Wilderness Labs Launches the Open, Feature-Packed Project Lab Board for Its Meadow F7v2 .NET Feather

Arriving with a pre-soldered Meadow F7v2 securely in place, the Project Lab aims to make prototyping and experimentation with .NET a cinch.

Gareth Halfacree
4 days agoHW101

Wilderness Labs has announced a new open source carrier board for its Meadow F7v2 Feather .NET development board, packing in a wealth of sensors to help people get started with their projects as quickly as possible — while throwing in mikroBUS sockets and Grove, STEMMA QT, and Qwiic connectors in case you need more.

"Our mission is deceptively simple: To make hardware development as fast and easy as web or mobile development," Wilderness Labs' Jorge Ramirez explains of the company's driving aim. "And to that end, we’ve spent five years solving incredibly difficult challenges to democratize hardware development for all."

Last year the company released the Meadow F7v2, an updated version of the original Meadow F7 Feather-format board it release on Kickstarter four years ago as a means of encouraging .NET developers to dip their toes into embedded programming and physical computing projects. Earlier this year it released the Core-Compute Module, a system-on-module (SOM) variant of the Meadow F7 — but its new Project Lab eschews the SOM in favour of acting as a carrier board for the full-size F7.

In addition to the Meadow F7v2, pre-soldered onto the board, the Project Lab includes a BMI270 inertial measurement unit (IMU) with gesture recognition capabilities, a BME688 environmental sensor with temperature, pressure, humidity, and air quality index (AQI) sensing. a BH1750 light sensor with 16-bit resolution, a compact speaker, and a 1.54" 240×240 LCD screen with four-way directional buttons for navigation.

If the on-board hardware isn't enough, Wilderness Labs has built the Project Lab to be expandable: Three general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins are brought out to screw terminals with power available right next door, there's an RS-485 driver also connected to a set of screw terminals, and three Grove connectors — one analog, one digital/UART, one I2C, with the latter serving to offer STEMMA QT and Qwiic compatibility too. If that still isn't enough, the board includes two mikroBUS connectors — compatible with the 1,300-models-and-counting mikroBUS Click add-on board ecosystem.

In addition to using the board directly for both prototyping and education, Wilderness Labs is hoping to see the Project Lab serve as a jumping-off point for other Meadow F7-powered projects. To encourage this, the company has released the board design under the permissive MIT license on the Open Source Hardware Lab, with sample projects available on the project's GitHub repository under the permissive Apache 2.0 license.

Those looking to just pick up the Project Lab and get started, meanwhile, can order the board for $250 — including pre-soldered Meadow F7v2 — on the Wilderness Labs store, with a ten per cent discount for orders of two or 20 per cent for orders of three or more.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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