Netduino + SeeedStudio Grove LCD RGB Backlight

For the last year I have been teaching introductory programing classes using Netduino devices and Seeedstudio sensors which were sponsored by Microsoft New Zealand. The kits are based on a Grove Starter Kit for Arduino/Genuino 101 which contain a Grove LCD RGB Backlight display.

Seeedstudio have published an Arduino driver for the display and it looks like Sirsnork used this as the basis for his Netduino NetMF Port. In class a few people have commented that they have had difficulty getting the driver to work on a Netduino 2 or Netduino Plus 2 device.

I think the two main issues are the lack of termination resistors on the Grove RGB Backlight. Possibly the missing R9 & R10 in the picture below?

SeeedStudioRGBLCDBack

I have found the easiest way to work around this issue is to have another I2C device (In this case it’s a Grove 3 Axis Accelerometer ±16G)

SeeedStudioNetduinoAndRGBLCD

The other is the need to strobe the Serial Data Line (SDA) of the I2C port on later Netduino devices to get it to work

using System;
using System.Threading;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware;
using SecretLabs.NETMF.Hardware.Netduino;

namespace SeeedStudio.Grove.RGBLCD
{
   public class Program
   {
      public static void Main()
      {
         using (OutputPort i2cPort = new OutputPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_SDA, true))
         {
            i2cPort.Write(false);
         }

.....

With the I2C bus terminated and the SDA port strobe I have found the Netduino and display work as expected.