Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

CAN Bus – Quick and Easy on Opal-6

We have customers using CAN for a wide variety of applications.  Vehicle-based devices are the most common, and these range from earth moving machinery, to busses to boats.  It is also used on non-moving industrial devices as an easy and reliable way for parts of a physically distributed system to communicate.

The Opal-6 IoT Development Kit includes CAN PHYs and super-quick push-wire connectors to enable rapid prototyping of applications. 

We have put together a short video showing the key features along with a quick look at a demo application running under Windows Embedded Compact 2013

The WEC 2013 source code is here.

If you are using Linux, the SocketCAN API is a good way to access the CAN bus.

If CAN is a requirement for your next project, or if you think it might be a useful feature to include, drop us a line so we can talk further about getting you up and running.

A new look for our documentation

Technical documentation has come a long way from the days of printed data sheets. Working as a software engineer, I remember seeing data books get thicker year after year while the pages got thinner!

Fortunately PDFs took over and are still the most common way to get documentation today. This is what we have been using for our modules and development kits. Until now.

We have recently moved all our documentation online and are using Confluence to host our pages.

You can access documentation for each product from the “Documentation” tab on the product pages, or at

The biggest reason to move to the online system was updates. We can easily add new content or fix issues without having to publish a new pdf every time.


It is also easier to search for the information you need, and we can include links to information such as schematics and sample code.

As you can see from the image to the left, information is organised by product and by module/development kit. There is also the search box at the top which is a great shortcut to find what you need in a hurry.

This next image shows the Quartz module main page. Most pages have a contents link on the right hand side for quickly skipping to the item you are interested in.


Another key feature about using an online tool is feedback. At the bottom of each page you can leave a comment. This is for anything on your mind – technical questions, something missing in the docs or if you spot a typo.

If you really need a pdf, there is an option under the Tools menu (top right hand side of each page) to export to PDF or Word. This exports the current page only and not the child pages.

If you made it this far, you obviouly have some interest in how documentation is presented!  Let us know what you think by taking the survey below or leaving a comment.

[polldaddy poll=7877900]

Be more productive on the road (or the couch)

While this is not one of our products, it is “micro” and will make you more productive.  It is a new mouse designed for laptops, and comes from Swiftpoint, a startup company based in Christchurch, NZ.  I have had mine for a couple of weeks and I’m really impressed!   The video explains the features better than I can:


And no, I’m not an investor in this company – just a fan of the product!

A bit of a shake up…

We are located very near to the Earthquake that struck Christchurch on Saturday morning local time. No-one was hurt, but things are a bit of a mess. Please excuse us if we take a little longer to get back to your enquiries.

Keeping in touch

2010 was a busy year, and we didn’t always do a great job of keeping everyone up-to-date on the happenings at Device Solutions.  It’s a new year and as good a time as any to change that!  There are a lot of different ways to interact with companies these days, and we want your input on where we should focus our attention.  Vote away…

[polldaddy poll=4329280]

Canterbury Earthquake

This is a quick update to let you know what is happening with regard to this on-going event.

  • We are all OK and so is our office. 
  • The staff and families of our extended network of contractors and suppliers we have been able to contact so far (which is most of them) are also fine.   Power is still out to a lot of the city, so we have not been able to contact everyone yet.
  • We have heard there is damage to our Contract Manufacturers buildings, and will be updated on that next week.  There will be delays for production, but we can’t say much beyond that right now.
  • Couriers are not operating so we are unable to ship orders this week.  Our courier is operating so we can ship orders placed via the web site.
  • We are still attending Embedded World in Germany next week. 

Opening the .NET MF 3.0 kimono

It’s official – the .NET Micro Framework Team Blog has the list of the new features in V3.0 of the .NET Micro Framework.

There will be a public beta later in the “Summer” (or Winter for those of you who live in the same half of the world as I do!). 

We will be working to get as many of these feaures working on Tahoe as we can, and you can help!  Let us know which features are important to you and why!  Leave a comment below, or sign up to beta test new features when they are released. 

.NET Micro Framework v3.0 SDK Beta

Microsoft has just released the first beta of the V3.0 SDK to the Microsoft Connect website.  They are also giving away a very cool univeral remote control that runs the .NET Micro Framework that you could win if you sign up and download the beta!

The key features in this release are:

  • VS2008 support
  • DPWS CodeGen Tools
  • USB Device Support
  • Touchscreen Support
  • Secure Sockets Support

Check out Jan Kucera’s web site for a detailed list of new features and changes to existing features.

We are busy working with the firmware beta, and expect to have a release for the Tahoe board available within 2 weeks.  Subscribe to this blog to keep up-to-date with announcements!