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ATTENTION: We now support TinyCLR and as such the cheap GHI Fez which only costs $10

If you are reading this for the first time and have not purchased a microcontroller yet, I suggest you use TinyCLR and the GHI Fez as the other boards are becomming more expensive and use the older NETMF. Many suppliers have this board and an example supplier is Mouser. This will be the easiest way for you to run this project although the documentation I provide has yet to be updated so you will need to check out the "getting started" guide on how to setup the environment for flashing the board.

If you don't know how to use GitHub and just want to download the latest development code, visit You can always redownload the latest version with this link. If you want an official releases, click the releases link.

Thunderbolt Monitor is a stand-alone microprocessor-controlled LCD specifically for the Trimble Thunderbolt disciplined clock, providing a comprehensive indication of the Thunderbolt's status, modes, and alarm conditions written in C# (NETMF).

Data packets appearing on Thunderbolt's serial port are in Trimble Standard Interface Protocol (TSIP), not NMEA sentences, so this display will not work with NMEA GPS units, such as Trimble's Jupiter or any other GPS.

Ideal for amateur radio applications, Thunderbolt Display shows Time Of Day (UTC) to assist with logging contacts, and also calculates Maidenhead Grid Locator Square from the current latitude and longitude.

The software runs on a Netduino or GHI FEZ Lemur which is a .NET version of the popular Arduino platform. It also requires a shield to make connecting it up to the microcontroller much cleaner. I have designed the shield to be compatible with both Netduino and Arduino in case someone wants to write code for the other platform.

There are four projects in this repo.

  • TrimbleMonitor (TinyCLR - Fez) – Basic monitor for the GHI FEZ (No NTP)
  • TrimbleMonitor (Fez Lemur) – Basic monitor for the GHI FEZ Lemur (No NTP)
  • TrimbleMonitor (Netduino) – Basic monitor for any Netduino 1, 2, 3 (No NTP)
  • TrimbleMonitor (Netduno Plus) – Monitor with NTP support for a Netduino 2+ / 3 Ethernet / 3 WiFi

The board must be running TinyCLR or .NET Micro Framework 4.3. You should use Visual Studio 2013 for NETMF projects and Visual Studio 2019 for TinyCLR. More information can be found within the instructions document.

Blog posts can be found at

Contains an NTP server implementation which allows you to sync your computer clock with the Trimble Thunderbolt.

You can now buy the shield as a PCB from

The Netduino and GHI FEZ Lemur and GHI Fez are available from a few places but consistently seem to be in stock at Mouser.

**I do not have a version of the code for Arduino but I'm happy to include it in this repo if you wanted to write it. The board I recommend now is the $10 GHI Fez running TinyCLR. I have yet to update the instructions for flashing this but there are plenty of guides on the GHI website. **


NETMF/TinyCLR hardware monitor for the Trimble Thunderbolt GPS disciplined clock.



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