 buttons (one for reset and one for you to use). They also have low power modes supported. The boards (hardware and software are open source.
So, starting from their own need for a high quality, rapid prototyping environment, these companies built a pair of main boards that meet the standards and requirements of their own businesses – what better recommendation can there be?
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Also see the related GHI Electronics announcement at