I have had great success asking problematic questions here on Experts Exchange so now I will try my luck at a general knowledge question. I will start off by asking what I am looking for as far as the hardware goes. Then I will explain what I intend to do with it further down the road. 500 points to the reply that makes me go AAHAAAHHH!!
What I'm looking for: A USB (for ease of connection and less hassle with emulating a serial port) device to trigger 12v relays. I'm not concerned with a logic controller (not real sure if thats the correct term or not). I just basically need something I can switch the relays on with. I have 12 - 15 in mind. I would also need to be able to control it remotely somehow. I would think Telnet, FTP, http, etc would suffice and be pretty common. WiFi would be ideal, although then I have the problem of buying additional hardware for my phone (explain in the WHY section of this post). For my situation Linux drivers would be preferred, and possibly required based on how I interface it with the system. I have very little knowledge on these devices and is why I have posted here.
Now the WHY to help you better understand me. For starters, this will not be hooked up to a PC. I am hoping to use my XBOX as it's controller in my pickup truck. It is possible to run Linux on my XBOX, but there are individuals who can port Windows software/drivers to XBOX. Linux drivers would eliminate that step. I have quite a few things in my truck that are run from 12v switches (door poppers, suspension valves, actuators, air pumps, etc) that I'd like to control remotely. My phone is pretty high tech (Samsung i700) and I can connect to the net, FTP, http, etc from that. Or maybe WiFi the 2 devices together. The ultimate goal is to be able to control the many 12v devices in my truck with a few taps of my phone. Also without a "PC", although the XBOX is just a PC changed into a gaming console (and back into a PC in my case).
Thoughts? Suggestions? Questions?
Very basic info on my truck can be found here: http://www.blazinlow.com/s10blazed/johntruck.htm