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Programming NPIX modules
Hilscher's Raspberry Pi based gateways like the netFIELD Connect feature NPIX extension modules. Are they really something new Hilscher introduced? A deep dive into this question shows ... no they are not and just a 1:1 copy of existing technology.

In short, the NPIX socket exposes Raspberry Pi CPU signals to an internal mPCIe connector from where they are forwarded across to a mounted NPIX module, not more - not less. And exactly these signals are those you find exposed on the 40 pin header of a standard Raspberry Pi the Pi Foundation introduced in year 2014 to the community. The organization calls their modules "HAT" - we call ours "NPIX". So "NPIX is old wine in new bottles".

The HAT market is huge. You can do so many things with so many signals as you can imagine with any HAT for any purpose. Sure the NPIX focus is more on the limited demands of industrial communications but they are as reliable. And the best of it: same signals, same documentations - all HAT programmers documents on the web apply for NPIX modules too.

A good example are GPIOs and using the NPIX of type NIOT-E-NPIX-4DI4DO. The Pi organization documented their programming well here. Others too like this wiki page shows . Yet others focus on programming GPIOs in a Linux shell or this one. You see it is just a matter of search to find the right place. For any programming language you will find help in the community.

Well documented too is programming the serial interface as provided by the NIOT-E-NPIX-RS232 or RS485 modules. Here is what the organization says. Or here how to program them in "C" or "C++"  or in python.

With the simple equation HAT = NPIX in mind you will agree that there is need for Hilscher to document all this again. What we are documenting best are the NPIX modules used signals that you find here in the download section. Community programmers manuals and pinouts is all you need.

One remark in addition: when it comes to NPIX and programming under Docker peripherals like GPIOs or serial ports are not available in a container by default when deployed. You must specifically add a Linux device like "/dev/ttys0" or "/dev/gpio" to a container to use it. For more details about exposing devices read on here.

You never fail until you stop trying.“, Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)


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