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Interesting cheap USB I/O board

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  • Interesting cheap USB I/O board

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

    Description: This is a spectacular little development board featuring the PIC18F2455. Based on the work of Brian Schmalz, the UBW is a small board with a command intrepreter for basic input and output control. When attached to a Windows computer, the UBW will show up as an RS232 Com port! You control the individual I/O pins on the PIC through simple serial commands. Board comes fully tested, preprogrammed, and assembled as shown.
    the whole thing is well documented on the product website (linked from the page I linked above) and the thing has a USB bootloader so you can modify the firmware if you want. Has 19 I/O pins you can use, and from the product site it sounds like you can have up to 9 of those as analog inputs if you want. It's open source, and interfacing with it as a virtual COM port would be a whole lot easier to program than interfacing it as a traditional USB device. Plus, it's pretty small.

    Not bad for $25! Anyway, just thought some people might find it interesting
    But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
    Originally posted by Viscouse
    I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
    eegeek.net

  • #2
    Oh wow this thing is cool.

    Does that mean I could program to say for instance when the car alarm chirps, to turn on the computer?
    Or I could make a program that would let the computer do things like turn on headlights, or the defroster, etc?

    Sweett!

    Comment


    • #3
      That device communicates with the computer with a virtual serial port. Unless you wanted to modify or write your own firmware for the PIC on it, it would not be able to do anything without the computer running; all it does is toggle outputs when the computer tells it to, or report input values when requested - all the "intelligence" would be on the computer side, in the software interface you wrote for it. So, it wouldn't be much use for turning your computer on.

      But, if you interfaced it with some relays, etc, then it could be great for turning on headlights, defroster, etc as you asked, when the computer was running whatever software you wrote to control things.
      But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
      Originally posted by Viscouse
      I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
      eegeek.net

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh that sucks that it can't turn the computer on. But the other features still make it worth $25. I can think of lots of things you could do with this...

        Comment

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