Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
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Input/Output control board? Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:38 AM
therealtomlapp therealtomlapp is offline
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Default Input/Output control board?


Ok, back when I was in high school we had an awesome shop teacher that taught us how to assemble an input/output control board that would connect to your serial port. We were able to use out statements (back in the old gwbasic) to send output signals to the parralel port to turn on/off different outputs. The board had connections where you could connect lights, relays, etc, and had connections where you could attach switches and sensors.

I have been looking for something simple that I can manipulate in my programs. I already have an ActiveHome X10 interface which includes an activex for receiving and sending x10 signals (home automation, turning lights on/off, etc.). I want something that I can straight out connect relays to, and sensors as well. I don't want something that connects to the serial port since that is already being used up, the parralel port would work fine, or even better usb.

If anyone knows of a product that is not too expensive, please let me know.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:43 AM
jo0lsInput/Output control board? jo0ls is offline
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There's a bunch of these available - google for USB experiment. I've not found one with a VB.Net dll, but it should be easy enough to wrap the native one that they all come with. They have two in the electronics shop in my local town.

I'm planning to get one to play with with my nephew. He's fascinated by all things science, and my brother is clueless about it all. I get to satisfy his cravings for computers, electronics, etc. His grandad is also helping out - last time they were making an electric motor using wire and empty cotton reels.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:00 AM
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AtmaWeaponInput/Output control board? AtmaWeapon is offline
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It doesn't look like it's super-complicated to build your own. This article has been around for a while and looks pretty good.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:46 PM
therealtomlapp therealtomlapp is offline
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Hey everybody I got one, cost about $100. By a company called Phidgets www.phidgets.com. This thing is totally awesome, controlling in code is so simple a beginner could do it with no problem. It connects to your pc via USB, the driver installation was a snap, it even comes with a test program that you can use if you want to explore it before coding. Here's the part that I really like about it. I always dreaded working with other input/output modules that I have, simply because I had to write code to deal with the devices getting disconnected and my code not crashing because of it. And then reconnecting a device, and now my code has to find out what com port it was assigned and all that. The phidgets interfaces work differently. If the device is disconnected or reconnected, there are events that are fired. It will not throw any kind of an error, your app will not crash. Also each Phidgets interface is hard coded with it's own unique identifier, which in my opinion is one of the best features. So in my program, all I have to do is put an entry in My.Settings to store the identifier (so if I wanted to have a hardware setup screen for the user, he could basically "pair" the device with my program). Once you have the identifier, go ahead and disconnect it, and reconnect it to another usb port if you want, doesn't matter it will work anyway. They not only have basic i/o cards, but they also have an RFID reader that comes with a couple of RFID tags, for those who want to do security apps. Cards that can read sensors like temperature, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

With this new card I have my home automation app completely tied in to my home. I was even able to loop all of the sensors from my home security system into the interface. So now I can enjoy lights that turn on when you enter a room, and turn off when the room is no longer occupied. I have noticed a pretty nice drop in my electric bill too! (were bad with leaving lights on). When I come home at night, my entryway light turns on (when I open my front door), giving me light to put the code in my alarm to turn it off. Then when I enter the living room, or other room of the house, the entry way light turns off, and the light for the room I entered turns on for me. Then through the pa system, the computer welcomes me home by name (depends on who turned the alarm off), and tells me all the calls I missed, and even tells me if someone rang the doorbell while I was out. Oh and yeah forgot to say, doorbell is done by the app too, so I downloaded all these mp3s of doorbells, but it sounds like a real one. All this may sound really advanced but anyone who is at a beginner level, who knows how to use the Timer control and has one of these boards, with a basic cheap X10 home automation setup can do this!
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:51 AM
CrashPilot CrashPilot is offline
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This is basicly my field of work, there are many solutions ranging from PCI PCI-E cards that have hundreds of digital I/O to simple USB I/O with just 8 input and 8 outputs. The PCI solutions are usually extremely expensive so I wouldn't recommend that unless you are creating something that's close to a production line for a company.

You can check this: http://www.audon.co.uk/udin.html This is a good short range solution (5 meters max)

MOXA also specialises on these but then for ethernet. I love these little buggers as they can be installed anywhere where there is acces to your network and expanding them is a matter of daisy chaining them.
http://www.moxa.com/remote_io/Index.htm
Programming them is also, well ...., too easy :P however they are a tad more expensive then most USB versions

Both versions have realay versions that enable potentialness switching, even 230 / 120 V AC if you are planning to switch on or off lights and televisions. Analog inputs and digital inputs usually range between 5 - 24 V DC
(and 0 10 V analog in / out). Prices range between 100 Euro / dollar to 166 Euro / Dollar and more)

I hope that this was usefull
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:21 AM
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mkarasInput/Output control board? mkaras is offline
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Another great source for low cost experimental and hobby stuff for this kind of control is SparkFun Electronics. Here is link to their site:

http://www.sparkfun.com

They have a number or products that you can use to control things from a PC. One I've used is the USB attached "Whacker" product.

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...roducts_id=762

For 25 USD you get a USB attached small board that will show up on your computer as a COMM port. Simple ASCII commands sent to the board will turn the various outputs on and off. You can talk to this thing in VB.Net using the SerialPort class. In VB6 you use the MSComm control.

The outputs from or inputs to this board are low level signals that need to be buffered if you are interfacing to any type of higher power / voltage / current type signals.

SparkFun has some other boards that offer relay and digital I/O that direct connect via USB as well. See:

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...oducts_id=9669
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...oducts_id=9526

These latter options cost more though but are quite competitive for what you would find elsewhere on the web.

Michael Karas
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2010, 10:32 AM
therealtomlapp therealtomlapp is offline
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Well thanks for the suggestions, but I already got the one from phidgets and been using it for a while now. I really like that I actually don't have to use the serial port class, instead I can use the library that hey have written. I really like that if the unit gets disconnected there are no errors, and when I reconnect it everything just begins working again with no interaction whatsoever.
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Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board? Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board? Input/Output control board? Input/Output control board? Input/Output control board? Input/Output control board? Input/Output control board? Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
 
Input/Output control board?
Input/Output control board?
 
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