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Interfacing to my PC

Posted on 2002-07-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I am interested in exploring the possiblities of creating a few sensors that I can connect to my pc.  The main sensors will detect say light activation and trigger an event on the computer.  I am okay working on the code but wondered what i would need to simply attach this unit to my PC?
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Question by:andyuk
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5 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:tandy
ID: 7159271
Hi ,

Check this out and see if it is what you require:

http://www.fawcette.com/javapro/2002_03/magazine/features/mnadelson/

Hold this helps,

Tand
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 7159499
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Author Comment

by:andyuk
ID: 7159860
I am really a beginner when it comes to hardware and electronics so the simpler the solution (and cheaper the better), I had hope that a simple circuit could send information into the device and when it changes my vb program could notice and trigger and event?
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 7161134
Either the serial or parallel ports can be used. There is plenty of sample code for manipulating these ports available.
NT/2k/XP make it harder to access the hardware directly.

What OS are you planning to use.

I hope this helps !

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Accepted Solution

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lordxeroth earned 50 total points
ID: 7161905
I think the most simple thing is to use the parrallel port. You'll have 8 bidirectional channels (or 8 bit bidirectional). If you use ECP it's fast and relatively easy to use (electronical and software). Mind that you shouldn't use things as WinNT as OS because low level hardware access is more complicated there.
The ECP uses hardware based handshakes for data transfer. This handshake can be easily made on you device by using some simple logic gates. Data can be buffered into some register (simple chip).
I once thought of using the parrallel port to control a railtrack. It's possible to 'transform' the 8 lines to 256 lines that are able to switch something on or off. Getting 256 inputs to 8 bits is a bit more complicated and that is why I didn't go further with the project.

Send me an email to lordxeroth@yahoo.com and give a description of what you exactly want to do and we can talk a bit about it.

regards,
Jan
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