b4.0.1

This release focuses on stability and ease of use, and it comes with a couple of major improvements:

  • Expanded set of Meadow Base Class Libraries! Meadow is now shipping with a complete set of BCLs. This means you can now access libraries such as System.Numerics, System.Transactions and System.Json. This not only greatly extends the .NET API surface available to Meadow, but it also means that 3rd library compatibility is drastically improved now that Meadow includes many common dependency libraries.
  • Nugets are easier to consume. When you add a Nuget package to your project, the Meadow Visual Studio extension will now automatically resolve and include any necessary base class library (BCL) dlls. So for instance, when you add System.Text.Json, the extension will pull in the required dlls that it needs from our Meadow.Assemblies Nuget package and make sure they get deployed to the board. No more “Can’t find [x].dll” messages.
  • Deployment is much more reliable. We also did a bunch of work on the extensions to better integrate with the Meadow.CLI. Deployment is now not only more reliable, but we’ve reduced the random disconnects that were happening after an app was deployed, and VS was listening for application output.
  • Flashing from VS for Windows works again. We were also able to fix the bug that we had in Visual Studio for Windows that prevented Meadow.OS from being flashed correctly. A number of customers were seeing an “unspecified network error,” after upgrading to b4.0, so we had to disable the automatic Meadow.OS upload and required manual flashing to upgrade. No more! Now you can easily upgrade Meadow.OS from Visual Studio again. Note that Mac users still have to flash manually, as that feature isn’t currently possible in VS4Mac.

Meadow.Foundation

This release also includes a couple of new drivers:

  • Analog.WaterLevel is driver that represents common analog water level sensors to detect both the presense and depth of water.

  • Audio.Mp3.Yx5300 is an MP3 player controlled over serial. It’s now possible to add sound effects or music to your Meadow project.

Updating

This release only requires IDE extension and Meadow nuget updates.

b4.0

W000t, b4.0 is here! This is a major release with a pile of new features and improvements, including our first cut of WiFi networking support as well as file system support! All in, this release includes:

  • Basic WiFi Networking
  • Basic File System
  • Serial Port Fixes
  • CLI/USB deployment overhaul
  • Garbage Collector Improvements

Updating

This release requires an OS update as well as IDE extension updates. We recommend updating on a Windows machine in Visual Studio if you have access to one, but the manual steps for macOS and Linux are provided as well.

Windows instructions

Note: Due to a bug in the VS for Windows IDE Extension, you must update manually in order to get WiFi networking working.

Post-build

A bug in msbuild is causing System.Net.Http.dll to not copy to the Output Directory. A temporary workaround is to add a post-build step to the project by adding the following to your csproj file within the Project node:

<Project Sdk="Meadow.Sdk/1.1.0">
    ...
    <Target Name="PostBuild" AfterTargets="PostBuildEvent">
      <Exec Command="copy C:\Users\[YOUR_FOLDER]\.nuget\packages\wildernesslabs.meadow.assemblies\0.3.2\lib\net472\System.Net.Http.dll  $(OutDir)" />
    </Target>
</Project>

Manual Update Instructions

First, go to the Downloads page and download the Beta 4.0 Meadow.OS binaries, the Beta 4.0 CLI, and the Meadow network binaries.

Unzip everything to a common folder, the instructions below assume the OS and network binaries are in the same folder and the CLI is in a Meadow.CLI subfolder relative to the OS binaries.

Open a terminal window and execute the following steps. Please note that if you don’t have DFU-Util installed, you can find instructions on how to install it here.

  1. Connect Meadow in normal mode
  2. Disable mono (may need to run twice if you get an exception the first time). mono ./Meadow.CLI/Meadow.CLI.exe -s /dev/tty.usbmodem01 --MonoDisable
  3. Erase flash:
    mono ./Meadow.CLI/Meadow.CLI.exe --EraseFlash --KeepAlive
    This will take a few minutes. After it says “Bulk erase completed,” hit space to exit.
  4. Connect Meadow in bootloader mode (hold down the BOOT button)
  5. Copy the new Meadow.OS.bin using dfu-util:
    dfu-util -a 0 -S [serial] -D Meadow.OS.bin -s 0x08000000
  6. Reset F7
  7. Disable mono (may need to run twice if you get an exception the first time). mono ./Meadow.CLI/Meadow.CLI.exe -s /dev/tty.usbmodem01 --MonoDisable
  8. Upload new Mono Runtime
    mono ./Meadow.CLI/Meadow.CLI.exe --WriteFile -f Meadow.OS.Runtime.bin --KeepAlive
    After “Download success,” hit space again.
  9. Move the runtime into it’s special home on the 2MB partition
    mono ./Meadow.CLI/Meadow.CLI.exe --MonoFlash --KeepAlive
    After “Mono runtime successfully flashed,” hit space to exit.
  10. Upload the ESP32 bootloader:
    mono ./Meadow.CLI/Meadow.CLI.exe --Esp32WriteFile -f bootloader.bin --McuDestAddr 0x1000
  11. Upload the ESP32 partition table:
    mono ./Meadow.CLI/Meadow.CLI.exe --Esp32WriteFile -f partition-table.bin --McuDestAddr 0x8000
  12. Upload the ESP32 Meadow Comms application:
    mono ./Meadow.CLI/Meadow.CLI.exe --Esp32WriteFile -f MeadowComms.bin --McuDestAddr 0x10000
  13. Reset F7

Meadow.OS Improvements

Networking

Basic WiFi networking is up! Check out our Networking guide for more information!

Networking Known Issues

  • SSL not supported - Currently, only unencrypted traffic is supported via HTTP. We’re working on TLS support.
  • HttpServer not available - HttpClient has been tested and is fully supported, but we’re still working on HttpServer support.
  • Network scans require a network connection - Due to a limitation in the API, you must first connect to a WiFi network before attempting a scan.
  • HttpClient memory leak - Each HttpClient.Request incurs a ~5k memory leak on the ESP32 coprocessor, so after a number of requests it will no longer be functional. If requests become unresponsive, a call to Device.InitWiFiAdapter() will reset the ESP32 coprocessor and get things running again.

File System

You can now use the System.IO file system calls to do basic file system operations such as create, open, and delete files on the onboard flash device. For more infomation, see the File System guide.

Known Issues

  • Non-persistent during deployment - Currently, during IDE deployment, all non app-related files are purged from flash. In a near future release, all files within a special app folder will be excluded from file purging. In the meantime, if you need to persist files between app deployment, you can use Meadow.CLI to manually deploy a new app.

Garbage Collector Improvements

Our Garbage Collector work is almost done now; the Mono GC works in most use cases and has been tuned for the Meadow device. We still have an outstanding deadlock to solve, but generally apps should stay alive for hours, days, or weeks, depending on memory allocation.

Other Known Issues

Due to a configuration issue with UARTs that we’re investigating, D02 and D05 are pulled HIGH on Meadow.OS startup. All other pins are pulled LOW.

Bug Fixes

Meadow.CLI & Deployment Improvements

We did a big rearchitecture of our host comms layer on the Meadow, which is the part of the Meadow.OS stack that handles USB deployment and other CLI tasks. We refactored host comms out of the process that runs Mono and hosts Meadow applications. We also changed how Meadow applications are launched so that the Mono Virtual Machine is in its own isolated process.

The upshot of this is that deployment should be more reliable and a crashing Meadow app shouldn’t tear down the host communications.

Meadow.Foundation

Meadow.Foundation has new peripheral drivers to play with, including:

Minor update on SG90 Servos

We adjusted the frequency for the SG90 micro servos that comes in the hack kit, so when using the NamedServoConfigs.SG90 enum, you will see the servos wont twitch when using Rotate To(int degrees) and have full 180 degree range;

Updates on Graphics Library

We also added and improved several APIs in the Graphics Library including the ability to draw quadrants and rounded rectangles.

CharacterDisplay now supports I2C

If you have an LCD character display comes with an I2C backpack, you can now instantiate a CharacterDisplay object passing an II2cBus, reducing eight Digital IO pins to just two for I2C.

 


These docs are open source. If you find an issue, please file a bug, or send us a pull request. And if you want to contribute, we'd love that too!