Netduino communication and control of windows application

I’m working on a project this fall with my Netduino 3 Wifi. I want to create a very simple application in Visual Studio 2015 that contain two images, a foreground and a background. The objective it to use the Netduino to move the background image. I’m not extremely proficient in using all features of the device but have done a dozen or so projects with it, and this will be my first time using it to connect or control an application. Can this be done via USB or WIFI? Can anyone point me in the right direction? Any help is very appreciated. Thank you.

There are several ways in which you could approach this:

  • Set the Netduino up as a web server and have the Windows application poll the Netduino on a regular basis. There are a few web servers out there but I the Neonmika web server is probably the best I’ve seen.
  • Program the Netduino as a HID device. I’ve never done this and I know a few people have had problems with getting this working.
  • Use a USB to TTL serial adapter (commonly known as FTDI cables although other chips are available) and use serial comms between the two devices.
  • Use serial over Bluetooth.

Hop this gives you some options.


Nevyn had great suggestions but I would also consider AMQP as I think it would be simpler on both the client and the Netduino (there are NuGet packages for both) and the protocol is very light in general.

There’s also MQTT as well.


Defintely. Light weight and easy to use with a service bus or queueing solution. Like anything, there are lots of differing opinions on what to use:

Thanks for all the replies. I am purchasing the needed FTDI cable (USB to TTL serial adapter) now and will begin testing this week. I’m sure i was will have more question about this in the coming days.

One quick question in fact. Once the cable is plugged into the computer does it automatically detect it as a COM port that needs to be configured with a baud rate, or are there additional drivers that will be needed to get it to work properly before i even get to the communication portion with the software?

It depends upon the version of Windows and the cable you have purchased. There are two main chipsets that seem to be out there at the moment:

  • FTDI
  • CP2102

The drivers are freely available from the manufacturers web sites. Once they are installed the cable should appear as a COM port when it is plugged into the computer.

The baud rate is normally configured by the application that is talking to the cable.